1 THE CHRONICLE chronicle.com Earmark Ban Would Cost Colleges Dearly By Kev in Kiley of Higher Education Volume LVII, Number 17 C to lose billions of dollars for research, facilities, and other purposes if Congressional leaders hold firm in their pledge to ban earmarks, the spending that individual members direct to their home states and favorite projects outside of the competitive processes. Some of the biggest losers would be colleges in states whose lawmakers in Washington hold top positions on appropriations committees, and which have traditionally received substantial earmarks. In spending bills for the 2010 fiscal year, colleges in Texas, Mississippi, and California received the most Congressionally directed money for academic projects, according to an analysis of data by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonprofit watchdog group. House Republicans, who will take control of their chamber in January after picking up 63 seats last month, have vowed to eliminate earmarks from appropriations bills. And President Obama has said he supports overhauling the earmark process to eliminate waste and abuse. The federal-deficit commission he appointed has recommended cutting earmarks out of spending legislation, estimating that doing so would save about $16-billion annually. With the political momentum shifting against such spending, colleges government-relations officials are telling campus leaders not Continued on Page A15 Darrell Shandrow, a journalism student who is blind, can navigate around Arizona State U. just fine (above, he uses Foursquare, a location-based cellphone app). But he was stymied by Spanish 101, which uses an online workbook inaccessible to blind students. By Ma rc Pa r ry M 19,000 people have visited a new student union that Arizona State University put up last year to build a better sense of campus community. Darrell Shandrow, a blind senior studying journalism, can t get through the front door. He s stuck because the new social hub is built of bits, not bricks a private Facebook application for Arizona State students. And, like so much technology used by colleges, the software doesn t work with the programs that blind people depend on to navigate the Web. Basically, I m locked out, Mr. Shandrow, 37, says. So are many others. Colleges that wouldn t dare put up a new building without wheelchair access now routinely roll out digital services that, for blind people, are the Internet equivalent of impassable stairs. Roughly 75,000 students at DAV ID WA LLACE FOR THE CHRONICLE Colleges Lock Out Blind Students Online colleges and trade schools are visually impaired, according to Education Department figures. Bar- riers to access could deny them equal learning opportunities. And colleges are finding that the problems are lawsuit bait, generating litigation and complaints. This is a distressing trend because technology should actually benefit the blind. Mr. Shandrow s life is a daily demonstration of that potential. In his apartment near the campus here, he uses text- Continued on Page A5 BENJAMIN RASMUSSEN Costen Aytes, Naropa U. s landscape manager, waters a Buddhistinspired garden he designed. The flags represent the five wisdoms. By Law r ence Biem iller S and I know I m one of them, can be skeptical when confronted with anything unfamiliar, whether it be a recording, a recipe, or a religion. So I was a little worried when I stopped by Naropa University which describes itself as Buddhist-inspired and says it is dedicated to advancing contemplative education and people started talking to me earnestly about consciousness. To be honest, I was afraid my eyes might glaze over, the way they do when people try to talk to me earnestly about, say, football or rap music. It was Costen Aytes, Naropa s friendly, plainspoken landscape manager, who came to my rescue, taking me on a tour that started with the main campus s tidy sandstone paths, towering sycamores, quiet nooks, and busy bikelending shack a tour that explained Naropa in terms I m a lot more familiar with. By the time we had visited the Continued on Page A12 Who Are the Undergraduates? F coddled by helicopter par- ents to underage drinkers mad for Four Loco, popular depictions of undergraduates often paint them as young adults feeling their way through postadolescence. But while a cadre of undergraduates certainly does leave home at 18 to live on leafy campuses and party hard many others are commuters, full-time workers, and parents. More than a third of all undergraduates attend parttime, and most are not af- fluent. That s reflected in where students go to college more than twice as many undergraduates attend the University of Phoenix s online campus as go to an Ivy League college. Explore the demographics of undergraduates on Page A17 or at chronicle.com/undergrads. This week s news briefing: Page A2 The Chronicle Review: Section B 403 job opportunities: Page A34
