May 11, 2016

"Some faculty bodies ... appear more interested in protecting outdated ‘job for life’ tenure than about helping students get the best education possible."

"The university should not be about protecting the interests of the faculty, but about delivering value and excellence to Wisconsin."

Said Scott Walker.

32 comments:

Lauderdale Vet said...

Hear, hear.

Mike Sylwester said...

This is a winning issue for Scott Walker.

It's too bad he failed to recognize that fixing birth-right citizenship would have been a winning issue too.

Ann Althouse said...

"This is a winning issue for Scott Walker."

Yeah, it probably is. Faculty seem awfully dumb about they way their outraged self-interest plays in the political sphere.

DrMaturin said...

The notion that tenure protects academic freedom simply makes them look ridiculous in the current environment.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
Yeah, it probably is. Faculty seem awfully dumb about they way their outraged self-interest plays in the political sphere."

Well that can happen when you live in a echo chamber. I mean everyone they know agrees with them!

Larry J said...

For all their self-image of being intelligent, the faculty at many state universities are pretty dumb when it comes to dealing with political matters. Look at the states with Republican governors and/or Republican-controlled legislatures. Liberal faculty spouting off on political matters undermine whatever support they may have in the state capital. Why should funding your enemies be a priority when there are other, perhaps more important issues.

cubanbob said...

Maybe President Trumpy McDonaldface can appoint Walker as head of the Department of Education or Department of Labor. Or maybe as a cost cutting and efficiency and productivity matter make Walker secretary of both departments.

SGT Ted said...

For all their self-image of being intelligent, the faculty at many state universities are pretty dumb when it comes to dealing with political matters.

The self image of the Academy is The Enlightened Few Who Are Set On Earth To Guide The Masses. They really think that they have a monopoly on Good Ideas and are the Wizards of Smart. They see themselves as entitled to their positions, because they Think Big Important Things, like how comfortable transgenders are in bathrooms.

They are utterly clueless to the fact that Scott Walker was voted into office opposing the leftist political and PC/Social Justice corruption of the schools.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

The problem is not so much professors with jobs for life as it is the ever expanding ranks of administrators with de facto jobs for eternity. The classes in Aztec dance theory may well end when the prof retires, but the department of "student life" will live forever. With ever more employees to boot.

Witness said...

He's not wrong.

Bruce Hayden said...

Maybe making this worse, not all faculty are the best and the brightest. We probably remember that red headed communications prof at Missouri who called for muscle. She got canned, but maybe only because she didn't yet have tenure. It was a major operation firing Ward Churchill, despite him not having a doctorate, as well as having lied about his qualifications and faked his scholarship. It was only his bogus scholarship after tenure that got him canned. And at one point, he was apparently the department chair. Esp over in the most politically correct disciplines, a lot of the prods seem to be there more for their political correctness and activies than being brilliant academics. How else to explain the high incidence of Lesbians in gender studies departments, other than secures granted them by other Lesbians? Heck - at the LS I graduated from, one of the law profs there was hired almost solely because her partner was already on the faculty (she had almost no published scholarship at the time).

Unknown said...

Ann Althouse said...
"This is a winning issue for Scott Walker."

Yeah, it probably is. Faculty seem awfully dumb about they way their outraged self-interest plays in the political sphere.

5/11/16, 8:03 AM


Dumb? Like expressing shock and disbelief about the way things are, that a ten year old already knows?

Michael K said...

"one of the law profs there was hired almost solely because her partner was already on the faculty (she had almost no published scholarship at the time)."

College presidents are hired in a similar fashion in California. Sometimes it doesn't work out well.

Denton was
thought to be the first openly gay chancellor in the U.C.
system. Her death was a "tremendous loss for the entire
university family," U.C. president Robert C. Dynes
said in a statement, calling her "an accomplished and
passionate scholar whose life and work demonstrated a
deep commitment to public service and to improving
opportunity for the disadvantaged and underrepresented."

Although there
had been criticism of expensive renovations to Denton's
campus home as well as the hiring of her partner, a U.C.
spokesperson said such concerns had been resolved and
that Denton had faced no discipline, according to the
Times.

Ann Althouse said...

The UW—Madison administration has been strongly supporting spousal hiring for a long time. We are given EXTRA money to do hires like this, an incentive to vote yes on the hire. It's openly the policy here.

The BubFather said...

Corporate America went through substantial downsizing after the crash....governments, schools and universities not so much. That whole, "it's for the children" thing only goes so far. When presented with evidence that enrollment is down, the university had a $2 billion slush fund and some profs just don't even teach any longer, it's pretty hard as a taxpayer to swallow the professor's complaints.

We spend a lot of money on things that don't appear necessary (wants versus needs) and in the corporate world, that crap ended six or seven years ago. Every dollar is still being watched.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Some"?

Gusty Winds said...

Ann Althouse said...Yeah, it probably is. Faculty seem awfully dumb about they way their outraged self-interest plays in the political sphere.

I have to give you credit Professor. Can't believe you don't need security protection on campus.

Maybe you're protected by the success of this blog as well. It's a pretty good bull horn. I'd love to know how this blog is perceived by the UW Faculty.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Faculty seem awfully dumb about they way their outraged self-interest"

Because most of them actually believe their view of the world is realistic.

buwaya puti said...

I don't know the cause, but the kids in UC have commented on the often sub-highschool level of many classes, especially in the Liberal Arts/Lit/English, even on the best campuses.
Victor Hanson and others have said similar things, where the quality and level of UC classes are below what used to be that of CalState (the less "academic" CA system).
Faculty? I'm not sure. I suspect it's really the kids.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"The university should not be about protecting the interests of the faculty, but about delivering value and excellence to Wisconsin."

