Rolling higher education into the shitbin thread

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Descended from Free Speech and Creepy Liberalism

Distinct from Help, I'm trapped in an ivory tower! Or "what the fuck am i getting myself into with this academia stuff" because about institutional collapse more generally not so much the lived experience of being inside collapsing institutions

Or to quote amateurist, "this seems too broad..."

El Tomboto, Sunday, 29 May 2016 18:45 (two years ago) Permalink

as a progressive empathetic person, I know I should think these adjuncts etc. are being exploited, but as someone who has spent the last 20 years doing jobs that the "academic class" wouldn't deign to stoop to, I feel like they have a sense of entitlement based on a glowing past, perhaps when they were students, and aren't really looking at how shitty other people have it economically.

sarahell, Sunday, 29 May 2016 19:18 (two years ago) Permalink

one thing i've been thinking about is that this (the mismatch between phd's generated/jobs available) is generally presented as a humanities problem (and in english / philosophy / history in particular -- or that's what i know most about at least)

otoh i know plenty of people that can attest that this is a problem for "pure" mathematics as well, and i've seen some really amazing people doing work that is pretty clearly important and worthwhile bounce out of academia or to the adjunct grind, and not just in the states.

i do suspect that the "applied" end of STEM certainly is in more of a growth period, and e.g. if you want to make it onto tenure track in computer science that seems not an impossible dream still, but that's really an outlier in terms of growth.

i'd be curious to see a good breakdown between fields/departments that actually takes account of the pure/applied split.

germane geir hongro (s.clover), Sunday, 29 May 2016 20:03 (two years ago) Permalink

as a progressive empathetic person, I know I should think these adjuncts etc. are being exploited, but as someone who has spent the last 20 years doing jobs that the "academic class" wouldn't deign to stoop to, I feel like they have a sense of entitlement based on a glowing past, perhaps when they were students, and aren't really looking at how shitty other people have it economically.

What sorts of jobs? What is this perception of the 'academic class' based on? When I was a sessional, I did plenty of other jobs as well, as did many of my colleagues. I had actually started growing reasonably comfortable with the gig economy. Still, what would you consider fair and appropriate compensation/conditions?

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Sunday, 29 May 2016 20:52 (two years ago) Permalink

otoh i know plenty of people that can attest that this is a problem for "pure" mathematics as well, and i've seen some really amazing people doing work that is pretty clearly important and worthwhile bounce out of academia or to the adjunct grind, and not just in the states.

yes you can find articles on the postdoc crisis as well. an old girlfriend of mine is now a research biologist working at a major u and it's apparently impossible to get ahead / stable in the face of all the performance-metric bullshit, funding dances, professional hierarchies

j., Sunday, 29 May 2016 21:51 (two years ago) Permalink

In Florida adjuncts can now be up to 70% of a school's teaching staff. There is no and can be no meaningful oversight of the quality of a liberal arts education in the post-MBAification of higher ed, and accreditation bodies are in practice virtually indifferent to the idea of quality academics and instruction anyway. Some of the issues relating to the quality of instruction aren't even new. Many states have long allowed instructors to teach anywhere from 15 to 23 credit hours per semester, and this workload has historically been approved by staff because picking up extra hours meant being able to eat or buy their kids clothes.

My old school's most recent academic growth plan included changing the school's name for the third time in 10 years, building a basketball stadium when the school had no league to play in, renting out for a season a pro baseball field several miles away, and chartering greyhound buses for the purpose of taking students to said baseball field as spectators. Meanwhile its library has shrunk in every five year period since I left, and the school's new president, coauthor of the the academic growth plan, is said to be even worse than its previous president, who didn't understand, for his entire interminable tenure up to the moment of his deferred retirement, when he was practically on death's bed, that his quixotic goals for the school flew in the face of what was statutorily allowable in the state of Florida.

The other school in the region was built on graft and straight up illegality. They needed surveys and tests and permits to build over wetlands and the school's reaction was fuck you, fine us. Three out of five members of the board who voted on the location the board ultimately chose worked for the company that owned the site and the land around site.

80% of the people getting a liberal arts education deserve free or cheap occupational/vocational training. The US workforce is heavily over-credentialed.

