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About Grinnell

These are essays about Grinnell that did not naturally fit into other categories.

How has Grinnell changed in the past twenty years? (Essay #79)

My answers to a question I’ve been asked a few times.

10/10 (Essay #78)

Okay, 10/10 isn’t really all that important an issue. But I couldn’t think of another place to list this essay.

Grinnell Football (Essay #90)

Thinking about the team, the sport, and some history.

Mastering Grinnell (Essay #91)

How does one learn and keep track of all that is happening at the College?

Faculty Lines and Zero-Sum Games (Essay #150)

The joy of limiting tenure-line faculty.

Should Grinnell be tuition free? (Essay #158)

Reflections on a question from about a decade ago.

The divide between varsity/club athletes and other students (Essay #160)

An issue we probably need to address.

Helping our students speak persuasively (Essay #167)

One of our primary goals as an institution.

The size of the College (Essay #169)

Something it appears we are being asked to reconsider.

The recent history of Grinnell’s mission statement (Essay #170)

How we got to the mission statement we have.

Grinnell’s Board of Trustees (Essay #171)

Thoughts about the folks who govern the College

Grinnell traditions I miss: National pipe cleaner day (Essay #204)

A day of joy and creativity

Grinnell traditions I miss (but shouldn’t): Bakery run (Essay #205)

What could be better than fresh baked goods?

Grinnell traditions I never witnessed, but miss anyway: The Cross-country team’s naked run (Essay #207)

It brings new meaning to fun run.

Grinnell traditions I miss (and mostly missed): Graduation pranks (Essay #217)

Ferguson, fish, and failure.

New Grinnell traditions I appreciate: The Grinnell lecture (Essay #234)

Celebrating scholarship.

Grinnell traditions I despise: The Noyce/Cooper cookout (Musing #276)


Branding the College (Essay #218)

Can we find another term?

The department’s restricted fund (Essay #228)

Or unrestricted fund, as I like to think of it.

Designing a handbook for our Student Educational Policy Committee (Essay #230)

Helping our SEPC help themselves.

A draft handbook for the Computer Science SEPC (Essay #255)

Further help.

Grinnell’s 2017 Kinetic Sculpture Competition (Musing #291)

Yet another thing I enjoy about Grinnell.

Student wages (Musing #299)

An extended reflection with no real point.

The Staff Handbook (Musing #304)

They asked for suggestions.

Campus rumors (Musing #324)

Students come up with the strangest rumors. But some might be true.

Advising at Grinnell (Musing #457)

My response to a request from the Dean to reflect on advising at Grinnell.

Endowed chairs (Musing #461)

Wow, they’re expensive.

Midway through preregistration for spring 2018 (Musing #484)

Where do I stand?

The role of the humanities in a Grinnell education (Musing #485)

Oh, that’s right. I need to explain this to some of my students. Core is probably a good summary.

Double majors (Musing #492)

Why students might choose more than one.

A prologue to some notes for external reviewers about Grinnell (Musing #543)

I think the title says it all.

About Grinnell (some draft notes for external reviewers) (Musing #544)

Why do I end up drafting institutional documents?

Expanding the faculty (Musing #603)

How I’d allocate new positions, if we had them.

Conflicting values (Musing #604)

What do you do when two core values come into conflict?

Just another Saturday at Grinnel (Musing #608)

Too much to do!

Unpacking quantitative reasoning (Musing #623)

Reflections on a core element of a Grinnell liberal-arts education.

Marketing Grinnell (Musing #625)

How do you convince folks to consider this gem of an institution?

Grinnell’s location (Musing #628)

Drawbacks and benefits.

Changing Grinnell, take one: Alumni mentors (Musing #629)

A suggestion on how to distinguish the College.

Our better Grinnellian story (Musing #631)

Positive comments on (and a few small criticisms of) our new admissions site.

Our new banners (Musing #639)

Trying to find some meaning in a confusing campaign.

Noyce third (Musing #659)

My favorite place on campus.

Registration for first-year students (Musing #736)

Our fascinating process.

The cost of attending Grinnell (aka exponential growth) (Musing #746)

Outpacing inflation.

Grinnell’s 2019 U.S. News ranking (Musing #747)

Why the jump?

Go Forth Grinnellian (Musing #788)

Our new tagline.

Grinnell ephemera (Musing #790)

Discovering new things about the College.

Cut, close, balance (Musing #813)

What happens after preregistration.

Increasing class sizes (Musing #831)

Why it’s hard.

Meaningful, flexibile, and educational work (Musing #834)

An excellent goal.

Centering the humanities (Musing #849)

It’s complex.