Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Links for 6/15/10

Mark Bauerlein, Mohamed Gad-el-Hak, Wayne Grody, Bill McKelvey, and Stanley W. Trimble
Michael Mabe shows that the number of "refereed academic/scholarly" publications grows at a rate of 3.26 percent per year (i.e., doubles about every 20 years). The main cause: the growth in the number of researchers.

Many people regard this upsurge as a sign of health…

the amount of redundant, inconsequential, and outright poor research has swelled in recent decades…

instead of contributing to knowledge in various disciplines, the increasing number of low-cited publications only adds to the bulk of words and numbers to be reviewed. Even if read, many articles that are not cited by anyone would seem to contain little useful information…
Headline of the Day:
California's Universities May Admit They Charge Tuition
Jeff Ely
They are all trumpeting this study whose bottom line is that student evaluations of teachers are inversely related to the teacher’s long-run added value…

I am not jumping on the bandwagon… I don’t see any way the authors have ruled out the following equally plausible explanation for the statistical findings. First, students are targeting a GPA. If I am an outstanding teacher and they do unusually well in my class they don’t need to spend as much effort in their next class as those who had lousy teachers, did poorly this time around, and have some catching up to do next time. Second, students recognize when they are being taught by an outstanding teacher and they give him good evaluations...
Aisha Labi
Higher education in France is in the throes of its most profound restructuring in generations. The country's 83 universities are being granted autonomy, severing the direct authority of the central government over how they run their affairs…

Generations of French business and political leaders have been produced not by the country's university system, but by its parallel system of grandes ├ęcoles, or big schools. While some are quite prestigious, they enroll a tiny fraction of French students and are not the primary target of the reform efforts…

the defining ethos for French universities has been egalitarianism, with institutions largely indistinguishable from one another in terms of mission and institutional profile. They have had little say over admission…

The Sarkozy government's first major attempt at changing universities was to grant them autonomy. Under the new system, university presidents have much more say over finances and personnel matters, including setting pay and awarding performance-based bonuses.
This new concentration of power in a single person is at the root of much of critics' unhappiness…

The American higher-education model is explicitly cited as the inspiration for the new breed of research-intensive universities of excellence, and critics fear that American-style privatization and tuition levels cannot be far behind…

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