If I were king, I would socialize 80% of the private schools.

bamcquern, Sunday, 29 May 2016 22:20 (two years ago) Permalink

accreditation bodies are in practice virtually indifferent to the idea of quality academics

SACSCOC is responsible for accrediting more degree awarding institutions than all the universities in the UK, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain and Australia combined, I believe. idk how they are meant to be able to do it properly.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Sunday, 29 May 2016 23:53 (two years ago) Permalink

What is this perception of the 'academic class' based on?

the hundred or so people i know IRL who are university faculty (most adjunct) and what they've mentioned in person or in facebook posts on the subject. Almost all are arts and humanities ppl.

sarahell, Monday, 30 May 2016 01:13 (two years ago) Permalink

So the majority of them are MFA's or MM's (or whatever the official U.S. Music Master's degree is called now) who pursued jobs in higher education partially in order to advance their careers as composers, artists, writers, etc.

sarahell, Monday, 30 May 2016 01:17 (two years ago) Permalink

one thing i've been thinking about is that this (the mismatch between phd's generated/jobs available) is generally presented as a humanities problem (and in english / philosophy / history in particular -- or that's what i know most about at least)

otoh i know plenty of people that can attest that this is a problem for "pure" mathematics as well, and i've seen some really amazing people doing work that is pretty clearly important and worthwhile bounce out of academia or to the adjunct grind, and not just in the states.

That's true of "some really amazing people," but only some -- in general it would be absurd to the point of offensiveness for Ph.D. students in pure math to compare their situation to that of their fellow students in English. The job situation in math is leagues better and has been for at least twenty years. That might change if universities decide calculus should be taught by machine, or not taught at all, but that hasn't happened yet.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 30 May 2016 01:47 (two years ago) Permalink

english is another mainstay of service-curriculum needs in most institutions, so…?

j., Monday, 30 May 2016 02:14 (two years ago) Permalink

It seems inevitable that the admin & sports creep pendulum has to swing back the other way at some point. Or else it's not a pendulum and in that case I don't see how in the world higher education survives in any state resembling my college experience from the late nineties, even.

El Tomboto, Monday, 30 May 2016 13:38 (two years ago) Permalink

full disclosure i have not yet read this but ppl i trust are sharing it approvingly on fb:
https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/elephant-seminar-room-phd-saved/

Mordy, Monday, 30 May 2016 15:30 (two years ago) Permalink

That's true of "some really amazing people," but only some -- in general it would be absurd to the point of offensiveness for Ph.D. students in pure math to compare their situation to that of their fellow students in English. The job situation in math is leagues better and has been for at least twenty years. That might change if universities decide calculus should be taught by machine, or not taught at all, but that hasn't happened yet.

― Guayaquil (eephus!), Sunday, May 29, 2016 9:47 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i think j's point pertains here. there are slots to do undergrad adjuncting in remedial math, but seems to be precious little else. not sure how this is functionally different from introductory english courses. degreewise as a whole, the difference being i think that a math degree better suits you (in terms of how you will be judged) for employment prospects _outside_ of academia than many humanities degrees.

germane geir hongro (s.clover), Monday, 30 May 2016 16:56 (two years ago) Permalink

the analogy in that article with the AMA isn't quite right---the AMA restricts the # of MDs each year to help keep wages up, it's rent-seeking. I don't see how an organization could come in now and induce that kind of discipline among Ph.D.-granting departments now.

droit au butt (Euler), Monday, 30 May 2016 17:15 (two years ago) Permalink

also ime grad student teaching doesn't add up to a lot of hours / "instructional units", relative to faculty. & sure they do some grading / sections but not *that* much. temp / adjunct teaching is a different story, but cutting a doctoral program wouldn't change radically the kinds of undergrad teaching that regular faculty too. losing the occasion grad course would be a drag, I guess, thoughI only got called up to the big leagues four years ago, & I was happy enough before that. the article *doesn't* mention the loss of institutional prestige in cutting a doctoral program, something admins care about since it can lead to $$$ by donations, both by pumping up occasional alums b/c of the subject area, b/c it contributes to staying within associations like the AAU, or b/c it offers the slim hope of having a faculty member win a big prize.

droit au butt (Euler), Monday, 30 May 2016 17:22 (two years ago) Permalink

also ime grad student teaching doesn't add up to a lot of hours / "instructional units", relative to faculty. & sure they do some grading / sections but not *that* much.

― droit au butt (Euler), Monday, May 30, 2016 1:22 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I think this deeply varies by field. Big intro courses are often taught in ways that are sort of unthinkable without an army of student support. Otoh, I know that often advanced undergrads are given opportunities to TA as well, and so i could imagine institutional shifts towards that as a way to compensate should grad resources be cut.

germane geir hongro (s.clover), Monday, 30 May 2016 17:30 (two years ago) Permalink

