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January 27, 2008 - 8:37pm
A new and very perceptive correspondent writes: I'm a long-time lurker, writing now in hopes you and your readers can help explain academic funding models (ha!). I'm an ABD in a fairly highly ranked department at a large R1 university. Huge U. funds itsdepartments based on a formula in which the largest factor is the mean of undergraduate course enrollments over the prior small number of years.
January 24, 2008 - 9:39am
Provost Marty Krauss, whose field is mental retardation, wrote a letter to a professor at her institution, Brandeis University... a letter which did not have the effect she, its writer, intended. Instead of gaining the faculty member's cooperation in what she asked of him, she alienated him, and, on top of that, ended up alienating almost the entire faculty of the university.
January 23, 2008 - 7:21pm
One of the TAs in my group office had a public conniption today over her student evaluations from last semester. The packets had been put in all our mailboxes, now that grades are a done deal. Her fellow Ph.D. candidate talked her down with something about statistical variation, and how students are know-nothing, don’t-listen, can’t-do kids who will probably write better as a result of her class but resented the work of being made to learn.
January 23, 2008 - 6:53am
Just as public colleges were starting to recover from 2001 recession, the current economic crisis threatens to reverse gains, a new report finds.
January 21, 2008 - 11:01pm
I had a lightbulb moment this weekend. Simply put, there's a basic gap between the dialogue in higher ed, and the dialogue outside higher ed. It goes like this: In higher ed: "It's a shame how adjunct-heavy we've gone. We really need to hire more full-time faculty." Outside higher ed: "Tuition and taxes are too high, and going up too fast. Who do those people think they are?" They're both right.
January 21, 2008 - 8:44am
UD has no idea why the University of Michigan seems to be holding this year's graduation on the campus of Eastern Michigan University, but the decision is certainly pissing off a lot of graduating seniors. One of them, in an opinion piece in the student newspaper, reviews four years of complaints she's accumulated against this much-sought-after school. Her case against the University of Michigan is worth looking at in some detail, since it lists many sad elements of the modern university.
January 21, 2008 - 8:24am
The website for mtv U. has a page of video responses by professors around the country to student comments at RateMyProfessors.com. The profs are largely goodhumored and relaxed, so while their responses provide no more details than the original student comments, they somehow manage to be disarming. Except maybe Professor Adams of Pace University, accused of speaking in monotone, whom I find the most endearing of all.
January 21, 2008 - 5:48am
I can rattle off the many ways in which football is evil, but I still enjoy watching the very occasional game. (Where I grew up, the world was divided fairly clearly into two kinds of people: Buffalo Bills fans, and People Who Are Not From Around Here. I still shudder at the mere mention of the name "Scott Norwood.") Last night I finally got to watch my first game of the season. Last night's highlight reel, with the camera trained on the living room:

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