Prisoner’s Dilemma: Harvard Tells Professors Not To Proctor Exams To Reduce Stress For Students Working At Home

There is an interesting article in the Harvard Crimson where professors are being encouraged to trust students in taking exams rather than attempt to proctor to avoid added stress. The approach however raises a type of prisoner’s dilemma where students who might not be inclined to cheat must factor in the expected cheating of other students in their calculus of risk.

According to the guide posted: “Because exams are already stressful for students and using technology to proctor closed-book, timed exams adds additional stress, we advise that you modify your exams to allow them to be taken without proctoring,”

Following this advice is Economics Professor Christopher Foote who told his colleagues:

“Aside from the technical challenges of making sure that that software ran for everybody on their home computers no matter where they are, I just didn’t think it was appropriate to sort of introduce that level of intrusion of technological intrusion into the test taking process.”

For students, the unregulated environment raises a type of prisoner’s dilemma where you must act in anticipation of the decision made by another person without the ability to communicate.

Of course, in the prisoner’s dilemma, both prisoners acting in their self-interest will lose. Here is one description:

Two prisoners are accused of a crime. If one confesses and the other does not, the one who confesses will be released immediately and the other will spend 20 years in prison. If neither confesses, each will be held only a few months. If both confess, they will each be jailed 15 years. They cannot communicate with one another. Given that neither prisoner knows whether the other has confessed, it is in the self-interest of each to confess himself. Paradoxically, when each prisoner pursues his self-interest, both end up worse off than they would have been had they acted otherwise.”

Here a rational student would have to assume that other students will cheat. The questions is whether, by not cheating, they place themselves in a less competitive position. In this case, both rational actors end up in a worse moral or ethical position by cheating.

113 thoughts on “Prisoner’s Dilemma: Harvard Tells Professors Not To Proctor Exams To Reduce Stress For Students Working At Home”

  1. Here, I have a great idea for law school.

    Stop grading the students. Just give them reviews like an employer would give an employee. Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, and Fail. There is your scale, obviously, C is Fair. Then, write a review for each student. Sorry, Professors, I know its more work that way.

    IMO, a lot of the cheating stems from desperation. You have a bunch of A+ to B+ students from their undergraduate colleges, who get to law school, and realize “they ain’t special.” Now, some accept that others have a “complex”. It’s all about how your brain takes a form of rejection.

    Anyway, graduate students are not stupid. The higher the grade, the more likely to get that stellar Big law firm job. The job market is tight, there are too many lawyers in 2020, creating a surplus. The students know this going into 1L, so with all the Type A personality types, it becomes a “sh!t show” of competitive desperation on students’ faces. It’s a dog-eat-dog throw down of covert types, not too many overt types, at least from what I witnessed.

    So, the desperation to “get the grade,” to “get the job” leads to animosity, catty fights, bitterness.

    The students are not makig friends or peers…they’re trying to throw each other under the bus for a few extra points.

    Stop the grading. Watch some have absolute temper tantrum. They’ll get over it. You don’t get grades in the real world. Just reviews from your boss.

    1. Legal Research & Writing


      Some ppl on here, to my surprise , know who I am, via my IP, so I decided to let it all hang out. 😜

  2. I think my favorite, no cheating, but cheating the system, was a group of tight friends, in a 10-15 person Con Law class, at a conference table, who would divvy the reading up, bc it was “So Much Reading,” and then meet before class to fill each other in on the reading.

    But bc they hadn’t read it all, like some of us, not every week, but some weeks (being honest), the weeks of full reading, it was like wait a second, you didn’t read the whole thing, bc you are missing parts…’re talking, but what you’re saying makes no sense, bc its the opposite of what was said in the brief.

    Ah, hah….and then I was filled in on the “make it easier” tactic by a friend of that group. I wasn’t part of that group. But yeah. There you go.

    I’m on a rant and roll here 🎲

  3. Btw, Prof Turley has the best trick in the book for the classroom setting. Lol.

    I’ve never seen so many students NOT get up, mid 3 hr exam to “go to the bathroom.”.