2 THE BRIEFING For more news and analysis, see chronicle.com December 17, 2010 Let It Snow Please SERGIO LÓPEZ-PIÑEIRO Snow and Buffalo are synonymous and thus the white stuff is potentially a rich medium for a Buffalo artist. Sergio López-Piñeiro, an assistant professor of architecture at SUNY s University at Buffalo, plans to take full advantage of nature s bounty this winter, plowing the snow in the parking lot of Buffalo s Front Park into 15 giant mounds. By February, he hopes, each hillock will be about 42 feet wide and seven feet high. For months he has been plotting his steps with a scale model of the park (above ), using toy plows to push drifts of heavy salt into the desired designs. Graduate Enrollments Decline in Foreign-Language Programs Undergraduate enrollments in foreignlanguage courses reached an all-time high in the fall of 2009, with a 6.6-per- cent increase since the fall of But graduate-level enrollments declined for the first time in a decade, reported the Modern Language Association. That decline could mean a shortage of qualified foreign-language instructors for the next generation of students, MLA officials said. 2 For-Profit Institutions Announce Big Cuts in Jobs Faced with slowing enrollments, Kaplan Inc. said last week that it would eliminate about 770 jobs, or about 5 percent of the work force, in its Kaplan Higher Education division. The company, part of the Washington Post Company, did not say where the cuts would be made, but an executive said personnel needs were changing because we have made a strategic decision to become more selective in the students we enroll. A week earlier, the Apollo Group said it would lay off about 700 people, most of whom worked in admissions for its University of Phoenix. Lambuth and Fisk Face Accreditation Penalties Two financially struggling universities in Tennessee have been penalized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It removed the accreditation of Lambuth University, but the institution plans to appeal and will retain its accreditation while that process is under way. The commission placed Fisk University on warning status for six months. Judge Dismisses Challenge to Racial-Preference Ban A federal judge has rejected the latest challenge to California s Proposition 209, which bans the use of affirmativeaction preferences by public colleges and other state and local agencies. In dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Samuel Conti, of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, said the plaintiffs in the case had failed to convince him that the legal landscape changed enough in recent years to undermine a previous appealscourt decision upholding the state measure. Movie-Industry Group Warns Colleges About Digital Piracy The Motion Picture Association of American has started to send letters to thousands of college and university presidents, alerting them that it would notify colleges whenever it detects illegal trading of Hollywood films and TV shows on their campuses. The entertainment-industry group s letter begins by reminding college leaders of legal regulations on digital piracy that went into effect this summer as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The chairman of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees abruptly resigned over what colleagues said he viewed as increasing political interference in oversight of the university Some professors at DePaul University are asking the institution s trustees to investigate the reasons behind a string of recent failed tenure bids by minority faculty members A part-time accounting instructor at Kennesaw State University was arrested after a student complained that the faculty member had disrobed during a class Harvard University has made the first substantial changes in its primary governing board since 1650, when the university was chartered India s third-richest man, Azim Premji, has donated $2-billion toward efforts to improve education in the country Keep up with the latest higher-education news from around the Web at THE TICKER chronicle.com/ticker Inside The Chronicle Review A WEEKLY MAGAZINE OF IDEAS The Chronicle of Higher Education Section B December 17, 2010 On chronicle.com INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Many colleges lock blind students out of the growing online world for course materials A5 MONEY & MANAGEMENT Dear college president: 7 stakeholders share their views on educational quality A10 INTERNATIONAL Students from Caribbean medical schools flock to New York for clinical training, angering officials of programs in the state A18 As cuts hit European higher education, students and professors take to the streets A20 COMMENTARY Paradise lost: The academy becomes a commodity A21 Gazette A23 Careers A31 Jobs A34 Among the evangelicals Why WikiLeaks is bad for scholars Terry Castle, critical outlaw Two cheers for nature Correction Among the Evangelicals Inside a fractured movement By TIMOTHY BEAL Why WikiLeaks Is Bad For Scholars Terry Castle, Critical Outlaw Two Cheers For Nature An article about the digital imaging of an eighth-century manuscript known as the St. Chad Gospels (The Chronicle, December 10) misstated the nature of the damage caused in the 1960s when its pages were dipped in a conservation chemical. The procedure did not lead to more wrinkling and warping of the pages but may have caused pigments used in the manuscript to flake and fade. The Chronicle now takes its end-of-year print-publishing break. The next print edition will be dated January 7 and will be mailed to subscribers on Friday, December 31. Regular news updates continue at chronicle.com through December 21 and will resume on January 3. A Bit of a Culture Shock Jonathan Curtiss, a sophomore at Boise State University, explains in the newest installment of Say Something why he left Los Angeles to go to college in a part of the country that is mostly white and rural. Audio: Cyberbullies Beware! A writing class at the University of Southern California spent the fall semester creating resources to help victims of online bullies. Mark Marino, an assistant professor of writing at the University of Southern California who led the effort, tells the Tech Therapists why his students took on the task. Most-Viewed Articles 1. How to Fail in Grant Writing: Six ex- perts offer a beginner s guide to getting your federal grant proposal declined. 