2 of my math friends who did geo/topo and finished phds in the last year got jack shit. one of them is in nyc trying to get back into banking (which he left to do math), the other spent >a year unemployed and then got a job writing python on another continent :-/

math seems to have a weird job market though. when i asked them about it they didn't apply to that many places and said you needed to have connections so they just applied to places their supervisors told them to. i know in economics there's a central clearing house style job market where every candidate and dept coordinate in one city one weekend and get it over with and you can apply to hundreds of depts and interview for dozens. i can see why that doesn't work in math though, where everything's so specialized and it's hard to quickly get a feel for someone's research

de l'asshole (flopson), Monday, 30 May 2016 18:00 (two years ago) Permalink

xxp i think the faculty themselves can often care a lot about the prestige, too? from their peers, from having students to boss around, etc.

my graduate alma mater scrapped its upper-level writing requirements for u.g. degrees some time ago, end of the 90s i think, and moved to using a writing-intensive designation on courses across disciplines, rather than just requiring something from a range of junior/senior english/rpc courses. my department's offerings would surely change if there weren't grad students around to grade all those papers (in most undergrad courses below the senior level, often the junior level, the faculty grade exactly zero): the curriculum is overloaded with W-designated courses that are meant to lure as many students as possible into taking them for the writing credit.

j., Monday, 30 May 2016 18:46 (two years ago) Permalink

"i know in economics there's a central clearing house style job market where every candidate and dept coordinate in one city one weekend and get it over with and you can apply to hundreds of depts and interview for dozens"

no this exists in math in the states, at the big MAA/AMS joint meeting each January

droit au butt (Euler), Monday, 30 May 2016 19:17 (two years ago) Permalink

in my job in cornland we had a doctoral program & I got a grader for my early modern course, sophomore level, but not for my junior/senior courses. I wasn't used to that because in wheatland I did all my own grading, but my colleagues in cornland were...pretty used to having that grading.

faculty definitely care a lot about prestige. I did; I didn't want to stay in wheatland for a bunch of (obv) reasons but one was jumping to a dept with a doctoral program, for the sake of vanity and to teach more advanced material occasionally. but yeah vanity for sure.

here in cheeseland first and second year undergrad courses are split between something like lecture and something like sections, and the person doing the lecture does just a little bit of grading on the final; in the sections you give three exams and if you're teaching those you have to grade them yourself. I taught one of those sections this last term, but the others were either grad students or adjunct-like people.

droit au butt (Euler), Monday, 30 May 2016 19:25 (two years ago) Permalink

i know in economics there's a central clearing house style job market where every candidate and dept coordinate in one city one weekend and get it over with

some of my housemates from college were discussing this on fb. one is now an econ/applied math professor and the others were bio and pure math people, and the others were envious at the efficiency of the economics faculty job system.

sarahell, Monday, 30 May 2016 19:37 (two years ago) Permalink

there are slots to do undergrad adjuncting in remedial math, but seems to be precious little else

Just don't think this is really true. To take a good but not top-10 department, University of Illinois, here's their recent job placement info:

http://www.math.illinois.edu/GraduateProgram/doctoral-graduates.html

Lots of these people are going to industry jobs in finance or data science, and lots are going to academic postdocs (which are not adjunct instructorships.) Now you could say maybe the postdoctoral system in math just means these folks are all dumped from the academy three years after Ph.D. instead of right after?

Just googling some of those grads from 2012, who would have been on the TT market this year or last, I see Avsec has a second postdoc at Texas A&M, Butterfield is tenure-track at U Victoria, Choi I can't find, Cummins is TT at West Point, Dixit is TT at IIT-Gandhinagar, Hu is TT at Georgia Southern...

So I just don't think it makes sense to say it's a pipe dream for math Ph.D.s that they're going to get a non-adjunct faculty job; a large proportion still do.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 04:17 (two years ago) Permalink

Times Higher Education is launching a new ranking system in September, having decided that the current systems for ranking US schools is 'not fit for purpose'.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/us-college-ranking-launched-by-times-higher-education

Is anyone at NAFSA this week? I'd intended to go this year but it got nixed. Seeing that David Brooks is giving the plenary speech might mean i dodged a bullet.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 10:02 (two years ago) Permalink

dear god

And the cry rang out all o'er the town / Good Heavens! Tay is down (imago), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 12:20 (two years ago) Permalink

Queens has a good anthropology department, iirc. That doesn't necessarily mean that anyone wants to study it there. It looks like a gloss on market forces at work. Not unrelated:

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/tuition-fees-force-students-pick-degrees-salary-prospects

That goes double (or treble) for lucrative international students.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 12:51 (two years ago) Permalink

a few theoretical premises / hypotheticals, if i may ~

1. class inequality in the US has been dramatic for some time and continues to slide toward neo-feudalism

2. as in all other prestige professions, those born into privilege are the most "marketable" and thus over-represented in academia