    Literally, 1 person went to the bathroom, and the common ” bathroom go-ers” didn’t get up. What’s the matter, you don’t have a bladder problem anymore? I.e., go check your Cell Phone, for the answer. Oh, oh, but I’m just going to the bathroom.

    Haha. Baha. Lol. Lulz.

    Oh, I’m forgetting the best part. Turley says he stands outside the classroom for 3 hours making sure the bathroom breaks are of a reasonable time.

    A student finishes early, says he is Not outside waiting…jokes on the students, the ones who cheat, of course.

    But yeah, that group of 5-10 players all of a sudden had no bathroom bladder issues.

    1. Or can’t forget the group of guys in LRW class, cough 1x for B, grunt 1x for C.

      And it was for a damn, worthless, 10 question quiz. And the Dean’s Fellow stepped outside to chat with someone…not paying attention, to the 3 stooges. 😆😅😂

      Very obvious to some of us…

  4. More stress at home? Haha. Bahaha. Lol. ROFL. Lmao.

    You can’t be serious, Harvard?

    LESS stress at home. MORE stress in the classroom. This is just silly.

    In a classroom, you have to watch other students fiddle on their Facebook acct, trade stocks, play video games (front row), group chat. Very distracting.

    At home, just you and your computer.

    Also, no smell of stinky food, or listening to someone chew in your ear.

    Moreover, some people have nasty energy and the Aura body field. Like I think I’m going to be dizzy and sick. I had to get my seat swapped a few times bc the stent of negativity was so great, I felt nauseated.

    It’s hard to focus with that much negativity coming off a neighbors body. 🤢👽

    1. And that’s just the In Classroom stuff, that has nothing to do with tests/exams.

  5. “Some 17 percent of U.S. doctors are Asian and rushing to the front lines.” -Andrew Yang

    “Andrew Yang: We Asian Americans are not the virus, but we can be part of the cure”


    During World War II, Japanese Americans volunteered for military duty at the highest possible levels to demonstrate that they were Americans. Now many in the Asian American community are stepping up, trying to demonstrate that we can be part of the solution. Some 17 percent of U.S. doctors are Asian and rushing to the front lines.

    We Asian Americans need to embrace and show our American-ness in ways we never have before. We need to step up, help our neighbors, donate gear, vote, wear red white and blue, volunteer, fund aid organizations, and do everything in our power to accelerate the end of this crisis. We should show without a shadow of a doubt that we are Americans who will do our part for our country in this time of need.

    Demonstrate that we are part of the solution. We are not the virus, but we can be part of the cure.

  6. Trump Sees No Need To Reopen Obamacare Markets

    The Trump administration has decided against reopening the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces to new customers, despite broad layoffs and growing fears that people will be uninsured during the coronavirus outbreak.

    The option to reopen markets, in what is known as a special enrollment period, would have made it easier for people who have recently lost jobs or who had already been uninsured to obtain health insurance. The administration has established such special enrollment periods in the past, typically in the wake of natural disasters.

    The administration had been considering the action for several weeks, and President Trump mentioned such conversations in a recent news briefing. But according to a White House official, those discussions are now over.

    The decision will not prevent Americans who recently lost their jobs from obtaining health insurance if they want it. Under current law, people who lose job-based insurance already qualify to enroll for health insurance on the marketplaces, but are required to provide proof that they lost their coverage. A special enrollment period would have made it easier for such people to enroll, because it would not require that paperwork. It also would have provided a new option for people who chose not to buy health insurance this year but want it now.

    Though the administration continues to run the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, it has taken numerous steps to weaken them, and President Trump continues to call for the health law’s elimination and replacement. The administration has joined a lawsuit with a group of Republican states that calls for the entire law to be overturned, which the Supreme Court will consider in its next term. Mr. Trump recently told reporters that he continues to support the suit, and would like to replace the law, though he has not specified a preferred policy alternative.