2. The Cautionary Tale of a Short- Lived College: As strange as the par- ticulars of Founders College are, they do raise questions about the standards for opening an institution of higher education. 3. Graduation Rates Fall at One- Third of 4-Year Colleges: Campus officials cite competing priorities, longer time to degree, and students difficult financial straits. 4. Why WikiLeaks Is Bad for Scholars: The cumulative effect of governments likely responses will make it harder for political scientists and historians to piece together how foreign-policy decisions were made. 5. As Tuition Discounts Climb, 3 Private Colleges Try a Different Approach: California Lutheran, Centre College, and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland seek to raise enrollment while reducing student aid. If you are a subscriber and do not yet have a password for The Chronicle s Web site, go to chronicle.com/activate
3 A3 THE BRIEFING Best Sellers What They re Reading on College Campuses 1. Decision Points by George W. Bush The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents Earth (the Book): A Visitor s Guide to the Human Race by Jon Stewart Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner The Chronicle s list of best-selling books was compiled from information supplied by stores serving the following campuses: American U., Beloit College, Case Western Reserve U., College of William & Mary, Drew U., Florida State U., George Washington U., Georgetown U., Geor- gia State U., Harvard U., James Madison U., Johns Hopkins U., Kent State U., Pennsylvania State U. at University Park, San Francisco State U., Stanford U., Tulane U., U. at Buffalo, U. of California at Berkeley, U. of Chicago, U. of Florida, U. of Miami, U. of Nebraska at Lincoln, U. of New Hampshire, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, U. of North Dakota, U. of North Texas, U. of Northern Colorado, U. of Oklahoma at Norman, Vanderbilt U., Washington State U., Washington U. in St. Louis, Wayne State U., Williams College, Winthrop U., and Xavier U. (Ohio). Reports, which include data provided by Barnes & Noble and the Follett Higher Education Group, are for sales of hardcover and paperback trade books in November. On Route 66, Get Your Kicks From Tourist Sites L is Northern Arizona University s mascot a 22-foot-tall fiberglass giant who stands, ax at the ready, outside the university s Walkup Dome. I went to the university library s special-collections section in search of more information about Louie, and that s where I met R. Sean Evans, university ar- chivist. He told me that the Paul-Bunyanesque Louie had been designed to adver- tise mufflers but ended up as an extra. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Evans said, an enterprising fiberglass-company salesman loaded Louie up and trucked him along the old Route 66 until he found a willing buyer, the owner of a Flagstaff establishment called the Lumberjack Cafe. After the restaurant changed hands it s now Granny s Closet, and a 10-foot cedar Louie has replaced the original the fiberglass gent took over as the university s mascot. I should mention that Mr. Evans, who curated a recent Route 66 exhibit at the university library, was wearing a Route CHRONICLE PHOTOGRAPH BY LAWRENCE BIEMILLER 66 shirt while he was telling me all this over breakfast at Miz Zip s, a diner on old Route 66. Also, his car has Route 66 seat covers. He and his wife became Route 66 fans one day in 1965 when they were driving over to Williams, Ariz., and got caught in a traffic jam caused by the decommissioning ceremony for the last stretch of Route 66 to be replaced by Interstate 40. His interest piqued, he deter- mined to photograph all that remained of the highway. He is, he said, nowhere near finished. Route 66 was laid out in 1926 by connecting existing roads not all of them paved into a route from Chicago to Los Angeles. It always came through downtown Flagstaff, where it ran right beside the tracks of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. But elsewhere highway officials changed the alignment from time to time. The most notable item in the library s exhibit, Mr. Evans said, was a chunk of pavement from a longtime alignment in which visitors could see layers of asphalt going all the way back to the earliest alignment. The exhibit was on display for a year and remains accessible online. He said it attracted Route 66 fans from as far away as France and Belgium. From Miz Zip s we drove back toward downtown Flagstaff, where we walked