”Practicing openness and making oneself radically vulnerable is not only scary, it is the opposite of what we are taught to do within the logic of the contemporary university (and society more generally). Our marginalization, meager pay and lack of job security, along with the attacks on professors by students and the administration’s refusal to back up even tenured professors, all contribute to a culture of paranoia and enmity (among administration and faculty, among tenure-track faculty and adjuncts, among professors and students). Even when we manage to maintain our commitment to our students (and we do), the university seeks to capture this affective relationship and use it to further exploit us when we ask for fair wages or better conditions with the reprimand that ‘we are doing this for the students and not the money.’ Just as the practitioners of modernity gutted the erotic and sold us the pornographic, administrators attempt to gut the material and affective conditions of teaching and sell us ‘passion.’”
Dr Priya J. Shah: "My Last Day as a Professor
posted by koeselitz
on Jun 6, 2014 -
Administrator Hiring Drove 28% Boom in Higher-Ed Work Force, Report Says The report, "Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive: Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education," says that new administrative positions—particularly in student services—drove a 28-percent expansion of the higher-ed work force from 2000 to 2012...What’s more, the report says, the number of full-time faculty and staff members per professional or managerial administrator has declined 40 percent, to around 2.5 to 1. Full-time faculty members also lost ground to part-time instructors (who now compose half of the instructional staff at most types of colleges)...And the kicker: You can’t blame faculty salaries for the rise in tuition. Faculty salaries were "essentially flat" from 2000 to 2012, the report says. And "we didn't see the savings that we would have expected from the shift to part-time faculty," said Donna M. Desrochers, an author of the report.
posted by mediareport
on Mar 6, 2014 -
I, Too, Am Harvard.
A photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College. 63 students participated, sharing their experiences with ignorance and racism. "Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 5, 2014 -
Bloomberg has been publishing a series of articles on the misdeeds of the fraternity system
in the U.S., particularly how Greek organizations "dodge liability for mayhem at their local chapters, oppose anti-hazing bills in Congress and pressure colleges to drop restrictions on recruiting freshmen as pledges. Colleges face litigation from fraternities and the withholding of donations by wealthy alumni." [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead
on Dec 30, 2013 -
The revelation that the median grade at Harvard is an A- prompted lots of discussion, especially among Ivy-league educated journalists. Some speculated high grades reflect intelligence. Others say professors just want their students to get jobs, or, selfishly, they want favorable teaching evaluations. As a teaching assistant in the economics department at Columbia, I too inflated student grades, but for none of those reasons. I just didn’t want to deal with all the complaining.
posted by latkes
on Dec 13, 2013 -
...one of the jobs of a publisher, I really believe, is to keep all forms in play, precisely because it is in keeping all forms in play (which forms are themselves always being reshaped in some fashion as they come into contact with each other) -- that creativity has the widest possible purchase on how things might turn out. Eileen Joy
, co-director of open-access quasi-scholarly print-on-demand press Punctum Books
, gives a talk on the state and future of open-access publishing
in the academy and the arts.
posted by shivohum
on Nov 20, 2013 -
Columbia students stuff Nutella in their pants to the tune of $1,000s a week.
(SLNYT) Last month one of Columbia’s undergraduate dining halls began serving Nutella every day, not just in crepes on weekends. The problem was that the Columbia students went through jars and jars of Nutella — at least 100 pounds a day. Apparently they were not just eating it in the dining hall. They were spiriting it away in soup containers and other receptacles, to be eaten later.
posted by grobstein
on Mar 7, 2013 -
In several computer science courses at Johns Hopkins University, the grading curve was set by giving the highest score on the final an A, and then adjusting all lower scores accordingly. The students determined that if they collectively boycotted, then the highest score would be a zero, and so everyone would get an A
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Feb 18, 2013 -
A Renaissance in Economics The American President Ronald Reagan once quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” I get the same shivers when someone introduces themselves as an economist.
posted by infini
on Feb 13, 2013 -
In the Fall of 2011, The Floating University
assembled a video course entitled Great Big Ideas
. Each of its dozen lectures is the product of a challenge given to an eminent authority and expert teacher to take "everything a non-professional needs to know about your subject in less than 60 minutes" and to bake the result into "a multi-media presentation, produced with the highest quality video and graphics." The lectures cover topics as varied as psychology, demography, physics, political philosophy, and more. During its initial offering at Harvard, Yale, and Bard during the Fall 2011 term, GBI quickly became the most popular course at all three universities.
posted by shivohum
on Feb 5, 2013 -
The Myth of American Meritocracy. Ron Unz
, former publisher of The American Conservative
, has challenged many of the magazine's "paleocon"
readers with several recent articles on ethnicity (including His-Panic
, which questioned links between immigration and crime, and Race, IQ, and Wealth
, with a skeptical eye toward that subject). But in his latest (long!) article, The Myth of American Meritocracy
, Unz will challenge many kinds of readers, as he makes the case for persistent, extensive ethnic discrimination in Ivy League admissions, which for decades, he argues, has been extremely biased in favor of under-qualified Jewish whites at the expense of well-qualified Asians and non-Jewish whites. [more inside]
posted by dgaicun
on Nov 28, 2012 -
In 2003, only two colleges charged more than $40,000 a year for tuition, fees, room, and board. Six years later more than two hundred colleges charged that amount. What happened between 2003 and 2009 was the start of the recession. By driving down endowments and giving tax-starved states a reason to cut back their support for higher education, the recession put new pressure on colleges and universities to raise their price.
When our current period of slow economic growth will end is anybody’s guess, but even when it does end, colleges and universities will certainly not be rolling back their prices. These days, it is not just the economic climate in which our colleges and universities find themselves that determines what they charge and how they operate; it is their increasing corporatization.
If corporatization meant only that colleges and universities were finding ways to be less wasteful, it would be a welcome turn of events. But an altogether different process is going on [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Nov 14, 2012 -
While at college I yearned to feel connected, to be a part of something larger, something that involved more than bricks and mortarboards. I never managed it. Now, two decades later, I felt a familiar ambivalence. Those bright college years are so influential, so much a part of who we become, that revisiting them brings up a host of conflicting, tumultuous emotions. Going back stirs the pot. Maybe that’s a good thing.
Author and columnist Rachel Toor
on mixed feelings about going to a class reunion when you haven't exactly become successful in the traditional sense. (This essay also appeared in a 2004 issue of the Chronicle Review, the essays and opinions insert of the trade periodical The Chronicle of Higher Education.)
posted by Nomyte
on Oct 21, 2012 -
T. Boone Pickens and other wealthy, elderly Oklahoma State alums decided to participate in a scheme named "Call of a Lifetime", where they would allow the university to take out $10 million life insurance policies on them. What could go wrong?
posted by reenum
on Oct 7, 2012 -
Art history students at Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD University) are required to purchase a $180 textbook with no pictures. In place of images, the book has empty boxes
with instructions to look up the images online. [more inside]
posted by oulipian
on Sep 19, 2012 -