3. to reflect 'the world as it is', why not dispense with the marxist pretenses of our humanities departments altogether, and award college admission and professorships at birth? AP classes and SAT tests would then only be taken by the "smart" comfortable / active / rich kids, to determine where they end up at school (although sooner or later, we might want to consider fine-tuning that, too, to accord with increasing feudalism)

4. the collective sigh of relief among the children of say, the bottom 66%, realizing they're not allowed to take AP classes or SATs like their "smart" comfortable counterparts, could very well release the engines of personal industry, and get this country moving again. first, they might get off their lazy butts and start working earlier. second, instead of taking out student loans upon high school graduation, the bottom two-thirds could take out small business loans. in any event, the money the government would save no longer subsidizing the advanced educations of people not born into comfortable circumstances could then be applied to further tax cuts on the job creators, which can only benefit the less industrious classes who'd be jobhunting at younger and younger ages, a virtuous circle

5. in the short term, this would mean shutting down a ton of schools, but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. another drawback would be the shrinking of the NCAA, but perhaps it's time to have basketball and football minor leagues, anyways? the college music scene would likewise shrink, but hey, the obscurer the audience the better!

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 14:05 (two years ago) Permalink

xxxpost
I wonder how much the econ job market system contributes to their culture of assholishness. They gossip and backstab to rival the cast of Mean Girls: http://www.econjobrumors.com/

But that doesn't mean it's not somehow "efficient"...

Dan I., Tuesday, 31 May 2016 14:11 (two years ago) Permalink

What could sociology, anthropology, and history possibly have to do with the analysis of society?

jmm, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 14:12 (two years ago) Permalink

i love EJMR but i think the ass-holishness on display there is just typical conservative message board trolls and doesn't reflect irl. the fact that the polisci and sociology equivalents are just as toxic kinda proves that. all the econ grad students i know are nice people who are disturbed by the stuff written there anonymously by peers

de l'asshole (flopson), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 16:09 (two years ago) Permalink

the hundred or so people i know IRL who are university faculty (most adjunct) and what they've mentioned in person or in facebook posts on the subject. Almost all are arts and humanities ppl.

So the majority of them are MFA's or MM's (or whatever the official U.S. Music Master's degree is called now) who pursued jobs in higher education partially in order to advance their careers as composers, artists, writers, etc.

I dunno, the music sessionals I've known have generally either taught a tonne of courses or done other jobs as well (mostly music lessons or some kind of performance/conducting gig but I know people who have done manual labour). I did quite a bit of temping for a while until I was in a place where I could do well enough with other teaching work. I don't necessarily think there should be a really easy ride to tenure and a six-figure salary or anything but I think the labour situation could fairly be described as exploitative in a number of places. The fact that other people are also facing exploitative conditions does not change this.

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 18:00 (two years ago) Permalink

i'm not quite sure how to work it so that 'area studies' get to be saved but lately i've been feelin the crazy idea that academics should start pushing back hard against usefulness in schools, anything that's not a traditional academic subject is to be axed, banished to the vocational schools

i guess this would solve nothing tho, since aside from STEM-related fields needed to get the engineers out the door it would mean universities' revenue streams would vanish

j., Tuesday, 31 May 2016 18:04 (two years ago) Permalink

I worry that we'd end up with a lot of musicologists who can't play.

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 18:14 (two years ago) Permalink

The jump in the number of students between 1980 and now, and particularly over the last ten years, has been extraordinary and I'd guess mostly driven by people who were the first in their families to go to college or the children of first generation immigrants. Usefulness isn't just built into the political agenda, it's in the agenda of millions of families where the risk of fronting up college fees needs to be tied to demonstrable increases in conventional employment prospects. Obviously there are questions over how demonstrable those prospects remain but I can't really see much of a way back from here. Business / marketing / finance are also absolutely crucial to the international student demographic, who'll be increasingly important in the the U.S. in the future.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 18:15 (two years ago) Permalink

actually i was partly thinking of uselessness as a proxy for (the freedom for) rigorousness and student motivation (perhaps again in the freedom from certain occluding motivations). in my adjuncting adventures i've kicked around to a pretty representative range of the levels of institution in my region, had traditionally/untraditionally good/bad students at all of them, but it seems like the most poisonous combination, pedagogically, has been the ones who are only at college because they (economically) have to be, pursuing a practical major (in that mid range of the ones housed in universities, never traditionally in vocational schools) which has no real or even speculative need for anything like scientific/systematic knowledge, and are fundamentally incurious. it seems as if the traditional disciplines, trying to play the administrative numbers games, just cannot win with those students, thus just cannot win with the administrators.

this is a serious question, but, like, what do marketing majors even study

j., Tuesday, 31 May 2016 18:40 (two years ago) Permalink

Every marketing course I've ever seen has been a combination of business fundamentals (intro to business statistics, management theory, finance, business ethics, etc), psych modules and more specific content (retail marketing, digital marketing, etc). As an undergraduate course it does often look like it has been cobbled together but there is also a fairly serious academic discipline behind it that gets fleshed out more at post-grad level and does cross over with the more traditional ideas of applied social science research.