    “What we want to do is get rid of the bad health care and put in a great health care,” he said, in response to a question on March 22 about the lawsuit.

    Edited from: “Obamacare Markets Will Not Reopen, Trump Decides”

    Today’s New York Times

    1. Wrong decision. i predict this one will get reversed. Sooner the better. Who’s advising Trump? Same knuckleheads who say public should not wear masks?

        1. who fired his best people early on, and since then has been listening to much to the likes of jared who should be fired immediately. for any reason including that he’s a pencil necked geek

          1. Yeah, except does he “listen” to Jared, or does Jared just do whatever he says? Either way, it’s a scary thought with 2 amateurs running things with no adults on board art the highest levels for guidance.

            1. when i heard the story about how and why jared stabbed chris christie in the back over his own selfish intramural beef, depriving Trump of a good advisor, i knew jared was a POS and I have been avoiding saying it. now I am just going to start saying what i really think a lot more often

              1. Kurtz, Christie’s Bridgegate scheme was appalling. Yet I watch him every Sunday on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos”. There Chrisie comes across as very bright and personable. In fact, Christie and Rahm Emanuel form a Siskel And Ebert pair of pundits on “This Week’s” round table discussions.

                1. I could find any number of bad things to say about Christie but he has his merits

                  and I have already said a lot of bad things about Rahm

                  I would still rather see a Chicago operating under Rahm than Lori Lightfoot. Did you know that lady was a “biglaw” lawyer at mayer brown and platt. or whatever they call themselves now.
                  so biglaw thinks they run chicago now. as if they didn’t pretty well run it already. puke

                  and Rahm for all his faults is very insightful into many current events. As is his associate Axelrod. i dont agree with much of what they say and i generally dont watch tv
                  but if i had to listen to such things on tv i would be wiling to listen to them,.

    2. What he wants is to get rid of Obamacare. Period. Quite despicable actually.

      1. i dont know about all that but he “healthcare exchange” was probably the BEST part of Obamacare which had tons of moving parts. a lot of which were problematic but the government sponsored exchange was a very simple and wise solution that proved its worth over years.

        if trump was more in tune with “Economic nationalism” and “populism” which is the horse that brung him, he would realize that small peasants like yours truly out here in flyover, who are in small business, who are gainfully employed, but not in a position to buy a big coverage package for a very small number of employees, well, we will tend to get their health insurance through the exchanges.

        but hey, he fired people who were in tune to things like that such as Steve Bannon, because, whatever.

        the healthcare exchanges are a tool ready at hand to address the massive unemployment that has ARRIVED for many people.

        i doubt anybody with an in to trump reads these comments but if there were, this one is almost a no brainer, low hanging fruit, seriously

    3. Trump’s Obama trolling is his greatest need and cannot be denied. His impulses are as transparent as a 5 year old.

    1. That’s sad, too young to call it a day and back up shop.

      AFA has a lot of pressure on those 18-22.

      Law schools are the same. I assume med schools are too.

      Some feel if they don’t make the grade or the cut, its over, and they won’t have a life worth anything post-grad. It’s pretty sad.

      I think a lot of the law schools now have a suicide prevention/or at least a psychologist on staff in counseling to talk to, that is, if the person wants help.

      That’s why I say to end the GPAs. That way maybe the students can network more, be friendly, or more so friendly, make better connections with their peers.

      A lot of peers just see you as competiton, nothing more, nothing less. I don’t even think they see their peers as another person. That is pretty bad. They may be frenemies or friendly competition, but there is still that underlying feigning…

  7. Trump ‘Gratefully’ Accepts Load Of Medical Supplies From Putin

    Russia has dispatched a cargo plane with masks and medical equipment to the US after Donald Trump accepted an offer of humanitarian aid from Vladimir Putin to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

    The plane, a Russian Antonov An-124-100 military transport, left from Chkalovsky airfield outside Moscow on Tuesday night and will arrive in the US on Wednesday after refuelling at Shannon airport in Ireland. Footage from the plane broadcast by Russian state television showed stacks of cardboard boxes in the cargo hold.

