The Commerce Department announced yesterday that it was expanding the eligibility for .edu domain names to all U.S. educational institutions which have been accredited by an agency on the Department of Education’s list of recognized accrediting agencies. This means that a whole host of vocational schools — massage therapy schools, midwifery training institutions, cosmetology programs, and Montessori schools, to name a few — are joining the .edu neighborhood. The change has come with a bit of complaining, of course, mostly from the elder elite who feel that .edu should remain the province of the upper crust; a retired Princeton administrator was actually quoted on the AP wire as saying, “Somebody who goes six months to a beauty school, I would not consider in the same league as somebody who’s even been two years at a community college…. There’s too much dumbing down already.” I have to ask: are there really people who judge a person’s academic worth on whether or not his educational email address had .edu at the end? (And as if a Columbia guy like myself needed another reason to look down on Princetonians…)


watch it, boy. there are native princetonians around. i’ll get lance knobel [davos newbies] to back me up, too.

besides, princetonians don’t give a fig about the randy little red-haired bastard who’s buried in trinity’s churchyard … whereas the whole school turned out for burr’s burial.


but seriously, read about the burr treason trial sometime, if you haven’t had the chance. the trial records are available via microfilm; they may be in published form someplace. *don’t* read the current historical texts; they obscure overmuch with editorializing. burr and marshall put the screws to jefferson in a big way, and bits of that jurisprudence echoed right into the clinton impeachment.

you might even come to respect the man.

• Posted by: garret on Feb 13, 2003, 1:09 AM

Two aspects of Educause’s policies are interesting: first, .edu is not limited to non- or not-for-profit institutions. Second, they have reserved the right to charge fees in the future, albiet on a “cost-recovery” basis. At some point, will the .edu registry become for profit as well?

Personally, I’m not convinced that there should be any non-technical restrictions on the creation of top-level domain names.

• Posted by: Sam Greenfield on Feb 13, 2003, 11:39 AM

To the extent that the established TLD system has been permissive, I don’t see that retrofitting restrictive conditions is viable (viz., all the folks who worried that their .org might be taken away by a mooted non-profit-only ruleset). At the same time, the incentive for another registrar to take over a TLD has to be there, and expanding the market has to be taken into account (almost anything to wrench things out of the cold steel grip of NetSol).

New TLDs aren’t in the same boat. I like the idea behind .pro, for example, and hope for a future .npo.

• Posted by: Dan Hartung on Feb 13, 2003, 11:28 PM

“are there really people who judge a personís academic worth on whether or not his educational email address had .edu at the end?”

Yes, they’re called ‘employers’.

• Posted by: dave on Feb 15, 2003, 2:13 PM

OK, dave, then are there really employers that are unable to distinguish between a degree from a four-year college or university and a degree from a acupuncture institute?

• Posted by: Jason on Feb 19, 2003, 4:15 PM
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