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View Diary: Warnings From The Trenches (188 comments)

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  •  Too many college faculty have other priorities (22+ / 0-)

    As an associate professor of history at what was once a Midwestern state teacher's college but is now a "comprehensive" university, I can tell you that the reward structure is set up by administrators to reward faculty for producing peer-reviewed publications, NOT for pouring their creative energies into teaching.  In fact, my department has never, in the twenty years I've been here, ever collected information on what its instructors assign for writing, much less how much work they put into helping students with their writing.  It's never even collected, much less reviewed, syllabi, or even section GPAs.  Other departments take somewhat different approaches, but I know for a fact that the university administration does nothing to collect or evaluate any information about what takes place in its classes, much less to reward faculty professionally with promotions for the efforts they invest.  Our student course evaluation instrument has ten items with numerical scale responses, but only two ever show up on faculty evaluations or in tenure and promotion discussions.  Those two boil down to "Did you like your teacher?" and "Did you like this class?"

    At this place, you're a fool if you put effort into your classes or into institutional or community service.  Publishing, publishing, and publishing are the only three things that count.  And publishing means only works of technical peer-reviewed scholarship.  Textbooks, books for the general public, even courses with the Teaching Company are regarded as "non-productive" wastes of faculty time.

    That's what higher education has become, teacherken.

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