    The delivery is likely to stir controversy among critics of Trump, who have said Putin will portray the goodwill gesture as a public relations coup and use it to bolster Russia’s efforts to escape sanctions for meddling in the 2016 US elections.

    Masks and other medical equipment are also in short supply in Russia, where the number of infected with coronavirus rose by 440 on Wednesday to a confirmed 2,777 cases. The Moscow mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, warned Putin last week that the official tally of cases underestimated the severity of the outbreak.

    In an apparent error, Trump on Monday said the aid had already arrived from Russia, telling reporters in the White House Rose Garden: “Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.” It was the first mention of aid from Moscow.

    Later, the Kremlin announced that Putin had offered Trump the aid during a one-on-one telephone conversation when the two sides discussed measures to fight coronavirus.

    “Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid,” Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters. “Now that this situation has affected everyone without exception and is global, there is no alternative to joint action in the spirit of partnership and mutual help.”

    Edited From: “Coronavirus: Russia Sends Load If Medical Supplies To U.S.”

    Today’s The Guardian
    This story naturally makes us wonder if Russia is completely out of the woods regarding the virus. That is, ‘What makes Putin so sure Russia won’t need these supplies?’

    1. Exactly. Something along the lines of yes, we’ve come up with a treatment but we’re not sending that. Send Donald the masks!!

    2. This story naturally makes us wonder if Russia is completely out of the woods regarding the virus. That is, ‘What makes Putin so sure Russia won’t need these supplies?’

      A simple thank you would’ve sufficed. But it’s Russia, so naturally… Had President Trump turned down the offer, naturally, he would’ve been excoriated for it. Add this to Pelosi’s growing list of things she wants to formally investigate in preparation for the next round of impeachment hearings.

      1. Sure, we’ll take Russia’s supplies, Olly. But the story clearly notes that Russia could be under-reporting it’s own infections.

        1. As long as they are not sending us ineffective supplies and/or tainted with the virus, then great. If they’re under-reporting, then that regime will have to face the wrath of it’s own people. Once this is over and as they prepare to lift the travel bans, we need to reevaluate which countries are to be trusted with entry into our own.

  8. China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials.

    The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret and declined to detail its contents. But the thrust, they said, is that China’s public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China’s numbers are fake.

  9. The right to private property is not qualified by the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute.

    Harvard may do whatever Harvard wants to do.

    The mystery and dilemma is the motivation and rationality of its customers.

    “No person shall be…deprived of…property…nor shall private property be taken for public use,…”

    5th Amendment

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

  10. “If neither confesses, each will be held only a few months.”

    This one seemed to be the best scenario of all the options. It is only a few months, guaranteed.

    1. Prairie Rose:

      Wuhan Virus

      You’re right but they can’t communicate so it’s like that scene in Batman where the joker has a bomb detonator on a ferry linked to another ship and vice versa. Neither side can talk to each other. He gives the detonator to each ship’s passengers and a time limit. What do you do?

      Kinda far-fetched like the Prisoner’s dilemma. Any confession would be thrown out by a judge given the unreliableness of the circumstances. And why, pray tell, do you let the guy who confesses.

        1. Anonymous:

          “Go-to repsponse to mespo’s blather:”
          Wuhan Virus

          And yet you read every syllable. Telling

          1. “And yet you read every syllable”

            Only in mespo’s wet-market dreams.

            Any lawyer worth his salt wouldn’t leap to that faulty conclusion.

            1. Anonymous:

              ““And yet you read every syllable”

              Only in mespo’s wet-market dreams.”


              Wuhan Virus
              Anybody who doesn’t read the comment shouldn’t respond lest they look foolish — and yet you do.

      1. Mespo,
        Seems like the lesson is, don’t rat out your co-conspirator, at least with the scenario Professor Turley posed.