around several old Route 66 motels that survive as hostels or apartments, in some cases with tall neon signs still tower- ing above them. Mr. Evans encouraged me to stop by Route 66 landmarks like La Posada, a 1930 hotel in Winslow that was designed by Mary Jane Cotter for the hotel and restaurant magnate Fred Har- vey, whose inventive approach to tourism helped define the American Southwest as a destination. Postcards are dispatches from The Chronicle s Lawrence Biemiller as he visits colleges across America. By Kev in Kiley Chemist Channels Her Energies Into Developing Sustainable Power A the Princeton chemist Emily A. Carter s work is about the fundamental shifts that molecules can undergo when some outside influence acts on them. That kind of major shift can be seen in her own experience, too. Five years ago, Ms. Carter was hit with her own stimulus a report that detailed the evidence of climate change. It was at that point that Ms. Carter, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and applied and computational mathematics, whose research spans multiple disciplines including physics and chemistry, Peer Review upended her life s work to focus on what she considers the biggest problem of our time: energy. I felt like I had an obligation, a responsibility to use my expertise to solve these big problems, she says. I no longer had the luxury to just do intellectually stimulating research projects. My research had taken on a purposeful perspective. Since then, Ms. Carter has completely shifted her focus to energy issues, ranging from creating lightweight alloys that could improve fuel efficiency in cars to doing research on the materials used in solar panels to make them more efficient. In September she became founding director of Princeton s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, an interdisciplinary institute that will seek to bring together scientists and engineers, as well as policy makers and economists, to develop new means of sustainable energy production, energy conservation, and environmental protection. The center is financed through a $100-million gift by a Princeton alumnus. Pablo G. Debenedetti, chairman of the committee that selected Ms. Carter and vice dean of Princeton s School of Engineering and Applied Science, said Ms. Carter was the consensus choice for the role, despite her initial hesitation about adding the job to a growing list of research responsibilities. She s articulate, passionate about the energy issue, and very thoughtful. What more could you ask for in a leader? he asks. She can also back up what she says with an excellent record of what she s accomplished. Ms. Carter likes to say her background in both applied and natural science has made her multilingual, capable of conversing with researchers in different disciplines and bridging ideas from one department to another. Within her own lab, she has graduate and postdoctoral students in engineering, chemistry, physics, and math. It will be up to Ms. Carter, as founding director, to bring in researchers. She said she plans to go around the campus asking faculty members to work with the center, as well as inquire about who should be brought in from the outside. Ms. Carter will most likely hire nine new faculty members Emily A. Carter BENTLEY DREZNER for the center. Anyone who has expertise in an area related to this should be working on these problems, she says. Ms. Carter began her career as a chemist focused on quantum mechanics the study of subatomic particle behavior earning a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. She spent the next few years studying surface chemistry, earning grants to do research on materials that could withstand the high temperatures of jet engines and energy turbines and developing computational models to predict the behavior of materials at the atomic level. I had been working a lot of different projects and developing software tools to probe the properties of materials, but I hadn t had a laser-beam focus on any one particular issue, she says. That changed when Ms. Carter read a report by the Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change in She says that report presented clear and convincing evidence that man-made carbon-dioxide emissions were having a significant effect on earth s climate. Of all the directions in which she could have taken her work, she says, energy issues provided her with the best chance to use her expertise to tackle a pressing need. You have to look at your technical strengths and say, Where I can make the best contribution? she says. My expertise is in physical phenomena, and I think that has more applications to the energy field. Outside the traditional reasons for wanting to combat climate change, Ms. Carter has another argument for reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. Even if you could prove that carbon dioxide has nothing to do with global climate change, it is incredibly stupid as a chemist to continue down the current path, she says. It makes no sense to be blowing all this carbon up into the atmosphere when we could be using it for useful purposes right here on earth. But combating climate change will take more than a science perspective, Ms. Carter recognizes. Part of her goal for the center is to bring in researchers from fields such as economics, policy studies, and even the humanities to figure out the best ways to effect change. And that goal will require Ms. Carter to reach into even more fields, create new bonds, and explore new ideas, three pursuits she has always found stimulating.