There clearly needs to be viable, respected alternative routes for people who fundamentally don't want to be at university but feel they have no other options though. Whether that is vocational study, apprenticeships or something else, I don't know. Germany is an interesting example of a country that is arguably more 'over credentialed' than even the U.S. but still retains a strong alternative path for less academic students.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 19:20 (two years ago) Permalink

it's mean the way vocational schools and the like are under-emphasized in secondary schools. kids who aren't great at school are made to feel like society has no use for them.

Treeship, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 19:29 (two years ago) Permalink

even though i agree about incurious marketing students i feel like explicitly railing against 'usefulness' backfires in practice

de l'asshole (flopson), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 19:33 (two years ago) Permalink

I dunno, the music sessionals I've known have generally either taught a tonne of courses or done other jobs as well (mostly music lessons or some kind of performance/conducting gig

uh, those are all perfectly respectable. Those aren't at all the types of "wouldn't stoop to x" jobs.

It's a supply and demand problem, as has been mentioned by others in the past dozen posts. Should "we" create more economic opportunities for all the MFAs etc or should there just be less of them? And what hasn't been discussed is education for education's sake. If someone wants a Master's in Music Composition or an MFA in visual art, because it will make them a more emotionally/intellectually fulfilled person, then why shouldn't they? Why should they have to reproduce the means of production by becoming a professor or a professional artist or musician?

This is definitely tied to socioeconomic class, but, this pressure to have a career in what you studied in college feels more pronounced now than when I was in college.

sarahell, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 19:56 (two years ago) Permalink

given the cost of college in america, degrees are either 'investments' or luxury goods and if you get a job in your field then you avoid feeling like you bought a luxury good.

iatee, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 20:12 (two years ago) Permalink

Otm

de l'asshole (flopson), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 20:24 (two years ago) Permalink

what's wrong with luxury goods?

sarahell, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 20:24 (two years ago) Permalink

and "cost" is relative.

sarahell, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 20:25 (two years ago) Permalink

nothing's wrong with them, but unlike buying a sportscar a lot of people only find that their degrees were luxury goods after they made the purchase

iatee, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 20:44 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah, it's as if they told everyone that a sports car was the ticket to a well paying job and a comfortable lifestyle and then when you got home they were just lol now you can pay this off for the next 20 years except w/ the sports car you resell it but no one will buy yr diploma even from a fancy college

Mordy, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 20:45 (two years ago) Permalink

anything that's not a traditional academic subject is to be axed, banished to the vocational schools

Coming back to this for a moment, i do think it's at least plausible that a substantial cohort of students might, in the future, decide that a traditional academic university environment isn't the best place to learn business skills. Given the option of studying a degree-level course at a mid-to-low level college / university with little to no 'brand recognition' or studying a vocationally-orientated degree course with a theoretical path to direct employment at IBM College or the Chevron School of Management, i think a lot of people would probably lean towards the latter.

Sumsung does this reasonably successfully in Germany, Canada and the UK, typically at a lower level and in partnership with traditional colleges, but it has the potential to take a much larger segment of the market. One FTSE 100 company in the UK has launched its own stand-alone degrees rubber stamped by a trad university and aims, in the future, to have degree-awarding powers of its own.

This inevitably means the "corporatisation of higher education" and has been resisted on those grounds, and also poses a potential revenue threat to traditional universities, but it could lead to refocusing of attention.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Wednesday, 1 June 2016 07:48 (two years ago) Permalink

She got caught plagiarizing again last month.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/community/inside-the-globe/public-editor-prose-must-be-attributed/article29749706/

jmm, Saturday, 4 June 2016 00:19 (two years ago) Permalink

Ugh.

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Saturday, 4 June 2016 15:32 (two years ago) Permalink

and

https://www.aaup.org/article/does-academic-freedom-have-future#.V1SpPZMrKRt

(interesting mainly because of the source)

germane geir hongro (s.clover), Monday, 6 June 2016 02:38 (two years ago) Permalink

probably don't agree with 90% of this article, but its of interest as well:

https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1430-why-faculty-searches-fail

germane geir hongro (s.clover), Wednesday, 8 June 2016 02:24 (two years ago) Permalink

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/06/for-profit-companies-nonprofit-colleges/485930/

A fairly slanted piece on 'online programme management'. Doesn't mention Laureate, for some reason, though i would have thought they'd be one of the market leaders in the US.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Wednesday, 8 June 2016 13:24 (two years ago) Permalink

re. failed searches: once you have a your short list, things can get very personal, and the logic of those decisions would be inexplicable outside of that context (sometimes inexplicable in that context). It's never about just that search, but the next one, and the next one after that.

