Life

No Grading, More Learning

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When Duke University's Cathy Davidson announced her grading plan for a seminar she would be offering this semester, she attracted attention nationwide. Some professors cheered, others tut-tutted, and others asked "Can she do that?"

Her plan? Turn over grading to the students in the course, and get out of the grading business herself.

Low Stress Christian Tenure

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DENVER -- Gatherings of any significant number of faculty members on the tenure track feature many discussions of the stresses associated with coming up for tenure. Will I publish enough? Have I offended a senior colleague? Do I know what the review committee really cares about? The American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting here is no different, with plenty of hallway chatter among younger scholars about their chances.

Rockin' in the Ph.D. World

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There are plenty in higher education who devote themselves to interpreting rock and roll as literature. Fewer devote themselves to the interpreting literature as rock and roll.

When Students Drop the F-Bomb

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At Hinds Community College, swearing can get you in trouble. "Public profanity, cursing and vulgarity" are all punishable with a $25 fine for a first offense, and a $50 fine for a second offense. Further, the offense of "flagrant disrespect" (which may be demonstrated by swearing, as became clear Tuesday when a controversy over the code went public) can earn a student demerits that could lead to suspension.

A Mess at Michigan

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On Sept. 4, 2008, Andrei Borisov was in his Ann Arbor office, waiting for a meeting in which he planned to give his bosses at the University of Michigan documents supporting accusations he had made about a colleague's alleged academic misconduct, among other things. But before the morning was over, Borisov had been forced to sign a resignation letter, arrested for trespassing (in his own office) and for disturbing the peace, and taken from the campus in handcuffs by public safety officers whose presence at the meeting had been arranged, in advance, by his superiors.

The Aging of Science

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What if key elements of science policy are based on patterns of discovery that no longer exist?

Burning Out, and Fading Away

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WASHINGTON -- College faculty aren’t any more burned out than the rest of the U.S. workforce on average, but the struggles of the untenured on the tenure track are the most pronounced, according to a survey presented at an American Association of University Professors conference here Wednesday.

In an analysis of professional burnout among professors, a Texas Woman’s University Ph.D. candidate found tenure track professors had more significant symptoms of workplace frustration than their tenured and non-tenure track faculty counterparts.

Job Satisfaction and Gender

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Numerous studies have pointed to a gap in job satisfaction between men and women in academe, with men generally happier with working conditions.

A Critique of the Cuts

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"Oh be still my beating heart... I just fell in love again. Was that a shawl Eva was wearing, or a superwoman cape?"

'Over Ten Million Served'

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Research, teaching, service. Faculty members regularly debate the relative priorities of those items on the classic list of criteria for tenure and promotion. A new collection of essays places more attention on service, and in particular on the role of gender in the way service is defined and on the role of service in defining the roles of female professors.

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