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Something I would like Rick Perry to do

Something I would like Rick Perry to do

The Washington Post has a lengthy feature piece on Rick Perry’s attempt to reform state-funded higher education in Texas, Rick Perry wages an assault on state’s university establishment.

The article clearly was intended to portray Perry as meddling in academic freedom by suggesting cost and performance analyses simliar to the push to inject merit and performance assessments into the public school systems nationwide.  Inevitably these efforts meet with pushback from the educational establishment, for whom alleged intellectual independence frequently is an excuse for  defending bureaucratic turf.

This passage from the article jumped out at me (emphasis mine):

At that gathering of the university regents, [Perry friend and campaign contributor Jeff] Sandefer outlined what have since come to be known as “Seven Breakthrough Solutions.” They were developed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank closely allied with Perry and on whose board Sandefer sits.

Professors are wasting time and money churning out esoteric, unproductive research, Sandefer and the foundation have argued, when they should be putting in more hours in the classroom. Among their suggestions: that individual faculty members be measured as profit or loss centers, that research budgets be separated from teaching budgets, and that student evaluations help determine how much professors are paid.

The highlighted line is so true.

While we await a reevaluation of how educational goals are measured, how about a partial quick fix:

Eliminate political science departments, which produce more esoteric unproductive research than all other departments combined; then forbid anyone from using the term “political scientist” without a license, but never create a department to hand out licenses.

It would be a good start


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You’re saying take all the income from other people’s money out of being a Democrat? Will never happen.

I dunno, political theory seems a valid area of study to me but Poli Sci majors do get mistaken for political engineering licenses :{ and de rigeuer pre-law degrees (imo, they’re more appropriate for practicing or teaching constitutional law.)

My vote goes to eliminating the Education and Journalism Departments. Were I dean of the universe, I’d have aspiring teachers and journalists major in meatier fields before taking communication, media and psychology courses which too often get mistaken for substance and not merely as means of transmission. Most of all, the singular mindset and worldview that dominate Ed and Journalism departments needs to be broken up. We are are inculcating our schoolchildren and reporting to adults with Progressive tainted pablum and poison.

Sure, there’s no absolutely true “Just the facts, ma’am,” anymore, but we can get a lot closer to less politicized information and logic.

LukeHandCool | August 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

So much research outside of the hard sciences is worthless or borderline worthless and is “focussed” on knowing more and more about less and less.

One of the studies done by Texas A & M University (Perry’s alma mater) found that some professors spent as little as three hours a week in the class room while they conducted “research” in their area. The problem with the “research” is a) it was never peer reviewed b) the research was never published and if it was, it was never read by anyone and c) the small number of hours spent in class room activity did not warrant the salaries of these professors.

Academics went nuts over the report and demanded that A & M remove it from the web.

Now a group of students/former students of the University of Texas have started a group “Rock The Ivory Tower.” They have done a video that shows just how much the tuition for UT has increased in just four years (around 25%) and the percentage of professors that are professors in name only, concentrating on “research” and not actually teaching.

Perry sees the problems. Middle class parents, who have scrimped and saved to put their kids through a state university, are finding that college costs have exceded the cost they planned for. Now their kids, who are NOT eligible for any kind of student aid due to their parents being responsibe taxpayers, are leaving the universities $100K in debt. Compare that to the affirmative action students who come from welfare families and are given taxpayer dollars to complete their education and leave owing ZERO. Once again, it is a system that punishes the productive of our nation who want to see their kids complete higher education.

The University of Texas is one of the biggest culprits with its “Women’s Studies” department, professors like Robert Jensen, who teaches journalism, with his photo’s of Che on his wall and his professed support for Marxism.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | August 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I wonder why Oblabber never talks about the higher education bubble that is ruining American families finances?
Maybe because it’s a massive redistribution of wealth to college administrators and faculty, who mostly support him?

“…alleged intellectual independence…” Ouch! Bullseye!

The education bubble is a redistribution plan by Progs that have found a place to funnel treasury from others to them, while they produce work/information/process that would never earn them a living in the market place.

They review themselves and have convinced society that the more the education costs, the better it is…certainly a look at the degrees bestowed on those responsible for the mess this country is in, especially the ethics courses taught, should be some indication of just how worthy and what value their education was to this country.

While I agree with many of the initiatives measure, I think we all know that the teacher/student-customer service analogy has some holes in it. Yes, you want good reviews from students. But, I know that some of the best instructors I had, were slammed by the majority of the students because they couldn’t “get by” in their course and they made you work for that A…not just be entitled to it. Until those indoctrinated with the entitlement Prog mentality are not doing all the evaluating of instructors…I thik we need to use this as one of several evaluation tools.

I teach mathematics and engineering at a Texas community college. When you need the basics (in math, science, etc.) at an affordable cost with professors who actually, you know, teach, you go to the community colleges.

Afterwards, you can transfer to a four-year state institution for your upper division courses. Often, you will be taught by a graduate assistant who knows little more than you do while the tenured professor (the one who is supposed to be doing the teaching) is off doing research, or protesting against the Iraq War or some other political cause.

Someone once suggested that elimination all *-studies and all *-science departments would be an effective budgetary method that would actually increase human knowledge.

As a ‘computer science’ grad I’m thinking a few *-science departments are actually valuable but I think the overall concept is valid

Agreed. Rick Perry has some great ideas. When he is president, watch for a disbandment of the Department of Education and the NEA. He obviously sees the problems with tenured professors whom the student never sees.
As to affirmative action grades, just have a look at the pre’sent Obaomao and his wife, both graduates of Professor Jacobson’ law alma mater. Is it true that 67% of Harvard Law School graduates with magna cum laude? My east coast buddies refer to it as the little RED schoolhouse because of all the communists.
Michael Crichton, graduate of Harvard Medical School has alot to say about his professors there in his autobiography
indicating a lot of laziness and lack of achievement “because they are accountable to no one”.
Do you know Harvard is not accredited by any association or state?