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Tag: capitalism

Business School

The New York Times: At the beginning of freshman year and end of sophomore year, students in the study took the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a national essay test that assesses students’ writing and reasoning skills. During those first two years of college, business students’ scores improved less than any other group’s. Communication, education and social-work majors had slightly better gains; humanities, social science, and science and engineering students saw much stronger improvement. If one measures success by income, Radford’s graduates fare decently. In a typical year, 65 percent had jobs three months after graduation, with a mean starting salary just… Read Business School

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Who is “supposed” to go to college?

Tenured Radical: Needless to say, one powerful message In The Basement of the Ivory Tower delivers is how profoundly different the lives of academics are, not just because our students are sorted and tracked at an early age by testing, poverty and race, but because many of the students in most need of close attention and the time to reflect, read and learn to express themselves are the least likely to have that opportunity. Furthermore, a community college campus may be running two entirely different schools in the same space. By day, tenured faculty and long-term adjuncts teach students who… Read Who is “supposed” to go to college?

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More on Cronon

Norman Markowitz: Of course, intellectual freedom is not only the basis of all serious learning and teaching; it is the foundation of citizens’ democratic rights. In the attack on William Cronon, we see exactly the kind of bullying and intimidation that employers in non-union situations have always used against workers when it suited their interests. It is evidence that labor’s struggle and Wisconsin’s struggle are everyone’s struggle. But what can and should be done? First, University of Wisconsin officials, whose own prestige and high salaries are based largely on the achievement of Cronon and other working faculty at the university,… Read More on Cronon

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War on Academia (cont.)

Tenured Radical: Word out of Florida today is that a bill that would prohibit the granting of tenure at state and community colleges went through a legislative committee yesterday and is headed to the state senate. Faculty would work on annual contracts but administrators would not; only new and untenured faculty would be affected by the law. So it is no accident that community college presidents, who are protected under the proposed legislation, understand what a disaster this policy is. It worth emphasizing that the right has produced a new strategy that is remarkably consistent: going after “workers” in the… Read War on Academia (cont.)

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Gates Friend of Some of the Humanities?

The Chronicle: That meeting led Mr. Gates, founder of Microsoft, to support a free online syllabus of Mr. Christian’s unusual course, called “Big History,” that gives a sweeping multidisciplinary overview of world history from the Big Bang to the Industrial Revolution. Another educator chosen by Mr. Gates to speak at TED was Salman Khan, a financial-industry worker who started an online university from the closet of his bedroom, where he has produced more than 2,000 short educational videos. Mr. Khan described his vision of education in which professors assign lecture videos as homework, freeing up class time for more personal… Read Gates Friend of Some of the Humanities?

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Gates No Friend of the Humanities

Inside Higher Ed: During a sprawling talk in which he emphasized the importance of using data-based metrics to figure out how to increase educational attainment while bringing down costs in both K-12 and higher ed, Gates said that when the governors are deciding how to allocate precious tax dollars, they might consider the disparity between how much the state subsidizes certain programs and how much those programs contribute to job creation in the state. … Only the assembled governors were permitted to ask follow-up questions, and those who did focused on K-12, so Gates did not elaborate on what might… Read Gates No Friend of the Humanities

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Yale Inc.

Through a friend from undergrad I learned people at Yale are working on organizing and getting recognized a graduate student union. First, I think this is great and wish them luck. Second, on a more broad point, I do not think the corporatization of the university is a good trend. Even though there is a dearth of literature about the crisis in humanities (and the increasing amount of unstable adjunct positions, the disappearance of tenure track positions, the death of the scholarly press, etc.), which can wear down even the most enthusiastic optimist among us, I may need to organize… Read Yale Inc.

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Build it and they will come

The crisis in the humanities is a well discussed topic, at least inside the humanities. The humanities are often seen as less important than departments that bring in money from the federal government or private businesses looking to turn a profit. These (like engineering and the sciences) departments produce “useful” and “practical” things while the humanities are just abstract. Frankly, this view of knowledge simply isn’t true (there may be a future blog post about why we need the humanities). While I abhor the commercialization of education, knowledge, learning, etc., I did begin wondering if there was money to be… Read Build it and they will come