Higher Ed in Texas: To Hell in a…

From WFAA.com:

A review has found that about 20 percent of the University of Texas at Austin professors teach most of the school’s students.

The analysis by the director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity also says 10 percent of the faculty bring in 90 percent of its research grants.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Monday on the analysis by Richard Vedder, who’s an economics professor and a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The foundation has ties to Gov. Rick Perry.

Vedder looked at UT System documents released this month on salaries, course loads, research grants and evaluations. He says UT-Austin could save millions of dollars by increasing the teaching loads of professors and getting rid of under-performing ones.

UT faculty have questioned his interpretation of the data.

So, the best way to make higher ed better in Texas is to make professors teach more students, more classes.  And get rid of professors who are “under-performing.”  What does that mean?  I am to the point where I literally don’t understand what Perry and his “education” goons think higher ed is, how it works, why it is useful, and what it does for our society.  They also have never met a professor or graduate student, it appears.

And as my friend says, WHAT ABOUT RESEARCH?  Research matters.  It spurs new teaching, in the same way that teaching spurs new research.  And unless we are all okay with the ideas that we have now remaining exactly the same from here on out, then we need research.  Knowledge isn’t finite, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it isn’t objective, and it needs to be made.  Whether we acknowledge it or not, we rely on higher ed to do that work.

This shit scares me.  So very much.


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