  11. Paul,

    I’m not sure what I want to think this morning other then there are way to many stupid people in leadership positions in govt/corp that got there by complying to the expected narrative & not making waves.

    It’s been a rampant condition for decades & it’s currently a Personal & National Security threat to us all.

    I think it’s called the prick principle… lol;) oh wait, peter something.

    They should read up on what happens to those types in war history.

    BTW: I can relate to your mail box trips… Maybe a golf cart or riding lawn mower? They walking is no doubt the better option but just keep a phone with us.

      1. Someone recently said they had spoken to Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar daughter & she supposedly said something… eat white bread & it’ll kill you.

        I tend to agree & switch to something that fits our diet needs here, more veggies.

        This Chicom bio weapon flu stuff now has me very interested in certain vitamins & minerals like Vit A, C, D3, Magnesium, Zinc.

        The Zinc & in presences of vitamin A seems like something I should watch/learn.

        We’re using sea salt here that has some trace minerals like zinc/copper.

        Hell, I get this stuff figured out & then I think I’ll get me a white lab coat, stethoscope & operate under the name Dr Jack Ahole. LOL;)

        1. Oky1 – I am on a strict diet and my wife is pumping me full of vitamins and rocks.;)

        2. OKY, start your garden!

          and folks whatever you do, don’t prepare the garden by using roundup on turf first. Just cut out the live turf with a shovel.

          This is a mistake i made when my stupid ex mother in law “advised” me on starting my garden decades ago.

          I had a buddy tell me around that time., “why did you use roundup? you know that stuff causes cancer?”

          i chuckled but now we know it does.

          Yes– he watches alex jones– he warned me about pcbs too years before it was fashionable

      2. I have a lot of things I want to do this year , but this Wuhan Bio Weapon crap has us in OK under govt house arrest.

        One of those things was get another stand up desk set up like I gave to one of the kids a couple years ago.

        They’re great for blood flow to the legs.

        Office chairs are known killers over time.

        1. Oky1 – I have a gaming chair with speakers and a massage function. 😉

            1. OKY1 – it was on special at Sam’s Club and you had to meet certain height and weight requirements. 😉

              1. I try to be my own drill Sargent, but if I get to slacking to much the wife puts on her combat boots.

                Hell, after all that cancer treatment stuff she’s been doing 3 to 5 miles a couple times a week inside on the elliptical, around the house or out side. Plus weights.

                My joints won’t take that much & wonder about hers.

                It puts me to shame though & it burns off most of the stress.

  12. 1. Seize their endowment

    2. Auction off their property

    3. Exile their faculty and much of the administration (the President, the Provost, the instructional deans, the Dean of Students et al, the personnel director et al, the G-C et al, and the public relations and fundraising apparat).

    4. Rinse, repeat in re (1) Yale, (2) Trinity College at Duke, (3) Oberlin College, &c.

  13. The mathematics of refusing to come from the highest part of your nature. Always a losing battle.

  14. This is a non-argument

    1. Universities are not producing a valuable product since universities are not providing an education. They exist to create revenue. No one in academia disputes this. The metrics used by university boards are enrollment rates and growth in numbers in academic programs. Thus scores and GPAs are irrelevant.

    2. A large percentage of students in higher ed should not be in higher ed. The kids see higher ed as a rite of passage, a path expected by parents, society and the general milieu where they find themselves. Trade schools are not just a worthwhile path, but many trade technicians earn far more money than college grads and sadly many Master and PhD level recipients

    3. Lockdown Browser works fine. We use it at my university and a recent quiz during this COVID era resulted in more than half the students earning less than 70%. They took it at home.

    4. Some professions require aspiring clinicians with doctoral degrees to take board exams in a test center, seated in a cubicle, lasting > 8 hours, under timed conditions, with a dedicated video cam hanging over their head. The proctors frisk you upon entry and exit of the room and these ladies are not the type you want frisking you.

    University students today have it made.

