Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Points to Ponder

I don't have time to elaborate on it right now (as I'm still using the bulk of my energy to stay well, and I spent the bulk of this evening helping a student with an upcoming college audition), but there were some interesting quotes in this article at the Insider Higher Education blog about the importance of restoring the voice of the faculty in higher education, especially as schools face unprecedented cuts to their budgets at the state level.

As one might expect, the article suggested that perhaps the cuts should start within the administration, which is a bit top-heavy at some schools. Here's the main quote:
Some argued that cost efficiencies could be better realized in places other than the classroom, such as administration. When colleges put less than 50 percent of their budgets into what goes on in class, it is, said [Lillian] Taiz [president of the California Faculty Association, which prepared the document discussed in the article] , "plain, flat-out crazy."
This was met with agreement by many faculty who posted comments; I found these quotes to be particularly interesting:
"It might be time to consider Hardt and Negri's insight:" “people don’t need bosses at work. They need an expanding web of others with whom to communicate and collaborate; the boss is increasingly merely an obstacle to getting work done” (Commonwealth 353). I think the same applies to upper (and perhaps middle-) administration at colleges and universities."
--commenter Janet Nhese

"What is needed for an education?

1) Someone to learn
2) Someone to teach

The rest is support!"
--commenter "MnProf"
As I mentioned earlier, I don't have time to elaborate on this right now, but feel free to discuss it in the comments. (And I guess I'll look up the Hardt and Negri study at another time as well. It sounds a bit more extreme than my position; I'm not saying we don't need bosses, but rather that the bosses should themselves be teachers...but you knew that already if you've read this blog for a while.)

1 comment:

sonicfrog said...

1) Someone to learn
2) Someone to teach

I'm paraphrasing a bit, but that was also in a Sting song.