4 A4 THE BRIEFING 2 KEVIN T is nearly over, and it s time to find out whether you ve been paying attention to the news in higher education or just watching reality television. Multiple choice, matching and true/false. The answers are at the bottom. No peeking. 1. In an identity mix-up involving a DePaul University philosophy professor who wrote the book Ethical Marxism, the author of which beloved children s book was recommended for exclusion from the third-grade social-studies curriculum in Texas? A. Curious George, by H.A. Rey B. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak C. The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams D. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. E. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown 2. True or false? The proportion of faculty members in the United States who were tenured or on the tenure track dropped to 21 percent in : College presidents who sit on corporate boards have faced criticism and even lawsuits when things go wrong. Some have decided it s not worth the hassle. Match the college leader with the board from which he or she resigned: A. Erroll B. Davis Jr., then-chancellor of the University System of Georgia B. Ruth J. Simmons, president of Brown U. C. E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State U. D. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute a. Stepped down last year from the board of Massey Energy Company, owner the West Virginia mine where 29 miners died in April. b. Resigned board position at BP five days before the company s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April. c. Left the board of Goldman Sachs in March, a month before the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the company with fraud for its role in the subprime-mortgage crisis. d. Left the board of NYSE Euronext in April, but is paid more than $1-million annually for service on five other boards, in addition to an academic salary of $1.6-million. 4. According to the National Research Council s rankings of 5,000 doctoral programs in the United States, this program has the longest median time to degree, 16.3 years. A. theoretical physics at Princeton U. B. aerospace engineering at MIT C. music at Washington U. in St. Louis D. gerontology at UMass-Amherst 5. In a never-ending quest for the optimal freshman class, America s highly selective colleges expanded their application pools to record numbers this past year. Which university boasted of 57,670 applications and proclaimed itself the most popular campus in the nation? A. UCLA B. Stanford U. C. U. of Texas at Austin D. Harvard U. 6. Which of the following musicianuniversity pairings did not occur this past year? A. Todd Rundgren Indiana U. at Bloomington B. Ted Nugent Wayne State U. C. Wyclef Jean Brown U. D. Steve Miller U. of Southern California 7. Which of the following campus animal relocations did not happen this year? A. 11 feral cats were moved into hutches during a building renovation at Tulane U. B. 240 prairie dogs were moved from the Santa Fe U. of Art and Design. C. 23 beavers were moved downstream from the U. of Iowa. D. More than 600 rabbits were removed from the U. of Victoria. 8. All of these bands have played at Calvin College except this one, which was rejected because of its name. A. The New Pornographers B. Barenaked Ladies C. Death Cab for Cutie D. Jars of Clay Tweed The Higher-Ed News Quiz 0 0 ISTOCKPHOTO 1 KEVIN C. COX, GETTY IMAGES 9. Several college figures left their jobs unexpectedly this year. Match the figure and former institution with the length of tenure and circumstances of departure: A. Lane Kiffin, U. of Tennessee football coach B. Michael J. Hogan, U. of Connecticut president C. Uga VII, U. of Georgia mascot D. Sally Clausen, Louisiana highereducation commissioner E. Damon Evans, U. of Georgia athletic director a. 14 months; burned in effigy by rioting students b. 15 months; died of heart problems c. 2 years; endured bad publicity after pulling retire/rehire maneuver to secure $146,000 annual pension plus $90,000 lump-sum payment for unused vacation and sick leave d. 3 years; left behind life-size cardboard cutouts and a disgruntled governor e. 6 years; arrested for DUI while accompanied by a woman and holding her red panties 10. In the facetious Ph.D. Challenge, grad students were asked to sneak what phrase into a peer-reviewed paper? A. I smoke crack rocks. B. Higher education is the next bubble. C. Please remember to tip your cows. D. Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate. 11. This university paid an unprecedented 10 employees more than $1-million each in A. Harvard U. B. Vanderbilt U. C. Johns Hopkins U. D. Stanford U. E. St. Regis U. 12. Which of the following is not a recently reported research finding? A. Teachers who grade with red pens mark more errors on papers. B. Nearly 8 percent of subjects in one study had performed sexual acts while asleep. C. The optimal annual salary for achieving happiness is $75,000. D. Men with beards are considered more trustworthy. E. All are recent findings. 