    1. 1. Oh good, I’ll tell my daughter our grandson doesn’t need to work on his grades anymore.
      2. “Education and Lifetime Earnings. Men with bachelor’s degrees earn approximately $900,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates. Women with bachelor’s degrees earn $630,000 more. Men with graduate degrees earn $1.5 million more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates.

      1. PS Estovir, are you trying to get your kids or grandkids into trade school or a university?

          1. Roofing is a young person’s job though. Sure, some make it awhile, but the physical cost is high. Lugging 85 lb bundles up ladders and sloped surfaces always leaves a mark. Good on your kids.

            1. Paulie J:

              “Lugging 85 lb bundles up ladders and sloped surfaces always leaves a mark. Good on your kids.”

              Nobody lugs bundles up ladders any more. Take it from one who has done it. Everybody sues a hoist. And today’s roof pitches of 4/12 – 9/12 pale in comparison to the steep ones of yesteryear at about 17/12.

          2. Roofers make from $15-25 hour and zippo benefits. What you might pay for them, or a plumber for example, includes trucks, insurance, an office, etc. and as Paulie points out, your done in your 50s if your lucky and then can deal with the skin cancer.

            1. You’re referring to self-employed plumbers. Median wage for employed plumbers is currently just north of $26 an hour, and they commonly have institutional or union insurance.

              1. No, I wasn’t, and no they don’t. Plumbers, hvac, and electrical companies bill at somewhere around $100 an hour but the plumbers get substantially less without insurance, retirement, etc. Union? What’s that?

                1. Why not write the Bureau of Labor Statistics and explain to them how they’re doing their jobs wrong?

                  1. TIA:

                    “Why not write the Bureau of Labor Statistics and explain to them how they’re doing their jobs wrong?”

                    Wuhan Virus

                    bythemyopia is never wrong or even in doubt.

                    1. Anonymous:


                      Wuhan Virus

                      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thanks. LOL

              2. DSS – I am not sure where the money is going, however when I call out a plumber, it costs me $50+ an hour. I am having to call one out today.

                1. Depends on how labor-intensive the sector is, but the ratio of employee compensation to business revenue is commonly around 1/3. I assume, as it is a service, that the ratio is higher in the plumbing business. Not sure, though.

            2. If you ever lived in Miami, you would know that roofers, after a hurricane, make more money than a physician does in a lifetime.

              There was a running joke in Miami after Hurricane Andrew amongst Cubans. It went something like this:

              Mother of a single daughter: “What does your son-in-law do for a living?”

              First Mother-in-Law: “my daughter married a physician, and they are very happy”

              Second Mother-in-Law: “my daughter married an attorney, and they are very happy”

              Third Mother-in-Law: “my daughter married a roofer”

              Mother of a single daughter (pleading): “please give me his phone number to see if he has a son who is looking for a wife”

              South Floridians pray every summer that hurricanes will miss them. Roofers pray that Cat 4 hurricanes hit Miami year round

              I think any parent should wish that their offspring pick a career that makes them very happy. A mother/father is only as happy as their most miserable child.

              1. There aren’t many hurricanes in Miami and if you are speaking of roofing companies – as opposed to roofers – yeah, like any business, some do very well and some last 4 years and fold.

                1. Meant to post “There aren’t THAT many hurricanes in Miami ….”

              2. That may be, but median compensation for roofers as we speak actually is $20 per hour, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

                Where I’ve lived, people who work for roofing firms have a certain vibe. You look at them and you figure their life is enriched by being supervised by a foreman and a by parole officer as well. The last crew I observed day-to-day were working on the property of an elderly friend. The crew destroyed her flower beds while they were working (quite gratuitously) and the proprietor-foreman tried to buffalo her into paying her more than what he’d agreed to on the contract. A better living than fast food joints offer, to be sure.

                Remember Matthew Shepherd? The goombas who abducted him and then beat him to death were employed family men, thought they’d never married their respective baby-mama / shack-ups. They worked for a roofing firm. Mike Royko offered a generation ago that whoever you are, there’s a job out there for you.

