13.8.07

THE WORD GETS OUT. Via University Diaries, news of faculty discontent at Albany.

Interim officials hold many top leadership jobs. The committee looking for a new president got off to a slow start. And now some of UAlbany's eminent professors are countering the official narrative by speaking publicly about what they consider to be serious problems the next president will face.

A long-term erosion in student quality. Not enough full-time professors. A campus culture that draws students who come to party rather than study.

"We've got to stop this skidding downward in terms of the quality of the university," said historian Sung Bok Kim, a former undergraduate dean and 34-year UAlbany veteran who was on the panel that picked Hall and is now on the one seeking his successor.

"We should stop defending the mediocre record," said Kim, ranked a "distinguished" professor, the highest academic title in the State University of New York system. "We haven't made the turnaround. We have been stagnant all these years. The fact remains things have not really improved as they say they did."

It is not the end of access-assessment-remediation-retention. It is not even the beginning of the end. But perhaps it is the end of the beginning.

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