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 8 June 2016 13:47 (two years ago) Permalink

xp what do you mean by "slanted"?

socka flocka-jones (man alive), Wednesday, 8 June 2016 18:11 (two years ago) Permalink

It presents OPM in an unremittingly negative light when the reality is more nuanced. If universities are going to diversity into online delivery, it's ludicrous to expect each one to reinvent the wheel, with all the variable quality / expertise that would come with that.

OPM can vary from assisting with marketing to providing every element of curriculum design, courseware, platform and teaching (effectively running a distinct degree programme with the university just providing the badging) - and the pricing model reflects that variety. Metrics around pricing would almost always include retention and progression. If students don't stick with it (which is fairly unusual on some university-only online degrees) the company doesn't get paid.

Lots of very good universities in the US, UK and Canada have these kinds of relationships and, though there is scope for "predatory" behaviour, every university that does engage with the idea is putting their reputation on the line so has the ultimate incentive to make sure that what's being offered is of an appropriate standard.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Wednesday, 8 June 2016 18:33 (two years ago) Permalink

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-university-business-20160602-snap-story.html

The decline of the best public university systems in the country is fucking terrible for this country and to a certain extent the world.

The best part of this article? He correctly argues that the system is well fucked and he doesn't even have to bring up the NCAA!

El Tomboto, Thursday, 9 June 2016 19:57 (two years ago) Permalink

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/06/for-profit-companies-nonprofit-colleges/485930/

A fairly slanted piece on 'online programme management'. Doesn't mention Laureate, for some reason, though i would have thought they'd be one of the market leaders in the US.

Gawker on the Laureate / Clinton connections:

http://gawker.com/the-clintons-have-a-for-profit-college-problem-of-their-1781631216

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Wednesday, 22 June 2016 19:38 (two years ago) Permalink

man, honorary chancellor, that's gotta be a sweet gig

j., Wednesday, 22 June 2016 19:46 (two years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

https://twitter.com/LIU_FF

until the next, delayed, glaciation (map), Wednesday, 7 September 2016 15:00 (two years ago) Permalink

holy cow, this is nuts.

Silence, followed by unintelligible stammering. (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 7 September 2016 15:25 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah, I really hope this backfires on them hard. Trying to understand what was going through the admin's head, like it had to be a power move rather than an attempt to permanently replace everyone, but it's just going to damage the university so much.

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Wednesday, 7 September 2016 15:55 (two years ago) Permalink

I think they were hoping this could be swiftly and efficiently blamed on the union, that students would turn against the faculty, the union would cave, and then be permanently weakened. Too soon to say but my gut is saying that it won't play out like this, especially since the selection of completely incompetent in-house scabs will make for irresistible hooks in the press. I mean it's clear that the university doesn't give a shit about anybody being educated and I think most students have a pretty good radar for that.

Silence, followed by unintelligible stammering. (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 7 September 2016 16:03 (two years ago) Permalink

students are also pretty willing to not go to class in the name of just about anything

iatee, Wednesday, 7 September 2016 16:13 (two years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

http://activehistory.ca/2017/03/shes-hot-female-sessional-instructors-gender-bias-and-student-evaluations/

this is not coddling related per se, but I guess this is the best thread for it? was thinking that some of the factors ppl have identified as causes of the polarising behavior discussed itt could also be factors here as well (treating students more like consumers with corresponding "the customer is always right" attitudes etc)

― soref, Friday, 31 March 2017 12:09 (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

One of the rolling academia threads would be the best place for that but, yeah, there's a mountain of literature on the uselessness of student evaluations, the factor discussed in that article being but one of the reasons. I'm just thankful that I now teach under Program Chairs who agree.

― My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Friday, 31 March 2017 12:39 (thirty-two minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

A useful archive of some of the literature: http://studentevaluationsareworthless.blogspot.com/2008/05/why-student-evaluations-of-teachers-are.html

― My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Friday, 31 March 2017 12:40 (thirty-one minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I guess I don't think they're useless/worthless, since they can provide very valuable feedback. However, they can make or break your career when you are sessional, since departments sometimes use them as the sole measure of someone's teaching, which is a highly inappropriate use for them.

