In a previous post, “Adrift without a Paddle,” I noted “an ever deeper descent into an anti-intellectualistic, narcissistic culture in which students pursue pre-employment, technical training with single-minded purpose while, nevertheless, they expect to be rewarded with high grades and degrees apart from real achievement.” This phenomenon of empty degrees worries government officials, business and community leaders, and the general public. What should be done to restore real achievement on the part of college students generally? Continue reading
Tag Archives: Teaching
With the rapid growth of online course enrollments, a debate in higher education has broken out concerning whether online instruction is as good as, or even better than, traditional, face-to-face, classroom instruction. Partisans of online learning point to the success of traditional and for-profit institutions in delivering educational opportunities to cohorts of older and underrepresented students for whom on-campus learning presents otherwise
insurmountable challenges because of life/work schedules or distance. Defenders of classroom-based learning, albeit with technological enhancements, often come off as 21st-century Luddites who cravenly resist threats to their lifestyle. When questions about whether online learning saves money for institutions and students are added to the discussion, you have a witch’s brew of complicated issues. Continue reading
The precipitous decline in tenured/tenure-track faculty threatens business-as-usual for college marketers. This decline means that as of 2007 only 31% of faculty in all institutions are tenured—down approximately 20% from 1995. A slightly different angle that focuses on full-time vs. part-time/contingent faculty reveals that 49% of all faculty are part-time and that 20% of full-time faculty are “contingent” or non-tenure-track faculty. As statistics for 2009 and 2010 emerge, these trends will only get worse. Only institutions with multi-billion endowment funds are likely withstand the slide.
Although periods of economic stress have sparked debates over tenure in the past, today’s debate is fueled not so much by philosophical differences over Continue reading