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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Author Claudia Dreifus Names UM “Most Appealing”


Claudia Dreifus, the co-author of a recently published book that singled out the University of Mississippi for its attributes, discussed her assessment of higher education in America at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics on Nov. 1.

Dreifus, who writes for The New York Times and teaches at Columbia University, and Andrew Hacker, a professor at Queens College in New York, were critical of many schools in their book, “Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids – And What We Can Do About It.” But they wrote that they visited the UM campus and “liked what we saw.”

The authors praised UM for its Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College as well as its spirit of racial reconciliation, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, and the stewardship of former chancellor Robert Khayat. “Of all the flagship schools we visited, we found the University of Mississippi the most appealing,” Dreifus and Hacker wrote.

Dreifus talked about their book and engaged in a conversation led by Amy Wells Dolan, an associate professor specializing in higher education at the University of Mississippi School of Education who has been active in such groups as the American Educational Research Association and the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Wells Dolan also serves as chair of the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women at the University. Following her appearance at UM, Dreifus had a book signing at Square Books in downtown Oxford.