― My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Friday, 31 March 2017 12:41 (thirty minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I can't find the rolling academia thread either so: I'm not sure that that Vimy Ridge incident couldn't have happened to a male professor tbh. As a (non-white and at-the-time young-looking) male instructor, I will note that in my first 2.5 years of teaching, I received plenty of challenges to my authority, ranging from students openly chatting throughout every class, no matter how many times I asked them not to; students who obviously plagiarized telling me aggressively "I'm not taking a zero" before slamming the door; a student asking repeatedly "where are you getting this information? Is it just from the Internet?" to the point where I started including bibliographies with my Powerpoint presentations; students refusing to leave my office after fighting a grade (for frankly worthless work) for 20-30 minutes...

― My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Friday, 31 March 2017 13:04 (seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i work at a university. before getting my permanent job i was in the temp pool. one of my assignments was doing data entry on a batch of student evaluations for the linguistics department. some of the shit students would write would be crazy, in terms of being extremely negative about instructors who were broadly popular. was also strangely common for both male and female instructors to get comments about how cute or hot they were

― -_- (jim in vancouver), Friday, 31 March 2017 18:12 (eighteen seconds ago) Permalink

My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Friday, 31 March 2017 18:13 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, I mean, I've got "Prof S has nice hair" in student feedback, and guys get chillis all the time on Ratemyprofessor, although I've no doubt that it happens more to women.

My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Friday, 31 March 2017 18:15 (one year ago) Permalink

it was more common with women for sure

-_- (jim in vancouver), Friday, 31 March 2017 18:15 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Aargh fuck kill

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 30 June 2017 01:16 (one year ago) Permalink

i had a friend who had something like that happen, an adverse tenure verdict from an admin above the department level hanging on selective readings of the teaching portfolio. but it was only partway through the process and i helped my friend defend himself more forcefully in the reply letters that the process allowed for, and he won out in the end by swaying the remaining parties to vote yes.

j., Friday, 30 June 2017 01:45 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

https://www.wired.com/story/a-weird-mit-dorm-dies-and-a-crisis-blooms-at-colleges/

At that point the administration began what it called a formal review, including one-on-one interviews with all house residents. Barnhart announced this process at 10 pm in a hastily called meeting with all house residents. In that meeting, the students asked Barnhart if they could have a lawyer present in the one-on-one interviews and were told they could not. Students in the house say these mandatory interviews felt like interrogations, with questions centering on whether drugs were sold or used in the house. “This was Lord of the Flies,” Johnson says. “They wanted us to turn on each other.”
After the review, the turnaround was deemed a failure and five sophomore Senior House students were referred to the disciplinary committee. The unconfirmed story around the house was that these students had, using a group chat application, arranged to buy cocaine for a party.

poll: which group chat app did the five MIT sophomores use to buy cocaine

MIT’s dismantling of Senior House is part of a nationwide trend on college campuses, a shift that places a premium on safety, orderliness, and minimal bad publicity above all. Experts trace the roots of this shift to the 1980s. Since then, college tuition has skyrocketed and with it the competition for students who can afford it. Parents footing the bill are paying a lot more attention. The world has become more litigious and more corporate. All of this has led to an atmosphere in which university administrations have little margin for error when it comes to student safety or even bad publicity. And in this risk-averse atmosphere, places like Senior House, Eclectic, and Ricketts are increasingly viewed as unacceptable liabilities. “I first noticed this paternalistic ethos when I was doing some lectures at Vanderbilt University,” says sociologist Frank Furedi of the University of Kent and author of the book What’s Happened to the University? “There were all these campaigns being organized across America against drinking beer,” he says. “And I remembered that when I was in college the whole point was to get drunk.”

this all strikes me as so depressing and stupid and war-on-drugs pointless, it doesn't have any positive impact on the overall culture of our 17-24 year old campus set whatsoever, just forces the weird kids to live with more people who don't like them or understand them. Grrrr.

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 03:53 (one year ago) Permalink

five months pass...

http://quillette.com/2018/03/02/academic-mob-fatal-toll/

Mordy, Sunday, 4 March 2018 17:55 (nine months ago) Permalink

I wonder if the author of that piece even understands what Quillette is, and how the article is going to be understood by that audience ("scientific" race/class/gender status quo defenders)

Dan I., Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:09 (nine months ago) Permalink

That’s not a bad write-up, nice use of a grisly tabloid horror story to hook you in, but I’m concerned that a professor of cultural anthropology had to go through all of that in order to figure out that we’re not very far removed from pan troglodytes

El Tomboto, Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:22 (nine months ago) Permalink

Causation of individual suicides is a bad route to start with there

things you looked shockingly old when you wore (darraghmac), Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

*scrolls through the quillwette.com home page*

*FPs Mordy for being an imbecile and/or troll*

El Tomboto, Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:26 (nine months ago) Permalink

Also, autocorrect really hates that site’s domain name. Good job, autocorrect, first compliment ever.

