The Irony of it All

The pecking order: those who teach the most students are not part of the academic elite.

The pecking order: those with the fewest students are the privileged, proud elite.

Those who teach the most classes are paid less than those who think about teaching.

The reason for the increase in academic-fiscal mismanagement is the rise of the corporate university.

Online “education” is crack cocaine for brick-and-mortar administrators: no facilities, no classrooms, no office space, no parking spaces needed.

Critical thinking may contain “trigger warnings” to prevent discomfort while critically thinking.

Faith-based universities claim a religious exemption to prevent unions, but beg states to keep funding student access to their universities.

Faith-based universities claim the National Labour Relations Act (1935) does not apply to them, but hire grant administrators to milk the system for more funding from the federal government.

Yeshiva case ruled faculty at private institutions are managers, yet administrators have shredded the tenure system through hiring 75% of “their” faculty that are term, contingent, adjunct, at-will employees.

A college diploma is the aim of millions, yet unemployment or underemployment is frequently the result.

Universities are supposedly free to determine their values, but are required to allow military recruiters on campus.

Universities are supposedly sovereign in determining special events, but are required to celebrate the initially repugnant, slave-constitution on “Constitution Day.”

Parents, by the tens-of-millions, send their progeny to college in pursuit of the “American Dream,” who depart with lifelong indebtedness, and programmed to believe there is an “American Dream.”

Tuition invariably increases, but faculty salaries can crash. It’s happening on my campus.

American Exceptionalism, indeed!

2 thoughts on “The Irony of it All

  1. I believe, based upon my experience at many of the top-flight universities (private & public), that there is a bit of a divergence from your assessments. It seems they still have a majority of tenured faculty compared to non-tenure track positions. However, as you indicate, those non-tenured folk teach a boatload more courses than tenured folk.

    From what I have seen, the tenured faculty teach relatively few courses- at most one per semester, and sometimes just one every two years. This has occurred because many institutions now balance their budgets on the backs of faculty grants and contracts. So the more time & effort allowed for research, grant writing and publishing, the better off the institution shall be.

    I’ve come to like the model used by the Colorado School of Mines. For a long time now, most of their faculty (whom are tenured) are required to have an outside gig in their profession. Many of them are consultants, or run their own engineering firms. This brings real-life, hands on skills to the classroom, and reduces the burden in terms of faculty salaries, as many of these faculty are part-time (but tenured nonetheless).

    A system such as this might offer a good alternative to many schools struggling financially. Faculty could then concentrate on the quality of teaching while on campus, while conducting research and applied works outside of campus. The other big benefit here is that many of these faculty form collaborative relationships between their companies & corporations and the school- bringing in lots of monies for research and design on campus.

    Just a thought.

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