Tis what happens when you hire people to spend your money and then fail to supervise them. If you don't like how Government does the job, don't hire them for the job.

lgv said...

“Some faculty bodies ... appear more interested in protecting outdated ‘job for life’ tenure than about helping students get the best education possible,”

This has always been the case hasn't it? No one is willing to give up their own job protection in order to allow the dismissal of their underperforming peers. It's not a worthwhile trade. When I was a teenager and forced union member, I got upset with a co-worker who wasn't doing anything. I was tired of covering his ___. I got into an altercation with him after some heated words. He kept doing nothing and I got a suspension. It's just the way it is.

So we will continue to have universities with tenured professors who can and will teach anything to actual students. They will be treated no differently than the ones who do.

Gusty Winds said...

Ann Althouse said...

The UW—Madison administration has been strongly supporting spousal hiring for a long time. We are given EXTRA money to do hires like this, an incentive to vote yes on the hire. It's openly the policy here..

How UW can support such an outright policy where a hire is based on nothing but marital nepotism? And you are actually PAID to approve such hires?

I find this absolutely shocking. Are faculty kids given preference for jobs; like anchor babies?

You know in a lot of businesses spousal hires are a disaster. If one takes a day off, so does the other. If they ride together, neither can work late because the other "has" to leave. I've seen sibling hires as referrals, and family squabbles spill over and affect the workplace. As a manager, it's a complete pain in the ass.

I'm not a big fan of referral bonuses handed out by HR. There are so many people in the market, I don't need someone's frat brother, cousin, husband, etc... I prefer a few degrees of separation. And personally I've never worked anywhere that employed my family or friends.




kjbe said...

For Walker to repeat the false equation of tenure and his "job for life" talking point - and then claim that he is all about the University's delivering value and excellence to the state is the height of impudence. From him, I would expect nothing less.

Rusty said...

I once again refer you to Mel Brooks in the guise of;Governor William J. Le Petomane:" We've gotta protect our phoney baloney jobs, gentlemen!"

rhhardin said...

Actually, no. The professors and the students should both come out ahead.

That's called gains from trade, and is the only route to a high standard of living.

traditionalguy said...

The Public schools became baby sitting service after Affirmative Action ended academic standards. Now the colleges are doing the same thing.

Unless Trump restarts the job market, college will never get back a reason to exist except baby sitting.

JAORE said...

Tenured Profs and Government Union Workers.... easy targets in the effort to show where your tax dollars are wasted.

Many feel food stamps are handled inefficiently and waste abounds. But no one wants to send a kid to bed hungry.

But a professor like Glick of old Mizzou or the government drone retiring on more than the average Joe's salary....

Low hanging fruit.

Qwerty Smith said...

"DrMaturin said... The notion that tenure protects academic freedom simply makes them look ridiculous in the current environment."

One of the central arguments that academics have used to defend tax-funded higher education is the idea that universities provide an unusually open market of ideas where anything goes. This is supposed to represent a worthwhile service that benefits society at large.

Since universities have obviously become vastly less open than American society at large, however, this justification is defunct. Apart from undertaking basic research in STEM that private industry might not have immediate motives to provide, it's not obvious why we shouldn't just let taxpayers use more of their own money to pursue their own interests.

For the price of sending a gender studies professor on sabbatical, a few ordinary citizens could buy new grills, a couple of hammocks, maybe some lawn ornaments.

n.n said...

Class action lawsuits against ... University with inflated costs, misrepresented value, and overstated returns.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
The UW—Madison administration has been strongly supporting spousal hiring for a long time. We are given EXTRA money to do hires like this, an incentive to vote yes on the hire. It's openly the policy here."

What do you mean by "We are given extra money...." You mean you personally?

buwaya said...

I was wondering about the quality question here.
So I thought to compare UW Madison to the UC system, in terms of input quality - of course the SAT/ACT scores. I like the Collegeapps site 25th/75th percentile ranking. It gives a good picture I think of the peer group there. Madison looks pretty mediocre, especially considering its the top of the UW system. Its on par more or less with UC San Diego - the UC system is very much a spectrum of student quality levels.
Even considering the difference in population size, the overall quality of the input pool in Wisconsin should be high based on NAEP K-12 data, but the smart fraction doesn't seem to patronize UW Wisconsin as much as one would think.

UC Berkeley
SAT Critical Reading: 600 / 730
SAT Math: 640 / 770
SAT Writing: 620 / 750

UCLA
SAT Critical Reading: 580 / 710
SAT Math: 610 / 750
SAT Writing: 600 / 730

UW Madison
SAT Critical Reading: 560 / 660
SAT Math: 620 / 740
SAT Writing: 590 / 680

UC San Diego
SAT Critical Reading: 560 / 670
SAT Math: 630 / 760
SAT Writing: 590 / 700

UC Davis
SAT Critical Reading: 510 / 640
SAT Math: 560 / 700
SAT Writing: 540 / 660

mikeyes said...

Judging from the remarks above we need to do something about this problems of higher education in WI. Since the students are too stupid, the faculty too vain and not politically in tune with the governor, the courses too silly, and the costs too high, the logical thing to do is to simply get rid of any state sponsored higher education and put the ensuing $400 M dollars/yr towards the budget.
The law school could go out on its own - it's just a building and a bunch of faculty that generate a profit and any graduate would not have to take the bar in WI. The medical school could merge with the half of the Medical College of Wisconsin that is not state sponsored but would have to give up all those research leeches unles they have some outside funding. The rest of the system can just be abruptly dismissed.
Easypeasy.