Homunculus_Simm_Faust

Oh, the Humanities!

BY AARON BARLOW When I first heard the term “Digital Humanities” a decade ago, it seemed like something brewed up for use by those who want to poison the humanities—still does. It appeared to be nothing more than something developed by those with a little knowledge of C. P. Snow’s The Two Cultures and the…

Climate Science

Court Decisions Make Climate Science E-Mails Public

BY HANK REICHMAN Advocates of academic freedom generally find freedom of information laws beneficial.  Such laws enhance public knowledge and debate on the workings of government agencies, including public universities. But as a 2013 amicus brief filed by the AAUP and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) pointed out, “in evaluating disclosure under FOIA, the public’s right to know…

Long Hot Summer

A Long, Hot Summer on Campus

POSTED BY MARTIN KICH Scott D. Miller, the President of Virginia Wesleyan University, has written a guest column for the Virginian-Pilot with the same title as this post. After providing an overview of what a university president’s summer routine typically involves, he writes: “Then there’s this summer — which to me is exceptionally hot, volatile,…

Sci-Hub

Disrupting Scholarly Publishing

In a recent article for the Australian journal The Conversation, Dana Ruggiero explains why the “Black Market In Academic Papers Is Spooking Publishers.” The title is actually somewhat misleading because scholarly papers are being shared without cost in ways that circumvent the corporations that have come to dominate the “market” in academic publishing. Ruggiero reports…

analytics

On “Academic Analytics”

Statement on “Academic Analytics” and Research Metrics The following statement was approved by the Executive Committee of the AAUP Council at its March meeting: Recently a number of colleges and universities have contracted with independent private companies to provide allegedly “objective” quantitative information about faculty scholarly “productivity.” Among the most prominent of these “metrics providers”…

Admiral_Drake_knighted_by_Queen_Elizabeth'_(Sir_Francis_Drake)_from_NPG

Against Grants

BY AARON BARLOW A decade or so ago, I applied for a travel grant to examine papers of Carlos Salzedo, a twentieth-century French/American harpist. The request was turned down, the result of a scathing evaluation by someone who was incensed that I had not mentioned the other important French/American harpist of the time, Marcel Grandjany.…

Ford_assembly_line_-_1913

Academic Productivity

BY AARON BARLOW In a column for Inside Higher Ed this week, Philip Nel of Kansas State University creates a list of the reasons so many academics work so much. It’s an essay worth reading, not only because it flies in the face of the myth that professors lead lives of ease but because of…