      2. 2. “Education and Lifetime Earnings. Men with bachelor’s degrees earn approximately $900,000

        1. Your mistake is in attributing the value-added to the activities of the institution, rather than to the institution functioning as a collecting pool of already-developed human capital. There may be additions to human capital incorporated into that diploma, but most of the advantage is what economists call the ‘signaling’ function. There is considerable malinvestment in sorting the labor market this way. Occupational testing is a much cheaper way of divining trainability than a baccalaureate degree.

        2. Dr. Estovir’s contention is overstated. The institution is working to educate you if it offers serious vocational training. For a variety of reasons, the liberal education it offers is commonly sh!t. It doesn’t have to be, but it is, because the purpose of the institution in that respect is to provide salaried employment for faculty, not to provide disciplined schooling for their clientele.

        3. Allan Bloom called attention to aspects of this situation a generation ago, when he noted that in the absence of a serious core curriculum (and almost no institutions have one), there isn’t any justification for holding students for four years. A specialized two year program where they study a discrete subject will do just as well.

        4. Note that your son had over 200 credit-hours worth of higher education to obtain an occupational license which was, prior to 1920, commonly acquired through a structured apprenticeship. Among aspirants who attended professional school, a common credential prior to 1955 or thereabouts was the LLB degree which did not require a BA. A programs of 125 credits (an arts-and-sciences certificate of 50 credits incorporating philosophy, Anglo-American history, and sundries; a business certificate of 25 credits with courses on accounting, finance, insurance, and real estate; and a working lawyer’s degree of 50 credits) might suffice if conjoined to an old-school office apprenticeship.

        5. Your daughter also has 120 credit-hours or more and now works in the real estate business, right? I think one can get a CLU certificate with a 30 hour program (or you could when I was asking around about it). Roughly comparable sort of work, no?

        6. Who are you going to pass that business of yours onto if not your grandson? Or do you have one of your wife’s shirt-tails working for you?

        1. A specialized two year program where they study a discrete subject will do just as well.

          Good point. The reality is that is all the student needs. However, the university wants four years and then grad student.

    2. “Universities are not producing a valuable product since universities are not providing an education.”

      You seem to have dedicated the results pf your education to proving that point.

  15. Wuhan Virus
    Given the rampant tokenism employed in admissions, the dearth of rigorous academic standards and now the incentives to cheat, Harvard is now the ultimate woke university whose diploma means nothing more than you’ve checked the right identity boxes. I’d take a candidate from ITT Tech over some haughty denizen of Harvard Yard. Do you ever wonder JT, if you’re surrounded and employed by the nation’s worst people ?

          1. ” … but I’m not posing either.”
            Wuhan Virus

            You shouldn’t. Posing requires some level of credibility. You — not so much.

                1. Anonymous;


                  To mespo.”
                  Wuhan Virus

                  Naw, in honor of speech-hating btb (and others), I’m starting every comment with the best name. Sort of a “Cathago delende est” moment.

    1. I’d be interested to hear students’ perspectives. There will be a (hopefully) small percentage who are whooping it up. I wonder how many are genuinely p!ssed at their profs and the administration for educational mismanagement. They may have been living a ‘go along to get along’ life. Hopefully, this societal mess has snapped them out of it.

    2. I’d take a candidate from ITT Tech over some haughty denizen of Harvard Yard.

      In my experience, you’ll never go wrong hiring a veteran with a technical NEC/MOS. Learning and working under pressure is what they are trained to do.

      I went to college out of high school, took a full load and had to drop out after 1 semester for reasons beyond my control. The work of course was more difficult than high school, but my grades were slightly better. My dad was a Korean War veteran, Navy pilot and I asked him if he thought me enlisting would be a good move. He agreed.

      When I took my ASVAB exams, I qualified for the Polaris Missile program and the Advanced Electronics Field (AEF). I chose to be a Sonar Technician. I had no idea what any of it meant, but I was about to find out. Besides the obvious culture shock civilians go through during boot camp, A schools and the technical schooling were the most pressure-packed courses I’ve ever had. I was in the Anti-Submarine Warfare field.

