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Results for "May, 2013"

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  • The highest dictionary in the land? The Supreme Court and the definition of "marriage"

    Perhaps the highest-profile cases to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court this term are the two involving the definition of marriage. U.S. v. Windsor challenges the federal definition of marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman” (Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA], 1 USC § 7), and Hollingsworth v. Perry seeks a ruling on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage which reads, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Both cases concern who gets to write the definition of marriage, and what that definition says. The high court may check dictionary definitions in deciding these cases. It could defer to state laws defining marriage. Or it could simply write its own definition of marriage, because courts, like dictionaries, are in the business of telling us what words mean. The highest court in the land is poised to become the highest dictionary in the land.

  • It's time to implement Massively Open Online Campus Administration

    MOOCs—massively open online courses—are now a reality in higher education, with startups Coursera and EdX offering free courses taught by top faculty at selective institutions like Harvard, Stanford, and Cal Tech designed to replace the inefficient, lower-quality classes offered at down-market institutions. Now it’s time to implement MOOCAs, Massively Open Online Campus Administration, as well. According to Administrivia, the Silicon Valley startup that first conceived the idea, MOOCAs will be the next big thing in online education.