13. According to a University of Texas/ Texas Tribune poll, what percentage of adults in the Lone Star State either believe that humans and dinosaurs coexisted or don t know one way or the other? A. 23 percent B. 36 percent C. 44 percent D. 59 percent C. COX, GETTY IMAGES 14. A freshman named attends Harvard U. A. Princeton Man B. Ivy Harvard C. Yale Fan D. Cornel West 15. Which of the following did not happen this year? A. Two scientists proposed saving money on a mission to Mars by sending people up but not bringing them back. B. A 90-year-old Canadian-history journal changed its name because the original one had become crude slang for female genitalia. C. A researcher at the U. of Reading infected himself with a computer virus. D. An art professor at NYU had a camera implanted in the back of his head. E. A marketing campaign at the U. of Maryland called Unstoppable was canceled because of snow. F. They all happened. 16. What did a community-college instructor in Mississippi threaten to do to a student who used a four-letter word after class? A. Spank him B. Send him to detention C. Make him write on the chalkboard like Bart Simpson D. Wash his mouth out with soap 17. What personal item belonging to Penn State Coach Joe Paterno was auctioned off to benefit Penn State Public Radio? A. His glasses B. His diploma from Brown U. C. His toupee D. His dentures Don Troop Answers: 1(d); 2(f); 3(A-b, B-c, C-a, D-d); 4(c); 5(a); 6(b); 7(c); 8(a); 9(A-a, B-d, C-b, D-c, E-e); 10(a); 11(b); 12(e); 13(d); 14(c); 15(f); 16(b); 17(a) For more stories that take higher education a little less seriously, follow Tweed chronicle.com/tweed
5 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 A5 information technology PHoToGrAPHS By DAvID WAllACE For THE CHroNIClE Colleges Lock Blind Students Out of Growing Online World In a number of respects, blind students are at a greater disadvantage today than they were 20 years ago. Technology ought to benefit the blind, argues Darrell Shandrow, a senior at Arizona State, who has waged a lengthy battle to make course materials, not just campus facilities, accessible to blind students. (Below, he scans a book to convert text into digital audio.) The Chronicle has found such problems widespread at colleges. Continued From Page A1 to-speech software that reads Web sites out loud. To get around town, he runs iphone applications that identify nearby buildings and even the bills in his wallet. He also blogs, tweets, shoots video, and hosts an online radio show. But even though he can navigate so much of the world, Mr. Shandrow hit a wall when he got to Spanish 101. The obstacle: an online workbook that failed to correctly label images. The Chronicle, after more than two dozen interviews and a review of federal records and recent research, found widespread access problems like that. Some other examples: n College Web pages are widely inaccessible to people with disabilities, according to a recent National Science Foundation-backed study that looked at 127 institutions in the Northwest over five years. A recent study of 183 colleges, nationwide, found similar problems. (See table, Page A6.) n Many colleges have no centralized way to ensure that online courses comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, says a November report from the Campus Computing Project and the Wiche Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications. n At one of the country s most prominent public institutions, Pennsylvania State University, blind students and professors suffer pervasive and ongoing discrimination because of inaccessible campus technology, says a federal complaint filed in November by the country s largest organization of blind people. The complaint names problem areas that include Penn State s library catalog, departmental Web sites, and, crucially, its almost totally inaccessible course-management software. n At Arizona State last year, advocates including Mr. Shandrow sued the institution over its use of Amazon s Kindle e-reader, which lacked audible menus for blind people. Arizona State agreed that it would strive to use accessible devices if it deployed e-book readers in classes over the next two years. In a number of respects, blind students are at a greater disadvantage today than they were 20 years ago, says Daniel F. Goldstein, counsel to the National Federation of the Blind, who filed the complaint against Penn State. (Both that university and Arizona State have responded to complaints by stating that they are committed to accessible learning for all.) The Vision Problem For Mr. Shandrow, the Kindle suit was the latest episode in a long and sometimes lonely fight to get people to care about this issue, a fight that has put him at odds with technology companies, colleges, other advocates for the blind, employers, even his own family. It s much more than just the use of e-readers that bugs him about Arizona State. For instance, there s the technology adopted by the journalism school, in Phoenix, whose modern downtown campus Mr. Shandrow reaches by light rail. Arizona State participates in News21, a national multimedia project that aims to train a new generation of journalists Continued on Page A7