Warning: mysql_get_server_info(): No such file or directory in /home/jbj/jbj.wordherders.net/wp-content/plugins/simple-tagging-plugin/simpletagging.php on line 299

Warning: mysql_get_server_info(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/jbj/jbj.wordherders.net/wp-content/plugins/simple-tagging-plugin/simpletagging.php on line 299

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/jbj/jbj.wordherders.net/wp-content/plugins/simple-tagging-plugin/simpletagging.php:299) in /home/jbj/jbj.wordherders.net/wp-includes/feed-rss2.php on line 8
AAUP – The Salt-Box http://www.jbj.wordherders.net "A man needn't go far to find a subject, if he's ready with his salt-box."--Uncle Pumblechook Thu, 09 May 2013 17:06:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 My 7-yr-old understands the economics of higher ed http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2011/01/03/higher-ed-economics/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2011/01/03/higher-ed-economics/#respond Mon, 03 Jan 2011 16:03:15 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/?p=402 Continue reading ]]> College costs more than your salary

Sorry it’s been a while: It turns out that simultaneously launching ProfHacker and getting elected union president had deleterious effects on my private blogging. But no more!)

On New Year’s Eve, the 7-year-old spent about 45 minutes putting together a board game version of Life. (Yes, that’s a homemade version of an actual board game, which he’s never played. But his grammy tried to sell him on the iOS version, and so he made up his own. Win!)

My favorite* part of the game is his representation of college (pictured), in which a degree costs $200, but the job you ultimately get only pays you $100. (Yes, he misspells “college”–it’s because he was drunk on sparkling cider for the holiday.) In the course of gameplay, it turns out that that $100 really is all college nets you, so it’s basically worth negative-$100 to have a fun drinking educational experience in your 20s. Welcome to the twenty-teens in America: Where the returns on higher education tuition are diminishing rapidly in the face of stagnant wages and morally shocking unemployment.  This picture will only get worse as state & federal disinvestment in higher education leads to higher tuition, a sort of hidden tax on future generations.

*Ok, my secret favorite part of the game is his representation of the legal system, where free speech costs $20 and being robbed gets you $200, but getting married *costs* you money. I’ve always said he’s a smart kid.

http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2011/01/03/higher-ed-economics/feed/ 0
As goes California . . . http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/14/as-goes-california/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/14/as-goes-california/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2009 16:21:53 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/14/as-goes-california/ Continue reading ]]> The California budget crisis, and its impact on the state’s higher ed system, merit close attention, as well as support where possible.

Right now, one of the best resources is Remaking the University (via Barbara Hui on Twitter), which aggregates news and analysis, with smart commentary on the implications of the various proposals.

I’m not confident at all that current models of state funding are sustainable.  I remember faculty members at William & Mary talking about withdrawing from state funding when I was an undergraduate in the late 1980s/early 1990s–and now things are worse.

Update:  Also via Twitter (this time, Bill Wolff): “NJ state college & uni employees will have 7 unpaid furlough days & ’09-’10 3.5% salary increase deferred till ’11.”

http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/14/as-goes-california/feed/ 1
Why we need to think about PhDs & the job pseudo-market http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/why-we-need-to-think-about-phds-the-job-pseudo-market/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/why-we-need-to-think-about-phds-the-job-pseudo-market/#respond Tue, 14 Jul 2009 00:32:33 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/why-we-need-to-think-about-phds-the-job-pseudo-market/ Continue reading ]]> This article about Fort Hays State University’s decision to outsource gen ed courses is frustrating an harbinger of doom.  According to the reporter, “the school will accept credits from a private company that runs introductory courses in subjects such as economics and English composition — listing them on transcripts under the Fort Hays name.”  I was especially disappointed to see Carol Twigg, of the National Center for Academic Transformation, essentially endorse the model.  I’ve been to an NCAT conference, and know that they propose using a variety of different classroom structures–hybrid, face-to-face, and fully online–as ways of addressing courses with high DFW (drop/fail/withdraw) rates.  But this goes too far.

A few thoughts:

  • First, this can’t possibly be legit from an accreditation perspective.  If the courses really are indistinguishable on the transcript, then I hope that Fort Hays loses its accreditation.
  • The MLA, 4Cs, AAUP, and AFT need to condemn this.
  • That said, this will be awkward to do because the R-1 university system has for so long relied upon graduate and contingent labor to do the heavy lifting in gen ed courses.  This needs to be rethought.
  • Relatedly, perhaps stories like this will get faculty members to pay attention to the “job market” more seriously.  Who is staffing companies like StraighterLine?  If it’s ABDs and unemployable PhDs . . . well, fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.
  • I would also hope that this is an opportunity for faculty to think about two related problems: self-governance, and the role of faculty at the university.  A full-throated defense of academic life as interweaving teaching, service, and research is absolutely necessary–but such a defense is only credible precisely to the extent such interweaving is both demonstrable and demonstrably useful
http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/why-we-need-to-think-about-phds-the-job-pseudo-market/feed/ 0
Known-new contract FAIL http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/known-new-contract-fail/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/known-new-contract-fail/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2009 17:38:54 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/known-new-contract-fail/ Continue reading ]]> From the AAUP’s “Things to Know Before You Go” page for this summer’s institute:

 There is also a public wireless network available in any building on campus for those with laptops. Please remember to bring your cables. [emphasis added]

Either there’s been a breach of the known-new contract here, or someone doesn’t understand the concept of a “wireless” network. (Because when contractors are ripping apart your house, nothing soothes quite like grammatical snark.)

Snark aside, I am looking forward to this institute!  Apparently I will emerge with the collective bargaining agreement tattooed, in its entirety, on my skin–which isn’t bad, conference-swag-wise.

http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/known-new-contract-fail/feed/ 0