El Tomboto, Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:28 (nine months ago) Permalink

oh no an article from quillette a magazine you've literally never heard of before 5 minutes i'm obv some idiot or troll gmafb dude you're a total cartoon

Mordy, Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:32 (nine months ago) Permalink

I don’t need to have heard of something to decide that an outlet that uses the word “transgenderism” in a headline is probably not worth my time

direct to consumer online mattress brand (silby), Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:34 (nine months ago) Permalink

and silby another guy who i consider an omnivorous reader who never give kneejerk judgements to things based on other articles they share space with. i mean look i get it the whole valorous wokelord thing and it's appeal to you but can't you assume the shtick is ingrained enough that you don't need to keep rehearsing? i'll just assume you'll never read anything i ever post since i mean how much reading do you really do anyway i've gotta wonder.

Mordy, Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:35 (nine months ago) Permalink

I mean I read the thing you linked but I have to, you know, make time in the day for baking muffins

direct to consumer online mattress brand (silby), Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:36 (nine months ago) Permalink

l-r tombot, silby

Mordy, Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:37 (nine months ago) Permalink

I do less reading than I’d like but more than I did a few years ago, if you really are wondering xps

direct to consumer online mattress brand (silby), Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:38 (nine months ago) Permalink

I mean yes groupthink dynamics and shunning have likely ruined academic lives ever since some Bolognese decided they didn’t like the cut of the new guy’s jib in 1440 or something like that, I don’t know what the linked article, which centers on an incident 24 years past, is supposed to tell us about our times let alone “the shitbin” of the thread’s title. Since I can’t precisely perceive its point I have to resort to its context, which seems to be the sort of self-satisfied supposed contrarianism of right-wing pseuds that future clerks for Clarence Thomas jerk off to in the Yale Law toilets.

direct to consumer online mattress brand (silby), Sunday, 4 March 2018 18:43 (nine months ago) Permalink

Mordy is trying to elevate his victim status to the level of an anthropology Ph.D. who was denied tenure by a pile of sexist assholes at UT Knoxville

El Tomboto, Sunday, 4 March 2018 19:12 (nine months ago) Permalink

For whatever reasons, Mordy has been in a sour mood lately on ilx. whether this mood is general or just confined to ilx is not answerable.

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 4 March 2018 19:16 (nine months ago) Permalink

Neither of the women in that piece were mobbed for their work or their beliefs or their controversial research btw - it would appear they both fell victim to being the most qualified female in their departments, and then the old guard found a way to get rid of them because women aren’t supposed to talk at meetings.

That’s not “rolling higher education into the shitbin” to me - that’s “why we need to roll a lot of higher education into the shitbin”

El Tomboto, Sunday, 4 March 2018 19:21 (nine months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

And the prize for Quisling of the Year goes to:
http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/chambers-part-time-professors-should-be-paid-based-on-merit

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 1 May 2018 14:01 (seven months ago) Permalink

at least they didn't publish it today (May 1)

droit au butt (Euler), Tuesday, 1 May 2018 14:10 (seven months ago) Permalink

If some part-time professors neglect to publish

j., Tuesday, 1 May 2018 15:08 (seven months ago) Permalink

four months pass...

alas despite taking a class w/ ronell i did not have the pleasure of seeing this side of her however it was my experience more broadly that the academy at least in NY was comprised of cults of personalities + toadies, that more political machination took place than scholarship, and that generally people were cruel (to each other, to themselves) and dispirited. anyway i'm extremely happy i left, tho i still mourn the fantasy of the academy that had originally motivated me.

Mordy, Monday, 10 September 2018 14:47 (three months ago) Permalink

I'm happy to never have heard of this person, except in regard to this scandal. NYU seems like such a shitty place.

droit au butt (Euler), Monday, 10 September 2018 15:24 (three months ago) Permalink

The stat I like to cite about NYU is it meets 70% of demonstrated financial aid need for undergrads compared to 90% for basically all its peer institutions and 100% for the wealthiest Ivys. It’s a real estate developer financed by student loans.

faculty w1fe (silby), Monday, 10 September 2018 15:40 (three months ago) Permalink

It was several years ago that I last dug into that though; maybe things have improved in that regard

faculty w1fe (silby), Monday, 10 September 2018 15:41 (three months ago) Permalink

These Ronell stories are funny to me because I think I went 6 months at at time without talking to my phd adviser at all.

ryan, Monday, 10 September 2018 16:09 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

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