What would a modern public university look like if it hired only tenure-track faculty and compensated them adequately for their expertise and service instead of setting up Potemkin Villages designed to foster the illusion that they care about good teaching?
- We could probably do away with those “Centers for Teaching and Learning,” which appear to me to be “Centers for Teaching an Overburdened and Adjunctified Faculty How to Do More with Less, Now Featuring Online Ed Coaching!” If large public universities cared about teaching, they’d hire more, you know, actual classroom educators, support their research and teaching, and reduce all class sizes to no more than 40 students. But instead, they create things like “Centers for Teaching and Learning,” which mostly serve to send out a bunch of crappy emails inviting faculty to crappy lunches to talk about teaching. Or, they send out emails featuring the “teaching tip of the week,” which usually involves high-caliber evidence-based pedagogical secrets like, “spend some time on your first day of class letting students introduce themselves,” or “hand out index cards on which students can write down their preferred name or nickname, their major, and what they want to learn in your class.” Of course, the reason universities do this is that “Centers for Teaching and Learning” are a lot cheaper than actually teaching or fostering learning.
- I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’.
- Related thought: how about we support the people doing the teaching and service at public universities instead of creating awards for teaching and service which merely suggest that the university cares about teaching and service? I am sick to death of sitting on committees in which I read nominations for awards that run into the hundreds of pages, and represent hours of faculty labor both in nominating other faculty and then in the awards committee having to read these nominations, hours that would better improve the education in the university if we had them back to read and write in our own damn fields of inquiry and/or to spend prepping for class or evaluating student writing assignments.
- Have any of you noticed that the more italicized words in my blog posts, the more pi$$ed off I am?
- Do you get the idea that I am not in the running for a service award? Do you get the impression that I care?