      It’s difficult to describe, but the stress these sailors learn under, trains them for the stress they will experience onboard a ship, underway. I’ve been retired for 21 years and the careers I’ve followed since have never seemed to have that same degree of stress involved.

      One more thing. I was at best a 2.5 gpa high school student; same that 1st semester in college. After I completed my 1st year of A and C schools in the Navy, I went to sea duty for 2 years. When I rotated to shore duty for instructor duty, I went back to school at the University of San Diego. I was teaching during the day and attending the university at night (12 units). My gpa from that point forward never dropped below 4.0. I had matured, learned how to learn and had a completely different motivation than I had just 3 years earlier.

      1. Olly:

        There are lots of smart people who never walk past an ivy covered tower. In fact, most of them.

        1. Mark,
          I joined this blog because I thought I could learn something (from a civics perspective) about how the law works from those in the profession. What I’ve learned is the law is the weapon of the political class; not any different than speech and firearms are the weapons of the citizen class. These weapons can be used to secure our natural rights, or take them away. Sadly, we have such a disaster of civics literacy in this country, that many citizens will support Red Flag Gun laws and speech limitations proposed by the political class, but those same citizens won’t red flag the politicians proposing them.

          1. Olly:

            “What I’ve learned is the law is the weapon of the political class; not any different than speech and firearms are the weapons of the citizen class. These weapons can be used to secure our natural rights, or take them away.”
            Like every human institution it’s as good or bad as the people who run it. It’s subject to the better and worse angels of our nature and because we put so much faith in it, when it goes off the rails, the results are catastrophic.

            Fundamentally, you have to decide if human nature is mostly benevolent or abominable. For me, the answer is that human nature is skewed abominable but yearns to be benevolent. To quote my favorite political scientist, our lives are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” That said, we try to organize our existence using law to mitigate our plight and further our natural sense of right and wrong. Sometimes that effort soars to its potential and other times it runs aground.

            Good people in charge have moral intuitions but systems have to take into account the greed and self-interest in all of us. That’s the glory of capitalism and our republic. We don’t rely on the best in us, but the worst. That’s not politically correct, but it’s politically true.

            1. For me, the answer is that human nature is skewed abominable but yearns to be benevolent.

              Thank you Mark. I agree, the law is necessary because of it and I believe it goes off the rail because we’ve forgotten or perhaps never learned that everyone is born with the same nature. This is especially important considering the people we elect to office are no better than those that elect them and often times far worse.

      2. OLLY – some of us just are bored silly in high school and those habits go on in college. We need some seasoning and then return to get a grip.

        1. We need some seasoning and then return to get a grip.

          I agree Paul. I was interviewed by the Navy Times when I got to my first ship in 1980. I had only been in one year at that point, but I had finished my A and C schools. They asked me what I thought about the Navy so far. I didn’t even flinch, when I told them I thought 2 years of military service should be compulsory out of high school. Not that I thought everyone should be in the military, but rather like you alluded to; it’s transformational.

  16. When I took my Master’s comprehensive written exam, I was placed in the office of a professor who was on sabbatical. He had a series of books on his desk that had all the answers to the exam. The books were especially tempting when I had to go through five pages of the test before I found a term I recognized. However, I never cheated on a test and I wasn’t going to start then. 😉

    1. Still on my rant and roll here 🎲

      I sat next to a Stanford Law grad on their 3rd attempt with the CA Bar exam, this last time.

      I have a friend who went to a non-ABA law school, one of those California only law school, passed on their 2nd attempt. He didn’t do his Bachelor’s degree either. Just 2 years at a Junior College and then 3 at a non-ABA law school.

      😥 Yep. Random.

      I recommend all law professors start prepping their students earlier with Q&A, last 15 minutes of class, or hand-outs, or quizzes.

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