Paul Tough, Ph.D.
February 15, 2023

NEW DATE: October 25, 2023- The Inequality Machine: How College Divides Us

Event Details

Date & Time

Wednesday, Feb 15 - All Day


Office of the Provost


Event Type & Tags

  • Diversity Inclusion
  • Academics

About This Event

This event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Paul Tough, author of The Inequality Machine: How College Divides Us, is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine; his writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, GQ, and Esquire, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. He is a speaker on topics including education, parenting, equity, and student success.

What is The Inequality Machine about?

"It’s about higher education and social mobility, and the way those two forces intersect in the United States today. For a long time, that relationship was pretty straightforward: Going to college was the single best way for young Americans to improve their station in life; higher education was the most powerful engine of American social mobility. But there are plenty of signs now that that engine is breaking down. The questions at the heart of the book are: Why doesn’t higher education work the way it used to? What can we do to get that mobility engine up and running again? And what does it feel like to be a young person caught in the middle of that process?"

~Paul Tough

What should we do differently?

"...In almost every state, governments have over the last decade cut their budgets for community colleges and public universities, sometimes drastically. This is precisely the moment when we need to be doing the opposite – providing more and better options for the millions of students who need a reliable pathway from high school to a decent middle class life. At other moments of change in American history, we’ve managed to pull together and create and fund education systems that respond to the needs of our young people. This time around, we’re failing. We need to do better – and our history should remind us that we can."

~Paul Tough

About Paul Tough

"Paul Tough is the author, most recently, of The Inequality Machine: How College Divides Us (previously titled The Years That Matter Most). His three previous books include How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, which was translated into 27 languages and spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists.

He has worked as an editor at the New York Times Magazine and Harper’s Magazine and as a reporter and producer for the public-radio program “This American Life.” He was the founding editor of Open Letters, an online magazine.

He lives with his wife and two sons in Austin, Texas."