16.12.08

GIVING TOO LITTLE AND ASKING TOO MUCH. The dean at Anonymous Community reacts to a conversation about the ways in which faculty ought respond to straitened circumstances in higher education. The conversation focuses on whether faculty are owners or managers.
But far too many faculty cherry-pick, wielding the rhetoric of shared governance when it suits their purposes, but then retreating to union protection when things get tight. “Because they can” is the only justification I can imagine for that, and it's looking a bit threadbare these days. At a certain point, colleges faced with this kind of denial of reality wind up invoking 'fiscal exigency' and rewriting the rules entirely. It's better to avoid that in the first place.
Left for future work is the possibility of people opting out, as appears to be the case in medicine.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study showing that just 2 percent of graduating medical students are choosing to enter general internal medicine. The students surveyed were concerned in part by what they perceived to be a more difficult personal and professional lifestyle, compared with other fields. They felt that the paperwork and charting required of primary care physicians were more onerous, and they were not eager to care for the chronically ill in a health care system that focuses on acute care.
Instapundit characterizes the situation as "Atlas shrugging": how much recognition of the realities of the academic job market, in which the perceived prestige positions are relatively few will it require before administrators realize they cannot squeeze the faculty?

No comments: