Higher Education Controversies

Bob Jensen
at Trinity University 

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Introductory Quotations

The Future of Higher Education:  Shaking Up the Status Quo

Effectiveness and Efficiency in Learning

What Is the Secret to College Success?

Comparing Colleges in the USA:  The President's College Scorecard

Data Sources

Will Minerva Displace Harvard?

Universities Approaching a Financial Cliff (Low Paid Adjuncts Now Teach Over 70% of Students)

Are Researchers Paid Too Much for Too Little?

Have You Been Invited to Retire?
Aging Professors Create a Faculty Bottleneck

Those Gray Zone Adjuncts With Little Hope in Life

Robotics Displacing Labor Even in Higher Education 

Largest Universities Worldwide

Our Compassless Colleges:  What are students really not learning?

Purpose of Education

What should be the rights of the public to access of teaching materials and research data of faculty on the public payroll?

Skip the MCAT:  From High School Directly Into Medical School

Innovations for Accounting Education and Research

Those Newer MS Specialty Programs in Business:  How does one become a Professor of Pricing

Fulbright Fellowships, Including the Fulbright-Hays Program 

Student Loans, Financial Aid, and College Net-Price Calculators

Common Curriculum:  Some Nonsense Distinctions Between Training and Education

Can You Train Students To Be Ethical? The way we’re doing it now doesn’t work. We need a new way.

MITx:  MIT’s New Free Courses May Threaten (and Improve) the Traditional Model, Program’s Leader Says

Open Sharing of Courses, Lectures, Videos, and Course Materials

Commercial Scholarly and Academic Journals and Oligopoly Textbook Publishers Are Ripping Off Libraries, Scholars, and Students ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#ScholarlyJournals

Have We Overvalued Science (STEM) Degrees to a Fault?

College Degrees Without Instructors

Honor Code Issues

Financial Literacy Should Be Required Learning on Campus

Is $1+ Trillion in Student Debt a Huge Problem?

THE COLLEGE OF 2020: STUDENTS  ---
https://www.chronicle-store.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=78956&WG=0

Some Things to Ponder When Choosing Between an Accounting Versus History PhD

Why Do They Hate Us?

Faculty Inbreeding

University CEO Compensation and Other Highest Paid University Administrators and Faculty

Humanities Versus Business --- That is the Question

The Case Against College Education   

The Demise of Guys

Why Are Finland's Schools Successful?

Test Drive Running a University

Are Elite Colleges Worth It?

Gaming for Grades (Gaming for a high gpa)

Gaming for Tenure as an Accounting Professor ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTenure.htm
(with a reply about tenure publication point systems from Linda Kidwell)

Tenure Tacks for Professionally Qualified (PQ) Faculty as well as Academically Qualified (AQ) Faculty

Digital Scholarship: If You Want Tenure, Do Double the Work

Grade Inflation and Dysfunctional Teaching Evaluations (the biggest scandal in higher education)

Competency-Based Assessment 

Micro Lectures and Student-Centered Learning:
  The panacea for dealing with student attention deficits and budget deficits 

Upward Trend in Grades and Downward Trend in Homework

Guidelines for Textbook Shopping

Social Networking:  The New Addiction

The Critical Importance of Metacognition and Retrieval For Learning

Academic Whores
Some states are rigging achievement tests to get more money and deceive the public

Minimum Grade Policies 

Where Highest Ranked Colleges Don't Excel

Barf MBA:  The Shorter, Faster, Cheaper MBA Accelerated MBA programs

Our Under Achieving Colleges
Bok's Dark View of the Sad State of Learning in Higher Education

Life/Work Experience College Credit Controversies

Golden Parachutes Rewarding Failure

Professors Who Cheat and the Need for Research Replication

What are the big faculty cat fights all about?

Stanford University confronts the graying of academia

Should Classroom Lectures Remain Privileged and Private?   

The 3-2 Five Year College Degree Duo Gaining Steam

The Wandering Path from Knowledge Portals to MOOCs (Distance Education and Asychronous Learning)

Online Distance Education and Education Technology in General are Rapidly Gaining Acceptance
Even in Elite Research Universities

Should Universities Be Forced to Accept Online Course Transfer Credit?  

For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.)

A Guide on How to Be an Online Student and Survive in the Attempt

Misleading Salary Comparisons

The Overworked College Administrator

Foreign Students Pour Back Into the U.S.

Asian Countries, Especially China, Investing Trillions More in Education

Critical Thinking:  Why It's So Hard to Teach  

Turkey Times for Overstuffed Law Schools

Drinking and Linking in Dormitory and Fraternity Hotbeds

Student Engagement

Student Partying Controversies
How should administrators handle student-sponsored events that feature alcohol?
Or, for that matter, half-naked partygoers dressed in caution tape?

Unacceptable Dropout Rates

Sex and the Modern Language Association Academic Conferences

Teaching Excellence Secondary to Research for Promotion, Tenure, and Pay

Teaching Evaluations and RateMyProfessor

Smile Professor, You're on Candid Camera

Does faculty research improve student learning in the classrooms where researchers teach?
Put another way, is research more important than scholarship that does not contribute to new knowledge?

Do we want the Shotgun Game to be so dominant in academic research?

How much tenure credit should be given to micro-level research?

How should credit to co-authors (joint authors) be granted in tenure and performance evaluations?

Anthropology Without Science: A new long-range plan for the American Anthropological Association that omits the word “science” from the organization's vision for its future has exposed fissures in the discipline

Privatization Issues 

Endowment Funds and Accounting Controversies

Issues in Computing a College's Cost of Degrees Awarded and "Worth" of Professors

Supplemental fees for excellence
A rose by any other name is , ... , ah er , ... a required supplemental enhancement charge

Financial and Academic Lack of Accountability and Conflicts of Interest

Study Abroad Conflict of Interest Fraud
What students and their parents should, but probably don't, know about study abroad programS
Questions about globalization of business schools

Professors and Colleges Skating on the Edge of Questionable Ethics

Colleges throw rocks at students who cheat
Colleges throw powder puffs at professors who cheat

Professors Who Cheat --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize

Liberal Bias in the Media and in Academe

Should Colleges Sponsor and Support Political Activism?  

Are we Overworking Our Graduate Teaching Assistants?

Are we Overworking Our Students?

Admissions and Financial Aid Controversies: Grades are Even Worse Than Tests as Predictors of Success 
Bound to Fail
We need to get serious about creating universities that are actually designed to educate undergraduates successfully

Too Much Need for Remedial Learning in College, Too Little Success

Pre-collegiate Remedial Studies

Paying for Improved SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, TOEFL and Other Qualifying Test Scores

Note to College Presidents:  We've got kickback ethics problems right here in River City!

Controversial Changes in Financial Aid:  Some Colleges Cut Back Merit Aid

How to recognize and avoid Advanced Placement (AP) credits

Fraudulent Advanced Placement (AP) Credits

Students Don't Particularly Want to Read and Write Well When it Takes Effort

Too Much Need for Remedial Learning in College

What is "negative learning" in college?

Class Size Matters, But the Importance of This Factor is Highly Variable

Full Disclosure to Consumers of Higher Education?

Academic Calendar Issues (it's more than just quarters versus semesters)

Professors Who Cheat --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize

Students Who Cheat --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

In terms of earnings expectations, should a black student graduate from a historically black college or another college?

Failure to Utilize Retirees

Glut of Unemployed or Underemployed PhDs (People on Doctorates Playing Poker for a Living)

Playbook: Does Your School Make The Grade? Here are four things to consider when applying to an undergrad business program

Tracking undergraduates into graduate school and into adult life

ROTC and Military Recruiting and the Solomon Amendment

Academic Standards Differences Between Disciplines

Some Doctoral Programs Are in Need of Big Change  

The New European Three Year Plan for Undergraduate Degrees

Nontraditional and Online Doctoral Degree Programs: Some With No Courses

Students may take the easiest way out in customizable curricula

Are Elite Universities Losing Their Competitive Edge? 

Was Earning That Harvard M.B.A. Worth It?

What's it really like to be the president of a university?

How can you ruin a student's career and maybe her/his life on a discussion board?

Debates Over the Limits of Academic Freedom

When Professors Can't Get Along

A Call for Professional Attire on Campus

U.S. Supreme Court Speaks Out About Religion on Campus

Controversies in Doctoral and Other Graduate Programs (more clinical studies possible?)

Are American Scientists an Endangered Species?

An Internet Casualty:  The Losing Research Edge of Elite Universities

Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education 

Authoring and Faculty Ethics or Lack Thereof

Issues in Information Technology on Campus

Teaching With versus Without Textbooks

Accreditation Issues --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

Colleges On the Far, Far Left Are Having a Difficult Time With Finances and Accreditation

Peer Review in Which Reviewer Comments are Shared With the World

Flawed Peer Review Process

Elite Researchers No Longer Need Peer Reviewed Elite Journals

Rethinking Tenure, Dissertations, and Scholarship
Academic Publishing in the Digital Age

Obsolete and Dysfunctional System of Tenure
Over 62% of Full-Time Faculty Are Off the Tenure Track

Helpers for Women in Academe

Inexorable March to a Part-Time Faculty

National Association of College Business Officers (NACUBO, CFOs) --- http://www.nacubo.org/

Political Correctness and Other Academic Freedom Issues
Intellectuals, Free speech, and Capitalism
Political Correctness, Free Speech and Academic Freedom:
How Unsafe Are Horowitz's 101 Most Dangerous Professors?

Does a professor have more freedom of speech than any employee?

Liberals Debate Political Islam

The Politically Correct Fracture of Academe (including sponsored boycotts of some professors)

Ethics Centers in Universities Devote Scant Attention to Ethics Breaches in Their Own Houses

What type of alumni gifts to colleges are just not politically correct?

The Politically Correct Fracture of Harvard University (including the gender gap in science)

Should Colleges Pay for Housework?  

Salary Compression, Inversion, and Controversies
How you can compare living costs between any two college towns in the U.S.?

Gender Differences versus Discipline Differences in Salaries

Non-salary Controversies

Rethinking the Roles of Spouses of College Executives

Debates on Size:  Pomona College, Amherst, and Some Other Small Colleges Plan to Grow in Size

Debates on Unionization of Faculty and Graduate Assistants

New Critique of Teacher Ed

Do we need revolutionary changes in Economics 101? 

Do we need revolutionary changes in Government 101?

Do we need huge changes in J-Schools and B-Schools?

Some Business Schools No Longer Have Silo Core Courses

New, Albeit Shaky, Partnership Forming Between Professors and the FBI

Elite colleges are for the rich and the poor and selected minorities,
but less and less for middle income families

Fraternity and Sorority Controversies

College Dating/Marrying Ain't What It Used to Be Many Long Years Ago

Athletics Controversies in Colleges 

On the Dark Side of the Higher Education Academy:
Generation Gaps, Collegial Apathy or Hostility, and Loneliness

How much would you charge to help restore the tarnished image of a CEO you never knew?

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of distance learning and education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm 

Incredible shrinking men in higher education: 
The problem is not just a shortage of black male applicants

Declining Rate of Growth

The Eroding Faculty Paycheck

Universities may not provide commissions or other success-based rewards to student admissions officials

Controversial Issues in Affirmative Action Hiring and Pay Raises

Controversial Issues in Affirmative Action and Academic Standards

The Third Wave of Feminism (Gender Studies)

Pre-collegiate Remedial Studies

Too Much Need for Remedial Learning in College

Graduation Trends

Why are blacks and latinos avoiding teacher education majors?

The Controversial Top Ten Percent (10 Percent) Law

Controversial Issues in Silver Spoon Admissions and Academic Standards

Controversial Issues in Affirmative Action Preferences for Gay Students

Controversial Issues of the Study Abroad (International Studies) Curriculum

Dealing With Disturbed and Possibly Dangerous Students

Engineering Programs Facing Up to Possible Requirements for Masters Degrees
Accounting Programs Were Forced to Do This Via Newly-Enacted State Laws for CPA Licensure

Many Professors Oppose Free Open Sharing of Research

Some Disciplines, Especially in Business Research, Do Not Encourage Replication

Appearance Versus Reality of Trustee/School Kickbacks

Appearance Versus the Reality of Research Independence and Freedom

Appearance Versus Reality in Church Dogma and Education Integrity

College Ranking (Rankings) Issues in the Media 

Journal and School Ranking Controversies and Eigenfactor Scores

Paying More for a Lower-Ranked University: Where What You Pay is Supposed to Mean Prestige

Commission on the Future of Higher Education Final Report: 
The National Education Database and College Assessment Controversy

Earmarked research funding

The Decline of the Secular University

Too Many Law Schools

Residence Hall and Fraternity/Sorority House Fires a Growing Threat

Executives' accountability and responsibility?

Prestige Competition from U.K. Universities:  "Who Needs Harvard or Yale?"

Since the Virginia Tech massacre are college instructors more at risk?

Are college students good surrogates for real life studies?

Human Subject Research Review Boards

How can you protect your work in progress and finished works on your computer?
Why are some of these alternatives problematic for your college and/or your employer?

Long Deferred Campus Maintenance:  Crumbling Buildings and Stadiums

What is the best method of peer review?
Is it truly a value-adding process?
What are the ethical concerns?
And how can new technology be used to improve traditional models?

Differences between "popular teacher"
versus "master teacher"
versus "mastery learning"
versus "master educator"

Bob Jensen's threads on Cognitive Processes and Artificial Intelligence are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#CognitiveProcesses

At 3,100 Colleges and Universities
Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2013-14 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/TuitionFees-1998-99/142511/

In an educational system strapped for money and increasingly ruled by standardized tests, arts courses can seem almost a needless extravagance, and the arts are being cut back at schools across the country

"YouTube Begins Streaming Commencement Speeches Live," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 10, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/youtube-begins-streaming-commencement-speeches-live/31693?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

YouTube is Going Live --- http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2011/04/youtube-is-going-live.html

Miscellaneous Tidbits

"QuickWire: Top 10 Trends in Academic Libraries," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/quickwire-top-10-trends-in-academic-libraries/31796?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Downfall of Lecturing ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#DownfallOfLecturing

Social Networking for Education:  The Beautiful and the Ugly
(including Google's Wave and Orcut for Social Networking and some education uses of Twitter)
Updates will be at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

How to author books and other materials for online delivery
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm
How Web Pages Work --- http://computer.howstuffworks.com/web-page.htm

Technology Student Association --- http://www.tsaweb.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on Education Technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Carnegie Connections [what's happening in higher education] http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/carnegie-connections

Need Some Inspiration to be a better Teacher?
Joe Hoyle recommends that you watch a particular film
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2010/09/need-some-inspiration.html


Free Book Online --- http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13396&page=1
Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation's Prosperity and Security
---
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13396

Summary from the Scout Report on September 7, 2012

What is the state of America's universities? That is a vast question, and it was posed to the National Academies by the U.S. Congress. Specifically, Congress asked the National Academies to assess the competitive position of America's research universities over the coming decades. The results of the Academies' findings are in this 227-page report issued in 2012. Visitors to the site can download the entire report, although those looking for something a bit more brief may wish to download the 24-page executive summary. The summary offers some terse advice in the "Ten Strategic Actions" area, including the suggestion that states may wish to provide greater autonomy for public research universities so that these institutions may "leverage local and regional strengths to compete strategically and respond with agility to new opportunities." Some of the other suggestions include improving university productivity and reducing regulatory burdens. [KMG]

To find more high-quality online resources in math and science, visit Scout's sister site: AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at http://amser.org

The National Academies Press
PAPERBACK  $49
ISBN-10: 0-309-25639-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-25639-1

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13396

 

 


Intelligence Versus Work Ethics:  Comment on Some Psychometric Slides
"More on Psychometrics," Stephen Hsu, MIT's Technology Review, September 14, 2010 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/post.aspx?bid=354&bpid=25750&nlid=3505

I've had some email discussions elaborating on the psychometrics slides I posted earlier. The slides themselves don't convey a lot of the important points I made in the talks so I thought I'd share this message on the blog.
Hi Guys,

I'm very interested in exactly the question Henry is getting at.

I think our simple two factor model

Grades = ability + work ethic = IQ + W

is not too crazy. Note that once you fix the ability level (=SAT score) the remaining variance in GPA has about the same SD regardless of value of SAT score (vertical red lines in the big figure in the slides). That suggests that we can think of IQ and W as largely uncorrelated random variables -- so there are smart lazy people, hard working dumb people, etc. I can't really prove the residual variance after IQ is controlled for is due to work ethic, but my experience in the classroom suggests that it is. (Note work ethic here isn't necessary general work ethic as a personality factor, but how hard the kid worked in the specific course. However, in our data we average over many courses taken by many kids, so perhaps it does get at variation of personality factor(s) in the overall population.) Beyond work ethic, some people are just more "effective" -- they can get themselves organized, are disciplined, can adapt to new challenges, are emotionally robust -- and this is also absorbed in the W factor above.

Now, in some fields there seems to be a minimum cognitive threshold. I've known physics students who worked incredibly hard and just couldn't master the material. That is reflected in our data on pure math and physics majors at UO. For all majors there is a significant positive correlation between SAT and upper GPA (in the range .3-.5).

Whether IQ has a large impact on life outcomes depends on how you ask the question. I do believe that certain professions are almost off-limits for people below a certain IQ threshold. But for most jobs (even engineer or doctor), this threshold is surprisingly low IF the person has a strong work ethic. In other words a +1 SD IQ person can probably still be a doctor or engineer if they have +(2-3) SD work ethic. However, such people, if they are honest with themselves, understand that they have some cognitive disadvantages relative to their peers. I've chosen a profession in which, every so often, I am the dumbest guy in the room -- in fact I put myself in this situation by going to workshops and wanting to talk to the smartest guys I can find :-) For someone of *average* work ethic I think you can easily find jobs for which the IQ threshold is +2 SD or higher. The typical kid admitted to grad school in my middle-tier physics department is probably > +2 SD IQ and at least +1.5 SD in work ethic -- ditto for a top tier law or med school. That's probably also the case these days for any "academic admit" at a top Ivy.

For typical jobs I think the correlation between success/income and IQ isn't very high. Other factors come into play, like work ethic, interpersonal skills, affect, charisma, luck, etc. This may even be true in many "elite" professions once you are talking about a population where everyone is above the minimum IQ threshold -- if returns to IQ above threshold are not that large then the other factors dominate and determine level of success. What is interesting about the Roe and SMPY studies is that they suggest that in science the returns to IQ above the +2 SD threshold (for getting a PhD) are pretty high. ***

Henry is right that for ideological reasons many researchers are happy to present the data so as to minimize the utility of IQ or testing in making life predictions. They might even go so far as to claim that since we use g-loaded tests in admissions, the conclusion that some professions require high IQ is actually circular. The social scientist who walked out of my Sci Foo talk actually made that claim.

Finally, when it comes to *individual* success I think most analysts significantly underestimate the role of
pure blind luck (i.e., what remains when all other reasonable, roughly measurable variables have been accounted for; of course this averages out of any large population study). Or perhaps I am just reassuring myself about my limited success in life :-)


Steve

PS In the actual talks I gave I made most of these points. The slides are kind of bare bones.
..


*** You would be hard pressed to find someone in hard science who would disagree with the statement it is a big advantage in my field to be super smart. However, thanks to political correctness, social science indoctrination, or unfamiliarity with psychometrics, it IS common for scientists to deny that being super smart has anything to do with scores on IQ tests. I myself question the validity of IQ tests beyond +(3-4) SD -- I'm more impressed by success on the IMO, Putnam, or in other high level competitions. (Although I realize tha
t training has a big impact on performance in these competitions I do think real talent is a necessary condition for success.)

Jensen Comment
Our Iowa country-town school never had IQ tests so I will never know --- I don't think I would've tested really high. In college I graduated summa cum laude and had a GMAT sufficient for Stanford's PhD program.. Personally I think I overcame intelligence deficiencies with a work ethic. But it's interesting where I had strengths and deficiencies. I was an outstanding chemistry/botany student, a good math student (the A grades took extra effort), an outstanding Russian language/literature student, a struggling accounting student (got A grades and passed the CPA examination in my senior year with a lot of memorization), and a lousy physics student. Actually I never completed a single physics course since I was able to drop physics twice and substitute advanced chemistry.

I seriously contemplated majoring in chemistry and then going to medical school, but my parents really could not afford medical school, My PhD from Stanford was totally free thanks to the Ford Foundation (for four years) and the Arthur Andersen Foundation (Dissertation Grant for Year 5). Since I was already a CPA/MBA upon entering Stanford, my doctoral course work was mostly in operations research, economics, math, and statistics. I never once went near the physics building. And Paul Williams will tell you that I'm still deficient in philosophy.

I'm definitely a believer that a work ethic can move mountains (except in physics). But a few of my students over the years who had really exceptional work ethic just could not pull it off in graduate school. It really, really pained me to flunk them. Every time I pulled the records to check on their GMAT scores they all had scores at the bottom of their entering class. So there may be something revealing in GMAT scores.

One time at Michigan State I had to flunk the hardest working MBA student I ever met in my life. This really, really hurt me and him. He was the first person in his family to ever get an undergraduate degree. I still can't get him out of my head.

Bob Jensen's threads on learning and memory ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm


"Does an 'A' in Ethics Have Any Value? B-Schools Step Up Efforts to Tie Moral Principles to Their Business Programs, but Quantifying Those Virtues Is Tough," by Melissa Korn, The Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2013 ---
http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324761004578286102004694378.html?mg=reno64-wsj

Business-school professors are making a morality play.

Four years after the scandals of the financial crisis prompted deans and faculty to re-examine how they teach ethics, some academics say they still haven't gotten it right.

Hoping to prevent another Bernard L. Madoff-like scandal or insider-trading debacle, a group of schools, led by University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business in Boulder, is trying to generate support for more ethics teaching in business programs. [image] Richard Mia

"Business schools have been giving students some education in ethics for at least the past 25 or 30 years, and we still have these problems," such as irresponsibly risky bets or manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, says John Delaney, dean of University of Pittsburgh's College of Business Administration and Katz Graduate School of Business. Related

Can Globalization Be Taught in B-School? B-Schools Give Extra Help for Foreign M.B.A.s

He joined faculty and administrators from Massachusetts' Babson College, Michigan State University and other schools in Colorado last summer in what he says is an effort to move schools from talk to action. The Colorado consortium is holding conference calls and is exploring another meeting later this year as it exchanges ideas on program design, course content and how to build support among other faculty members.

But some efforts are at risk of stalling at the discussion stage, since teaching business ethics faces roadblocks from faculty and recruiters alike. Some professors see ethics as separate from their own subjects, such as accounting or marketing, and companies have their own training programs for new hires.

A strong ethics education can help counteract a narrowing worldview that often accompanies a student's progression through business school, supporters in academia say. Surveys conducted by the Aspen Institute, a think tank, show that about 60% of new M.B.A. students view maximizing shareholder value as the primary responsibility of a company; that number rises to 69% by the time they reach the program's midpoint.

Though maximizing shareholder returns isn't a bad goal in itself, focusing on that at the expense of customer satisfaction, employee well-being or environmental considerations can be dangerous.

Without tying ethics to a business curriculum, "we are graduating students who are very myopic in their decision-making," says Diane Swanson, founding chair of the Business Ethics Education Initiative at Kansas State University.

Stand-alone ethics courses are a start, but they "compartmentalize" the issue for students, as if ethical questions aren't applicable to all business disciplines, says David Ikenberry, dean of University of Colorado's Leeds School.

Some schools are experimenting with a more integrated approach. This fall, Boston University's School of Management is introducing a required ethics course for freshman business students, and is also tasking instructors in other business classes to incorporate ethics into their lessons. It may also overhaul a senior seminar to reinforce ethics topics.

"We need to hit the students hard when they first get here, remind them of these principles throughout their core classes, and hit them once again before they leave," says Kabrina Chang, an assistant professor at Boston University's business school, who is coordinating the new freshman class.

Students likely know right from wrong, so rather than, say, discussing whether a student would turn in a roommate caught stealing, Ms. Chang says she'll lead a debate on how or if a student might maintain a relationship with the thief.

Students may find the roommate-thief scenario more relevant than a re-examination of recent Ponzi schemes, but many remain skeptical of how such discussions apply to real life.

As one M.B.A. wrote last year on College Confidential, an online message board, "It's not like Johnny is going to be at the cusp of committing fraud and then think back to his b-school days and think, "gee, Professor Goody Two Shoes wouldn't approve."

What's more, schools can't calculate the moral well-being of their graduates the same way they can quantify financial success or technical acumen. One of the few rankings available—the Aspen Institute's "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" report—was suspended last year, in part because researchers could not determine the net benefit of ethics courses. Without demonstrable returns, there's little incentive for deans to add classes and instructors.

Employers, who have in the past pushed schools to add more hands-on training and global coursework, could successfully agitate for more ethics instruction. But many companies say completing an ethics course won't make or break a hiring decision—especially since firms tend to offer their own training for new hires.

Continued in article

This article also has a video.

Bob Jensen's threads on ethics ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001c.htm


 

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

574 Shields Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm

Gaming for Tenure as an Accounting Professor ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTenure.htm
(with a reply about tenure publication point systems from Linda Kidwell)

"So you want to get a Ph.D.?" by David Wood, BYU ---
http://www.byuaccounting.net/mediawiki/index.php?title=So_you_want_to_get_a_Ph.D.%3F

Do You Want to Teach? ---
http://financialexecutives.blogspot.com/2009/05/do-you-want-to-teach.html

Jensen Comment
Here are some added positives and negatives to consider, especially if you are currently a practicing accountant considering becoming a professor.

Accountancy Doctoral Program Information from Jim Hasselback ---
http://www.jrhasselback.com/AtgDoctInfo.html 

Why must all accounting doctoral programs be social science (particularly econometrics) "accountics" doctoral programs?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#WhatWentWrong

 

AN ANALYSIS OF THE EVOLUTION OF RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE ACCOUNTING REVIEW: 1926-2005 ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/395wpTAR/Web/TAR395wp.htm#_msocom_1

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#BadNews

"The Accounting Doctoral Shortage: Time for a New Model,"
by Neal Mero, Jan R. Williams and George W. Krull, Jr. .
Issues in Accounting Education
24 (4)
http://aaapubs.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=IAEXXX000024000004000427000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=Yes&ref=no

ABSTRACT:
The crisis in supply versus demand for doctorally qualified faculty members in accounting is well documented (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business [AACSB] 2003a, 2003b; Plumlee et al. 2005; Leslie 2008). Little progress has been made in addressing this serious challenge facing the accounting academic community and the accounting profession. Faculty time, institutional incentives, the doctoral model itself, and research diversity are noted as major challenges to making progress on this issue. The authors propose six recommendations, including a new, extramurally funded research program aimed at supporting doctoral students that functions similar to research programs supported by such organizations as the National Science Foundation and other science-based funding sources. The goal is to create capacity, improve structures for doctoral programs, and provide incentives to enhance doctoral enrollments. This should lead to an increased supply of graduates while also enhancing and supporting broad-based research outcomes across the accounting landscape, including auditing and tax. ©2009 American Accounting Association

Bob Jensen's threads on accountancy doctoral programs are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

 

Find a College
College Atlas --- http://www.collegeatlas.org/
Among other things the above site provides acceptance rate percentages
Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

 


Dartmouth College Fraternity Toast to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Lying, Stealing, Cheating, and Drinking
If you're going to lie, lie to a pretty girl.
If you're going to steal, steal from bad company.
If you're going to cheat, cheat death.
If you're going to drink, drink with me.

"What's right about fraternities," Chronicle of Higher Education, Back Cover, December 11, 2009, Page A76
By Ben O'Donnell, 2008 graduate of Dartmouth College
http://chronicle.com/article/Whats-Right-With-Fraternities/49331/

Attitudes toward women, class, and exclusion are more entrenched in fraternity culture at some universities and must be dealt with in a nuanced way from house to house. Student-aid policies within houses would deal with the latter two issues, as membership dues are often prohibitively expensive for students on financial aid, especially at national fraternities whose corporate headquarters take a cut of the money. Colleges must also match their fraternity spaces with equally robust sorority and coeducational ones so that women have an alternative to frequenting frat parties on frat terms.

Ultimately, however, universities should accept that there is value in what a fraternity essentially is: a place where, yes, guys can be guys; where rituals, power games, performances, competitions, friendships, and self-regulation can be played out; a community in which identities are cultivated. Here, in rooms of their own, young men may sometimes thumb their noses at the dictates of grown-ups, but they also grow up themselves.

On the surface, the cheers, the chants, and the frat lore can seem like silly stuff, and, indeed, some frat boys do just end up fat, drunk, and stupid. But most brothers graduate with valuable experiences in the burdens and bonds of tradition, responsibility, and especially camaraderie. Not such bad things to take away from an undergraduate education and into society.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One thing I learned while living in a fraternity house my second year of college was that "fraternity men" and "sorority women" never said "frat" instead of "fraternity." It's a little like when I lived eight years near San Francisco and discovered that it was not gosh to say "Frisco."

My experience in a fraternity was that there was just too much Mickey Mouse stuff that was only partly balanced by the great lessons in manners at dining tables (we had to wear suits and ties for every dinner except on Friday nights), manners with women (you always stood tall when one entered a room and never left one standing alone without a conversation partner), and lessons in bridge (only farmers double or redouble).

I resigned from the fraternity when the President of our fraternity asked me to share my answers with him on an examination. He was a cool and handsome and sincere friend who was dumb as a fence post. I also found the fraternity too time consuming and too stressful for a guy like me who had to study day and night for top grades. Most of the time it didn't come real easy for me.

You can read about my first year of college at the following link:
Short story entitled Mrs. Applegate's Boarding House (with Navy pictures)
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070723.htm


Education Tutorials

Free Images from the U.S. Government --- http://rastervector.com/resources/free/free.html

Free Federal Resources in Various Disciplines --- http://www.free.ed.gov/

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

"U. of Manitoba Researchers Publish Open-Source Handbook on Educational Technology," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3671&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Technology is changing the way students learn. Is it changing the way colleges teach?

Not enough, says George Siemens, associate director of research and development at the University of Manitoba’s Learning Technologies Centre.

While colleges and universities have been “fairly aggressive” in adapting their curricula to the changing world, Mr. Siemens told The Chronicle, “What we haven’t done very well in the last few decades is altering our pedagogy.”

To help get colleges thinking about how they might adapt their teaching styles to the new ways students absorb and process information, Mr. Siemens and Peter Tittenberger, director of the center, have created a Web-based guide, called the Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning.

Taking their own advice, they have outfitted the handbook with a wiki function that will allow readers to contribute their own additions.

In the its introduction, the handbook declares the old pedagogical model—where the students draw their information primarily from textbooks, newspapers, and their professors—dead. “Our learning and information acquisition is a mash-up,” the authors write. “We take pieces, add pieces, dialogue, reframe, rethink, connect, and ultimately, we end up with some type of pattern that symbolizes what’s happening ‘out there’ and what it means to us.” Students are forced to develop new ways of making sense of this flood of information fragments.

But Mr. Siemens said that colleges had been slow to appreciate this fact. “I don’t see a lot of research coming out on what universities might look like in the future,” he said. “If how we interact with information and with each other fundamentally changes, it would suggest that the institution also needs to change.”

Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning ---
http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/wikis/etl/index.php/Handbook_of_Emerging_Technologies_for_Learning

Preface

This Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning (HETL) has been designed as a resource for educators planning to incorporate technologies in their teaching and learning activities.

Introduction

How is education to fulfill its societal role of clarifying confusion when tools of control over information creation and dissemination rest in the hands of learners[3], contributing to the growing complexity and confusion of information abundance?

Change Pressures and Trends

Global, political, social, technological, and educational change pressures are disrupting the traditional role (and possibly design) of universities. Higher education faces a "re-balancing" in response to growing points of tension along the following fault lines...

What we know about learning

Over the last century, educator’s understanding of the process and act of learning has advanced considerably.

Technology, Teaching, and Learning

Technology is concerned with "designing aids and tools to perfect the mind". As a means of extending the sometimes limited reach of humanity, technology has been prominent in communication and learning. Technology has also played a role in classrooms through the use of movies, recorded video lectures, and overhead projectors. Emerging technology use is growing in communication and in creating, sharing, and interacting around content.

Media and technology

A transition from epistemology (knowledge) to ontology (being) suggests media and technology need to be employed to serve in the development of learners capable of participating in complex environments.

Change cycles and future patterns

It is not uncommon for theorists and thinkers to declare some variation of the theme "change is the only constant". Surprisingly, in an era where change is prominent, change itself has not been developed as a field of study. Why do systems change? Why do entire societies move from one governing philosophy to another? How does change occur within universities?

New Learners? New Educators? New Skills?

New literacies (based on abundance of information and the significant changes brought about technology) are needed. Rather than conceiving literacy as a singular concept, a multi-literacy view is warranted.

Tools

Each tool possesses multiple affordances. Blogs, for example, can be used for personal reflection and interaction. Wikis are well suited for collaborative work and brainstorming. Social networks tools are effective for the formation of learning and social networks. Matching affordances of a particular tool with learning activities is an important design and teaching activity

Research

Evaluating the effectiveness of technology use in teaching and learning brings to mind Albert Einstein’s statement: "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted". When we begin to consider the impact and effectiveness of technology in the teaching and learning process, obvious questions arise: "How do we measure effectiveness? Is it time spent in a classroom? Is it a function of test scores? Is it about learning? Or understanding?"

Conclusion

Through a process of active experimentation, the academy’s role in society will emerge as a prominent sensemaking and knowledge expansion institution, reflecting of the needs of learners and society while maintaining its role as a transformative agent in pursuit of humanity’s highest ideals.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 

From the University of Michigan
National Clearinghouse on Academic Worklife
--- http://www.academicworklife.org/

Today, college and university faculty members face many challenges, including an increasingly diverse workforce and new models for career flexibility. The National Clearinghouse on Academic Worklife (NCAW) provides resources to help faculty, graduate students, administrators and higher education researchers understand more about all aspects of modern academic work and related career issues, including tenure track and non tenure track appointments, benefits, climate and satisfaction, work/life balance, and policy development.

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---
http://universitiesandcolleges.org/

Colleges, Accreditors Seek Better Ways to Measure Learning
Assessment/Learning Issues: Measurement and the No-Significant Differences --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#AssessmentIssues

Education at a Glance 2007 (Comparisons Across Nations) --- http://www.oecd.org/document/30/0,3343,en_2649_39263294_39251550_1_1_1_1,00.html

Bob Jensen's threads on oligopoly textbook publisher frauds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#ScholarlyJournals

Academic Conferences that Rip Off Colleges --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#AcademicConferences

Effort Reporting Technology for Higher Education ---
http://www.huronconsultinggroup.com/uploadedFiles/ECRT_email.pdf

Assessment of Learning Achievements of College Graduates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#AdmissionTesting

Work Experience Substitutes for College Credits
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#WorkExperience

Has positivism had a negativism impact on research in the social sciences, business, accounting, and finance? --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/395wpTAR/Web/TAR.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching evaluation controversies and grade inflation --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

Study says B-schoolers (at the graduate level) are more likely to cheat than other students.
Now administrators are fighting back --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#MBAs

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
The Master List of Free Online College Courses
--- http://universitiesandcolleges.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on the Downsides of Open Sharing ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/Theworry.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching evaluations are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#TeachingStyle

Bob Jensen's threads on course evaluations and grade inflation are at
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/07/28/caesar

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching evaluations and learning styles are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#LearningStyles

Bob Jensen's threads on controversies in assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating and plagiarism ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on technology controversies in education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on classroom, building, and campus design are in a module at  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of distance learning and education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on Hypocrisy in Academia and the Media ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Hypocrisy.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Cognitive Processes and Artificial Intelligence are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#CognitiveProcesses

Bob Jensen's advice to new faculty --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm

Bob Jensen's home page --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

My communications on "Hypocrisy in Academia and the Media" --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisy.htm 

My  “Evil Empire” essay --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisyEvilEmpire.htm

My unfinished essay on the "Pending Collapse of the United States" --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/entitlements.htm


Bob Jensen's various threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Campaign 2008: Issue Coverage Tracker --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/campaign08/issues/
 

NewsOnline: Digital Library and Archives, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University --- http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/NewsOnline/

 

Message to America's Higher Education Faculty
You are the reason the colleges are proud of what they do and your accomplishments represent the performance that colleges and universities point to in developing and justifying their reputation. Reputations are not developed in a vacuum. You, your parents, your children, your colleagues and your peers are the living remnants of the college experience. Your success justifies the massive resources poured by private Americans into supporting colleges and universities. And your success validates the vocation that characterizes the role of so many faculty members. There is something special about American higher education, which continues to produce some of the world’s greatest scientists and engineers, thinkers and scholars. There is something unique in the education we offer, which provides a breadth, an intellectual depth to accompany the skills and aptitudes of the specialist. And there are the human successes in sectors whose mission is to produce an involved, thinking efficiency... Not everyone agrees that American higher education is characterized by success. Numbers are quoted indicating that the quality of graduates is not what it used to be. But they forget that sometimes the numbers go down as the numbers go up. As American higher education welcomes people less prepared, less gifted and often less motivated, as the atmosphere at some colleges becomes less rarified by the proliferation of remedial education, the average accomplishment will go down.
Bernard Fryshman, "Grasping the Reins of Reality," Inside Higher Ed, August 16, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/08/16/fryshman

Therein lies the real trouble. Learning is labor. We're selling the fantasy that technology can change that. It can’t. No technology ever has. Gutenberg’s press only made it easier to print books, not easier to read and understand them.
Peter Berger, "The Land of iPods and Honey," The Irascible Professor, February 26, 2007 ---  at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-02-26-07.htm

I wonder whether in the rush to celebrate the virtues of openness and the fun of group learning, we’re forgetting the virtues inherent in learning in private, in reclusive Walden-like settings.
Luke Fernandez, Weber State University as quoted by Josh Fischman, Chronicle of Higher Education July 29, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3202&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The Biggest Scandal in Higher Education
On the other hand, that professor who challenges the student because he or she wants that student to be stronger than he or she now is sends a powerful message of respect to the student. (Why am I even writing such a comment? Isn't this obvious? Unfortunately, no. I write this because I have seen far too many people in charge of universities -- professors, people on staff, administrators -- who could not wrap their minds around this simple concept. Such a stance seemed "tough" to them, not "nice." Such a stance seemed "unfriendly," not "sweet and welcoming." Let's face it: such a stance is no come-on to the weakest prospective students who might well be lured to a university by every appeal that makes the place sound like a resort instead of a boot camp.) The professor who believes in challenging the student says this: you are not nothing, and, beyond that, you can achieve so much more than you already have. You may someday thank me for these challenges I present to you along with my willingness to work to help you succeed in your own right. I know from experience that some students will appreciate that work in the moment, some a decade or two later; some may never appreciate it. But a student's appreciation of the teacher has never been the real issue anyway, nor is it the mark of authentic teaching.
Doyle Wesley Walls, "How Will You Go to College?" The Irascible Professor, October 25, 2008 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-10-25-08.htm
Bob Jensen's commentary on how teaching evaluations cause grade inflation (the biggest scandal in higher education) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GradeInflation

Administrators, at their worst, merely count beans. Are the residence halls full? Is everyone wearing a happy face, accentuating the positive? Professors, at their best, are determined that their students, like Thoreau, should know beans. On occasion, a student will leave a classroom in a huff or even leave the university. No one will be smiling all the time if real work is going on. Plenty of people at the university stand ready to fluff pillows. Only a very few people at a university are hired to fluff those metaphorical pillows; however, when the fluffing of pillows begins to feel like genuine concern for the educational needs of the student, then the university is lopsided, way out of balance. Such misplaced concern can weaken students; it does not prepare students because it fails to make them stronger. Students, think ahead about transforming your life, or forget the idea of a liberal arts university altogether. If what you really want is a country club, then join one; they have alcohol and golf and tennis and swimming and dances, and they cost only a fraction of a liberal arts education. If you really want a university, then come prepared to hear me challenge your attitudes about booze and sports and socializing.
Doyle Wesley Walls, "How Will You Go to College?" The Irascible Professor, October 25, 2008 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-10-25-08.htm
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

East coast or West coast. Private or Public. Urban or rural. Go to any so-called "best school" the wrong way and you will have gone nowhere -- and wasted valuable money and time and potential.
Doyle Wesley Walls, "How Will You Go to College?" The Irascible Professor, October 25, 2008 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-10-25-08.htm

The broad mass of a nation will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.
Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf.


Speaking of students, though, there’s an awful lot of money being spent to drive tuition revenue. $879 million was spent by U.S. colleges and universities on advertising in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Of that amount, $294 million was loaded into TV advertising; $282 million was invested in online advertising; print garnered $154 million; $90 was pumped into radio; outdoor advertising raked in $59 million. Now all of a sudden my annual five-dollar loss in the NCAA March Madness basketball pool at my old firm doesn’t seem so bad.
Rob Nance, Publisher AccountingWEB, Inc.
 


“How many professors does it take to change a light bulb?”
Answer:
“Whadaya mean, “change”?”
Bob Zemsky, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review,  December 2007 --- Click Here
 


As David Bartholomae observes, “We make a huge mistake if we don’t try to articulate more publicly what it is we value in intellectual work. We do this routinely for our students — so it should not be difficult to find the language we need to speak to parents and legislators.” If we do not try to find that public language but argue instead that we are not accountable to those parents and legislators, we will only confirm what our cynical detractors say about us, that our real aim is to keep the secrets of our intellectual club to ourselves. By asking us to spell out those secrets and measuring our success in opening them to all, outcomes assessment helps make democratic education a reality.
Gerald Graff, "Assessment Changes Everything," Inside Higher Ed, February 21, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/02/21/graff
Gerald Graff is professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and president of the Modern Language Association. This essay is adapted from a paper he delivered in December at the MLA annual meeting, a version of which appears on the MLA’s Web site and is reproduced here with the association’s permission. Among Graff’s books are Professing Literature, Beyond the Culture Wars and Clueless in Academe: How School Obscures the Life of the Mind.
 


Today the United States ranks ninth among industrialized nations in higher-education attainment, in large measure because only 53 percent of students who enter college emerge with a bachelor’s degree, according to census data. And those who don’t finish pay an enormous price. For every $1 earned by a college graduate, someone leaving before obtaining a four-year degree earns only 67 cents.
Jensen Comment
These income statistics are misleading. For example, the reasons that make a student drop out of college may be the same reason that dropout will earn a lower wage. In other words, not having a diploma may not be the reason the majority of dropouts have lower incomes. Aside from money problems, students often quit college because they have lower ambition, abilities, concentration, social skills, and/or health quality, including drug and alcohol addictions. These human afflictions contribute to lower wages whether or not a student graduates, and a higher proportion of dropouts have such afflictions versus students who stick it out to obtain their diplomas. Nations who rank higher than the U.S. in higher-education attainment do so because they have higher admission standards for the first year of college.

Frontline: Dropout Nation --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/dropout-nation


Almost 20 years after the first edition came out, the editors of The Academic’s Handbook (Duke University Press) have released a new version — the third — with many chapters on faculty careers updated and some completely new topics added. Topics covered include teaching, research, tenure, academic freedom, mentoring, diversity, harassment and more. The editors of the collection (who also wrote some of the pieces) are two Duke University professors who also served as administrators there. They are A. Leigh Deneef, a professor of English and former associate dean of the Graduate School, and Craufurd D. Goodwin, a professor of economics who was previously vice provost and dean of the Graduate School.
Inside Higher Ed, January 10, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/workplace/2007/01/10/handbook
Find out what changes in the last ten years of academe are the most significant!

We ultimately get satisfaction from our relations with family and friends, the love we give or receive, the meaning we find in work, service, religion or hobbies.
Robert J. Samuelson, "The Bliss We Can't Buy For better or worse, there are limits to re-engineering the human spirit.," Newsweek, July 11, 2007 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19709408/site/newsweek/page/0/


But, at the end of a day, your students walk out of the room looking exactly like they did when they first walked in (maybe a little sleepier). I think this is one of the reasons that teachers sometimes become mediocre. The results seem the same regardless of their efforts. They don’t get the positive reinforcement for their work that comes from seeing a tangible output. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that I believe this has had negative consequences for the U. S. as it has morphed from a manufacturing economy to a service economy.
Joe Hoyle, "What do we accomplish?" Getting the Most From Your Students, June 9, 2011 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-do-we-accomplish.html

Jensen Comment
I don't quite agree and neither does Joe in the end. At the end of a help session students who got it have bigger smiles, more confidence, and seem a bit more awake. Our best hope is that what they just learned will stick with them for the rest of their lives.


According to Hoyle
"EVERYONE CHANGES OVER TIME," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, December 14, 2012 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2012/12/everyone-changes-over-time.html

. . .

I am always shocked by how many well intentioned faculty members turn testing over to a textbook test bank. I want to run screaming into the night when I hear that. In my opinion, an overworked graduate student who does not know you or your students is not in any position to write a legitimate test for your students. When writing this blog, I sometimes discuss what I would do if I were king of education. Burning all test banks would be one of my first royal acts.

Yes, I know you are extremely busy. But abdicating this valuable task to a person who might never have taught a single class (or a class like yours) makes no sense. Any test in your class should be designed for your students based on what you have covered and based on what you want them to know. It should not be composed of randomly selected questions written by some mysterious stranger. To me, using a test bank is like asking Mickey Mouse to pinch hit for Babe Ruth. You are giving away an essential element of the course to someone who might not be up to the task.

Over the decades, I have worked very hard to learn how to write good questions. During those years, I have written some questions that were horrible. But, I have learned much from that experience.

--The first thing I learned about test writing was that a question that everyone could answer was useless. --The second thing that I learned was that a question that no one could answer was also useless.

As with any task, you practice and you look at the results and you get better. You don’t hand off an essential part of your course to a test bank.

As everyone who has read this blog for long probably knows, one of the things I started doing about 8 years ago was allowing students to bring handwritten notes to every test. That immediately stopped me from writing questions that required memorization because the students had all that material written down and in front of them.

That was a good start but that was not enough. Allowing notes pushed me in the right direction but it did not get me to the tests I wanted. It takes practice and study.

About 3 weeks ago, I wrote a 75 minute test for my introduction to Financial Accounting class here at the University of Richmond. This test was the last one of the semester (prior to the final exam). By that time, I surely believed that everyone in the class had come to understand what I wanted them to accomplish. So, I wanted to test the material in such a way as to see how deeply they really did understand it.

I wrote 12 multiple-choice questions designed to take about 4-8 minutes each. For accounting tests that are often numerically based, I like multiple-choice questions because I can give 6-8 potential answers and, therefore, limit the possibility of a lucky guess.

In writing the first four of these questions, I tried to envision what an A student could figure out but that a B student could not. In other words, I wanted these four questions to show me the point between Good and Excellent. These were tough. For those questions, I really didn’t worry about the C, D, or F students. These questions were designed specifically to see if I could divide the A students from the B students.

The next four questions were created to divide the B students from the C students. They were easier questions but a student would have to have a Good level of understanding to figure them out. I knew the A students could work these questions and I knew the D students could not work them. These four were written to split the B students from the C students.

The final four questions were created to divide the C students from those with a lesser level of understanding. They were easier but still not easy. I wanted to see who deserved a C and who did not. If a student could get those four questions correct, that (to me) was average work. Those students deserved at least a C. But, if a student could not get those four, they really had failed to achieve a basic level of understanding worthy of a C.

Then, I shuffled the 12 questions and gave them to my students.

How did this test work out in practice? Pretty well. When it was over, I put the papers in order from best to worse to see if I was comfortable with the results. I genuinely felt like I could tell the A students from the B students from the C students from everyone else. And, isn’t that a primary reason for giving a test?

Okay, I had to create a pretty interesting curve to get the grades to line up with what I thought I was seeing. But I am the teacher for this class. That evaluation should be mine. I tell my students early in the semester that I do not grade on raw percentages. Getting 66 percent of the questions correct should not automatically be a D. In fact, in many cases, getting 66 percent of the questions correct might well be a very impressive performance. It depends on the difficulty of the questions.

After the first test, students will often ask something like, “I only got four questions out of 12 correct and I still got a C, how can that be?” My answer is simple “by answering those four questions, you have shown me how much you have understood and I thought that level of understanding deserved a C.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think professors who use publisher test banks are totally naive on how easy it is to get publisher test banks. Some who aren't so naive contend that learning from memorizing test banks is so tremendous that they want to give student A grades for memorizing a test bank. I think that's a cop out!

The following appears in RateMyProfessor for a professor that will remain unnamed ---
http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/

She is a really easy teacher-especially if you have old tests!! There are always repeat questions from the year before! It is always easy to see what will be on the test if you go to class...she always picks one question from each topic she talked about in class! You won't even need to buy the book bc everything is from her lecture!

She tries to indoctrinate all of her pupils with her liberal views on the the environment, business, and religion. She's patronizing, rude, her voice is annoying, and she NEVER speaks on econ. she pushes her views on us daily. cares more about the environment than econ and won't listen to other opinions. treats students like they're idiots.


"Do Price Controls Help Students?" by Nate Johnson, Inside Higher Ed, April 13, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/04/13/essay-defending-two-tier-tuition-pricing-community-colleges

Jensen Comment
This is a classic of where ignorance politics trumps scholarly economics.

Price Controls --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_Controls

Zimbabwe

In 2007, Robert Mugabe's government imposed a price freeze in Zimbabwe because of hyperinflation. That policy led only to shortages.

 

"The Education Bubble, Tenure Envy, and Tuition," Harvard Business Review Podcast Featuring Justin Fox, June 23, 2011 ---
Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2011/06/the-education-bubble-tenure-en.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

. . .

(Conclusion)
Some of the most interesting work begins in the academy but grows beyond it. "Scale" is not an academic value—but it should be. Most measures of prestige in higher education are based on exclusivity; the more prestigious the college, the larger the percentage of applicants it turns away. Consider the nonprofit Khan Academy, with its library of more than 3,000 education videos and materials, where I finally learned just a little about calculus. In the last 18 months, Khan had 41 million visits in the United States alone. It is using the vast data from that audience to improve its platform and grow still larger. TED, the nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, just launched TED-Ed, which uses university faculty from around the world to create compelling videos on everything from "How Vast Is the Universe?" to "How Pandemics Spread." Call it Khan Academy for grown-ups. The Stanford University professor Sebastian Thrun's free course in artificial intelligence drew 160,000 students in more than 190 countries. No surprise, the venture capitalists have come a-calling, and they are backing educational startups like Udemy and Udacity.

All of those are signposts to a future where competency-based credentials may someday compete with a degree.

At this point, if you are affiliated with an Ivy League institution, you'll be tempted to guffaw, harrumph, and otherwise dismiss the idea that anyone would ever abandon your institution for such ridiculous new pathways to learning. You're probably right. Most institutions are not so lucky. How long will it take for change to affect higher education in major ways? Just my crystal ball, but I would expect that institutions without significant endowments will be forced to change by 2020. By 2025, the places left untouched will be few and far between.

Here's the saddest fact of all: It is those leading private institutions that should be using their endowments and moral authority to invest in new solutions and to proselytize for experimentation and change, motivated not by survival but by the privilege of securing the future of American higher education.

The stakes are high. "So let me put colleges and universities on notice," President Obama said in his recent State of the Union address. "If you can't stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down." Because of the academy's inability to police itself and improve graduation rates, and because student debt is an expedient political issue, the Obama administration recently threatened to tie colleges' eligibility for campus-based aid programs to institutions' success in improving affordability and value for students.

Whether the president's threat is fair or not, it will not transform higher education. Change only happens on the ground. Despite all the reasons to be gloomy, however, there is room for optimism. The American university, the place where new ideas are born and lives are transformed, will eventually focus that lens of innovation upon itself. It's just a matter of time.

 

Jensen Comment
This a long and important article for all educators to carefully read. Onsite colleges have always served many purposes, but one purpose they never served is to be knowledge fueling stations where students go to fill their tanks. At best colleges put a shot glass of fuel in a tanks with unknown capacities.

Students go to an onsite college for many reasons other than to put fuel in their knowledge tanks. The go to live and work in relatively safe transitional environments between home and the mean streets. They go to mature, socialize, to mate, drink, laugh, leap over hurdles societies place in front of career paths, etc. The problem in the United States is that college onsite living and education have become relatively expensive luxuries. Students must now make more painful decisions as to how much to impoverish their parents and how deeply go into debt.

I have a granddaughter 22 years old majoring in pharmacy (six year program). She will pay off her student loans before she's 50 years old if she's lucky. Some older students who've not been able to pay off their loans are becoming worried that the Social Security Administration will garnish their retirement Social Security monthly payments for unpaid student loans.

We've always known that colleges are not necessary places for learning and scholarship. Until 43 years ago (when the Internet was born) private and public libraries were pretty darn necessary for scholarship. Now the Internet provides access to most known knowledge of the world.  But becoming a scholar on the Internet is relatively inefficient and overwhelming without the aid of distillers of knowledge, which is where onsite and online college courses can greatly add to efficiency of learning.

But college courses can be terribly disappointing as distillers of knowledge. For one thing, grade inflation disgracefully watered down the amount of real fuel in that shot glass of knowledge provided in a college course ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GradeInflation
Grades rather than learning became the tickets to careers and graduate schools, thereby, leading to street-smart cheating taking over for real learning perspiration ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

When 80% of Harvard's graduating class graduates cum laude, we no longer identify which graduates are were the best scholars in their class.

Soon those graduates from Harvard, Florida A&M University, Capella University, and those who learned on their own from free courses, video lectures, and course materials on the Web will all face some sort of common examinations (written and oral) of their competencies in specialties. Competency testing will be the great leveler much like licensure examinations such as the Bar Exam, the CPA exam, the CFA exam, etc. are graded on the basis of what you know rather than where you learned what you know. It won't really matter whether you paid a fortune to learn Bessel Functions onsite at MIT or for free from the MITx online certificate program ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

If you are an educator or are becoming an educator, please read:
"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

This is related to issues of "badges" in academe
"A Future Full of Badges," by Kevin Carey, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/A-Future-Full-of-Badges/131455/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

"College at Risk," by Andrew Delbanco, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/College-at-Risk/130893/


Cunningham and other Maryland administrators can follow the lead of my favorite university UNC-Greensboro (sarcasm = on). UNCG recently decided to pay a $3000 honorarium for a speech on the “Art of Kissing.” This is a clear improvement over their decision to host a speech (in 2004) on “Safe Sodomy.”
Mike Adams, Kiss Me in the Morning," Townhall, April 6, 2009 --- http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeAdams/2009/04/06/kiss_me_in_the_morning


Independent analysts have found higher education in Russia to be a part of society experiencing particularly rapid rates of growth in corruption, with bribes common to secure spots in classes or good grades, The St. Petersburg Times reported. Senior faculty members generally do not take bribes directly, but do so through intermediaries, the report said.
Inside Higher Ed, July 8, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/07/08/qt
Jensen Comment
Purportedly Vladimir Putin not only plagiarized his doctoral thesis, but he may not have even read it --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#Celebrities


Historian Professor Dyhouse shows that students have always gained different advantages from their degrees depending on their gender and background. Since they were first admitted to universities in the late 19th century, women have benefited less in straight economic terms from their degrees than men, but have still considered the experience "a gift beyond price". Professor Dyhouse's study, which is published on the History and Policy website, traces the history of university funding from grants to top-up fees. She shows how the university experience has changed over the past century; one hundred years ago the 'typical' student was a full-time male undergraduate, now female part-time students are more representative.
"History shows degrees are worth more than a bigger pay packet:  Ten years after the Dearing Report, which paved the way for tuition fees, a new University of Sussex study challenges the current 'market place' approach to higher education policy," PhysOrg, August 6, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news105630476.html


In one century we went from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to offering remedial English in college.
Joseph Sobran as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-11-27-07.htm


Most Students in Remedial Classes in College Had Solid Grades in High School
Nearly four out of five students who undergo remediation in college graduated from high school with grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher, according to a report issued today by Strong American Schools, a group that advocates making public-school education more rigorous.
Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 15, 2008 ---
http://chronicle.com/news/article/5145/most-students-in-remedial-classes-in-college-had-solid-grades-in-high-school-survey-finds


A new booklet from the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine offers an overview of research on evolution and creationism, finding that the former is sound science and the latter is anything but. Science, Evolution and Creationism won’t surprise many scientists, but its intended audience is the public, where debates continue to flare. The booklet argues that religious faith and belief in evolution are not mutually exclusive. But teaching creationist beliefs in the classroom is a problem, the booklet says. “Teaching creationist ideas in science class confuses students about what constitutes science and what does not,” the booklet says.
Inside Higher Ed, January 4, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/01/04/qt 


My favourite French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, once in exasperation asked:
now that the learned men have arrived, where are all the honest men gone?

Jagdish Gangolly


Historically, the evangelical colleges that comprise the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities have not been magnets for many black students. A new analysis from The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education suggests that’s changing, with some Protestant colleges recording staggering increases in black student enrollments over the last decade. At Montreat College, in North Carolina, undergraduate black student enrollment increased from 3.7 percent in 1997 to 23 percent in 2007, according to the analysis. At Belhaven College, in Mississippi, black student enrollment climbed from 16.9 to 41 percent. At LeTourneau University, in Texas, the figure grew from 5.7 to 22 percent. Overall, the analysis finds that the number of CCCU colleges where black enrollments are at 10 percent or higher has more than tripled to 29 over the last 10 years — even as a core group of 22 Christian colleges maintain black enrollments of 2 percent or less (a decrease, however, from 33 such colleges in 1997).
Elizabeth Redden, "Christian Colleges Grow More Diverse," Inside Higher Ed, August 14, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/08/15/christian

Overview o the State of Education in the U.S.

From Inside Higher Ed, May 29, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/05/29/qt#199988

Women accounted for 57 percent of the bachelor's degrees and 62 percent of the associate degrees awarded in the 2006-7 academic year. That is one of the figures in "The Condition of Education 2009," the latest edition of an annual compilation of statistics released by the U.S. Education Department. Among the other higher education findings:

  • The rate of college enrollment immediately after high school increased from 49 percent in 1972 to 67 percent by 1997, but has since fluctuated between 62 and 69 percent.
  • About 58 percent of first-time students seeking a bachelor's degree or its equivalent and attending a four-year institution full time in 2000-01 completed a bachelor's degree or its equivalent at that institution within 6 years.
  • The percentage of 25- to 29-year-olds who had completed a bachelor's degree or higher increased from 17 to 29 percent between 1971 and 2000 and was 31 percent in 2008.

Highlights --- http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/press/highlights2.asp

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: Statway [education statistics] --- http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/statway


Be Better Than Yourself

Last Lecture Series: Joe Hoyle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjwHxVbZq1o&feature=grec_index


"The Future of Higher Education:  Shaking Up the Status Quo:  Chronicle of Higher Education, October 4, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/section/NEXT-The-Future-of-Higher/751/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

. . .

3 Big Ideas on Campuses

The Student 'Swirl'

Today's students often attend multiple institutions and mix learning experiences. But is academe ready for them?

Reinventing the Academic Calendar

Colleges are offering many new options to encourage flexibility.

Competency-Based Degrees in the Mainstream

The University of Wisconsin's new flexible-degree option is being watched closely.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education hopes and horrors ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 

 


Bob Jensen's Advice to New Faculty --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's Education Technology Workshop --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/EdTech/

Bob Jensen's homepage --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Global Education Digest 2007 --- http://www.uis.unesco.org/ev.php?ID=7002_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC

Center for Academic Integrity --- http://www.academicintegrity.org/

Education Solutions for Our Future --- http://www.solutionsforourfuture.org

The Master List of Free Online College Courses --- http://universitiesandcolleges.org/

Question
How Do Scholars and Researchers Search the Web?

Bob Jensen's threads on how researchers/scholars search the Web are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#Scholars

"Automating Research with Google Scholar Alerts," by Ryan Cordell, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1. 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Automating-Research-with/25158/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

This post is something of a public service announcement. Two weeks ago the Google Scholar team announced that users could now create alerts for their favorite queries.

I would explain how to set up a Google Scholar Alert, but both Google and Resource Shelf have already done so. Instead, I'll discuss how this new featuer might be useful to the ProfHacker community.

Google Alerts have been around for awhile. Users can set up a Google Alert for any query, and Google will automatically email them a digest of all new hits for that query. Users can set how many results they'd like included in the emails, how often the emails should be sent, and what email address(es) different alerts should be sent to. Google Alerts can help you stay abreast of a particular topic, such as a developing news story. Many folks also set up Google Alerts for their name, their company, or a particular project, so they can track how those topics are being discussed across the net.

Google Alerts pull from Google's entire index, however, which is not always useful for research questions. I could set up a Google Alert for an author I write on—say, Nathaniel Hawthorne—but I'd likely have to wade through many high schoolers complaining about reading The Scarlet Letter before finding any new scholarly work on the author. Google Scholar Alerts pull results only from scholarly literature—"articles, theses, books, abstracts," and other other resources from "academic publishers, professional societies, "online repositories, universities," and other scholarly websites. In other words, Google Scholar Alerts provide scholars automatic updates when new material is published on research topics they're interested in. A Google Scholar Alert for "Nathaniel Hawthorne" would email me whenever a book or article about Hawthorne was added to Google Scholar's index.

I worded that last sentence carefully in order to point to some problems with Google Scholar, and by extension with the new Google Scholar Alerts. Peter Jacso wrote last September about serious errors in Google Scholar's metadata, particularly with article attribution. What counts as "new" in Google Scholar is also problematic. An article will appear in a Google Scholar Alert when it's indexed—that is, when it's new to Google Scholar, even if it's actually an older article.

As Jacso points out, however, Google Scholar remains valuable for "topical keyword searches," which is what most folks will set up Alerts to track. No one should set up a Google Scholar Alert and consider their research complete‐but Alerts can be a good way to keep abreast of new scholarship on a variety of topics, or on the wider context of a particular research interest. I work on nineteenth-century apocalyptic literature, for example, and I've set up a Google Scholar Alert for several variations on the word "apocalyptic." The emails I've received comprise work on apocalypticism from a variety of periods and geographical areas. Even if I can't read most of these works in full, I've found it useful to get this larger overview of scholarship on the topic.

Bob Jensen's threads on how researchers/scholars search the Web are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#Scholars


 


 

How many bottom feeder journal articles does it take to get tenure at a diploma mill?
A person called Flag in a comment to the article below.

"A Plague of Journals," by Philip G. Altbach , Inside Higher Ed, January 15, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/plague-journals

Clever people have figured out that there is a growing demand for outlets for scholarly work, that there are too few journals or other channels to accommodate all the articles written, that new technology has created confusion as well as opportunities, and (finally) and somewhat concerning is that there is money to be made in the knowledge communication business. As a result, there has been a proliferation of new publishers offering new journals in every imaginable field. The established for-profit publishers have also been purchasing journals and creating new ones so that they “bundle” them and offer them at high prices to libraries through electronic subscriptions.

Scholars and scientists worldwide find themselves under increasing pressure to publish more, especially in English-language “internationally circulated” journals that are included in globally respected indices such as the Science Citation Index. As a result, journals that are part of these networks have been inundated by submissions and many journals accept as few as 10%.

Universities increasingly demand more publications as conditions for promotion, salary increases, or even job security. As a result, the large majority of submissions must seek alternative publication outlets. After all, being published somewhere is better than not be published at all. Many universities are satisfied with counting numbers of articles without regard to quality or impact, while others, mostly top-ranking, are obsessed with impact—creating increased stress for professors.

A variety of new providers have come into this new marketplace. Some scholarly organizations and universities have created new “open access” electronic journals that have decent peer-reviewing systems and the backing of respected scholars and scientists. Some of these publications have achieved a level of respectability and acceptance, while others are struggling.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
What really sets me off are journals that will publish articles for authors willing to pay by the page for such "journal publications." This is a real moral hazard that is likely to corrupt the refereeing process --- if there is any refereeing of such articles. Anybody has the freedom to publish an academic article at a Website. Authors who pay to be able to cite a "journal" hit are most likely padding their resumes. This can, however, be dysfunctional to their careers if word gets out about the author-pays "journals."

In my opinion paying to have a journal article published is more serious than having a book custom published. When a book is custom published the author's resume does not (or at least should not) imply that other peer scholars published the item. Journal articles usually imply that some outside referees have accepted the article.

Gaming for Tenure as an Accounting Professor ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTenure.htm
(with a reply about tenure publication point systems from Linda Kidwell)

Our UnderAchieving Colleges ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Bok

 


The Almanac of Higher Education 2013-14 (not free)
Chronicle of Higher Education Data
https://www.chronicle-store.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=80261&WG=350

From the Chronicle of Higher Education ---
The 2011-12 Almanac Issue --- http://chronicle.texterity.com/chronicle/20110826a?sub_id=yf6H2Es7OzfJ#pg1

Here's the latest issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Click here to browse and read your copy of The Chronicle's Almanac of Higher Education 2011-12. And for the most current job opportunities in all of academe, click here.

The Chronicle's annual Almanac of Higher Education provides an in-depth analysis of American colleges and universities, with data on students, professors, administrators, institutions, and their resources.

The latest Almanac of Higher Education gathers an assortment of key data about the most important trends in higher education.

Quick tips for reading your digital edition can be found by clicking on the HELP icon on the navigation bar found at the top of every page. But if you experience any technical difficulties, please click here.

If you would like a print edition of our annual Almanac, visit The Chronicle's online store. You'll also find other special reports and issues published by The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

pages links

Table of Contents
THE NATION FINANCE
3 Resources and Expenditures  Page 3
Giving 8                                    
College Costs 11
Research  14
THE PROFESSION 16
Salaries 22
The Institution 28
Views of College Leaders 29
STUDENT DEMOGRAPHICS
Enrollments and Population 31
Student Characteristics 34
Degrees Awarded 39
ACCESS AND EQUITY
Race, Ethnicity, Gender 42
Admissions 45
Financial Aid 45
After Graduation 48
TECHNOLOGY
Student Use 51
Attitudes About Tech 51
Campus Infrastructure 52
INTERNATIONAL
Global Trends 54
Trends in the U.S. 58

 

Jensen Comment
Among the 1,601,368 undergraduate degrees awarded,    346,972 were in Business.     That's nearly 22%.
Among the    662.072 masters degrees awarded,              168,367 were in Business.     That's over 25%.
Among the    154,425 doctoral degrees awarded,                 2,123 were in Business.     That's less than 2%.

I'm not certain how the enormous number of for-profit degrees are dealt with in this report. I suspect that for-profit universities are excluded from the report.

Average salaries for new assistant professors in Business ($93,926) were the highest among all disciplines, followed by Law ($91,828) and Engineering ($76,518)
Average salaries for full professors in Law ($134,162) were highest among all disciplines, followed by Engineering ($114,365) and  Business ($111,621)

Average salaries for new assistant professors tend to be higher than averages for associate professors, indicating compression problems in virtually every discipline
Averages for associates are skewed by lifetime associate professors versus those that are only in transition to full professorship promotions

Average salaries for women still lag those of men, but this is skewed somewhat by higher-paid disciplines having much higher proportions of men to women.

Average salaries are much higher in the larger research universities, but these are not set apart in the 2011-12 Almanac.
Average salaries in general are skewed downward by the large number of  lower paying small colleges.

Since lower paying small colleges have no law schools this partly explains why Law salaries appear to be higher than Engineering and Business even though, in universities having law schools, Business and Engineering graduate school professors may have the highest salaries ---
http://www.aacsb.edu/dataandresearch/salaries.asp

The IRS 990 tables reveal that medical professors tend to be the highest paid employees of universities, but the way they are paid is so varied and complicated that medical schools are not included in the above data tables of the 2011-12 Almanac. Medical schools often have their own sources of revenues if their staff members are also serving patients in university hospitals.

For breakdowns of sub-disciplines within the Business category, go the the AACSB database ---
http://www.aacsb.edu/dataandresearch/dataglance.asp
This data excludes many of non-AACSB accredited colleges included in the above 2011-12 Almanac. Hence items like average salaries are not comparable ---
http://www.aacsb.edu/dataandresearch/salaries.asp

Bob Jensen's threads on Higher Education Controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm 


 

"The Future of Higher Education:  Shaking Up the Status Quo:  Chronicle of Higher Education, October 4, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/section/NEXT-The-Future-of-Higher/751/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

. . .

3 Big Ideas on Campuses

The Student 'Swirl'

Today's students often attend multiple institutions and mix learning experiences. But is academe ready for them?

Reinventing the Academic Calendar

Colleges are offering many new options to encourage flexibility.

Competency-Based Degrees in the Mainstream

The University of Wisconsin's new flexible-degree option is being watched closely.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based education and training ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ECA

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, SMOCs, and OKIs ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

At 3,100 Colleges and Universities
Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2013-14 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/TuitionFees-1998-99/142511/


Tertiary education --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertiary_education

Tertiary education, also referred to as third stage, third level, and post-secondary education, is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education. The World Bank, for example, defines tertiary education as including universities as well as institutions that teach specific capacities of higher learning such as colleges, technical training institutes, community colleges, nursing schools, research laboratories, centers of excellence, and distance learning centers.[1] Higher education is taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, while vocational education and training beyond secondary education is known as further education in the United Kingdom, or continuing education in the United States.

Tertiary education generally culminates in the receipt of certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees.

Education by Country --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_education_articles_by_country

Education in Germany --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Germany

The Most Educated Countries in the World (in terms of "tertiary education") ---
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-most-educated-countries-in-the-world.html?page=all

  1. Canada
  2. Israel
  3. Japan
  4. United States
  5. New Zealand
  6. South Korea
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Finland
  9. Australia
  10. Ireland

Countries with the highest proportions of  college graduates ---
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/22/countries-with-the-most-c_n_655393.html#s117378&title=Russian_Federation_54

  1. Russian Federation 54.0% (quality varies due to rampant cheating and corruption where students can buy course grades and admission)
  2. Canada 48.3%
  3. Israel 43.6%
  4. Japan 41.0%
  5. New Zealand 41.0%
  6. United States 40.3% (colleges vary greatly in terms of admissions standards and rigor for graduation)
  7. Finland 36.4%
  8. South Korea 34.3%
  9. Norway 34.2%
  10. Australia 33.7%

Germany is still under the OECD average in terms of proportions of college graduates at 23.9% ---
http://andrewhammel.typepad.com/german_joys/2010/09/education-governments-should-expand-tertiary-studies-to-boost-jobs-and-tax-revenues.html .

Jensen Comment
This tidbit was inspired by reference to the fact that tertiary education in Germany was free and is now returning to virtually free. Note, however, that getting into college in Germany is extremely competitive based mostly upon examinations along the way in what we call K-12 schools ---
http://www.german-way.com/history-and-culture/education/

Note there's a huge difference between free tuition and free college education covering tuition, room, board, transportation, computers, books, etc. It's much more likely in the USA that students can both live at home and get college degrees due to higher numbers of nearby college campuses all across the USA and the increasing prevalence online college degree opportunities relative to all of Europe, especially in Germany. Germans may get free tuition, but they may have to leave home and pay for their own relatively expensive room and board in large cities.

Germany has a smaller proportion of college graduates in large measure due somewhat to both the status and the wages of people that elect to go into the skilled trades rather than college where salaries may often be lower.

But the primary reason is the limited space in German universities and the competitiveness of the qualifying examinations to get in. Unlike the USA, first year German college students are good in reading, writing, and college-level mathematics. In the USA colleges increasingly are faced with students needing to have remedial courses in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Germany is still under the OECD average in terms of proportions of college graduates at 23.9% ---
http://andrewhammel.typepad.com/german_joys/2010/09/education-governments-should-expand-tertiary-studies-to-boost-jobs-and-tax-revenues.html .

The study's setting off the usual alarm bells (g) in Germany. I speculated on the cause of Germany's low college-graduation rates a while ago, but I think one factor I forgot to mention is cost. It's not that some German universities have introduced tuition fees -- in international comparison, these tuition fees are negligible. The problem is rather that Germany has a woefully inadequate system for financing higher education. Germany does have a loan/grant scheme for students (called Bafoeg), but it's extremely complex and miserly (g). Not that I'm a big fan of student loans, but a well-regulated system of affordable student loans is much better than Germany's current system of measly scholarships, half-time university posts, and help from relatives.

Even if simple, affordable loans were available, the problem would remained that lots of young Germans are reluctant to face what students in most other countries have long accepted: college costs money, and that means debt. I'm consistently surprised to meet Germans who could have gone to college but didn't, and instead decided to become hairdressers, chimney sweeps, butchers, or machinists. There are ads all over my university right now which advise university students who "don't like studying" to drop out of college and train to become air-traffic controllers.
 

The rationale behind people who choose these professions is that "we'll always need" people to do these jobs, so they offer steadier employment. I'm not so sure. In fact, something tells me that 15 years from now or so, we're going to need a whole lot fewer human air-traffic controllers than we do now...

In comparison say in the USA and Australia, the skilled trades may pay better in many instances but the social status of college graduates is generally higher relative to the status of skilled trades workers in Germany. Also in the USA college graduates are less bounded due to the American Dream of reaching almost unheard of salaries as physicians, veterinarians, corporate executives, etc. relative to counterparts in Germany where white collar salaries are more bounded by taxes and culture relative to living expenses (that are generally higher, especially for big houses luxury condos, and acreages).

There is an increasing and long-delayed initiative to open up the German education system to be more like the North American dreams.

Berlin's Gymnasium Lottery
In 2009 the Berlin Senate decided that Berlin's gymnasium schools should no longer be allowed to pick all of their students. It was ruled that while they would be able to pick 70% to 65% of their students, the other places were to be allocated by lottery. Every child is able to enter the lottery, no matter how he or she performed in primary school. It is hoped that this policy will increase the number of working class students attending a gymnasium. The Left proposed that Berlin gymnasiums should no longer be allowed to expel students who perform poorly, so that students who won a gymnasium place in the lottery have a higher chance of graduating from that school. It is not clear yet whether Berlin's senate will decide in favor of The Left's proposal.


The top flagship state universities in the USA are under increasing pressures from their legislators to offer more an more business degrees online, including undergraduate business degrees, masters of accounting degrees, and MBA degrees. The question is whether the most prestigious private universities like Stanford and Harvard will join in the competition.

The Top MBA Programs in the World according to the Financial Times ---
http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2014

The Top MBA Programs in the USA according to US News
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools

"Half of U.S. Business Schools Might Be Gone by 2020," by Patrick Clark, Bloomberg Businessweek, March 14, 2014 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-14/online-programs-could-erase-half-of-u-dot-s-dot-business-schools-by-2020

Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, has a dire forecast for business education: “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years—or five,” he says.

The threat, says Lyons, is that more top MBA programs will start to offer degrees online. That will imperil the industry’s business model. For most business schools, students pursuing part-time and executive MBAs generate crucial revenue. Those programs, geared toward working professionals, will soon have to compete with elite online alternatives for the same population.

. . .

Online MBA programs aren’t siphoning choice students from campuses yet, says Ash Soni, executive associate dean at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Kelley ranks 15th on Bloomberg Businessweek’s list of full-time programs and was an early player in online MBAs. The school draws students from across the country, but it is more likely to compete with online MBA programs offered by the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and Arizona State’s Carey School of Business. Says Soni: “If you’re a dean from a regional school and you’re asking, ‘Are these online guys tapping into my space?’ The answer is: maybe in the future, but not yet.”

Michael Desiderio, the executive director of the Executive MBA Council, says change is coming, but his group isn’t panicking. “We’re not saying it’s a threat or this is the end of the EMBA space,” he says. “It’s stimulating a discussion: How do we adapt to continue to serve a population that has changing needs?”

Online education is sure to shift the ways schools compete for students. For-profit MBA programs such as DeVry’s Keller School of Management have been the early losers as more traditional universities go online, says Robert Lytle, a partner in the education practice at consultancy Parthenon Group. That trend could extend to lower-ranked schools as the big-name brands follow.

When Lytle talks to directors at schools who are debating the merits of online learning, he tells them to stop dallying and start building programs. “Once you get out of the top tier of schools, you’re either already online, on your way there, or dead in the water,” he says. It isn’t clear which online models will be most successful, but many schools are feeling pressure to get on board. When Villanova School of Business announced a new online MBA program earlier this year, Dean Patrick Maggitti said there has never been a more uncertain time in higher education. “I think it’s smart strategy to be looking at options in this market.”

 

Jensen Comment --- Where I Disagree
Firstly, this is not so much a threat to undergraduate business schools, because most of the prestigious and highly ranked universities with MBA programs do not even offer undergraduate business degrees. It's not likely that Harvard and Stanford and the London Business School will commence to offer undergraduate business degrees online.

Secondly, this is not so much a threat to masters of accounting programs, because most of the prestigious and highly ranked universities with MBA programs do not even offer masters of accounting degrees and do not have enough accounting courses to meet the minimal requirements to take the CPA examination in most states. . It's not likely that Harvard and Stanford and the London Business School will commence to offer masters of accounting degrees online.

Thirdly, this is not so much of a threat even at the MBA level to universities who admit graduate students with lower admissions credentials. The US News Top MBA programs currently pick off the cream of the crop in terms of GMAT and gpa credentials. The top flagship state universities like the the Haas School at UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois pick off the top students who cannot afford prestigious private universities. By the time all these universities skim the cream of the crop the second-tier public and private universities struggle with more marginal students applying for MBA programs.

It would be both dangerous and sad if the very top MBA programs introduced lower admissions standards for online programs vis-a-vis on-campus programs. In order to maintain the highest standards the most prestigious universities will have to cater to the highest quality foreign students and herein lies a huge problem. Some nations like China are notorious for fraud and cheating on admissions credentials like the GMAT. In Russia such credentials are for sale to the highest bidders.

The name of the game in business education is placement of graduates. Prestigious university MBA programs are at the top of the heap in terms of placement largely because of their successful alumni and strong alumni networks that actively seek MBA graduates from their alma maters. This will not work as well for online programs, especially since many of the online graduates of prestigious university online programs will live outside the USA.

However, top flagship state universities are under increasing pressures from their legislators to offer more an more business degrees online, including undergraduate business degrees, masters of accounting degrees, and MBA degrees. This is already happening as is reflected in the following rankings of online programs by US News:

From US News in 2014
Best Online Degree Programs (ranked)
---
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education

Best Online Undergraduate Bachelors Degrees --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings
Central Michigan is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Business MBA Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
Indiana University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Education Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
Northern Illinois is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/engineering/rankings
Columbia University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Information Technology Programs ---
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/computer-information-technology/rankings
The University of Southern California is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/nursing/rankings
St. Xavier University is the big winner

US News Degree Finder --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/features/multistep-oe?s_cid=54089
This beats those self-serving for-profit university biased Degree Finders

US News has tried for years to rank for-profit universities, but they don't seem to want to provide the data.

 

I don't anticipate that the highest-prestige MBA programs will have online degree programs anytime soon.
They may have more and more free MOOCs, but that is an entirely different ballgame if no credit is given for the MOOCs. The highly prestigious Wharton is now offering its first-year MBA courses as free MOOCs ---
http://www.topmba.com/blog/wharton-steps-experimentation-moocs-mba-news
Also see http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-13/wharton-puts-first-year-mba-courses-online-for-free

Who are these students taking free first-year MOOC courses from Wharton?
Some are college professors who adding what they learn in MOOCs to the courses they themselves teach. Most MOOCs, by the way, are advanced courses on highly specialized topics like the literature of both famous and obscure writers. Others are basic courses that contribute to career advancement.

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education programs ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

 


Question 1
How should accountancy doctoral programs in the USA change where there is general shortage of supply of graduates relative to tenure-track positions available?

Question 2
How should doctoral change in humanities and sciences where there is general overage of supply of graduates relative to tenure-track positions available
?

 

Answer from Recommendation Two of the Pathways Commission Report --- a recommendation that is seemingly impossible
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/07/31/updating-accounting-curriculums-expanding-and-diversifying-field

The report includes seven recommendations. Three are shown below:

 

Bob Jensen's threads on the sad state of accountancy (Ph.D.) doctoral programs in North America ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

 

Question 2
How should doctoral change in humanities and sciences where there is general overage of supply of graduates relative to tenure track positions available
?

"How Should Graduate School Change? A dean discusses the future of doctoral-education reform," by Leonard Cassuto, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 13, 2014 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/How-Should-Graduate-School/143945/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

. . .

What sorts of changes would you like to see in American graduate study?

The biggest one is that our doctoral curricula need to be changed to acknowledge what has been true for a long time, which is that most of our Ph.D. students do not end up in tenure-track (or even full-time faculty) positions—and that many of those who do will be at institutions that are very, very different from the places where these Ph.D.'s are trained.

The changes will differ from program to program but might include different kinds of coursework, exams, and even dissertation structures. Right now we train students for the professoriate, and if something else works out, that's fine. We can serve our students and our society better by realizing their diverse futures and changing the training we offer accordingly.

The other necessary change: We need to think seriously about the cost of graduate education. There is a perception that graduate students are simply a cheap labor force for the university, and that universities are interested in graduate students only because they perform work as teachers and laboratory assistants cheaper than any one else.

At elite universities—or at least at elite private ones—that is simply not true, and I am glad that it is not. It is absolutely true that graduate students perform labor necessary for the university in a number of ways, but it is not cheap labor, nor should it be.

The cost of graduate education has repercussions for the humanities and social sciences, which is one reason you are seeing smaller admissions numbers and some program closings. It also has repercussions for the laboratory sciences, where I am seeing too many faculty members shift from taking on graduate students to hiring postdocs. Unfortunately, they regard postdocs as a less expensive and more stable alternative to graduate students, and postdocs come without the same burdens of education or job placement that otherwise fall on the faculty member who hires doctoral students.

I want to underline that I don't think that graduate programs should be cheaper, but we can't have an honest conversation about their future unless we acknowledge their cost.

What might those changes look like at your medium-size private university?

I am not sure. If I were, I'd be writing a white paper for the dean of our graduate school rather than talking with you. They would probably include coursework designed to prepare doctoral students for nonacademic careers, internship options, and even multiple dissertation options.

I have a sense of what this could look like in my own discipline, but this needs to be a collective conversation. Anyone can chart out a "vision" and write it up for The Chronicle. It's another thing altogether to make it work, starting from the ground up, at one's own university with the enthusiastic support of everyone involved. For that to happen, there needs to be sustained, open dialogue about the real challenges. And most administrators and faculty are unwilling to engage in that work in a serious way until they see examples of similar changes in the very top programs in their fields.

Why does this kind of change have to start from the top?

Both faculty and administrators are extremely sensitive to the hierarchies of prestige that drive the academy. In most fields, the majority of faculty members who populate research universities have graduated from a handful of top programs—and they spend the rest of their careers trying to replicate those programs, get back to them, or both. They are worried about doing anything that diverges from what those top programs do, and will argue strongly that divergences place them at a competitive disadvantage in both recruiting and placing graduate students.

Administrators are just as much to blame as faculty for that state of collective anxiety. No matter what deans, provosts, and presidents say, we all rely too heavily on rankings and other comparative metrics that play directly into these conservative dynamics.

Is this a version of the "mini-me syndrome," in which advisers try to mold their graduate students in their own image, writ large?

That is certainly part of it. The desire to see your own scholarly passions continue through students you have trained is truly powerful,and administrators underestimate that desire at their peril. Of course we all want our faculty members to be passionate about their research, and graduate training is one way that faculty research makes an impact on the profession. But there are moments when the desire for scholarly replication can be troubling. The training of graduate students should fill a greater need than our personal desire for a legacy.

Graduate school is where we all become socialized into the academic profession. It sets the template for our expectations of what it means to be an academic. No matter how many years go by, most of us hold certain ideals in our mind and think graduate training should be based on those experiences.

And we build and run our programs accordingly?

Right. Faculty members often try to either recreate a graduate program that they attended or carve out their own institutional training ground by creating a new center. Even as the number of academic positions has receded over the past five years, the administration here has been bombarded with requests for new graduate programs.

Administrators, again, are not blameless in that dynamic. We overvalue new programs, centers, and so on, as a way of being able to tell a progressive story of institutional growth. Every research university trumpets "the new" loudly. No press release ever comes out and says, "We're doing things the same way as last year, because it is all working so well!"

The focus on vaguely defined "excellence" contributes to that behavior, because there is nothing to define "excellence" beyond the hierarchies that are already in place.

Administrators are worried about lookingtoo different from their peers or from the institutions with which they would like to compare themselves. As much as they might talk about innovation or disruption, they are worried that if they look too different, they won't be playing the right game. Of course, that also means that they will never actually leapfrog into the top, because we are all trying to do the same thing. 

 

That makes you more conservative in your own job?

Let's just say I wish I were more creative and ambitious. On the other hand, I share my faculty's skepticism of wide-eyed visionaries who don't appreciate the real complexities and challenges that we are facing.

You say that professors are too defensive and afraid of innovation. What do you mean? Can you give an example or two?

Faculty members are too quick to experience any proposed change as a loss. That is especially true in humanities fields, where the "crisis of the humanities" has made faculty nervous and defensive. This temperament has made it difficult to take seriously proposals that could actually help sustain the programs they care about.

For instance, as cohorts get smaller in certain doctoral programs, it makes sense to think about combining them—to create both a broader intellectual community and better administrative support. But most faculty fear that kind of move—even if it could result in a newly defined and exciting intellectual community. They think it would erode the particular discipline to which they have devoted themselves.

Two other examples: First, nearly every private-university administrator I talk with says that the current state of language instruction is not sustainable. Most campuses think that they cannot continue to teach the languages they are teaching at their current levels while meeting expanding student demands in new fields (including languages that are more recently arrived in the curriculum). This is going to require some innovative and integrative solutions if we are going to provide graduate training in many fields, but the same administrators will tell you that it is hard to work with professors to resolve those problems, because they are so afraid of losing what they have now.

Second, we all know that we should change our graduate curricula across the board—from the laboratory sciences to the humanities—to reflect the fact that a diminishing number of our Ph.D.'s will work in tenure-track jobs. But how many departments have changed their requirements, introduced new classes, or rethought the structure of their dissertations?

Everyone is afraid that they will lose something by doing so, either because it will mean less time for their students in the lab or library, or because it will make their students less competitive, or because it will be interpreted by prospective recruits as an admission of weakness.

The long and short of what you say is that the conservatism of tenured faculty—which they learn from their tenured advisers before them—is hurting graduate students badly. It locks them into curricula and expectations that ill suit their prospects in today's world. How can we break out of this cycle?

It's not a cycle that we can break, but a structure that has limitations. We certainly can serve both our graduate students and our society better. Experimentation and innovation could have a significant effect, and small groups of tenured faculty members and administrators have the power to make these changes. The biggest barrier is our own collective fears and self-imposed conservatism.

But I see reasons for optimism. For example, the discussion of tracking Ph.D. placement in The Chronicle (and elsewhere) will have very healthy effects, and I think it is possible that we can, and should, create a future with a greater diversity of graduate programs, even if there are slightly fewer of them.

I also believe that the majority of faculty members who received their Ph.D.'s in the past 10 years are likely to take for granted that these changes are inevitable, and even desirable. For all of the challenges we've discussed, graduate education will be a necessary and vital component of the research university for at least, say, the next half-century. And I'm stopping there only because to go farther out than that is science fiction.

As we focus on the challenges, let's not forget that our current model of graduate training has been the source of tremendous creativity and innovation. For all the pessimism running through our conversation, the research university is still the most interesting, productive institution in American contemporary life—and what we have built in the American academy is truly remarkable. There's no other place I'd rather be.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


Efficiency and Effectiveness of Learning

Khan Academy for Free Tutorials (now including accounting tutorials) Available to the Masses ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khan_Academy

A Really Misleading Video
Do Khan Academy Videos Promote “Meaningful Learning”?   Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/06/expert_gently_asks_whether_khan_academy_videos_promote_meaningful_learning.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

If you ever wondered whether professional scientists are skeptical about some of the incredibly fun, attractive and brief online videos that purport to explain scientific principles in a few minutes, you’d be right.

Derek Muller completed his doctoral dissertation by researching the question of what makes for effective multimedia to teach physics. Muller curates the science blog Veritasium and received his Ph.D. from the University of Sydney in 2008.

It’s no small irony that Muller’s argument, that online instructional videos don’t work, has reached its biggest audience in the form of an online video. He launches right in, lecture style, with a gentle attack on the Khan Academy, which has famously flooded the Internet with free instructional videos on every subject from arithmetic to finance.

While praising the academy’s founder, Salman Khan, for his teaching and speaking talent, Muller contends that students actually don’t learn anything from science videos in general.

In experiments, he asked subjects to describe the force acting upon a ball when a juggler tosses it into the air. Then he showed them a short video that explained gravitational force.

In tests taken after watching the video, subjects provided essentially the same description as before. Subjects said they didn’t pay attention to the video because they thought they already knew the answer. If anything, the video only made them more confident about their own ideas.

Science instructional videos, Muller argues, shouldn’t just explain correct information, but should tackle misconceptions as well. He practices this approach in his own work, like this film about weightlessness in the space station. Having to work harder to think through why an idea is wrong, he says, is just as important as being told what’s right.

 

Jensen Comment
In my viewpoint learning efficiency and effectiveness is so complicated in a multivariate sense that no studies, including Muller's experiments, can be extrapolated to the something as vast as the Khan Academy.

For example, the learning from a given tutorial depends immensely on the aptitude of the learner and the intensity of concentration and replay of the tutorial.

For example, learning varies over time such as when a student is really bad at math until a point is reached where that student suddenly blossoms in math.

For example, the learning from a given tutorial depends upon the ultimate testing expected.
What they learn depends upon how we test:

"How You Test Is How They Will Learn," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Financial Accounting Blog, January 31, 2010 ---
 http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-you-test-is-how-they-will-learn.html 

I consider Muller's video misleading and superficial.

Here are some documents on the multivariate complications of the learning process:


Dr. Collier is a psychology professor at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C.
"We Pretend to Teach, They Pretend to Learn:  At colleges today, all parties are strongly incentivized to maintain low standards.," by Jeffrey L. Collier, The Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2013 ---
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303531204579204201833906182?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

The parlous state of American higher education has been widely noted, but the view from the trenches is far more troubling than can be characterized by measured prose. With most students on winter break and colleges largely shut down, the lull presents an opportunity for damage assessment.

The flood of books detailing the problems includes the representative titles "Bad Students, Not Bad Schools" and "The Five Year Party." To list only the principal faults: Students arrive woefully academically unprepared; students study little, party much and lack any semblance of internalized discipline; pride in work is supplanted by expediency; and the whole enterprise is treated as a system to be gamed in which plagiarism and cheating abound.

The problems stem from two attitudes. Social preoccupations trump the academic part of residential education, which occupies precious little of students' time or emotions. Second, students' view of education is strictly instrumental and credentialist. They regard the entire enterprise as a series of hoops they must jump through to obtain their 120 credits, which they blindly view as an automatic licensure for adulthood and a good job, an increasingly problematic belief.

Education thus has degenerated into a game of "trap the rat," whereby the student and instructor view each other as adversaries. Winning or losing is determined by how much the students can be forced to study. This will never be a formula for excellence, which requires intense focus, discipline and diligence that are utterly lacking among our distracted, indifferent students. Such diligence requires emotional engagement. Engagement could be with the material, the professors, or even a competitive goal, but the idea that students can obtain a serious education even with their disengaged, credentialist attitudes is a delusion.

The professoriate plays along because teachers know they have a good racket going. They would rather be refining their research or their backhand than attending to tedious undergraduates. The result is an implicit mutually assured nondestruction pact in which the students and faculty ignore each other to the best of their abilities. This disengagement guarantees poor outcomes, as well as the eventual replacement of the professoriate by technology. When professors don't even know your name, they become remote figures of ridicule and tedium and are viewed as part of a system to be played rather than a useful resource.

To be fair, cadres of indefatigable souls labor tirelessly in thankless ignominy in the bowels of sundry ivory dungeons. Jokers in a deck stacked against them, they are ensnared in a classic reward system from hell.

All parties are strongly incentivized to maintain low standards. It is well known that friendly, entertaining professors make for a pleasant classroom, good reviews and minimal complaints. Contrarily, faculty have no incentives to punish plagiarism and cheating, to flunk students or to write negative letters of reference, to assiduously mark up illiterate prose in lieu of merely adding a grade and a few comments, or to enforce standards generally. Indeed, these acts are rarely rewarded but frequently punished, even litigated. Mass failure, always a temptation, is not an option. Under this regimen, it is a testament to the faculty that any standards remain at all.

As tuition has skyrocketed, education has shifted from being a public good to a private, consumer product. Students are induced into debt because they are repeatedly bludgeoned with news about the average-income increments that accrue to additional education. This is exacerbated by the ready availability of student loans, obligations that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

In parallel, successive generations of students have become increasingly consumerist in their attitudes, and all but the most well-heeled institutions readily give the consumers what they want in order to generate tuition revenue. Competition for students forces universities to invest in and promote their recreational value. Perhaps the largest scam is that these institutions have an incentive to retain paying students who have little chance of graduating. This is presented as a kindness under the guise of "student retention." The student, or the taxpayer in the case of default, ends up holding the bag, whereas the institution gets off scot free. Withholding government funding from institutions with low graduation rates would only encourage the further abandonment of standards.

So students get what they want: a "five year party" eventuating in painlessly achieved "Wizard of Oz" diplomas. This creates a classic tragedy of the commons in which individuals overuse a shared resource—in this case the market value of the sheepskin. Students, implicitly following the screening theory that credentials are little more than signals of intelligence and personal qualities, follow a mini-max strategy: minimize the effort, maximize the probability of obtaining a degree. The decrement in the value of the sheepskin inflicted by each student is small, but the cumulative effect is that the resource will become valueless.

The body politic lately has become aware of the cracks in this game. With about half of college graduates under 25 currently unemployed or underemployed, the income advantage of a four-year degree may be on the decline. Employers are justifiably fed up with college graduates lacking basic knowledge, to say nothing of good work habits and intellectual discipline. Yet the perennial impulse toward bureaucratic command-and-control solutions, such as universal standardized testing or standardized grade-point averages, only leads in the direction of more credentialism.

If the body politic desires this, so be it. However, these are essentially supply-side solutions, in that they attempt to staunch the supply of poorly prepared students or increase the supply of well-prepared students. Such approaches are notoriously problematic, as in the classic case of black markets.

Better to address the demand side. To be sure, there is plenty of student demand for credentials, but there is little demand for the rigor that the credentials putatively represent. Rather than more attempts at controlling output quality through standardization, what are needed are input changes provided by creative alternative routes to adulthood that young people find attractive; a "pull" rather than a "push." It would be helpful, too, if faculty started viewing undergraduates less as whining boors and more as lost souls who have been scandalously misguided by a feel-good "everyone's a star" culture.

"Alarming Research Shows the Sorry State of US Higher Ed," by Andrew McAfee, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 11, 2013 --- Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/mcafee/2013/07/alarming-research-shows-sorry.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+harvardbusiness+%28HBR.org%29&cm_ite=DailyAlert-071213+%281%29&cm_lm=sp%3Arjensen%40trinity.edu&cm_ven=Spop-Email

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation (the biggest disgrace in higher education) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#RateMyProfessor

Our Compassless Colleges ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Berkowitz

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


According to Hoyle
"EVERYONE CHANGES OVER TIME," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, December 14, 2012 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2012/12/everyone-changes-over-time.html

. . .

I am always shocked by how many well intentioned faculty members turn testing over to a textbook test bank. I want to run screaming into the night when I hear that. In my opinion, an overworked graduate student who does not know you or your students is not in any position to write a legitimate test for your students. When writing this blog, I sometimes discuss what I would do if I were king of education. Burning all test banks would be one of my first royal acts.

Yes, I know you are extremely busy. But abdicating this valuable task to a person who might never have taught a single class (or a class like yours) makes no sense. Any test in your class should be designed for your students based on what you have covered and based on what you want them to know. It should not be composed of randomly selected questions written by some mysterious stranger. To me, using a test bank is like asking Mickey Mouse to pinch hit for Babe Ruth. You are giving away an essential element of the course to someone who might not be up to the task.

Over the decades, I have worked very hard to learn how to write good questions. During those years, I have written some questions that were horrible. But, I have learned much from that experience.

--The first thing I learned about test writing was that a question that everyone could answer was useless. --The second thing that I learned was that a question that no one could answer was also useless.

As with any task, you practice and you look at the results and you get better. You don’t hand off an essential part of your course to a test bank.

As everyone who has read this blog for long probably knows, one of the things I started doing about 8 years ago was allowing students to bring handwritten notes to every test. That immediately stopped me from writing questions that required memorization because the students had all that material written down and in front of them.

That was a good start but that was not enough. Allowing notes pushed me in the right direction but it did not get me to the tests I wanted. It takes practice and study.

About 3 weeks ago, I wrote a 75 minute test for my introduction to Financial Accounting class here at the University of Richmond. This test was the last one of the semester (prior to the final exam). By that time, I surely believed that everyone in the class had come to understand what I wanted them to accomplish. So, I wanted to test the material in such a way as to see how deeply they really did understand it.

I wrote 12 multiple-choice questions designed to take about 4-8 minutes each. For accounting tests that are often numerically based, I like multiple-choice questions because I can give 6-8 potential answers and, therefore, limit the possibility of a lucky guess.

In writing the first four of these questions, I tried to envision what an A student could figure out but that a B student could not. In other words, I wanted these four questions to show me the point between Good and Excellent. These were tough. For those questions, I really didn’t worry about the C, D, or F students. These questions were designed specifically to see if I could divide the A students from the B students.

The next four questions were created to divide the B students from the C students. They were easier questions but a student would have to have a Good level of understanding to figure them out. I knew the A students could work these questions and I knew the D students could not work them. These four were written to split the B students from the C students.

The final four questions were created to divide the C students from those with a lesser level of understanding. They were easier but still not easy. I wanted to see who deserved a C and who did not. If a student could get those four questions correct, that (to me) was average work. Those students deserved at least a C. But, if a student could not get those four, they really had failed to achieve a basic level of understanding worthy of a C.

Then, I shuffled the 12 questions and gave them to my students.

How did this test work out in practice? Pretty well. When it was over, I put the papers in order from best to worse to see if I was comfortable with the results. I genuinely felt like I could tell the A students from the B students from the C students from everyone else. And, isn’t that a primary reason for giving a test?

Okay, I had to create a pretty interesting curve to get the grades to line up with what I thought I was seeing. But I am the teacher for this class. That evaluation should be mine. I tell my students early in the semester that I do not grade on raw percentages. Getting 66 percent of the questions correct should not automatically be a D. In fact, in many cases, getting 66 percent of the questions correct might well be a very impressive performance. It depends on the difficulty of the questions.

After the first test, students will often ask something like, “I only got four questions out of 12 correct and I still got a C, how can that be?” My answer is simple “by answering those four questions, you have shown me how much you have understood and I thought that level of understanding deserved a C.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think professors who use publisher test banks are totally naive on how easy it is to get publisher test banks. Some who aren't so naive contend that learning from memorizing test banks is so tremendous that they want to give student A grades for memorizing a test bank. I think that's a cop out!

The following appears in RateMyProfessor for a professor that will remain unnamed ---
http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/

She is a really easy teacher-especially if you have old tests!! There are always repeat questions from the year before! It is always easy to see what will be on the test if you go to class...she always picks one question from each topic she talked about in class! You won't even need to buy the book bc everything is from her lecture!

She tries to indoctrinate all of her pupils with her liberal views on the the environment, business, and religion. She's patronizing, rude, her voice is annoying, and she NEVER speaks on econ. she pushes her views on us daily. cares more about the environment than econ and won't listen to other opinions. treats students like they're idiots.


"What Is the Secret to College Success? A smart roommate, says new research," by Sharique Hasan, Stanford Graduate School of Business, February 2014 --- Click Here
http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/sharique-hasan-why-smart-roommate-maybe-key-college-success?utm_source=Stanford+Business+Re%3AThink&utm_campaign=47b440d404-Stanford_Business_Re_Think_Issue_32_2_23_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0b5214e34b-47b440d404-70265733&ct=t%28Stanford_Business_Re_Think_Issue_32_2_23_2014%29

Jensen Comment
Personally I did not much like having a roommate in college although there were some years where I had at least one roommate or several housemates including a year that I lived (not very happily) in a sort-of Mickey Mouse national fraternity house before I changed universities. In my college days having a coed for a roommate was not an option unless you got married. Women were locked away in vaults after 10:00 p.m.

Roommates are both good and bad distractions even when they are good roommates. You can both teach to and learn from roommates. Roommates can teach you how to share both things and feelings. Roommates can be a bother if they're always wanting to borrow something like money or your car or beg you to essentially do their homework.

The important thing about having housemates is saying no when other things like studying and sleeping are more important. My fraternity house had one or more bridge tables going at almost any time of the day. I played a lot of bridge (sometimes poker) but carefully controlled my study and sleep time. I think some of my fraternity brothers flunked out of college because they mostly played cards and did social things (read that partying) most every day of every week. Of course in some cases those things may just have been excuses for young men who were going to flunk out of college no matter what stood between them and academic success.

One year five of us at Stanford shared a house in Palo Alto. That became a pain in the butt trying to prepare meals and keep the kitchen and family room and bathrooms clean. I preferred a private room in a dormitory where men and women (in separate wings) shared a central dining room with meals that I did not have to help prepare or clean up. Life was also easier when you could simply walk to other parts of the campus and not have to drive your car unless you had a hot date.

When you spend 10 full time years in college there are all sorts of things that become anecdotes to talk about in terms of roommates, fraternity brothers, dorm friends, classes, teachers, romances, and trips to the mountains, lakes, wineries, oceans, casinos, cities like San Francisco, farms, ranches, etc. In so many ways life is more full if you went to college rather than get married a few days after high school graduation and commenced working on a farm. Maybe this is why retired or semi-retired farmers are more inclined to have motor homes and bucket lists of things to see and do  --- sometimes with new roommates. Those of us that lived fuller lives when young are now content sitting at the computer in retirement communicating our memories on listservs.

In so many ways those of us who became professors never really ceased being students on campus. Spouses become roommates, and for most of us that's been good.


Comparing Colleges in the USA:  The President's College Scorecard

A Whitehouse Website That Does Work (almost entirely)
College Scorecard --- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/college-score-card

College Scorecards in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center make it easier for you to search for a college that is a good fit for you. You can use the College Scorecard to find out more about a college’s affordability and value so you can make more informed decisions about which college to attend.
 
To start, enter the name of a college of interest to you or select factors that are important in your college search. You can find scorecards for colleges based on factors such as programs or majors offered, location, and enrollment size

Jensen Comment
Note that at the above site you can also search for a college by name. Some data like average earnings of graduates is still being compiled by the Department of Education. Average earnings of graduates will probably be a misleading number. Firstly, the most successful graduates might track into other colleges to complete their undergraduate and/or graduate degrees. Hence feeder colleges may be given too much or too little credit in terms of earnings success.

Secondly, I think earnings "averages" are misleading statistics unless they are accompanied by analysis of standard deviations and kurtosis.

Thirdly, high earnings averages cannot all be attributed to where a degree is earned. For example, students with stellar SAT scores on average are more likely to have higher earnings no matter where they got their undergraduate engineering, science, business or whatever baccalaureate degrees. Students with low SAT scores may be likely to earn less in lower paying jobs like elementary school teaching because of lower academic abilities as opposed to their particular alma maters. And yes I know that some high SAT graduates who might have made it to medical school teach first graders because they are dedicated to teaching and/or want summers free to raise their own children.

Fourthly, a high percentage of college graduates become parents and full-time homemakers. This might distort earnings statistics unless somehow factored out of the calculation of averages. However, it's difficult to factor out in many instances. For example, CPA firms now hire more female than male graduates from accounting masters degree programs (undergraduates are not allowed to take the CPA examination). This will raise a college's average earnings for graduates before a significant number of those women drop out of the workforce --- often for only a decade or two before somehow returning to their accounting careers. In other instances the male spouses they married in college drop out of their jobs to be homemakers so their traveling wives can carry on as auditors and tax accountants and accounting information systems experts. My point is that those starting salaries are not necessarily for lifelong continuous careers for many mothers or sometimes fathers.

And there's the problem of debt burdens. Last night our furnace quit when the temperature was headed toward an 10 degree night. We recently changed plumbing companies, and a very nice and very skilled young man arrived on a Sunday night (right after the Patriots clobbered the Steelers) to instantly identify the part (the controller) that failed on our furnace. He had a replacement part in his truck.

In the meantime our conversation drifted to the topic of student loans. We mentioned how our son and his wife both amassed over $60,000 in debt and had to remain at their old jobs after graduating from college --- meaning their college degrees burdened with debt did not help them in the least to find better jobs.

Our new plumber then explained how his wife amassed a student debt of $88,000 which he's now paying off. She has two masters degrees and cannot find a job. One of these degrees is in political science and the other is in international relations. If she moved to Boston she could possibly find work, but the last thing either of them want is to leave the White Mountains to live in Boston or any other mega city.

I think what he was saying is that before taking on such heavy student debt she should perhaps have done better planning about where she wanted to live --- or more importantly where she did not want to live.

"Prospective Adult Students Miss Key Data on College Options, Report Says," by Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 4, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Prospective-Adult-Students/142815/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Most adults who are considering college—either completing a degree or starting one for the first time—aren't tapping into the wealth of information about costs, graduation rates, and job prospects, and as a result they aren't finding the right fit, according to a report released on Monday by Public Agenda, a nonprofit research group.

The report, "Is College Worth It for Me? How Adults Without Degrees Think About Going (Back) to School," says that most prospective adult students worry about the cost of college and how to balance studies with families and careers. They're looking for colleges with practical programs that will help them land jobs, as well as personalized support from caring faculty members and advisers.

The report, which was financially supported by the Kresge Foundation, was based on a survey this past spring of 803 adults, ages 18 to 55, who lack college degrees but expect to start earning a certificate or degree in the next two years. The group, which excludes students coming straight from high school, accounts for about a third of first-time college students in the United States, according to the report.

The survey found that adults ages 25 to 55 have more doubts about going to college and are less likely to have concrete plans. Those under 25 worry more about whether they can succeed at college and land a job afterward.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's career helpers (and yes I know education is important for reasons other than a career) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers


"The Myth of Excess Enrollments in College-Becker," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The Becker-Posner Blog, February 17, 2014 ---
http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2014/02/the-myth-of-excess-enrollments-in-college-becker.html "

"Excess Enrollments in College? Could Be," Judge Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, February 17, 2014 --- 
http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2014/02/excess-enrollments-in-college-could-be-posner.html

Jensen Comment
Shame on Gary Becker. He fails to warn that correlation is not causation. In particular, college graduates probably would have higher average earnings if they did not go to college. Firstly, they are often the most motivated students with high work ethic while still in high school. On average they have higher intelligence and aptitude however measured.

Secondly, many of them come from higher income families that can give a boost to income success, including helping them start small businesses.

Thirdly, some of the highest paying professions make college graduation (and often graduate degrees) necessary entry-level conditions. Even the worst colleges may not prevent a graduate from having a high GMAT, MCAT, or LSAT score that overcomes a lousy college education for great self-learners.

Judge Posner raises some other objections.

Personal Note
We have a son and his wife that went deeply in debt to graduate from college (he in business and she in law enforcement). They did this at a time when both became unemployed. They had high grades, but when they struggled to find employment they both ended up in jobs that do not require any college education.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


SAT Test --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAT_test

ACT Test --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACT_test

In the USA, how does any selected state compare with other selected states on SAT performance and career readiness? ---
The 2013 SAT Report on College & Career Readiness, The College Board, 2013 ---
http://research.collegeboard.org/programs/sat/data/cb-seniors-2013

National Center for Education Statistics --- http://nces.ed.gov/

Jensen Comment
Much of the report focuses on averages. Averages can be misleading without accompanying information on standard deviations and kurtosis and sample sizes. The biggest worry with means is the impact of outliers.

Note the the ACT test is generally assumed to be somewhat easier such that many worried students opt for the ACT in place of the SAT. Elite colleges seldom admit to bias, but in my opinion the SAT may be more important for elite college admission unless there are intervening factors such as affirmative action factors.

Bob Jensen's threads on sources of economic and other data ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


"The Myth of Excess Enrollments in College-Becker," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The Becker-Posner Blog, February 17, 2014 ---
http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2014/02/the-myth-of-excess-enrollments-in-college-becker.html "

"Excess Enrollments in College? Could Be," Judge Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, February 17, 2014 --- 
http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2014/02/excess-enrollments-in-college-could-be-posner.html

Jensen Comment
Shame on Gary Becker. He fails to warn that correlation is not causation. In particular, college graduates probably would have higher average earnings if they did not go to college. Firstly, they are often the most motivated students with high work ethic while still in high school. On average they have higher intelligence and aptitude however measured.

Secondly, many of them come from higher income families that can give a boost to income success, including helping them start small businesses.

Thirdly, some of the highest paying professions make college graduation (and often graduate degrees) necessary entry-level conditions. Even the worst colleges may not prevent a graduate from having a high GMAT, MCAT, or LSAT score that overcomes a lousy college education for great self-learners.

Judge Posner raises some other objections.

Personal Note
We have a son and his wife that went deeply in debt to graduate from college (he in business and she in law enforcement). They did this at a time when both became unemployed. They had high grades, but when they struggled to find employment they both ended up in jobs that do not require any college education.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


"The Man Who Would Overthrow Harvard:  Can the Minerva Project do to Ivy League universities what Amazon did to Borders?" by Matthew Kaminski, The Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2013 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324110404578627712224845012.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

'If you think as we do," says Ben Nelson, "Harvard's the world's most valuable brand." He doesn't mean only in higher education. "Our goal is to displace Harvard. We're perfectly happy for Harvard to be the world's second most valuable brand."

Listening to Mr. Nelson at his spare offices in San Francisco's Mid-Market, a couple of adjectives come to mind. Generous (to Harvard) isn't one. Nor immodest. Here's a big talker with bold ideas. Crazy, too, in that Silicon Valley take-a-flier way.

Mr. Nelson founded and runs the Minerva Project. The school touts itself as the first elite—make that "e-lite"—American university to open in 100 years. Or it will be when the first class enters in 2015. Mr. Nelson, who previously led the online photo-sharing company Snapfish, wants to topple and transcend the American academy's economic and educational model.

And why not? Higher education's product-delivery system—a professor droning to a limited number of students in a room—dates back a thousand years. The industry's physical plant (dorms, classrooms, gyms) often a century or more. Its most expensive employees, tenured faculty, can't be fired. The price of its product (tuition) and operating costs have outpaced inflation by multiples.

In similar circumstances, Wal-Mart took out America's small retail chains. Amazon crushed Borders. And Harvard will have to make way for . . . Minerva? "There is no better case to do something that I can think of in the history of the world," says Mr. Nelson.

Some people regarded as serious folks have bought the pitch, superlatives and all. Larry Summers, the former Harvard president, agreed to be the chairman of Minerva's advisory board. Former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who led the New School in New York from 2001-10, heads the fundraising arm. Stephen Kosslyn, previously dean of social sciences at Harvard, is Minerva's founding academic dean. Benchmark, a venture-capital firm that financed eBay and Twitter, last year made its largest-ever seed investment, $25 million, in Minerva.

Mr. Nelson calls Minerva a "reimagined university." Sure, there will be majors and semesters. Admission requirements will be "extraordinarily high," he says, as at the Ivies. Students will live together and attend classes. And one day, an alumni network will grease job and social opportunities.

But Minerva will have no hallowed halls, manicured lawns or campus. No fraternities or sports teams. Students will spend their first year in San Francisco, living together in a residence hall. If they need to borrow books, says Mr. Nelson, the city has a great public library. Who needs a student center with all of the coffee shops around?

Each of the next six semesters students will move, in cohorts of about 150, from one city to another. Residences and high-tech classrooms will be set up in the likes of São Paulo, London or Singapore—details to come. Professors get flexible, short-term contracts, but no tenure. Minerva is for-profit.

The business buzzword here is the "unbundling" of higher education, or disaggregation. Since the founding of Oxford in the 12th century, universities, as the word implies, have tried to offer everything in one package and one place. In the world of the Web and Google, physical barriers are disappearing.

Mr. Nelson wants to bring this technological disruption to the top end of the educational food chain, and at first look Minerva's sticker price stands out. Freed of the costs of athletics, the band and other pricey campus amenities, a degree will cost less than half the average top-end private education, which is now over $50,000 a year with room and board.

His larger conceit, inspired or outlandish, is to junk centuries of tradition and press the reset button on the university experience. Mr. Nelson offers a fully-formed educational philosophy with a practiced salesman's confidence. At Minerva, introductory courses are out. For Econ or Psych 101, buy some books or sign up for one of the MOOCs—as in massive open online course—on the Web.

"Too much of undergrad education is the dissemination of basic information that at that level of student you should expect them to know," he says. "We just feel we don't have any moral standing to charge you thousands of dollars for learning what you can learn for free." Legacy universities move students to their degrees through packed, required lecture classes, which Mr. Nelson calls their "profit pools." And yes, he adds, all schools are about raking in money, even if most don't pay taxes by claiming "not-for-profit" status.

In the Nelson dream curriculum, all incoming students take the same four yearlong courses. His common core won't make students read the Great Books. "We want to teach you how to think," Mr. Nelson says. A course on "multimodal communications" works on practical writing and debating skills. A "formal systems class" goes over "everything from logic to advanced stats, Big Data, to formal reasoning, to behavioral econ."

Over the next three years, Minervaites take small, discussion-heavy seminars via video from their various locations. Classes will be taped and used to critique not only how students handle the subjects, but also how they apply the reasoning and communication skills taught freshman year.

The idea for Minerva grew out of Mr. Nelson's undergraduate experience. As a freshman at Penn's Wharton School, he took a course on the history of the university. "I realized that what the universities are supposed to be is not what they are," he says. "That the concept of universities taking great raw material and teaching how it can have positive impact in the world is gone."

Undergraduates come in, take some random classes, settle on a major and "oh yeah, you're going to pick up critical thinking in the process by accident." By his senior year, Mr. Nelson was pushing for curriculum changes as chairman of a student committee on undergraduate education. As a 21-year-old, he designed Penn's still popular program of preceptorials, which are small, short-term and noncredit seminars offered "for the sake of learning."

A Wharton bachelor's degree in economics took him to consulting at Dean & Company in Washington, D.C. "My first six months, what did the consulting firm teach me? They didn't teach me the basics of how they do business. They taught me how to think. I didn't know how to check my work. I didn't think about order of magnitude. I didn't have habits of mind that a liberal arts education was supposed to have given me. And not only did I not have it, none of my other colleagues had it—people who had graduated from Princeton and Harvard and Yale."

After joining Snapfish in 1999 and leaving as CEO a little over a decade later, Mr. Nelson, who is 38 and married with a daughter, wrote and shopped around his business plan for Minerva. He says he considered partnering with existing institutions, but decided to build a 21st-century school from scratch to offer the "ideal education."

Ideas like his are not in short supply. The catch? No one has found a way to make a steady profit on an ed-tech startup.

Going back to the Internet bubble of the late 1990s, many have tried. With $120 million from Michael Milken and Larry Ellison and a board of big names, UNext launched in 1997 as a Web-based graduate university. It failed. Fathom, a for-profit online-learning venture founded by Columbia University in 2000, closed three years and several million in losses later.

In the current surge of investment in new educational companies, Minerva has no direct competitor but plenty of company. Udacity and Coursera, two prominent startups, are looking to monetize the proliferation of MOOCs. UniversityNow offers cheap, practical courses online and at brick-and-mortar locations in the Bay Area. And so on.

Education accounts for 8.7% of the U.S. economy, but less than 1% of all venture capital transactions in 1995-2011 and only 0.3% of total public market capitalization, as of 2011, according to Global Silicon Valley Advisors. The group predicts the market for postsecondary "eLearning" and for-profit universities will grow by double digits annually over the next five years.

Mr. Nelson's vision will be beside the point if Minerva fails to attract paying students. He makes a straightforward business case. Harvard and other top schools take only a small share of qualified applicants, and for 30 years have refused to meet growing demand. A new global middle class—some 1.5 billion people—desperately wants an elite American education. "The existing model doesn't work," he says. "The market was begging for a solution."

Audacious ideas are easy to pick apart, and Mr. Nelson's are no exception. He repeats "elite" to describe a startup without a single student. Reputations are usually earned over time. Many prospective students dream of Harvard for the brand. Even at around $20,000 a year—no bargain for middle-class Chinese 18-year-olds—Minerva won't soon have the Harvard cachet.

Any education startup must also brave a regulatory swamp. By opting out of government-backed student-loan programs, Minerva won't have to abide by many of the federal rules for so-called Title IV (of the relevant 1965 law) schools. Americans won't have an edge in admissions and Minerva expects most students will come from abroad.

But Mr. Nelson wants to be part of the club whose price of entry is accreditation. A cartel sanctioned by Congress places a high barrier to entry for newcomers, stifling educational innovation. Startups face a long slog to get accredited. So last month Minerva chose to partner with the Keck Graduate Institute, or KGI, a small school founded in 1997 that is part of the Claremont consortium of colleges near Los Angeles. Minerva degrees will now have, pending the regulatory OK, an accreditor's seal of approval.

With this move, Mr. Nelson eased one headache and raised some questions. KGI offers only graduate degrees in life sciences, an unusual fit for an undergraduate startup. KGI isn't a recognizable international name for Minerva to market. Yet Mr. Nelson says the schools are "completely complementary" and the deal represents "zero change in our mission."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The Minerva Project might lay claim to "overthrowing Harvard," but at best it might overthrow only a small part of Harvard in terms of attracting students who prefer to study in cities around the world. Will Minerva overthrow the Harvard Medical School? Yeah right! Will Minerva overthrow the billions of dollars in research laboratories on the Harvard campus? Yeah right! Is Minerva a better choice than Harvard for natural science, nursing, pharmacy, and premed students? I doubt it!

Is Minerva better for humanities, social science, and business majors? Possibly in isolated instances. But there may be gaps in curricula that are important prerequisites for graduate school studies. Students intent on becoming CPAs in five years should never choose Minerva simply because Minerva does not and probably will never offer the prerequisite courses required for taking the CPA examination after five full-time years of study. Of course these same students should never choose Harvard since Harvard has no undergraduate accounting program feeding into its accounting Ph.D. program.

Will Minerva displace the networking advantages to students of having the world's most successful, powerful, and well-connected Harvard alumni base? For example, many new graduates of the Harvard Business School find that networking with HBS alumni, especially on Wall Street, is more valuable than what was learned in HBS classes.

Minerva will never overthrow Harvard, although it may steal away a miniscule number top first-year prospects. But will Harvard admissions officers lose any sleep over these losses? Yeah right!

Lastly, if Harvard ever pours billions into a program to compete with Minerva it will be no contest.


Universities Approaching a Financial Cliff

The Almanac of Higher Education 2013-14 from the Chronicle of Higher Education ---
https://www.chronicle-store.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=80261&WG=350

Digital Edition $6.95

Print Edition $19.00

 

"One-Third of Colleges Are on Financially 'Unsustainable' Path, Bain Study Finds," by Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/One-Third-of-Colleges-Are-on/133095/

An analysis of nearly 1,700 public and private nonprofit colleges being unveiled this week by Bain & Company finds that one-third of the institutions have been on an "unsustainable financial path" in recent years, and an additional 28 percent are "at risk of slipping into an unsustainable condition."

At a surprising number of colleges, "operating expenses are getting higher" and "they're running out of cash to cover it," says Jeff Denneen, a Bain partner who heads the consulting firm's American higher-education practice.

Bain and Sterling Partners, a private-equity firm, collaborated on the project. They have published their findings on a publicly available interactive Web site that allows users to type in the name of a college and see where it falls on the analysts' nine-part matrix.

The methodology is based on just two financial ratios, and they produce some findings that may seem incongruous with conventional views on colleges' financial standing. The tool classifies wealthy institutions such as Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton Universities as being on an "unsustainable path" alongside tuition-dependent institutions like Central Bible College, in Missouri. But the very public nature of the findings is sure to bring some attention to the analysis. Bain and Sterling provided advance copies of the analysis and the tool to The Wall Street Journal and The Chronicle.

Overly Alarmist?

Mr. Denneen allows that the analysis may be skewed, particularly for the wealthiest institutions, because the period studied, 2005 through 2010, concludes with a fiscal year in which endowments were hit with record losses. One of the two ratios used in the analysis, called the "equity ratio," is based on the change in value of an institution's assets, including its endowment, relative to its liabilities. Since 2010 the value of many endowments has rebounded. The other, the "expense ratio," looks at changes in expenses as a percentage of revenue.

Still, Bain and Sterling maintain the analysis sends a sobering signal, even if some might see the findings as overly alarmist and self-serving. "Financial statements have gotten significantly weaker in a very short period of time," says Tom Dretler, an executive in residence at Sterling, a firm that is a major investor in Laureate Education Inc. and other educational companies.

Besides the credit ratings and reports produced by bond-rating agencies and the Education Department's controversial annual listing of colleges' financial-responsibility scores, there are few public sources of information on colleges' financial health.

The new analytic tool classifies colleges based on whether their expense ratios increased or their equity ratios decreased, giving the harshest rankings to those with changes of more than 5 percent, moderate rankings to those with changes of 0 to 5 percent, and good rankings to those where expense ratios didn't increase and equity ratios didn't decrease.

For example, it lists Bennington and Rollins Colleges along with California State University-Channel Islands and Georgia Southwestern State University as being on an unsustainable financial path for several years because their ratios of expenses relative to revenues spiked up while their equity ratios fell. (For all four, the expense ratio increased by 25 percent or more.) Hundreds of other colleges were classified with that same designation if only one of the ratios changed by more than 5 percent.Higher-education leaders who say the Education Department's scores can be a flawed way of measuring a college's health say the Bain-Sterling analysis may suffer the same weaknesses.

"Places that are viewed by some as having an unsustainable way of operating may not be," says Richard H. Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges. Analyses like this, which rely on data from a particular period of time, he says, "may not tell the full story."

Susan M. Menditto, an expert on accounting matters at the National Association of College and University Business Officers, notes that even the way colleges account for their endowments—in some cases counting restricted gifts, in other cases not—might not be reflected in the analysis.

Mr. Denneen says the simple tool serves a different purpose than does a report on the creditworthiness of an institution from Moody's Investors Service, which uses 36 criteria to formulate its ratings. "This does provide a useful lens," he says. "This is really a guidepost for how hard you ought to be thinking about pushing on your financial model."

Disconcerting Trends

Along with the tool, Bain and Sterling are publishing a paper, "The Financially Sustainable University." It is their take on what they view as several disconcerting trends in spending, and it puts the two firms among an ever-growing list of analysts, pundits, and policy makers who have been calling on higher-education leaders to rethink how colleges are administered. (Jeffrey J. Selingo, The Chronicle's vice president and editorial director, contributed to the paper.)

The paper covers familiar ground, although some of the fresher recommendations and findings could resonate with the college administrators, campus leaders, and trustees who are its intended audience. Most notably, it suggests that colleges tap into their real estate, energy plants, and other capital assets more creatively to generate revenue for new academic investments, and it concludes that colleges have too many middle managers.

While it fails to make distinctions between different kinds of colleges, as do other respected analyses such as those of the Delta Project on College Costs, the Bain-Sterling paper shows that, over all, the growth in colleges' debt and the rate of spending on interest payments and on plant, property, and equipment rose far faster than did spending on instruction from 2002 to 2008 for the colleges studied.

It says long-term debt increased by 11.7 percent, interest expenses by 9.2 percent, and property, plant, and equipment expenses by 6.6 percent. Meanwhile, instruction expenses increased by just 4.8 percent.

Continued in article


"(More) Clarity on Adjunct Hours (including healthcare insurance guidance)," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, February 11, 2014 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/02/11/irs-guidance-health-care-law-clarifies-formula-counting-adjunct-hours 

The Obama administration on Monday released its long-awaited final guidance on how colleges should calculate the hours of adjunct instructors and student workers for purposes of the new federal mandate that employers provide health insurance to those who work more than 30 hours a week.

The upshot of the complicated regulation from the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service:

Adjunct Hours

The issues of how to count the hours of part-time instructors and student workers have consumed college officials and faculty groups for much of the last 18 months, ever since it became clear that the Affordable Care Act definition of a full-time employee as working 30 hours or more a week was leading some colleges to limit the hours of adjunct faculty members, so they fell short of the 30-hour mark.

All that the government said in its initial January 2013 guidance about the employer mandate under the health care law was that colleges needed to use "reasonable" methods to count adjuncts' hours.

In federal testimony and at conferences, college administrators and faculty advocates have debated the appropriate definition of "reasonable," with a focus on calculating the time that instructors spend on their jobs beyond their actual hours in the classroom. The American Council on Education, higher education's umbrella association and main lobbying group, proposed a ratio of one hour of outside time for each classroom hour, while many faculty advocates have pushed for a ratio of 2:1 or more.

In its new regulation, published as part of a complex 227-page final rule in today's Federal Register, the government said that it would be too complex to count actual hours, and it rejected proposals to treat instructors as full time only if they were assigned course loads equivalent or close to those of full-time instructors at their institutions.

The administration continued to say that given the "wide variation of work patterns, duties, and circumstances" at different colleges, institutions should continue to have a good deal of flexibility in defining what counts as "reasonable."

But in the "interest of predictability and ease of administration in crediting hours of service for purposes" of the health care law, the agencies said, the regulation establishes as "one (but not the only)" reasonable definition a count of 2.25 hours of work for each classroom hour taught. "[I]n addition to crediting an hour of service for each hour teaching in the classroom, this method would credit an additional 1 ¼ hours service" for "related tasks such as class preparation and grading of examinations or papers."

Separately, instructors should also be credited with an hour of service for each additional hour they spend outside of the classroom on duties they are "required to perform (such as required office hours or required attendance at faculty meetings," the regulation states.

The guidance states that the ratio -- which would essentially serve as a "safe harbor" under which institutions can qualify under the law -- "may be relied upon at least through the end of 2015."

By choosing a ratio of 1 ¼ hours of additional service for each classroom hour, the government comes slightly higher than the 1:1 ratio that the higher education associations sought, and quite a bit lower than the ratio of 2:1 or higher promoted by many faculty advocates.

David S. Baime, vice president for government relations and research at the American Association of Community Colleges, praised administration officials for paying "very close attention to the institutional and financial realities that our colleges are facing." He said community colleges appreciated both the continued flexibility and the setting of a safe harbor under which, in the association's initial analysis, "the vast majority of our adjunct faculty, under currernt teaching loads, would not be qualifying" for health insurance, Baime said.

Maria Maisto, president and executive director of New Faculty Majority, said she, too, appreciated that the administration had left lots of room for flexibility, which she hoped would "force a lot of really interesting conversations" on campuses. "I think most people would agree that it is reasonable for employers to actually talk to and involve employees in thinking about how those workers can, and do, perform their work most effectively, and not to simply mandate from above how that work is understood and performed," she added.

Maisto said she was also pleased that the administration appeared to have set the floor for a "reasonable" ratio above the lower 1:1 ratio that the college associations were suggesting.

She envisioned a good deal of confusion on the provision granting an hour of time for all required non-teaching activities, however, noting that her own contract at Cuyahoga Community College requires her to participate in professional development and to respond to students' questions and requests on an "as-needed basis." "How does this regulation account for requirements like that?" she wondered.

Student Workers

The adjunct issue has received most of the higher education-related attention about the employer mandate, but the final regulations have significant implications for campuses that employ significant numbers of undergraduate and graduate students, too.

Higher education groups had urged the administration to exempt student workers altogether from the employer mandate, given that many of them would be covered under the health care law's policies governing student health plans and coverage for those up to age 26 on their parents' policies. The groups also requested an exemption for students involved in work study programs.

The updated guidance grants the latter exemption for hours of work study, given, it states, that "the federal work study program, as a federally subsidized financial aid program, is distinct from traditional employment in that its primary purpose is to advance education."

But all other student work for an educational organization must be counted as hours of service for purposes of the health care mandate, Treasury and IRS said.

Steven Bloom, director of federal relations at the American Council on Education, said higher ed groups thought it made sense to exempt graduate student workers, given that their work as teaching assistants and lab workers is generally treated as part of their education under the Fair Labor Standards Act. He said the new guidance is likely to force institutions that employ graduate students as TAs or research assistants -- and don't currently offer them health insurance as part of their graduate student packages -- to start counting their hours.

The guidance also includes a potentially confounding approach to students who work as interns. The new regulation exempts work conducted by interns as hours of service under the health care employer mandate -- but only "to the extent that the student does not receive, and is not entitled to, payment in connection with those hours."

Continued in article

Jensen Question
How should a university account for a doctoral student who happens to teach 33 hours one semester and works less than 30 hours in all other semesters of the doctoral program? Is the university required to provide health coverage for zero, one, or more years while the student is a full time student in the doctoral program? I assume the university must provide health insurance for one year, but I'm no authority on this issue.

There also is a huge difference in hours of work required for teaching. A doctoral student who only teaches recitation sections under a professor who provides the lecture sections, writes the syllabus, writes the examinations, and essentially owns a course versus a doctoral student who owns only section of governmental accounting with no supervision from a senior instructor.

When I was Chair of the Accounting Department at Florida State University, the wife (Debbie) of one of our doctoral students (Chuck Mulford) had total control of the lectures and 33 recitation sections of basic accounting each semester where most of the recitation "instructors" were accounting doctoral students. Debbie had her CPA license and a masters degree, but she was not a doctoral student. She was very good at this job. The recitation instructors had almost no preparation time and did not design or grade the examinations. They did not own all 33 sections like Debbie owned all 33 sections. It would be a bit unfair to give the recitation instructors as much pay for preparation as the selected doctoral students who taught more advanced courses and essentially owned those courses in terms of classroom preparation and examinations.

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers

Bob Jensen's threads on controversies in higher education (including use of adjuncts) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


At 3,100 Colleges and Universities
Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2013-14 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/TuitionFees-1998-99/142511/


An Instructional Teaching Case for Accounting Instructors

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on March 8, 2013

Public-University Costs Soar
by: Ruth Simon
Mar 06, 2013
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com WSJ Video
 

TOPICS: Financial Ratios, Governmental Accounting

SUMMARY: The article describes the current state of affairs at public institutions of higher education with respect to funding from the state, tuition increases, and some university options to solve the issues that they face. These concerns will be of interest to students generally. The accounting focus in best presented in the related video: return on investment in education.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article may be used in any accounting class introducing return on investment. It also may be used in a class covering topics in governmental or not-for-profit entities to discuss the current economic status of public universities. By definition, the state universities that are the focus of the article will use governmental accounting requirements.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Summarize the points in the article about factors currently affecting the revenues to state universities.

2. (Introductory) How are the current issues facing state universities affecting their students and prospective students?

3. (Advanced) Define the term ROI (return on investment) and state how it is calculated.

4. (Advanced) Based on the discussion in the related video, how is the concept of ROI applied to assess a student's investment in college tuition and other costs?

5. (Advanced) What return measure is proposed in the video for assessing a student' return on investment in his/her higher education? What are some weaknesses of that measure? Can you propose any other measure that would address those weaknesses?
 

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

 

"Public-University Costs Soar," by Ruth Simon, The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2013 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324539404578342750480773548.html?mod=djem_jiewr_AC_domainid

Tuition at public colleges jumped last year by a record amount as state governments slashed school funding, the latest sign of strain in the U.S. higher-education sector.

The average amount that students at public colleges paid in tuition, after state and institutional grants and scholarships, climbed 8.3% last year, the biggest jump on record, according to a report based on data from all public institutions in all 50 states to be released Wednesday by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Median tuition rose 4.5%.

The average state funding per student, meanwhile, fell by more than 9%, the steepest drop since the group began collecting the data in 1980. Median funding fell 10%. During the recession, states began cutting support for higher education, and the trend accelerated last year.

Rising tuition costs are "another example of the bind that public institutions are in," said Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. "Unless we make public funding a higher priority, the funds are going to have to come from parents and students."

To be sure, last year's decline in state funding nationwide was driven heavily by cutbacks in California, which has the largest state system and lashed funding per student by 14.3% last year. Not including California, per-student funding fell 8% and tuition rose 6.3%.

Paul Lingenfelter, president of the higher-education association, noted that 31 states increased higher education funding in 2012-13, and a number have proposed an increase for the coming year as well.

Kaylen Hendrick, a senior at Florida State University in Tallahassee majoring in environmental studies, is graduating in three years rather than four in order to keep costs and borrowing down.

"Growing up, I thought if I made good enough grades, that college would not be a problem," said Ms. Hendrick, 20 years old, who has taken out about $15,000 in student loans and works 20 hours a week to pay for college.

State funding for the State University System of Florida has declined by more than $1 billion over the last six years, even as enrollment has grown by more than 35,000 students, a spokeswoman for the system said.

Nationally, average tuition, after institutional grants and scholarships, increased to $5,189 in 2011-12 from $4,793 a year earlier, according to the report, which is based on the 2011-12 academic year and adjusted its figures for inflation. Tuition revenue accounted for a record 47% of educational funding at public colleges last year.

The price increases at state schools come at a time when many private colleges are reining in price increases and awarding generous scholarships to attract families worried about rising debt loads and a still shaky job market. In some cases, state tuition has risen so much that costs approach what students might pay at a private college.

At Pennsylvania State University's main campus, in-state undergraduate students receiving financial aid paid an average of $21,342 after grants and scholarships in 2010-11, according to the U.S. Department of Education, up 12% since 2008-09. State funding now accounts for less than 14% of the school's educational budget, down from as much as 62% in 1970-71. "When the appropriation is cut, tuition rises," a Penn State spokeswoman said.

In addition to raising tuition, many states have pared spending. The California State University System declined to take the vast majority of transfer students this spring and has turned away about 20,000 students who qualified for admission during each of the past three years, a spokesman said.

In Kentucky, higher tuition prices make up for just half of the loss in state funding, said Robert King, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, which oversees the state's system.

Continued in article


"Universities Pile on Faculty Perks as Student Costs Grow," by John Hechinger, Bloomberg, March 12, 2013 ---
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-12/universities-pile-on-faculty-perks-as-student-costs-grow.html

The University of Chicago paid James Madara $2.5 million in severance when he stepped down in 2009 as medical dean and hospital chief. Madara, who remained on the faculty, later joined the American Medical Association.

Congress is taking a look at such payments following disclosures that Jacob Lew, the new U.S. Treasury secretary, received a $685,000 bonus when he left New York University and had $1.5 million in housing loans from the school.

Harvard and Stanford universities also offer real-estate loans with sweet terms, records show. While the amounts are small relative to university budgets, the perks insulate faculty and administrators from the costs upsetting many middle-class families, said Jonathan Robe, a research fellow at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in Washington.

“It certainly gives the public a clear example of how out of touch some universities are,” Robe said. “Parents will think, ‘Here I am scraping by, raiding my retirement plan to pay for college. Why are they making me do this just to enrich these executives?’"

Congress and President Barack Obama have been pushing colleges to control tuition and other costs, which can exceed $60,000 a year at a private school. In a weak job market, students are struggling to pay off $1 trillion in education loans. ‘Super Severance’

Exit bonuses are becoming more common among senior executives at large colleges in major cities, said Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, a former president of George Washington University who does executive-pay consulting.

Typically, such “super severance” amounts to one to three times an administrator’s annual salary and bonus, according to Charles Skorina, founder and president of an executive-search firm in San Francisco who specializes in placing finance executives at universities.

Especially at universities on the East and West coasts, where real estate expenses and other costs are high, trustees including Wall Street executives are eager to pay their presidents top dollar, Skorina said. They look for ways to pay additional compensation that doesn’t show up in annual surveys that can anger donors and employees, he said.

“You look for sweeteners, the car and driver, the house and then a back-end exit bonus,” said Skorina. “An exit bonus is palatable because until the guy leaves you don’t have to deal with it.” Attract, Retain

Colleges say they must offer compensation packages to win over talented executives and faculty. Harvard and Stanford said they keep tuition affordable with generous financial-aid programs. High-level administrators focus on efficiency and financial health, said NYU spokesman John Beckman.

“When they have been successful -- as was the case with Jack Lew -- the benefit to the university can range in the tens of millions of dollars,” Beckman said in an e-mail.

At the University of Chicago, Madara’s severance payment, including deferred compensation and retirement benefits, reflected money earned over the course of his career, part of a package typical of executives at peer institutions, according to Steve Kloehn, the school’s spokesman.

Colleges must “attract and retain the best leaders we can,” Kloehn said. Madara, 62, who became chief executive officer of the AMA in 2011, declined to comment.

In terms of favorable loan deals for faculty and some administrators, Harvard and Stanford are among the biggest players. As at NYU, the colleges said they do so because of high real estate costs. ‘Shared Appreciation’

Along with low-interest home loans, Harvard offers “shared-appreciation” mortgages to tenured faculty and some administrators. These loans, which cover only a portion of a property’s purchase price, don’t have monthly payments or set interest, though give Harvard a share in any gain in value when the property is sold. Stanford and NYU have similar programs.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
When it comes to "golden parachutes" and other severance deals in higher education, much of which depends upon cost and volume. If these deals are only given to selected administrators, faculty might object politically, but the incremental cost passed along to students my be negligible.

I know of a university that makes a deal to all employees aged 62 and over. They can get a severance of three years at full pay plus all medical coverage and TIAA-CREF contributions for those three years. The reason ostensibly is so that new blood and new vibrancy can be brought into a university, especially a university where nearly all the tenure slots are filled until somebody finally retires or dies. But the cost of this program is immense if the university is very top heavy with most of its employees not far away from 62 years of age.

The above 62-years of age program almost certainly is politically correct with faculty as long as early retirement is voluntary. However, it might be a very, very costly plan with significant costs that are passed along to students.

Of course there are many other costly perks that go to some or all administrators and/or faculty. It's not uncommon for Ivy League universities to give $10,000 to $30,000 annual expense accounts on top of salary for research purposes, the kind of grants that might allow for summers in Europe doing research. Perhaps these are necessary in some disciplines like accounting in order to be competitive in hiring the top faculty prospects. Natural scientists might object, however, if they have to raise their own expense money from grants outside the university when such grants are taken out of overhead for accounting researchers unable to get outside research grants. There's less objection if accounting research is supported by accounting firm donations to accounting schools and departments.

 

 


Adjuncts Look for Strength in Numbers:  The new majority generates a shift in academic culture," by Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 5, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Adjuncts-Build-Strength-in/135520/

Caroline W. Meline stood at the front of her classroom one day last month and began reading from a red paperback, Karl Marx: Selected Writings. A few sentences in, she paused and closed her eyes.

"I just have to catch my breath," she told her students.

She was 15 minutes into a philosophy class at Saint Joseph's University. "This is my third class of the day. I need to regroup my energy."

The breakneck pace that drove Ms. Meline to take the brief respite is, for her, the cost of being an adjunct here, where two-thirds of the faculty is now off the tenure track.

In the philosophy department, adjunct faculty are teaching close to half of the 82 class sections offered this semester. "We do a lot of teaching," says Ms. Meline, who earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from Temple University in 2004 and has taught at Saint Joseph's for eight and a half years. "That's just the way it is in our department."

That's the way it is in many departments at Saint Joseph's, where Ms. Meline is one of more than 400 part-time faculty members. At the private, Jesuit institution, the number of nontenure-track faculty members has more than doubled over the past decade. Ten years ago, less than half of the university's faculty was off the tenure track.

Across the nation, colleges have undergone similar shifts in whom they employ to teach students. About 70 percent of the instructional faculty at all colleges is off the tenure track, whether as part-timers or full-timers, a proportion that has crept higher over the past decade.

Change has occurred more rapidly on some campuses, particularly at regionally oriented public institutions and mid-tier private universities like Saint Joseph's.

Community colleges have traditionally relied heavily on nontenure-track faculty, with 85 percent of their instructors in 2010 not eligible for tenure, according to the most recent federal data available. But the trend has been increasingly evident at four-year institutions, where nearly 64 percent of the instructional faculty isn't eligible for tenure.

At places like Eastern Washington University and Oakland University, part-time faculty and professors who worked full time but off the tenure track made up less than half of the instructional faculty a decade ago. Now nontenure-track faculty make up roughly 55 percent at both institutions.

The University of San Francisco saw the proportion of its nontenure-track faculty rise to 67 percent from 57 percent. At Kean University, nontenure-track professors now account for 78 percent of the faculty, up from 63 percent.

Not Sustainable

When professors in positions that offer no chance of earning tenure begin to stack the faculty, campus dynamics start to change. Growing numbers of adjuncts make themselves more visible. They push for roles in governance, better pay and working conditions, and recognition for work well done. And they do so at institutions where tenured faculty, although now in the minority, are still the power brokers.

The changing nature of the professoriate affects tenured and tenure-track faculty, too. Having more adjuncts doesn't provide the help they need to run their departments, leaving them with more service work and seats on more committees at the same time that research requirements, for some, have also increased.

At many institutions with graduate programs, a shrinking number of tenured and tenure-track faculty members are left to advise graduate students—a task that typically does not fall to adjuncts.

The shift can also affect students. Studies show that they suffer when they are taught by adjuncts, many of whom are good teachers but aren't supported on the job in the ways that their tenured colleagues are. Many adjuncts don't have office space, which means they have no place on campus to meet privately with students.

And some adjuncts themselves say their fears about job security can make them reluctant to push students hard academically. If students retaliate by giving them bad evaluations, their jobs could be in jeopardy.

Many adjuncts are also cautious about what they say in the classroom, an attitude that limits the ways they might engage students in critical thinking and rigorous discussion.

"I think the tipping point is now," says Ms. Meline. She is among those adjuncts pressing for higher pay and a voice in governance at Saint Joseph's. "What they're doing is not sustainable."

Elsewhere, Patricia W. Cummins, a professor of world and international studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, is worried about the sustainability of her university's growing use of adjuncts.

When she arrived, in 2000, about three-quarters of the faculty in the foreign languages were tenured or on the tenure track, with one-quarter teaching part time or in nontenure-track full-time positions. Now the percentages have flipped, much as they have in foreign-language departments nationwide.

In French, her discipline, there are four tenured professors and eight who work off the tenure track, all but one of them part time.

Ms. Cummins says administrators have big ambitions for Virginia Commonwealth, which is striving to be a top research university. But it will be nearly impossible to achieve that goal, she argues, without reversing the trend of adding adjuncts to the payroll at every turn.

"If we want to solve the world's problems, we can't do that with adjunct faculty, who, however competent they may be, are just keeping body and soul together," says Ms. Cummins, who coordinates the French program. "Virtually everything they want to accomplish with our strategic plan requires tenured and tenure-track faculty members. I definitely think the president is on the right track, but we have a long way to go."

Full-time faculty members who are not on the tenure track at Virginia Commonwealth constitute 54 percent of the faculty, which a decade ago was the proportion of tenured and tenure-track professors. Taking part-timers into account, the share of non-tenure-track faculty at the institution is 70 percent.

The dwindling number of professors with tenure or who are on the tenure track has forced Ms. Cummins's colleagues to widen the circle of faculty who take part in certain service work. Faculty off the tenure track are usually paid only for their teaching, but many do service work because they're committed to their jobs.

In the foreign-languages department, says Ms. Cummins, they have also stepped up to work on grants with tenured faculty, direct the university's annual Arab Film Festival, and play host to various events for foreign-language students and nearby residents.

"They do all kinds of things," Ms. Cummins says. "But these are not the kinds of things you can expect somebody to do if you've asked them to come in and teach a three-hour French class." Most part-time faculty in the humanities at Virginia Commonwealth earn about $2,500 per course, Ms. Cummins says.

Even as part-timers play an integral role in their programs and departments, they often feel that their continued employment as instructors requires maintaining a low profile. In fact, several adjunct professors in the School of World Studies who were contacted for this article didn't respond to requests for an interview.

Robert L. Andrews, an associate professor in the department of management at Virginia Commonwealth, says he can understand their fear. "They're not in the position to be raising their voices," he says. "I would like to see that change."

Research and Mentoring

Michael Rao, Virginia Commonwealth's president, says he has made clear that he wants to stem the growing use of adjuncts there.

Not long after he arrived, in 2009, Mr. Rao increased tuition by 24 percent and used the new revenue, in part, to hire nearly 100 tenured and tenure-track faculty. Thirty more professors have joined the institution since then.

He plans to add a total of 560 professors, a figure he came up with, he says, by looking at the proportion of tenured and tenure-track at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

"What I saw when I came was a research university that had 33,000 students and way too few, in comparison to peers, faculty members on the tenure track," Mr. Rao says. "We need those people to do research and to do a lot of the mentoring of students at all levels."

Virginia Commonwealth's full-time, nontenure-track faculty and part-time professors are "incredible resources to the university," the president says. "A lot of them, on their own, are doing a lot of the mentoring of students. You don't want to count on that forever."

What's likely to remain the same at Virginia Commonwealth, and other institutions, is the way adjuncts are used to teach high-demand courses in some disciplines, such as English composition and introductory courses in biology and math.

"One of the things that is important to students is the ability to get classes," Mr. Rao says. "That's correlated with the number of faculty you have to teach them.

"When you have required courses that everyone has to take, can you front-load those courses with all regular faculty members?" he asks. "No, you can't. But can you make some progress along those lines? Certainly."

Some colleges have made progress in improving the work life of adjuncts.

At Colorado State University at Fort Collins, nontenure-track English faculty members have gained representation on the literature committee, the composition committee, and the committee that hires faculty who work off the tenure track.

"We have representation on pretty much everything that doesn't involve the promotion and tenure and periodic performance view of tenured and tenure-track faculty," says Laura Thomas, who is an instructor in upper-division composition, a salaried position that comes with a course release that allows her to lead workshops for other writing instructors and provide them with additional professional-development opportunities.

Colorado State's English department has 47 full-time faculty members who aren't on the tenure track. Nearly all of them teach four courses a semester, and they outnumber the tenured and tenure-track faculty by more than a dozen. Almost 20 years ago, the number of nontenure-track faculty in English was in the low single digits.

Adjuncts who work in departments with a long history of using nontenure-track faculty can sometimes see the resulting connections lead to better working conditions and pay—more so than when adjuncts try to use their large numbers as leverage, says Adrianna Kezar, an associate professor of higher education at the University of Southern California who studies adjuncts.

Expanding Adjuncts' Role

"English departments on a lot of campuses are likely to be leaders for broader changes, since they have used nontenure-track faculty for such a long time. There are relationships there," she says.

"Sometimes large numbers of adjuncts can create a negative dynamic. The tenured professors could see this as a threat and instead of saying, Why don't you join us in governance?, they might dig in and actively campaign against them having a voice."

Ms. Thomas says "there is still plenty of work to do" on the university level when it comes to expanding adjuncts' role in governance. Contingent faculty can serve on an advisory committee of the Faculty Council at Colorado State, but they are not allowed to vote and they can't serve on the council itself.

Sue Doe, an assistant professor of English at Colorado State, is an ally of adjunct faculty like Ms. Thomas. Ms. Doe worked as an adjunct for more than 20 years, mostly as she followed her husband, an Army officer, around the country. After he retired, she earned a Ph.D. at the university in 2001, and became a tenure-track faculty member in 2007.

She helped write a report on a universitywide survey of contingent faculty at Colorado State. The findings shed new light on the sometimes-tense dynamics between the different sectors of the faculty, she says.

"At the end of the day, we all have to realize that we're working side by side, and in order for our units to work effectively, we have to be respectful of one another," Ms. Doe says. "Instead of having this sort of underlying mistrust of what the other group is up to, I think we're at the place where we need to get past that."

Ms. Meline, of Saint Joseph's, doesn't know how far the good will of administrators can take adjuncts like her.

Last year, complaining of low pay and a lack of job security and health benefits, contingent faculty at the university formed an adjunct association. The group, whose executive committee includes Ms. Meline, met with the provost, Brice R. Wachterhauser, to talk about their concerns.

The association was able to get raises for adjuncts this academic year—highest for new hires, who will now start at $3,230 per course—plus a total of $6,000 in grant money, in 30 parcels of $200 each, to tap if they need financial assistance to go to a conference to present a paper.

"The provost, so far, has been extremely accommodating," but what he did isn't enough, Ms. Meline says. "Now we're looking to go forward from this platform and negotiate something better."

Forming a union, members of the group say, is a possibility. "People are realizing just what a majority we are," says Ms. Meline.

The group's membership, however, still comprises only about one-third of the adjuncts on the campus. Their lack of job security, Ms. Meline and other adjuncts say, keeps many from being advocates for their own cause. That fear bleeds over into the classroom, they say, to the detriment of students.

"If almost 70 percent of the faculty at an expensive private university is watching what they say in the classrooms because they don't want to be controversial in any way, is that university really promoting critical thinking?" says Eva-Maria Swidler, who earned a Ph.D. in history eight years ago and now teaches semester by semester at Saint Joseph's.

"Adjuncts are not going to teach controversial courses," she added. "They are looking to fly beneath the radar so they can be renewed next semester."

Ms. Swidler, who along with Ms. Meline is among the most outspoken leaders of the adjunct association, isn't worried herself about repercussions.

She expects her career at St. Joseph's will end this semester. The course she teaches, an evening survey course about Western civilization, is being phased out under the university's new general-education requirements.

Continued in article


Are Researchers Paid Too Much for Too Little?

Is Bob Jensen a hypocrite?
I feel like a hypocrite since from the first year in my first faculty appointment I had at least one less course assignment then my colleagues --- teaching two courses per term instead of three or even four like the people up and down the hall were teaching. And I was the highest paid faculty member on the floor in each of the four universities where I had faculty appointments. Forty years later I was teaching the same light loads as well as during all 38 years in between except for the various semesters I got full pay for teaching no courses due to sabbatical leaves and two years in a think tank at Stanford University.

Now I sympathize with arguments that those other faculty (and me) really should have been teaching more across the entire 40 years. I can hear some of you saying:  "That's easy for you to say now --- while you are sitting with a eastward view of three mountain ranges and teaching not one course."

The race to teach less has not served us well, and student-to-faculty ratios were driven more by U.S. News & World Report's [annual rankings] than by rigor," [Gene Nichol (North Carolina)] said. "Professors don't teach enough. The notion that [teaching more] would cripple scholarship is not true and we know it. ...
Tax Prof Blog, March 14, 2013 --- http://taxprof.typepad.com/

Law Schools are cutting expenses in expectation of smaller class sizes. While most can't think of cutting tuition in this environment, the actions they take during the next few years could determine whether legal education moves toward a more affordable future. ...

"The race to teach less has not served us well, and student-to-faculty ratios were driven more by U.S. News & World Report's [annual rankings] than by rigor," [Gene Nichol (North Carolina)] said. "Professors don't teach enough. The notion that [teaching more] would cripple scholarship is not true and we know it." ...

[T]he primary problem facing most law schools is what to do with all the faculty they have on staff. ... "Laying off untenured [faculty] would be very destructive," [Brian Tamanaha (Washington U.)] said. "They are teaching important skills and valuable classes."

Tamanaha said the better option is to offer buyouts to tenured professors. "We will see schools offer separation packages -- one or two year's compensation if you go now," he said. "The only people interested in a buyout would be people with sufficient retirement funds or professors with practices on the side." Vermont Law School and Penn State University Dickinson School of Law have discussed similar steps. ...

Brian Leiter, a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School who runs a blog on legal education, has predicted that as many as 10 law schools will go out of business during the next decade.

Rather than face closure, law schools could take more drastic steps -- even overcoming tenure. When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Tulane University declared financial exigency and eliminated entire departments -- terminating tenured professors. The same action has happened at other universities faced with economic hardships.

"If you say this is a tsunami of a different kind -- the 100 year flood -- then a dean could let go of faculty," another law professor said. For example, a school could choose to eliminate nonessential specialties, such as a tax law program, and terminate most faculty in those areas.

In addition to eliminating tenured positions, a dean could reduce salaries out of financial necessity. "Schools under severe financial pressure may be faced with an even starker option -- closing their doors," Tamanaha said. ...

Nichol said all law schools should reconsider their current salary structures, and not just schools in the worst economic position. "In the same way that the market for graduates is adjusting, it would not be absurd for our salaries to adjust as well," he said. "I don't see why our leave packages should be more generous than other parts of the campus. We will have to fix that now before we forced to."

Nichol said schools should consider eliminating sabbaticals, trimming travel and reducing summer research grants. "Every school needs to look line by line for where it can cut costs," [David Yellen (Dean, Loyola-Chicago)] said. Faculty travel, conferences and other things can add up to a couple of professors salaries."

Jensen Comment
And I darn well "know it." I think I do all this free academic blogging in large measure out of guilt. I need to give something back!

Franco Modigliani --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco_Modigliani
Trinity University has a program for bringing all possible former Nobel Prize winning economists. In an auditorium they were not to discuss technicalities of their work as much as they were to summarize their lives leading up to their high achievements. One of the most inspiring presentations I can remember was that of Franco Modigliani.

What I remember most is that he asserted that some of his most productive years of research and scholarship came during the years he was teaching five different courses on two different campuses.

The Academy increasingly coddled researchers with more pay, large expense funds, the highest salaries on campus, and lighter teaching loads. I'm not certain that they, me included, were not coddled far too much relative to the the value of the sum total of their (including my) work. I think not! The sum total may have been as high or higher if they were teaching four courses per term (maybe not five).

Bob Jensen

Is Bob Jensen a hypocrite?
I feel like a hypocrite since from the first year in my first faculty appointment I had at least one less course assignment than my colleagues --- teaching two courses per term instead of three or even four like the people up and down the hall were teaching. And I was the highest paid faculty member on the floor in each of the four universities where I had faculty appointments. Forty years later I was teaching the same light loads as well as during all 38 years in between except for the various semesters I got full pay for teaching no courses due to sabbatical leaves and two years in a think tank at Stanford University.

Now I sympathize with arguments that those other faculty (and me) really should have been teaching more across the entire 40 years. I can hear some of you saying:  "That's easy for you to say now --- while you are sitting with a eastward view of three mountain ranges and teaching not one course."

The race to teach less has not served us well, and student-to-faculty ratios were driven more by U.S. News & World Report's [annual rankings] than by rigor," [Gene Nichol (North Carolina)] said. "Professors don't teach enough. The notion that [teaching more] would cripple scholarship is not true and we know it. ...
Tax Prof Blog, March 14, 2013 --- http://taxprof.typepad.com/

Law Schools are cutting expenses in expectation of smaller class sizes. While most can't think of cutting tuition in this environment, the actions they take during the next few years could determine whether legal education moves toward a more affordable future. ...

"The race to teach less has not served us well, and student-to-faculty ratios were driven more by U.S. News & World Report's [annual rankings] than by rigor," [Gene Nichol (North Carolina)] said. "Professors don't teach enough. The notion that [teaching more] would cripple scholarship is not true and we know it." ...

[T]he primary problem facing most law schools is what to do with all the faculty they have on staff. ... "Laying off untenured [faculty] would be very destructive," [Brian Tamanaha (Washington U.)] said. "They are teaching important skills and valuable classes."

Tamanaha said the better option is to offer buyouts to tenured professors. "We will see schools offer separation packages -- one or two year's compensation if you go now," he said. "The only people interested in a buyout would be people with sufficient retirement funds or professors with practices on the side." Vermont Law School and Penn State University Dickinson School of Law have discussed similar steps. ...

Brian Leiter, a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School who runs a blog on legal education, has predicted that as many as 10 law schools will go out of business during the next decade.

Rather than face closure, law schools could take more drastic steps -- even overcoming tenure. When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Tulane University declared financial exigency and eliminated entire departments -- terminating tenured professors. The same action has happened at other universities faced with economic hardships.

"If you say this is a tsunami of a different kind -- the 100 year flood -- then a dean could let go of faculty," another law professor said. For example, a school could choose to eliminate nonessential specialties, such as a tax law program, and terminate most faculty in those areas.

In addition to eliminating tenured positions, a dean could reduce salaries out of financial necessity. "Schools under severe financial pressure may be faced with an even starker option -- closing their doors," Tamanaha said. ...

Nichol said all law schools should reconsider their current salary structures, and not just schools in the worst economic position. "In the same way that the market for graduates is adjusting, it would not be absurd for our salaries to adjust as well," he said. "I don't see why our leave packages should be more generous than other parts of the campus. We will have to fix that now before we forced to."

Nichol said schools should consider eliminating sabbaticals, trimming travel and reducing summer research grants. "Every school needs to look line by line for where it can cut costs," [David Yellen (Dean, Loyola-Chicago)] said. Faculty travel, conferences and other things can add up to a couple of professors salaries."

Jensen Comment
And I darn well "know it." I think I do all this free academic blogging in large measure out of guilt. I need to give something back!

Franco Modigliani --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco_Modigliani
Trinity University has a program for bringing all possible former Nobel Prize winning economists. In an auditorium they were not to discuss technicalities of their work as much as they were to summarize their lives leading up to their high achievements. One of the most inspiring presentations I can remember was that of Franco Modigliani.

What I remember most is that he asserted that some of his most productive years of research and scholarship came during the years he was teaching five different courses on two different campuses.

The Academy increasingly coddled researchers with more pay, large expense funds, the highest salaries on campus, and lighter teaching loads. I'm not certain that they, me included, were not coddled far too much relative to the the value of the sum total of their (including my) work. I think not! The sum total may have been as high or higher if they were teaching four courses per term (maybe not five).

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Reply from Jagdish Gangolly

Bob,

You are not alone. A colleague of mine at Albany, a mathematician in the Management Sciences department, who taught mathematics at Brown before coming to Albany was saying the same thing. He was most productive when he taught heavy loads.

Teaching and writing are probably the most demanding of intellectual tasks (unless of course you are resigned to teaching because you must). Even research nowadays is, thanks to statistical packages and abundant databases, by comparison a mundane task.

I was not as lucky as you were; I taught the usual 2 courses each semester except for the sabbaticals. But one semester I taught five courses, by happenstance. Two masters courses in accounting (an auditing and an AIS course), two doctoral seminars in (Knowledge Organization and in Statistical Natural Language Processing) Information Science, all at SUNY Albany, and an MBA management accounting course at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. And, strange as it may seem, that was my most productive year in research. I have never been as ready for summer in my life as at the end of that semester.

Regards,

Jagdish

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


Undergraduate education programs and graduate schools of education have long been faulted for being too disconnected from the realities of practice.
Jal Mehta, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Undergraduate education programs and graduate schools of accounting have long been faulted for being too disconnected from the realities of practice.
Nearly all accounting practitioners have been saying this for years, but accounting educators and especially researchers aren't listening
"Why business ignores the business schools," by Michael Skapinker
Some ideas for applied research ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AcademicsVersusProfession

Warning:  If you suffer from depression you probably should not read this
"Teachers: Will We Ever Learn?" by Jal Mehta, Harvard Graduate School of Education, April 15, 2013 ---
http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news-impact/2013/04/teachers-will-we-ever-learn/

In April 1983, a federal commission warned in a famous report, “A Nation at Risk,” that American education was a “rising tide of mediocrity.” The alarm it sounded about declining competitiveness touched off a tidal wave of reforms: state standards, charter schools, alternative teacher-certification programs, more money, more test-based “accountability” and, since 2001, two big federal programs, No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.

But while there have been pockets of improvement, particularly among children in elementary school, America’s overall performance in K-12 education remains stubbornly mediocre.

In 2009, the Program for International Student Assessment, which compares student performance across advanced industrialized countries, ranked American 15-year-olds 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math — trailing their counterparts in Belgium, Estonia and Poland. One-third of entering college students need remedial education. Huge gaps by race and class persist: the average black high school senior’s reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress continue to be at the level of the average white eighth grader’s. Seventeen-year-olds score the same in reading as they did in 1971.

The New York Times OpEd by Jal Mehta on April 12, 2013 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/13/opinion/teachers-will-we-ever-learn.html?_r=2&

. . .

As the education scholar Charles M. Payne of the University of Chicago has put it: “So much reform, so little change.”

The debate over school reform has become a false polarization between figures like Michelle Rhee, the former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor, who emphasizes testing and teacher evaluation, and the education historian Diane Ravitch, who decries the long-run effort to privatize public education and emphasizes structural impediments to student achievement, like poverty.

The labels don’t matter. Charter-school networks like the Knowledge Is Power Program and Achievement First have shown impressive results, but so have reforms in traditional school districts in Montgomery County, Md., Long Beach, Calif., and, most recently, Union City, N.J., the focus of a new book by the public policy scholar David L. Kirp.

Sorry, “Waiting for Superman”: charter schools are not a panacea and have not performed, on average, better than regular public schools. Successful schools — whether charter or traditional — have features in common: a clear mission, talented teachers, time for teachers to work together, longer school days or after-school programs, feedback cycles that lead to continuing improvements. It’s not either-or.

Another false debate: alternative-certification programs like Teach for America versus traditional certification programs. The research is mixed, but the overall differences in quality between graduates of both sets of programs have been found to be negligible, and by international standards, our teachers are underperforming, regardless of how they were trained.

HERE’S what the old debates have overlooked: How schools are organized, and what happens in classrooms, hasn’t changed much in the century since the Progressive Era. On the whole, we still have the same teachers, in the same roles, with the same level of knowledge, in the same schools, with the same materials, and much the same level of parental support.

Call it the industrial-factory model: power resides at the top, with state and district officials setting goals, providing money and holding teachers accountable for realizing predetermined ends. While rational on its face, in practice this system does not work well because teaching is a complex activity that is hard to direct and improve from afar. The factory model is appropriate to simple work that is easy to standardize; it is ill suited to disciplines like teaching that require considerable skill and discretion.

Teaching requires a professional model, like we have in medicine, law, engineering, accounting, architecture and many other fields. In these professions, consistency of quality is created less by holding individual practitioners accountable and more by building a body of knowledge, carefully training people in that knowledge, requiring them to show expertise before they become licensed, and then using their professions’ standards to guide their work.

By these criteria, American education is a failed profession.

It need not be this way. In the nations that lead the international rankings — Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Finland, Canada — teachers are drawn from the top third of college graduates, rather than the bottom 60 percent as is the case in the United States. Training in these countries is more rigorous, more tied to classroom practice and more often financed by the government than in America. There are also many fewer teacher-training institutions, with much higher standards. (Finland, a perennial leader in the P.I.S.A. rankings, has eight universities that train teachers; the United States has more than 1,200.)

Teachers in leading nations’ schools also teach much less than ours do. High school teachers provide 1,080 hours per year of instruction in America, compared with fewer than 600 in South Korea and Japan, where the balance of teachers’ time is spent collaboratively on developing and refining lesson plans. These countries also have much stronger welfare states; by providing more support for students’ social, psychological and physical needs, they make it easier for teachers to focus on their academic needs. These elements create a virtuous cycle: strong academic performance leads to schools with greater autonomy and more public financing, which in turn makes education an attractive profession for talented people.

In America, both major teachers’ unions and the organization representing state education officials have, in the past year, called for raising the bar for entering teachers; one of the unions, the American Federation of Teachers, advocates a “bar exam.” Ideally the exam should not be a one-time paper-and-pencil test, like legal bar exams, but a phased set of milestones to be attained over the first few years of teaching. Akin to medical boards, they would require prospective teachers to demonstrate subject and pedagogical knowledge — as well as actual teaching skill.

Tenure would require demonstrated knowledge and skill, as at a university or a law firm. A rigorous board exam for teachers could significantly elevate the quality of candidates, raise and make more consistent teacher skill level, improve student outcomes, and strengthen the public’s regard for teachers and teaching.

We let doctors operate, pilots fly, and engineers build because their fields have developed effective ways of certifying that they can do these things. Teaching, on the whole, lacks this specialized knowledge base; teachers teach based mostly on what they have picked up from experience and from their colleagues.

Anthony S. Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has estimated that other fields spend 5 percent to 15 percent of their budgets on research and development, while in education, it is around 0.25 percent. Education-school researchers publish for fellow academics; teachers develop practical knowledge but do not evaluate or share it; commercial curriculum designers make what districts and states will buy, with little regard for quality. We most likely will need the creation of new institutions — an educational equivalent of the National Institutes of Health, the main funder of biomedical research in America — if we are to make serious headway.

We also need to develop a career arc for teaching and a differentiated salary structure to match it. Like medical residents in teaching hospitals, rookie teachers should be carefully overseen by experts as they move from apprenticeship to proficiency, and then mastery. Early- to mid-career teachers need time to collaborate and explore new directions — having mastered the basics, this is the stage when they can refine their skills. The system should reward master teachers with salaries commensurate with leading professionals in other fields.

In the past few years, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core standards that ask much more of students; raising standards for teachers is a critical parallel step. We have an almost endless list of things that we would like the next generation of schools to do: teach critical thinking, foster collaboration, incorporate technology, become more student-centered and engaging. The more skilled our teachers, the greater our chances of achieving these goals.

Undergraduate education programs and graduate schools of education have long been faulted for being too disconnected from the realities of practice. The past 25 years have seen the creation of an array of different providers to train teachers — programs like Teach for America, urban-teacher residencies and, most recently, schools like High Tech High in San Diego and Match High School in Boston that are running their own teacher-training programs.

Continued in article


A study released last week by researchers at Harvard and Stanford quantified what everyone in my hometown already knew: even the most talented rural poor kids don’t go to the nation’s best colleges. The vast majority, the study found, do not even try ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/education/scholarly-poor-often-overlook-better-colleges.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

"The Ivy League Was Another Planet," Claire Vaye Watkins, The New York Times, March 28, 2013 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/opinion/elite-colleges-are-as-foreign-as-mars.html?hpw&_r=0#h[ItgRaw,1]

. . .

A study released last week by researchers at Harvard and Stanford quantified what everyone in my hometown already knew: even the most talented rural poor kids don’t go to the nation’s best colleges. The vast majority, the study found, do not even try.

For deans of admissions brainstorming what they can do to remedy this, might I suggest: anything.

By the time they’re ready to apply to colleges, most kids from families like mine — poor, rural, no college grads in sight — know of and apply to only those few universities to which they’ve incidentally been exposed. Your J.V. basketball team goes to a clinic at University of Nevada, Las Vegas; you apply to U.N.L.V. Your Amtrak train rolls through San Luis Obispo, Calif.; you go to Cal Poly. I took a Greyhound bus to visit high school friends at the University of Nevada, Reno, and ended up at U.N.R. a year later, in 2003.

If top colleges are looking for a more comprehensive tutorial in recruiting the talented rural poor, they might take a cue from one institution doing a truly stellar job: the military.

I never saw a college rep at Pahrump Valley High, but the military made sure that a stream of alumni flooded back to our school in their uniforms and fresh flattops, urging their old chums to enlist. Those students who did even reasonably well on the Asvab (the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, for readers who went to schools where this test was not so exhaustively administered) were thoroughly hounded by recruiters.

My school did its part, too: it devoted half a day’s class time to making sure every junior took the Asvab. The test was also free, unlike the ACT and SAT, which I had to choose between because I could afford only one registration fee. I chose the ACT and crossed off those colleges that asked for the SAT.

To take the SAT II, I had to go to Las Vegas. My mother left work early one Friday to drive me to my aunt’s house there, so I could sleep over and be at the testing facility by 7:30 on Saturday morning. (Most of my friends didn’t have the luxury of an aunt in the city and instead set their alarms for 4:30.) When I cracked the test booklet, I realized that in registering for the exam with no guidance, I’d signed up for the wrong subject — Mathematics Level 2, though I’d barely made it out of algebra alive. Even if I had had the money to retake the test, I wouldn’t have had another ride to Vegas. So I struggled through it and said goodbye to those colleges that required the SAT II.

But the most important thing the military did was walk kids and their families through the enlistment process.

Most parents like mine, who had never gone to college, were either intimidated or oblivious (and sometimes outright hostile) to the intricacies of college admissions and financial aid. I had no idea what I was doing when I applied. Once, I’d heard a volleyball coach mention paying off her student loans, and this led me to assume that college was like a restaurant — you paid when you were done. When I realized I needed my mom’s and my stepfather’s income information and tax documents, they refused to give them to me. They were, I think, ashamed.

Eventually, I just stole the documents and forged their signatures. (Like nearly every one of the dozen or so kids who went on to college from my class at P.V.H.S., I paid for it with the $10,000 Nevada Millennium Scholarship, financed by Nevada’s share of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.)

Granted, there’s a good reason top colleges aren’t sending recruiters around the country to woo kids like me and Ryan (who, incidentally, got his B.S. at U.N.R. before going on to earn his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue and now holds a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship with the National Research Council). The Army needs every qualified candidate it can get, while competitive colleges have far more applicants than they can handle. But if these colleges are truly committed to diversity, they have to start paying attention to the rural poor.

Until then, is it any wonder that students in Pahrump and throughout rural America are more likely to end up in Afghanistan than at N.Y.U.?

Jensen Comment
The conclusions above do not necessarily apply to elite Ph.D. programs where top college graduates XYZ state universities more frequently find their way into the Ivy League's hallowed halls on full-ride financial support packages. For example, years ago I graduated from a small Iowa farm town high school that I don't think ever placed a high school graduate in any of the nation's Ivy League universities. I commenced my higher education journey at Iowa State University. However, quite a few of this high school's graduates eventually made their way into doctoral programs in the Ivy League-class universities.

In my case I was given a full-ride fellowship (including room and board) to enroll in the Stanford University Ph.D. program after earning my MBA degree from the University of Denver. Much depends, however, on what the competition is for those graduate schools. In my case there was less competition to get into Stanford's accounting doctoral program than Stanford's MBA program. I'm absolutely certain that, even if I had been admitted into Stanford's MBA program, I would not have been given a full-ride financial fellowship.

Even today, I think applicants to accounting doctoral programs are more apt to get full-ride fellowships as doctoral students than if they instead applied for those elite MBA programs. Of course the incoming number of doctoral students is less than one percent than that of the popular Ivy League MBA programs. Many more top students apply for elite MBA degrees rather than Ph.D. degrees that take many more years of study and do not offer those Wall Street jobs upon attaining a Ph.D. diploma. Wall Street prefers the Ivy League's MBA hotshots.

Ironically, some of us unable to get Wall Street job offers ended up teaching the graduates who made millions and millions on Wall Street.

How many high-cap corporate CEOs have accounting Ph.D. degrees?

Off had, I can't think of one CEO of  among Fortune 500 companies that has a Ph.D. in accounting, although I can think of a lot of them that have MBA degrees.

 

 


Have You Been Invited to Retire?

July 20, 2011 message from a friend

Have you all heard about the latest Buy-out Proposal at my university?. I think it is that if you are over 63 and have been with the University for 5 years you can retire in January or May of the next academic year. You will get something like 1.7 X your yearly salary in a lump sum (-minus FICA, etc).

What a deal. There are 5 people eligible in our department out of 7 faculty. Three intend to do it, one isn't and one is on the fence.

XXXXX

Jensen Comment
There are many reasons for such deals. The scholastic life of a university aided greatly by infusion of new blood.

But I would certainly hate to be running a university that has to replace half of its business school, its computer science department, its school of engineering, and its half its medical school all at the same time. That's too much of a shock in one year --- and a very expensive shock in professional schools living with heavy salary compression of senior faculty.

This is probably a great deal for faculty with $2 million in TIAA and substantial other savings and a yearning to breathe free. Presumably the University will also provide health insurance until eligible for Medicare.

It may not be such a good deal for faculty having less than $1 million in TIAA and not-so-great outside savings. It may not be such a good deal for faculty with trophy spouses that will not be eligible for Medicare for another ten or more years.

It is probably not a good deal to start Social Security benefits at Age 63 unless you expect to die young. For those that anticipate a long life, the best year to start Social Security collections is probably Age 70 in order to maximize lifetime benefits, although Social Security deals are somewhat uncertain in the present legislative fight over entitlements.


"I Have Been Invited to Retire," Anonymous, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 17, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/I-Have-Been-Invited-to-Retire/124912/

In late spring, the tide of articles on academic topics began to shift from the woeful hiring conditions for those in the humanities to the pleasure and pain of retirement. Reading the news and the three (too cheerful, it seemed) e-mails from my college inviting me to consider early retirement, I was reminded of a Woody Allen joke in Annie Hall. Two women at a Catskills resort are talking, and one says: "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know. And such small portions."

In this case, the portions are indeed small: The payout is far less than the two years' salary offered by some institutions or even the one year's worth at many others, and it comes with only six months' continuance of a costly health-care plan.

Furthermore, the paperwork includes a lengthy confidentiality clause. An applicant must pledge not only never to disclose the terms of the agreement but also never to discuss anything negative, whether "facts, opinions, or beliefs," about the college. The clause, I've been told, resembles those in corporate agreements. Presumably, then, along with my keys, I'd be relinquishing my academic freedom. If I were to sign the release, I could not write this essay (clearly not the case for those at some larger institutions, who have disclosed such information in interviews with The Chronicle).

So here is another argument for not pursuing the dream of college teaching in the humanities: After five to 10 years spent acquiring an advanced degree or two, and, for many, subsequent years spent as adjuncts, the time between receiving the first contract for a full-time position and opening that invitation to retire early isn't very long.

In my case, it was 14 years. In the week of the first anniversary of my promotion to full professor, I received the first invitation to consider leaving. I told myself that it wasn't personal; the mailing went out to everyone who would be 55 as of this summer and who had served the college for at least 10 years. But it felt personal. As one of the staff members who left said, "It feels as though no one values what I did."

It's not as though I haven't considered leaving. The workload is sometimes overwhelming, and the politics are abysmal. And I have plenty of other things to keep me busy until my mid-90s (the age of a few professors of my oldest child at her university, and the age I'd originally targeted for my retirement).

I could write full time, instead of storing up my notes for summer and winter breaks. I could devote many more hours to the gardens at my house and my parents'. I could join either of the two women who have invited me to form business partnerships, one in education, the other in retail. I could return to doing volunteer service, which my full-time professorship has left no time for. I could devote even more time to my parents, who are in their late 80s, and to my new granddaughter, who is approaching 8 months.

There are several reasons, however, that I don't feel quite ready to leave. One practical reason is that our youngest child still isn't settled in her own life. A recent graduate, she has cobbled together two part-time jobs and is still finding her way, partly with my husband's and my support. Far bigger reasons are my attachment to the students and to several courses and programs that I've developed.

I didn't plan to fall in love with the students at my small college, but I have, over and over again. Some of them have been classic good students, hardworking and an easy pleasure to work with. Others have been tougher, and tougher to love, but with them I have accomplished some of my most rewarding work. As for courses, a former provost once reminded me rather sharply that "we don't own courses here." Aside from the practical aspect of needing to have, at the least, a dependable subset of regularly recurring classes when one is teaching eight to 10 courses per year, I believe that good teachers do, in fact, "own" at least a few of their courses—those they have created out of need or desire, certainly out of expertise, and have honed over time.

When I was hired, I was expected not only to pick up where two retiring professors had left off and to carry their classes, but also to create new courses in two areas. Eventually I created over a dozen classes, in three areas. At my tenure ceremony, a provost (not the one mentioned above) cited my "course creation" in her introduction. Subsequently hired faculty members—full-time, part-time, and adjunct—have since taught many of those courses, without knowing that I started them. And that's fine with me. There were areas where the humanities program was weak. I don't have to teach classes in all of them; I just need to know that students are getting them. I would very much like to own two particular courses, but even those have occasionally been taught by others—and I hope that they will be taught long after I finally do decide to leave.

Sometimes I think of the metaphor of the stone and the pond—how if you drop a stone in the water, there are ripples for a bit and then there is once again just the smooth surface. I am concerned about the two programs I helped create, one a minor and one a concentration. While we still list both under the departmental offerings, the courses that count toward them have been drastically cut. I've been told this is temporary, and I'd like to stay long enough to see those programs fully re-established and running well. You might call it my legacy. I'd like to know that I accomplished something, even as I reflect that, ironically, such a fervent wish must be a sign of getting older.

Older, not old. I am 59, soon to be 60. Thanks to good genes from both sides of my family, I don't look my age; I can easily "pass" for 45—the age I was when I started teaching at my college.

There's the rub. At some point, I began thinking of this place as "my college." But it isn't, and there have been signs of that for over a year. When I mentioned to a colleague that I had been passed over for several ad hoc committees, he told me that a member of the new administration had dismissively referred to the two of us as members of the "old"—and presumably obsolete?—"guard," this despite our work in course creation, our teaching awards, our experience on committees, our publications and conferences, and our dedication to—our belief in—the institution.

Here's one more aspect of my education, then—a lesson in humility. That isn't necessarily a bad lesson, although in this instance it seems somewhat unjust. In my earliest dream scenarios, I never envisioned that my brilliant career would end quite like this.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
There are really several reasons for generous early retirement deals. I've seen almost all of these in operation. One is to selectively eliminate dead wood tenured professors who are considered to be more dysfunctional than effective in classrooms for whatever reason. The second is to reduce the size of a department that has experienced a severe decline in majors for whatever reason. The third is general agreement that the college is just too top heavy with tenured faculty and not experiencing enough new blood transfusions of new faculty. A fourth is general agreement that the tenured faculty lacks racial, gender, and/or political diversity. A fifth is to lower budgets in times of financial exigency. There are other reasons such as to put a carrot in front of a 88-year old popular teacher who last read a scholarly journal/book at age 60.

From a personal advice standpoint, faculty considering early retirement should consider some things in their severance negotiations in addition to future losses in salary.. First and foremost apart from salary loss are medical coverages of themselves and their spouses. Some 76-year old professors who want desperately to retire cannot do so because they took on trophy (much younger) spouses for whom new medical coverage is very expensive. It's not yet clear how much relief will be granted by the new health care bill requiring insurance companies never to deny coverage for preconditions. It's still uncertain what the costs of these private policies are going to become after such preconditions are factored into premiums.

Especially note that you or your spouse may have to be at least 65 before being eligible for Medicare coverage unless declared disabled.

Second, consideration should be given to the creeping age requirements for full social security benefits. My father was eligible for full coverage at age 65 (although he waited until he was 70). In an earlier message I mistakenly claimed my full benefits age was 67. It was actually not that high but it was over 65 ---
http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/agereduction.htm

Also note that if you delay receiving early or full social security benefits you can increase your ultimate benefits, especially if you wait until 70 years of age like my father elected to do so he could increase his monthly benefits for the rest of his life. You should also consider the explosion in life expectancies:
http://www.efmoody.com/estate/lifeexpectancy.html

Third you should note that the amount of social security benefits received varies with average monthly earnings such that consideration should be give to expected increases in salary before retirement ---
http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.07/handbook-0701.html

Fourth you should carefully consider the timing of retirement plans you might cash in on if you retire early. For example, the 2008 collapse of the stock market forced many TIAA-CREF holders to delay retirements due to considerable losses in their retirement accounts. I benefited by retiring in 2006 while the retirement accounts were doing quite well in what turned out to be a price bubble. I elected to retire on fixed life annuities for most of my accounts. If you changed universities, you will discover that you most likely have more than one TIAA-CREF account that factor retirement options differently. I taught at four universities across 40 years and discovered that I had six accounts when I retired. I now get six separate IRS 1099 forms each January. Sometimes a given university even changes the rules for retirement such that TIAA-CREF creates an account before and after a rule change. For example, the university may change the rules on how much a retiree can obtain in cash settlement of an account on the date of retirement. Some universities are paternalistic and put up barriers for retirees to become  Lotus Eaters ---
http://maugham.classicauthors.net/lotuseater/

Fifth you also have to consider your personal portfolio of mutual funds, real estate, spousal earnings, etc. Your real estate investments probably declined and will recover very, very slowly. This is not always the case. I inherited an Iowa farm in 2001 that I sold when I retired in 2006. This farm is worth much more today due largely to absurd government subsidies on corn ethanol combined with absurd import duties on cheaper ethanol that could otherwise be imported from cheap, high-quality ethanol producers like Brazil. Thank you for that Senator Harkin. I underestimated your power in the Senate.

Your stock investments have recovered pretty well since 2008 if you were sufficiently diversified. Bonds may go down in value if interest rates rise above their current all-time lows. However, TIAA retirement deals do not fluctuate as wildly as daily bond prices.

Sixth there are all sorts of tax considerations, and I ceased being a tax accountant in 1961 when I resigned from Ernst & Ernst and entered Stanford's doctoral program.  I offer no tax advice but do provide some helper links at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#010304Taxation
I will offer practicing accountants some great advice. Consider becoming a tax accounting professor. There's an immense shortage of PhD tax professors such that you may be the highest paid professor in a university while also making a fortune in tax consulting. Not all universities have tax accounting PhD programs. Don't go to Stanford for tax accounting. The best choices are probably flagship state universities with "relatively large" accounting doctoral programs. I say "relatively large" because there are no longer any large North American accounting doctoral programs ---
http://www.jrhasselback.com/AtgDoct/XDocChrt.pdf

Lastly, you must consider how much you truly continue to enjoy your career. I know some retired professors who just grew weary of what they viewed, perhaps mistakenly, as lower quality students or more plagiarizing students. I know of some faculty who retired because they grew weary of ungrateful students who used teaching evaluations to extort higher grades in grade-inflated colleges.

I know of some professors who could've retired years ago who just love teaching more than any alternative they can think of to occupy their time in retirement. Faculty greatly vary as to how much they continue to enjoy their careers as the years pile on.

I will say that if I had to choose all over again, I would still become an accounting professor relative to any other imagined career. Being a professor is the closest thing to really being your own boss of your time and boss of what tasks that engage your brain. Both students and other faculty do provide exciting temptations of where to put your brain to work. Long before I retired I discovered that leisure is boring!


"Aging Professors Create a Faculty Bottleneck At some universities, 1 in 3 academics are now 60 or older," Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Professors-Are-Graying-and/131226/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

When Mary Beth Norton went to work at Cornell University in 1971, she was the history department's first female hire. But now the accomplished professor has a different mark of distinction: She is the oldest American-history scholar at Cornell.

"I've always thought of myself as the sweet young thing in the department," Ms. Norton, who will turn 69 this month, says with a laugh. "But that's not true anymore."

A growing proportion of the nation's professors are at the same point in their careers as Ms. Norton: ­still working, but with the end of their careers in sight. Their tendency to remain on the job as long as their work is enjoyable—or, during economic downturns, long enough to make sure they have enough money to live on in retirement—has led the professoriate to a crucial juncture.

Amid an aging American work force, the graying of college faculties is particularly notable. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of professors ages 65 and up has more than doubled between 2000 and 2011. At some institutions, including Cornell, more than one in three tenured or tenure-track professors are now 60 or older. At many others—including Duke and George Mason Universities and the Universities of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Texas at Austin, and Virginia—at least one in four are 60 or older. (See chart below.)

Colleges have been talking about an impending mass exodus of baby-boomer professors for at least the past decade, but it hasn't occurred yet because people in their 60s, in particular, aren't ready to retire. But even with the preponderance of older faculty in academe, experts say that widespread retirements aren't imminent, but instead will most likely take place in spurts over the next 10 years or so as more professors reach age 70.

In the meantime, the challenges of an aging work force are especially salient for colleges. Faculty can retire at will (a perk that began with the end of mandatory retirement in 1994), and young Ph.D.'s are waiting in the wings for jobs. Institutions are also struggling to manage faculty renewal at a time when the position left behind by a retired faculty member might be lost to budget cuts.

Older professors understand what's at stake. But at the same time, they have managed to craft professional and personal lives that they're not ready to walk away from. And some administrators, who are themselves often in the same age bracket as the faculty in question, can relate. Yet their task of preparing for the next generation, while managing the previous one, remains.

Data on faculty ages collected by The Chronicle provides a window into how the shifting demographics of professors is playing out similarly at all types of colleges across the nation. The problem is more pronounced at some places, particularly at elite research institutions like Cornell, where senior professors often have particular freedom to shape their academic pursuits to fit their interests. At other kinds of institutions where the workload isn't as flexible, studies have shown, faculty members are more inclined to retire.

. . . (Insert Graph)

the percentage of professors in their 70s and beyond has doubled since 2000; they now make up 6 percent of the university's 1,500-member faculty. Other places with a sizable percentage of faculty members in their 70s and older include Claremont McKenna College and the University of Texas at Austin, both of which have 7 percent of their faculty in that age group, and the University of Florida, with 6 percent.

The issue of aging faculty is complex, in part because of the nature of academic work. The faces behind the numbers, like Ralph M. Stein of Pace University, are lifelong academics who have often crafted careers at a single institution whose reputation they have helped to build. Their work isn't just a way to earn a living, but instead a major part of their identity. And that can make it difficult for professors to give up their jobs.


"Working Into the Sunset," by Elizabeth Murphy, Inside Higher Ed, November 29. 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/11/29/survey-documents-retirement-worries-higher-ed-employees 

More than 6 in 10 higher education employees fear their retirement savings will not be enough for a comfortable retirement, according to a survey released Monday by Fidelity Investments.

The survey found that most employees in academe — regardless of age — feel like novices when it comes to investing their money. More than half of those surveyed reported they feel “overwhelmed” by the investing process and wish they had more guidance from their employers, according to the survey.

Fidelity officials said this trend seems to be indicative of the economy as a whole. As the economy dipped, employees were being asked to take on more responsibility for their own retirement savings, and many fear for the long-term viability of Social Security.

"It's not all that surprising when you look at the rollercoaster people have been on in the last 18 to 24 months in the market," said Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president of marketing of the tax exempt market at Fidelity Investments, said. "It's not uncommon for people to be investing more conservatively, especially younger investors who are skittish based on the markets that they see."

Fidelity surveyed about 600 higher education employees, including faculty members, administrators, general staff and executive staff members from private and public institutions, and analyzed the responses by employee age.  (Those surveyed were among all higher education employees, randomly selected, regardless of whether they are Fidelity clients.)  Most respondents said they do not have a formal retirement plan, even though they say that is the most important savings area for them.

And even though the younger groups should be more aggressive with their investments, the survey found their asset allocations are on par with those in the baby boomer group.  It also found that half of the employees surveyed considered themselves “conservative” retirement investors, no matter the age.

Select Fidelity Survey Findings

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
What the article does not stress is that the freedom of time allocation for most working professors makes their jobs more like retirement than is possible in most other working careers. Some older professors really abuse their privileges by teaching on automatic pilot, spending less than 20 hours per week in their offices, and living like retirees the rest of the time. What's the incentive to retire?

Of course other older professors live much more stressful lives teaching and conducting research and maintaining Websites 70 or more hours per week. But many of these often like their working lives so much that they prefer this working life to a "boring" retirement.

What professors needed was more parenting time when their children were very young. Unfortunately, this is often that stage of their careers that was the most stressful when they were still seeking tenure and/or promotions to full professorships. After Age 60 their children are grown, and their work on campus is often less stressful than it was when they were younger.

The article does not mention another thing that keeps older professors on the job long after retirement age --- newer and younger trophy spouses who lose their medical insurance when their professor spouses retire. This may change when and if Obamacare kicks in and many universities drop medical insurance plans for employees. I'm not just being facetious here. I know at least two professors at Trinity working long beyond retirement age primarily to continue their medical insurance benefits for younger trophy spouses. Fortunately for me my wife was on Medicare when I retired --- no younger trophy spouse for me.


"Business Schools Are Hiring a New Kind of Dean," by Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 16, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Business-Schools-Are-Hiring-a/130111/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Faced with stagnant enrollment, pressure to expand overseas, and the demands of recruiters for more-relevant training, business schools today are searching for a new kind of dean: one who has broad leadership skills rather than narrow expertise in areas like economics or finance, according to a new report.

Search committees have, over the past 18 months, zeroed in on candidates with a leadership profile "that emphasizes CEO-style breadth and organizational expertise over more-narrow academic mastery," says the report, "The Business School Dean Redefined." It was published by the Korn/Ferry Institute, which studies executive-recruiting trends.

Many of the new deans emerge from fields like organizational development and management, while in the past they were more likely to have backgrounds in finance and economics, says one of the report's authors, Kenneth L. Kring, a senior client partner in the Philadelphia office of Korn/Ferry International, the institute's parent company.

Leading a business school is particularly challenging now, he and his co-author, Stuart Kaplan, chief operating officer of the group's leadership consulting group, say.

"Managing the 'business of the business school' is a complex job, similar to that of a CEO, yet with challenges that do not constrain private-enterprise chief executives," the report states. "Few CEOs, for example, must grapple with the concept of a tenured work force, highly diffused authority, and funding constraints placed by donors."

The same economic pressures that have battered endowments, squeezed fund-raising, and forced business schools to rely more heavily on tuition have crimped companies' willingness to help send their promising executives to school, causing flat or falling enrollments in many business programs.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One of the problems with hiring administrators at most any level (including CEOs) is what to do with them after they retire whether or not they were given tenure before they retire. Many really don't want to stay on as full-time employees, but there are also many who still want to be on the payroll. For example, if an administrator has never taught at the college level and never conducted academic research, a problem arises when keeping him or her on the payroll. The problem is just about as bad if that person is a PhD who has not taught or conducted academic research in the past 20 years.

My experience with college administrators is that in the back of their minds they feel that they will be God's gift to students if and when they move into the classroom. Outside CEOs and CPA firm partners often have the same confidence in their teaching before they try to teach. In some cases, they are God's gift to students. But more often than not they are the Devil's gift to students in classrooms.

Of course there are some deans and college CEOs who teach occasional courses in semesters when they are mostly administrators. This in some ways is a good thing, because it helps them to keep their skills honed and perhaps makes them more empathetic regarding the teaching and research pressures brought to bear on faculty.


"University of California Faculty, Administrators Earning > $245k to Sue for Higher Pensions," by Paul Caron, Tax Professor Blog, December 30, 2010 ---
http://taxprof.typepad.com/

Three dozen of the University of California's highest-paid executives are threatening to sue unless UC agrees to spend tens of millions of dollars to dramatically increase retirement benefits for employees earning more than $245,000.

"We believe it is the University's legal, moral and ethical obligation" to increase the benefits, the executives wrote the Board of Regents in a Dec. 9 letter and position paper obtained by The Chronicle. ...

The executives fashioned their demand as a direct challenge to UC President Mark Yudof, who opposes the increase. "Forcing resolution in the courts will put 200 of the University's most senior, most visible current and former executives and faculty leaders in public contention with the President and the Board," they wrote. ...

They want UC to calculate retirement benefits as a percentage of their entire salaries, instead of the federally instituted limit of $245,000. The difference would be significant for the more than 200 UC employees who currently earn more than $245,000.

Under UC's formula, which calculates retirement benefits on only the first $245,000 of pay, an employee earning $400,000 a year who retires after 30 years would get a $183,750 annual pension. Lift the cap, and the pension rises to $300,000. ...

The executives say the higher pensions are overdue because the regents agreed in 1999 to grant them once the IRS allowed them to lift the $245,000 cap, a courtesy often granted to tax-exempt institutions like UC. The IRS approved the waiver in 2007.

Yudof wants the regents to rescind their original approval of the higher pensions, but withdrew his recommendation after receiving the letter. He did so to allow "time for further review by the regents," his spokesman said.


"The Real Reason Organizations Resist Analytics," by Michael Schrage, Harvard Business Review Blog, January 29, 2013 --- Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/schrage/2013/01/the-real-reason-organizations.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

While discussing a Harvard colleague's world-class work on how big data and analytics transform public sector effectiveness, I couldn't help but ask: How many public school systems had reached out to him for advice?

His answer surprised. "I can't think of any," he said. "I guess some organizations are more interested in accountability than others."

Exactly. Enterprise politics and culture suggest analytics' impact is less about measuring existing performance than creating new accountability. Managements may want to dramatically improve productivity but they're decidedly mixed about comparably increasing their accountability. Accountability is often the unhappy byproduct rather than desirable outcome of innovative analytics. Greater accountability makes people nervous.

That's not unreasonable. Look at the vicious politics and debate in New York and other cities over analytics' role in assessing public school teacher performance. The teachers' union argues the metrics are an unfair and pseudo-scientific tool to justify firings. Analytics' champions insist that the transparency and insight these metrics provide are essential for determining classroom quality and outcomes. The arguments over numbers are really fights over accountability and its consequences.

At one global technology services firm, salespeople grew furious with a CRM system whose new analytics effectively held them accountable for pricing and promotion practices they thought undermined their key account relationships. The sophisticated and near-real-time analytics created the worst of both worlds for them: greater accountability with less flexibility and influence.

The evolving marriage of big data to analytics increasingly leads to a phenomenon I'd describe as "accountability creep" — the technocratic counterpart to military "mission creep." The more data organizations gather from more sources and algorithmically analyze, the more individuals, managers and executives become accountable for any unpleasant surprises and/or inefficiencies that emerge.

For example, an Asia-based supply chain manager can discover that the remarkably inexpensive subassembly he's successfully procured typically leads to the most complex, time-consuming and expensive in-field repairs. Of course, engineering design and test should be held accountable, but more sophisticated data-driven analytics makes the cost-driven, compliance-oriented supply chain employee culpable, as well.

This helps explain why, when working with organizations implementing big data initiatives and/or analytics, I've observed the most serious obstacles tend to have less to do with real quantitative or technical competence than perceived professional vulnerability. The more managements learn about what analytics might mean, the more they fear that the business benefits may be overshadowed by the risk of weakness, dysfunction and incompetence exposed.

Culture matters enormously. Do better analytics lead managers to "improve" or "remove" the measurably underperforming? Are analytics internally marketed and perceived as diagnostics for helping people and processes perform "better"? Or do they identify the productivity pathogens that must quickly and cost-effectively be organizationally excised? What I've observed is that many organizations have invested more thought into acquiring analytic capabilities than confronting the accountability crises they may create.

For at least a few organizations, that's led to "accountability for thee but not for me" investment. Executives use analytics to impose greater accountability upon their subordinates. Analytics become a medium and mechanism for centralizing and consolidating power. Accountability flows up from the bottom; authority flows down from the top.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm

Jensen Comment
Another huge problem in big data analytics is that the databases cannot possibly answer some of the most interesting questions. For example, often they reveal only correlations without any data regarding causality.

A Recent Essay
"How Non-Scientific Granulation Can Improve Scientific Accountics"
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/AccounticsGranulationCurrentDraft.pdf
By Bob Jensen
This essay takes off from the following quotation:

A recent accountics science study suggests that audit firm scandal with respect to someone else's audit may be a reason for changing auditors.
"Audit Quality and Auditor Reputation: Evidence from Japan,"
by Douglas J. Skinner and Suraj Srinivasan, The Accounting Review, September 2012, Vol. 87, No. 5, pp. 1737-1765.

Our conclusions are subject to two caveats. First, we find that clients switched away from ChuoAoyama in large numbers in Spring 2006, just after Japanese regulators announced the two-month suspension and PwC formed Aarata. While we interpret these events as being a clear and undeniable signal of audit-quality problems at ChuoAoyama, we cannot know for sure what drove these switches (emphasis added). It is possible that the suspension caused firms to switch auditors for reasons unrelated to audit quality. Second, our analysis presumes that audit quality is important to Japanese companies. While we believe this to be the case, especially over the past two decades as Japanese capital markets have evolved to be more like their Western counterparts, it is possible that audit quality is, in general, less important in Japan (emphasis added) .

 


Purpose Of Education

Question
What is the difference between education and indoctrination? 

Education --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education

Indoctrination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indoctrination
Where many voices of education are silenced

Training --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Training

"Noam Chomsky Spells Out the Purpose of Education," by Josh Jones, Open Culture, November 2012 ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/noam_chomsky_spells_out_the_purpose_of_education.html

E + ducere: “To lead or draw out.” The etymological Latin roots of “education.” According to a former Jesuit professor of mine, the fundamental sense of the word is to draw others out of “darkness,” into a “more magnanimous view” (he’d say, his arms spread wide). As inspirational as this speech was to a seminar group of budding higher educators, it failed to specify the means by which this might be done, or the reason. Lacking a Jesuit sense of mission, I had to figure out for myself what the “darkness” was, what to lead people towards, and why. It turned out to be simpler than I thought, in some respects, since I concluded that it wasn’t my job to decide these things, but rather to present points of view, a collection of methods—an intellectual toolkit, so to speak—and an enthusiastic model. Then get out of the way. That’s all an educator can, and should do, in my humble opinion. Anything more is not education, it’s indoctrination. Seemed simple enough to me at first. If only it were so. Few things, in fact, are more contentious (Google the term “assault on education,” for example).

What is the difference between education and indoctrination? This debate rages back hundreds, thousands, of years, and will rage thousands more into the future. Every major philosopher has had one answer or another, from Plato to Locke, Hegel and Rousseau to Dewey. Continuing in that venerable tradition, linguist, political activist, and academic generalist extraordinaire Noam Chomsky, one of our most consistently compelling public intellectuals, has a lot to say in the video above and elsewhere about education.

First, Chomsky defines his view of education in an Enlightenment sense, in which the “highest goal in life is to inquire and create. The purpose of education from that point of view is just to help people to learn on their own. It’s you the learner who is going to achieve in the course of education and it’s really up to you to determine how you’re going to master and use it.” An essential part of this kind of education is fostering the impulse to challenge authority, think critically, and create alternatives to well-worn models. This is the pedagogy I ended up adopting, and as a college instructor in the humanities, it’s one I rarely have to justify.

Chomsky defines the opposing concept of education as indoctrination, under which he subsumes vocational training, perhaps the most benign form. Under this model, “People have the idea that, from childhood, young people have to be placed into a framework where they’re going to follow orders. This is often quite explicit.” (One of the entries in the Oxford English Dictionary defines education as “the training of an animal,” a sense perhaps not too distinct from what Chomsky means). For Chomsky, this model of education imposes “a debt which traps students, young people, into a life of conformity. That’s the exact opposite of what traditionally comes out of the Enlightenment.” In the contest between these two definitions—Athens vs. Sparta, one might say—is the question that plagues educational reformers at the primary and secondary levels: “Do you train for passing tests or do you train for creative inquiry?”

Chomsky goes on to discuss the technological changes in education occurring now, the focus of innumerable discussions and debates about not only the purpose of education, but also the proper methods (a subject this site is deeply invested in), including the current unease over the shift to online over traditional classroom ed or the value of a traditional degree versus a certificate. Chomsky’s view is that technology is “basically neutral,” like a hammer that can build a house or “crush someone’s skull.” The difference is the frame of reference under which one uses the tool. Again, massively contentious subject, and too much to cover here, but I’ll let Chomsky explain. Whatever you think of his politics, his erudition and experience as a researcher and educator make his views on the subject well worth considering.

Josh Jones is a doctoral candidate in English at Fordham University and a co-founder and former managing editor of Guernica / A Magazine of Arts and Politics.

Bob Jensen's threads on the liberal bias of the major media and higher education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#LiberalBias

 


"Rethinking Mentorship," by Michael Ruderman (MBA student at Stanford), March 14, 2013---
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-ruderman/mentors_b_2873228.html

Before starting at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, I received corporate training and mentorship that was largely directive. My managers told me what to do and I did it. When it came time for longer-term career advice, my managers encouraged me to follow in their footsteps.

Our dynamic, global economy demands creative leaders who are able to forge new paths. Mentorship must be more about empowering the mentee than about shaping the mentee to be like the mentor. It wasn't until I arrived at business school that my mentors stopped telling me what to do and started asking me questions. My mentors went from "advising" me to "coaching" me. What were my priorities? Where did I want to be in five, ten, twenty years? How did I define a successful, impactful life?

Daniel Goleman's research in the Harvard Business Review points out that the best managers must have several styles to be most effective. He points out that the "coaching" style -- acting more like a counselor than a traditional boss -- is used least often because it is the hardest, not because it is the least effective. Coaching requires managers to focus primarily on the personal development of their employees and not just work-related tasks. It requires managers to tolerate "short-term failure if it furthers long-term learning." Goleman points out that the coaching style ultimately delivers bottom-line results.

I was selected to be an Arbuckle Leadership Fellow at Stanford, a cohort of MBAs employing the coaching style to mentor other MBAs. I started the program from the perspective that my professor Carole Robin repeated over and over: our "coachees" were "creative, resourceful, and whole." I can listen deeply, ask provocative questions, use my intuition, reframe the problem, etc. But I don't need to tell them the answer in order to be an effective leader.

I was randomly assigned nine first-year MBA students to coach, all from different backgrounds. I would meet one-on-one with each of them over coffee for an hour at a time. We would talk about everything from their transition to business school life to their romantic lives to career issues. "What should I do?" they each asked. But I wouldn't tell them the answer. I would ask questions and try to help them find an answer on their own.

"Why don't you just tell me what to do?" was a common refrain from my coachees. Eventually the coachees internalized that I worked to understand their perspective and to help them find the answer on their own. Intellectual independence then bred empowerment. I watched a quiet student transform into a powerful presence in front of an executive audience.

I still had a nagging question: would the coaching style only work at business school? Could I still be a successful coaching manager and resist giving the answers in a real-world situation with deadlines, budget pressures, and valuable relationships on the line? In the run-up to the Out for Undergrad Tech Conference this February, I coached the direct reports on my team. When I fielded a question, my first instinct was to ask, "What do you think?" One of the volunteers on my team, a successful young professional at one of the hottest Silicon Valley companies, was frustrated at first, just as my MBA coachees were. But just like the Stanford MBAs, he too began to internalize that he could come up with the answers on his own. As soon as he would ask a question, he would pause, acknowledge he was thinking through an answer, and offer a solution.

Employees are motivated by more than money, and autonomy and purpose are two large motivating factors. As the global war for talent grows ever more competitive, the need to cultivate and hold onto talent is paramount. Coaching results in more autonomous employees who are able to find meaning in their work and see the purpose of their actions.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Mentoring may be even more of a problem in doctoral programs. One of my better former Trinity graduates was in the latter stages of an accounting doctoral program when his mentor advised him not to try to be too creative when proposing a dissertation and doing research on up to the point of receiving tenure. The mentor's advice was to crank out General Linear Model regression studies that are safe even if they were not very creative or exciting. Supposedly real attempts at creativity might be wasted time until tenure was attained.


"Why Students Gripe About Grades," by Cathy Davidson, Inside Higher Ed, January 7, 2013 --- 
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/01/07/essay-how-end-student-complaints-grades

Jensen Comment
Quite simply put --- times have changed. In days of old graduation diplomas were the keys to the kingdom for careers and graduate studies. Now diplomas mean almost nothing relative to grade point averages on transcripts. Given a choice between graduating in nuclear chemistry with a 2.1 gpa versus a 3.43 gpa in business  versus a 3.96 gpa in art history, most students these days will choose majors leading to the highest gpa unless there's virtually no chance for advancement in a particular discipline.

Students who do not cheat still game the system to get higher grade averages on transcripts ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GamingForGrades
This includes avoiding state universities where grade competition may be much higher than in smaller private colleges struggling for tuition revenue.

In the State of Texas the Top 10% of every public high school in Texas gets automatic admission to the flagship University of Texas, including students with horrid SAT or ACT scores. A student with a nearly perfect SAT score who graduates below the 10% gpa cutoff will most likely not be admitted by UT ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/01/texas

In most universities the Big Four accounting firms will not even interview students with less than a 3.00 gpa, and in most colleges that threshold is set much higher.

Graduate school admissions criteria often include a formula combining multiplying gpa by some multiple of the score on a graduate admission test. Those colleges playing down admission test scores put higher emphasis on gpa.

The most common gripe in student evaluations of their instructors in RateMyProfessor.com is grading ---
http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/
Fantastic teachers are rated down for being tough on grades. Mediocre teachers are rated up for giving mostly A grades.

Grading impacts teaching evaluations and teaching evaluations, in turn, have led to ever increasing grade inflation ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#RateMyProfessor


College, Reinvented --- http://chronicle.com/section/College-Reinvented/656

"For Whom Is College Being Reinvented? 'Disruptions' have the buzz but may put higher education out of reach for those students likely to benefit the most," by Scott Carlson and Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 17, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-False-Promise-of-the/136305/

Last year, leading lights in for-profit and nonprofit higher education convened in Washington for a conference on private-sector innovation in the industry. The national conversation about dysfunction and disruption in higher education was just heating up, and panelists from start-ups, banking, government, and education waxed enthusiastic about the ways that a traditional college education could be torn down and rebuilt—and about how lots of money could be made along the way.

During a break, one panelist—a banker who lines up financing for education companies, and who had talked about meeting consumer demands in the market—made chitchat. The banker had a daughter who wanted a master's in education and was deciding between a traditional college and a start-up that offered a program she would attend mostly online—exactly the kind of thing everyone at the conference was touting.

For most parents, that choice might raise questions—and the banker was no exception. Unlike most parents, however, the well-connected banker could resolve those uncertainties, with a call to the CEO of the education venture: "Is this thing crap or for real?"

In higher education, that is the question of the moment—and the answer is not clear, even to those lining up to push for college reinvention. But the question few people want to grapple with is, For whom are we reinventing college?

The punditry around reinvention (including some in these pages) has trumpeted the arrival of MOOC's, badges, "UnCollege," and so on as the beginning of a historic transformation. "College Is Dead. Long Live College!," declared a headline in Time's "Reinventing College" issue, in October, which pondered whether massive open online courses would "finally pop the tuition bubble." With the advent of MOOC's, "we're witnessing the end of higher education as we know it," pronounced Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University, in The Boston Globe last month.

Read beneath the headlines a bit. The pundits and disrupters, many of whom enjoyed liberal-arts educations at elite colleges, herald a revolution in higher education that is not for people like them or their children, but for others: less-wealthy, less-prepared students who are increasingly cut off from the dream of a traditional college education.

"Those who can afford a degree from an elite institution are still in an enviable position," wrote the libertarian blogger Megan McArdle in a recent Newsweek article, "Is College a Lousy Investment?" For the rest, she suggested, perhaps apprenticeships and on-the-job training might be more realistic, more affordable options. Mr. Aoun, in his Globe essay, admitted that the coming reinvention could promote a two-tiered system: "one tier consisting of a campus-based education for those who can afford it, and the other consisting of low- and no-cost MOOC's." And in an article about MOOC's, Time quotes David Stavens, a founder of the MOOC provider Udacity, as conceding that "there's a magic that goes on inside a university campus that, if you can afford to live inside that bubble, is wonderful."

But if you can't, entrepreneurs like him are creating an industrialized version of higher education that the most fervent disruptionists predict could replace mid-sized state institutions or less-selective private colleges. "I think the top 50 schools are probably safe," Mr. Stavens said.

A 'Mass Psychosis'

Higher education does have real problems, and MOOC's, badges—certificates of accomplishment—and other innovations have real potential to tackle some of them. They could enrich teaching, add rigor, encourage interdisciplinarity, reinforce education's real-world applicability, and make learning more efficient—advances all sorely needed.

But the reinvention conversation has not produced the panacea that people seem to yearn for. "The whole MOOC thing is mass psychosis," a case of people "just throwing spaghetti against the wall" to see what sticks, says Peter J. Stokes, executive director for postsecondary innovation at Northeastern's College of Professional Studies. His job is to study the effectiveness of ideas that are emerging or already in practice.

He believes that many of the new ideas, including MOOC's, could bring improvements to higher education. But "innovation is not about gadgets," says Mr. Stokes. "It's not about eureka moments. ... It's about continuous evaluation."

The furor over the cost and effectiveness of a college education has roots in deep socioeconomic challenges that won't be solved with an online app. Over decades, state support per student at public institutions has dwindled even as enrollments have ballooned, leading to higher prices for parents and students. State funds per student dropped by 20 percent from 1987 to 2011, according to an analysis by the higher-education finance expert Jane Wellman, who directs the National Association of System Heads. States' rising costs for Medicaid, which provides health care for the growing ranks of poor people, are a large part of the reason.

Meanwhile, the gap between the country's rich and poor widened during the recession, choking off employment opportunities for many recent graduates. Education leading up to college is a mess: Public elementary and secondary systems have failed a major segment of society, and the recent focus on testing has had questionable results.

Part of the problem is that the two-tiered system that Mr. Aoun fretted about is already here—a system based in part on the education and income of parents, says Robert Archibald, an economics professor at the College of William and Mary and an author of Why Does College Cost So Much?

"At most institutions, students are in mostly large classes, listening to second-rate lecturers, with very little meaningful faculty student interaction," he says. "Students are getting a fairly distant education even in a face-to-face setting."

If the future of MOOC's as peddled by some were to take hold, it would probably exacerbate the distinction between "luxury" and "economy" college degrees, he says. Graduates leaving high school well prepared for college would get an even bigger payoff, finding a place in the top tier.

"The tougher road is going to be for the people who wake up after high school and say, I should get serious about learning," Mr. Archibald says. "It's going to be tougher for them to maneuver through the system, and it is already tough."

That's one reason economists like Robert B. Reich argue for more investment in apprentice-based educational programs, which would offer an alternative to the bachelor's degree. "Our entire economy is organized to lavish very generous rewards on students who go through that gantlet" for a four-year degree, says the former secretary of labor, now a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. As a country, he says, we need to "expand our repertoire." But it's important that such a program not be conceived and offered as a second-class degree, he argues. It should be a program "that has a lot of prestige associated with it."

With few exceptions, however, the reinvention crowd is interested in solutions that will require less public and private investment, not more. Often that means cutting out the campus experience, deemed by some a "luxury" these days.

Less Help Where It's Needed

Here's the cruel part: The students from the bottom tier are often the ones who need face-to-face instruction most of all.

"The idea that they can have better education and more access at lower cost through massive online courses is just preposterous," says Patricia A. McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University. Seventy percent of her students are eligible for Pell Grants, and 50 percent come from the broken District of Columbia school system. Her task has been trying to figure out how to serve those students at a college with the university's meager $11-million endowment.

Getting them to and through college takes advisers, counselors, and learning-disability experts—a fact Ms. McGuire has tried to convey to foundations, policy makers, and the public. But the reinvention conversation has had a "tech guy" fixation on mere content delivery, she says. "It reveals a lack of understanding of what it takes to make the student actually learn the content and do something with it."

Amid the talk of disruptive innovation, "the real disruption is the changing demographics of this country," Trinity's president says. Waves of minority students, especially Hispanics, are arriving on campus, many at those lower-tier colleges, having come from schools that didn't prepare them for college work. "The real problem here is that higher education has to repeat a whole lot of lower education," Ms. McGuire says. "That has been drag on everyone."

Much of the hype around reinvention bypasses her day-to-day challenges as a president. "All of the talk about how higher education is broken is a superficial scrim over the question, What are the problems we are trying to solve?" she says. The reinvention crowd has motivations aside from solving higher education's problems, she suspects: "Beware Chicken Little, because Chicken Little has a vested interest in this. There is an awful lot of hype about disruption and the need for reinvention that is being fomented by people who are going to make out like bandits on it."

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia and a frequent commentator on technology and education, believes that some of the new tools and innovations could indeed enhance teaching and learning—but that doing so will take serious research and money.

In any case, he says, the new kinds of distance learning cannot replace the vital role that bricks-and-mortar colleges have in many communities.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, EdX, and MITx ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


"Turning Up the Volume on Graduate Education Reform, by Katina Rogers, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 14, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/graduate-education-reform/45043?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The final weeks of the year, always a time for reflection and renewal, are doubly so for humanities scholars because of the timing of the MLA and AHA annual conventions (and for some, the academic interviews and ensuing anxiety that accompany them). Recently, a number of conversations discussing new models for graduate education have taken place, giving the encouraging impression that we are in a moment when long-standing issues in higher education, including employment rates for PhD holders, may be receiving renewed attention that will transform into action on a broader scale. At the same time, some of the conversations have generated heated criticism.

In a single week, a number of high-profile articles came to public view:

While any one of these items would have garnered a good deal of discussion, the concentration of all of them appearing in such a short period of time seriously turned up the volume on discussions about graduate education reform. The topics of time to degree, job prospects, curricular reform, and career training are not only highly complex; they’re also intensely emotional. It’s not unexpected, then, that the articles and reports of the past week would generate strong opinions, both of support and critique.

Some of the criticisms that I saw last week expressed concern that the voices of graduate students were being excluded from the conversation; others worried that without the buy-in of senior faculty, changes would not get off the ground. Both are true, though more voices are represented in these conversations than is immediately apparent in the press coverage. Another, more complex critique is that the movement to shorten time-to-degree or to increase preparation for alternative academic careers merely legitimizes the problems of a flooded job market and the casualization of academic labor. These are major concerns, and I don’t think anybody knows for sure whether the long-term effects of the proposed changes will make a dent in the root of the problems. At the same time, something has to be done, and I think it’s incredibly positive that we’re at a point of action—and that at least some of that action is being initiated at high levels.

Last week’s articles bring public attention to work that has been ongoing for some time, and it’s worth noting that there’s a great deal of research and discussion that is less newsworthy but that is a crucial aspect of the movement toward change. One locus of conversation about the state of graduate training occurred at the Scholarly Communication Institute’s recent meeting, Rethinking Graduate Education. The first of three meetings on the topic, the workshop featured wide-ranging conversation and pragmatic implementation discussions. While concrete pilot programs will be developed in subsequent meetings in this series, already a number of innovative concepts have been proposed, including establishing a form of short-term rotations to increase graduate students’ exposure to other academic and cultural heritage institutions in their community.

Following that meeting, Fiona Barnett, a participant at the SCI workshop and director of the HASTAC Scholars Program, broadened the conversation by introducing a HASTAC forum on the same topic. While the size of SCI’s meeting was limited in order to foster deeper engagement among participants, the HASTAC forum opens up the dialogue to include many more voices from graduate students and others who wish to contribute. The forum has seen a high level of activity and a range of thoughtful ideas, including developing something akin to a studio class, where students would develop and present their own projects and engage in peer critique.

It’s also important to note that while the Stanford proposal and the issues that Bérubé presented are examples of top-down recommendations, some of the best examples of change are already happening in small pockets and from the ground up. In order to call more attention to them and to help find the patterns among strong programs, SCI is currently developing a loose consortium of programs—called the Praxis Network—that provide innovative methodological training and research support. More information about the network will be available in early 2013. While innovative programs may still feel more like the exception than the norm, there are some outstanding examples that can serve as models for programs that are considering making curricular changes or developing new initiatives. By showcasing existing programs that are rethinking the ways they train their students, we hope that their successes and challenges will enable other programs and departments to enact changes that make sense for their own institution and students.

Much of the conversation about graduate training focuses on career readiness—regardless of whether that career is professorial in nature. As readers of this space already know, over the past several months, SCI has conducted a study on career preparation among humanities scholars in alternative academic positions. An early report from the study is now available, with a fuller report to come in 2013. The upshot is that there’s much room for improvement in helping to equip graduate students to succeed in whatever career path they choose to pursue. Skills like project management and collaboration are useful to all grad students, whether they plan to pursue a professorship or another career; the same holds true for transparent discussion about the job market and more systematic teaching about the changing ecosystem of scholarly publishing. The data from the study will provide a much more solid base than mere anecdote where institutional structures are concerned.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the need for doctoral program reform ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#DoctoralProgramChange


Death of An Adjunct: A Sobering, True Story ---
http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/death-of-an-adjunct-a-sobering-and-true-story.html

Jensen Comment
In general, the term "adjunct" should apply both the the employer and employee. Adjuncts are advised not to become dependent upon jobs of any kind that are low paying, have almost no benefits,  and have low reappointment security amidst other workers who earn seniority (not necessarily tenure). Many "adjunct" college jobs are like minimum wage jobs at McDonalds. They really never were intended to be careers. McDonalds used to envision low paying jobs to be temporary jobs for young people and other transition workers intent on eventually moving into higher paying careers. It becomes sad when the labor economy is so rotten that people begin to look at these low paying transitional jobs as long-term careers.

Walmart is a bit different. Walmart subsidizes online training and education with the intent that unskilled workers have help in lifting themselves higher within or outside Walmart. Older workers who work at Walmart to simply supplement retirement incomes are a lot different that a very young single parent in need of opportunities for advancement. Walmart is at least offering some opportunities for low paid employees willing to take the time and effort to get an education.

A university should do the same for its adjuncts.
Older workers like retired CPA partners who simply supplement retirement incomes are a lot different than young Ph.D. graduates who cannot find a tenure-track jobs. A college that employs adjuncts should have programs to assist adjuncts find better employment in the case where these adjuncts seemingly are locking into long-term careers as adjunct teachers or low-paid research assistants.

It's an enormous problem when younger college adjunct faculty begin to look at their adjunct positions as long-term careers. In part, this explains the success of the AACSB's Bridging Program where non-business Ph.D.s have an opportunity to become qualified for employment in tenure-track business faculty opportunities where tenure-track openings are more prevalent than in many humanities and science disciplines.

Margaret Mary Vojtko is a sad case in the "gray zone" of adjunct employment.
The "gray zone" includes an adjunct employee who is perhaps not qualified for AACSB bridging such as an adjunct teacher without a Ph.D. degree. The "gray zone" includes a Ph.D. who is perhaps too old for bridging into a new career such as a 59-year old recently divorced adjunct who has almost no savings and supplemental income. The "gray zone" includes an adjunct employee who was content to live of the margin for decades and then encounters a health issue with no savings, no TIAA-CREF retirement plan, and no family safety net.

Bob Jensen's threads on controversies in higher education ---
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/death-of-an-adjunct-703773/


"(More) Clarity on Adjunct Hours (including healthcare insurance guidance)," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, February 11, 2014 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/02/11/irs-guidance-health-care-law-clarifies-formula-counting-adjunct-hours 

The Obama administration on Monday released its long-awaited final guidance on how colleges should calculate the hours of adjunct instructors and student workers for purposes of the new federal mandate that employers provide health insurance to those who work more than 30 hours a week.

The upshot of the complicated regulation from the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service:

Adjunct Hours

The issues of how to count the hours of part-time instructors and student workers have consumed college officials and faculty groups for much of the last 18 months, ever since it became clear that the Affordable Care Act definition of a full-time employee as working 30 hours or more a week was leading some colleges to limit the hours of adjunct faculty members, so they fell short of the 30-hour mark.

All that the government said in its initial January 2013 guidance about the employer mandate under the health care law was that colleges needed to use "reasonable" methods to count adjuncts' hours.

In federal testimony and at conferences, college administrators and faculty advocates have debated the appropriate definition of "reasonable," with a focus on calculating the time that instructors spend on their jobs beyond their actual hours in the classroom. The American Council on Education, higher education's umbrella association and main lobbying group, proposed a ratio of one hour of outside time for each classroom hour, while many faculty advocates have pushed for a ratio of 2:1 or more.

In its new regulation, published as part of a complex 227-page final rule in today's Federal Register, the government said that it would be too complex to count actual hours, and it rejected proposals to treat instructors as full time only if they were assigned course loads equivalent or close to those of full-time instructors at their institutions.

The administration continued to say that given the "wide variation of work patterns, duties, and circumstances" at different colleges, institutions should continue to have a good deal of flexibility in defining what counts as "reasonable."

But in the "interest of predictability and ease of administration in crediting hours of service for purposes" of the health care law, the agencies said, the regulation establishes as "one (but not the only)" reasonable definition a count of 2.25 hours of work for each classroom hour taught. "[I]n addition to crediting an hour of service for each hour teaching in the classroom, this method would credit an additional 1 ¼ hours service" for "related tasks such as class preparation and grading of examinations or papers."

Separately, instructors should also be credited with an hour of service for each additional hour they spend outside of the classroom on duties they are "required to perform (such as required office hours or required attendance at faculty meetings," the regulation states.

The guidance states that the ratio -- which would essentially serve as a "safe harbor" under which institutions can qualify under the law -- "may be relied upon at least through the end of 2015."

By choosing a ratio of 1 ¼ hours of additional service for each classroom hour, the government comes slightly higher than the 1:1 ratio that the higher education associations sought, and quite a bit lower than the ratio of 2:1 or higher promoted by many faculty advocates.

David S. Baime, vice president for government relations and research at the American Association of Community Colleges, praised administration officials for paying "very close attention to the institutional and financial realities that our colleges are facing." He said community colleges appreciated both the continued flexibility and the setting of a safe harbor under which, in the association's initial analysis, "the vast majority of our adjunct faculty, under currernt teaching loads, would not be qualifying" for health insurance, Baime said.

Maria Maisto, president and executive director of New Faculty Majority, said she, too, appreciated that the administration had left lots of room for flexibility, which she hoped would "force a lot of really interesting conversations" on campuses. "I think most people would agree that it is reasonable for employers to actually talk to and involve employees in thinking about how those workers can, and do, perform their work most effectively, and not to simply mandate from above how that work is understood and performed," she added.

Maisto said she was also pleased that the administration appeared to have set the floor for a "reasonable" ratio above the lower 1:1 ratio that the college associations were suggesting.

She envisioned a good deal of confusion on the provision granting an hour of time for all required non-teaching activities, however, noting that her own contract at Cuyahoga Community College requires her to participate in professional development and to respond to students' questions and requests on an "as-needed basis." "How does this regulation account for requirements like that?" she wondered.

Student Workers

The adjunct issue has received most of the higher education-related attention about the employer mandate, but the final regulations have significant implications for campuses that employ significant numbers of undergraduate and graduate students, too.

Higher education groups had urged the administration to exempt student workers altogether from the employer mandate, given that many of them would be covered under the health care law's policies governing student health plans and coverage for those up to age 26 on their parents' policies. The groups also requested an exemption for students involved in work study programs.

The updated guidance grants the latter exemption for hours of work study, given, it states, that "the federal work study program, as a federally subsidized financial aid program, is distinct from traditional employment in that its primary purpose is to advance education."

But all other student work for an educational organization must be counted as hours of service for purposes of the health care mandate, Treasury and IRS said.

Steven Bloom, director of federal relations at the American Council on Education, said higher ed groups thought it made sense to exempt graduate student workers, given that their work as teaching assistants and lab workers is generally treated as part of their education under the Fair Labor Standards Act. He said the new guidance is likely to force institutions that employ graduate students as TAs or research assistants -- and don't currently offer them health insurance as part of their graduate student packages -- to start counting their hours.

The guidance also includes a potentially confounding approach to students who work as interns. The new regulation exempts work conducted by interns as hours of service under the health care employer mandate -- but only "to the extent that the student does not receive, and is not entitled to, payment in connection with those hours."

Continued in article

Jensen Question
How should a university account for a doctoral student who happens to teach 33 hours one semester and works less than 30 hours in all other semesters of the doctoral program? Is the university required to provide health coverage for zero, one, or more years while the student is a full time student in the doctoral program? I assume the university must provide health insurance for one year, but I'm no authority on this issue.

There also is a huge difference in hours of work required for teaching. A doctoral student who only teaches recitation sections under a professor who provides the lecture sections, writes the syllabus, writes the examinations, and essentially owns a course versus a doctoral student who owns only section of governmental accounting with no supervision from a senior instructor.

When I was Chair of the Accounting Department at Florida State University, the wife (Debbie) of one of our doctoral students (Chuck Mulford) had total control of the lectures and 33 recitation sections of basic accounting each semester where most of the recitation "instructors" were accounting doctoral students. Debbie had her CPA license and a masters degree, but she was not a doctoral student. She was very good at this job. The recitation instructors had almost no preparation time and did not design or grade the examinations. They did not own all 33 sections like Debbie owned all 33 sections. It would be a bit unfair to give the recitation instructors as much pay for preparation as the selected doctoral students who taught more advanced courses and essentially owned those courses in terms of classroom preparation and examinations.

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers

Bob Jensen's threads on controversies in higher education (including use of adjuncts) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


Robotics Displacing Labor Even in Higher Education
"The New Industrial Revolution," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, March  25, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-New-Industrial-Revolution/138015/?cid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

Baxter is a new type of worker, who is having no trouble getting a job these days, even in a tight economy. He's a little slow, but he's easy to train. And companies don't hire him, they buy him—he even comes with a warranty.

Baxter is a robot, not a human, though human workers in all kinds of industries may soon call him a colleague. His plastic-and-metal body consists of two arms loaded with sensors to keep his lifeless limbs from accidentally knocking over anyone nearby. And he has a simulated face, displayed on a flat-panel computer monitor, so he can give a frown if he's vexed or show a bored look if he's waiting to be given more to do.

Baxter is part of a new generation of machines that are changing the labor market worldwide—and raising a new round of debate about the meaning of work itself. This robot comes at a price so low—starting at just $22,000—that even businesses that never thought of replacing people with machines may find that prospect irresistible. It's the brainchild of Rodney Brooks, who also designed the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, which succeeded in bringing at least a little bit of robotics into millions of homes. One computer scientist predicts that robots like Baxter will soon toil in fast-food restaurants topping pizzas, at bakeries sliding dough into hot ovens, and at a variety of other service-sector jobs, in addition to factories.

I wanted to meet this worker of the future and his robot siblings, so I spent a day at this year's Automate trade show here, where Baxter was one of hundreds of new commercial robots on display. Simply by guiding his hands and pressing a few buttons, I programmed him to put objects in boxes; I played blackjack against another robot that had been temporarily programmed to deal cards to show off its dexterity; and I watched demonstration robots play flawless games of billiards on toy-sized tables. (It turns out that robots are not only better at many professional jobs than humans are, but they can best us in our hobbies, too.)

During a keynote speech to kick off the trade show, Henrik Christensen, director of robotics at Georgia Tech, outlined a vision of a near future when we'll see robots and autonomous devices everywhere, working side by side with humans and taking on a surprisingly diverse set of roles. Robots will load and unload packages from delivery trucks without human assistance—as one company's system demonstrated during the event. Robots will even drive the trucks and fly the cargo planes with our packages, Christensen predicted, noting that Google has already demonstrated its driverless car, and that the same technology that powers military drones can just as well fly a FedEx jet. "We'll see coast-to-coast package delivery with drones without having a pilot in the vehicle," he asserted.

Away from the futuristic trade floor, though, a public discussion is growing about whether robots like Baxter and other new automation technologies are taking too many jobs. Similar concerns have cropped up repeatedly for centuries: when combines first arrived on farms, when the first machines hit factory assembly lines, when computers first entered businesses. A folk tune from the 1950s called "The Automation Song" could well be sung today: "Now you've got new machines for to take my place, and you tell me it's not mine to share." Yet new jobs have always seemed to emerge to fill the gaps left by positions lost to mechanization. There may be few secretaries today, but there are legions of social-media managers and other new professional categories created by digital technology.

Still, what if this time is different? What if we're nearing an inflection point where automation is so cheap and efficient that human workers are simply outmatched? What if machines are now leading to a net loss of jobs rather than a net gain? Two professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, raised that concern in Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Digital Frontier Press, 2011). A recent report on 60 Minutes featured the book's thesis and quoted critics concerned about the potential economic crisis caused by robots, despite the cute faces on their monitors.

But robots raise an even bigger question than how many jobs are left over for humans. A number of scholars are now arguing that all this automation could make many goods and services so cheap that a full-time jobs could become optional for most people. Baxter, then, would become a liberator of the human spirit rather than an enemy of the working man.

That utopian dream would require resetting the role work plays in our lives. If our destiny is to be freed from toil by robot helpers, what are we supposed to do with our days?

To begin to tackle that existential question, I decided to invite along a scholar of work to the Automate trade show. And that's how my guest, Burton J. Bledstein, an expert on the history of professionalism and the growth of the modern middle class, got into an argument with the head of a robotics company.

It happened at the booth for Adept Technology Inc., which makes a robot designed to roam the halls of hospitals and other facilities making deliveries. The latest model­—a foot-tall rolling platform that can be customized for a variety of tasks­—wandered around the booth, resembling something out of a Star Wars film except that it occasionally blasted techno music from its speakers. Bledstein was immediately wary of the contraption. The professor, who holds an emeritus position at the University of Illinois at Chicago, explained that he has an artificial hip and didn't want the robot to accidentally knock him down. He needn't have worried, though; the robot is designed to sense nearby objects and keep a safe distance.

The company's then-CEO, John Dulchinos, assured us that on the whole, robots aren't taking jobs—they're simply making life better for human employees by eliminating the most-tedious tasks. "I can show you some very clear examples where this product is offloading tasks from a nurse that was walking five miles a day to allow her to be able to spend time with patients," he said, as the robot tirelessly circled our feet. "I think you see that in a lot of the applications we're doing, where the mundane task is done by a robot which has very simple capability, and it frees up people to do more-elaborate and more-sophisticated tasks."

The CEO defended the broader trend of companies' embracing automation, especially in factory settings where human workers have long held what he called unfulfilling jobs, like wrapping chicken all day. "They look like zombies when they walk out of that factory," he said of such workers. "It is a mind-numbing, mundane task. There is absolutely no satisfaction from what they do."

"That's your perception," countered Bledstein. "A lot of these are unskilled people. A lot of immigrants are in these jobs. They see it as work. They appreciate the paycheck. The numbness of the work is not something that surprises them or disturbs them."

"I guess we could just turn the clock back to 1900, and we can all be farmers," retorted Dulchinos.

But what about those displaced workers who can't find alternatives, asked Bledstein, arguing that automation is happening not just in factories but also in clerical and other middle-class professions changed by computer technology. "That's kind of creating a crisis today. Especially if those people are over 50, those people are having a lot of trouble finding new work." The professor added that he worried about his undergraduate students, too, and the tough job market they face. "It might be a lost generation, it's so bad."

Dulchinos acknowledged that some workers are struggling during what he sees as a transitional period, but he argued that the solution is more technology and innovation, not less, to get to a new equilibrium even faster.

This went on for a while, and it boiled down to competing conceptions of what it means to have a job. In Bledstein's seminal book, The Culture of Professionalism, first published in 1976, he argues that Americans, in particular, have come to define their work as more than just a series of tasks that could be commodified. Bledstein tracks a history of how, in sector after sector, middle-class workers sought to elevate the meaning of their jobs, whether they worked as athletes, surgeons, or funeral directors: "The professional importance of an occupation was exaggerated when the ordinary coffin became a 'casket,' the sealed repository of a precious object; when a decaying corpse became a 'patient' prepared in an 'operating room' by an 'embalming surgeon' and visited in a 'funeral home' before being laid to rest in a 'memorial park.'"

The American dream involves more than just accumulating wealth, the historian argues. It's about developing a sense of personal value by connecting work to a broader social mission, rather than as "a mechanical job, befitting of lowly manual laborer."

Today, though, "there's disillusionment with professions," Bledstein told me, noting that the logic of efficiency is often valued more than the quality of service. "Commercialism has just taken over everywhere." He complained that in their rush to reduce production costs, some business leaders are forgetting that even manual laborers have skills and knowledge that can be tough to simulate by machine. "They want to talk about them as if these people are just drones," he said as we took a break in the back of the exhibit hall, the whir of robot motors almost drowning out our voices. "Don't minimize the extent of what quote-unquote manual workers do—even ditch diggers."

In Genesis, God sentences Adam and Eve to hard labor as part of the punishment for the apple incident. "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life" was the sentence handed down in the Garden of Eden. Yet Martin Luther argued, as have other prominent Christian leaders since, that work is also a way to connect with the divine.

Continued in article

"Rethink Robotics invented a $22,000 humanoid (i.e. trainable) robot that competes with low-wage workers," by Antonio Regalado, MIT's Technology Review, January 16, 2013 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509296/small-factories-give-baxter-the-robot-a-cautious-once-over/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130116

"Rise of the Robots," by Paul Krugman, The New York Times, December 8, 2012 ---
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/08/rise-of-the-robots/

Catherine Rampell and Nick Wingfield write about the growing evidence for “reshoring” of manufacturing to the United States. They cite several reasons: rising wages in Asia; lower energy costs here; higher transportation costs. In a followup piece, however, Rampell cites another factor: robots.

The most valuable part of each computer, a motherboard loaded with microprocessors and memory, is already largely made with robots, according to my colleague Quentin Hardy. People do things like fitting in batteries and snapping on screens.

As more robots are built, largely by other robots, “assembly can be done here as well as anywhere else,” said Rob Enderle, an analyst based in San Jose, Calif., who has been following the computer electronics industry for a quarter-century. “That will replace most of the workers, though you will need a few people to manage the robots.”

Robots mean that labor costs don’t matter much, so you might as well locate in advanced countries with large markets and good infrastructure (which may soon not include us, but that’s another issue). On the other hand, it’s not good news for workers!

This is an old concern in economics; it’s “capital-biased technological change”, which tends to shift the distribution of income away from workers to the owners of capital.

Twenty years ago, when I was writing about globalization and inequality, capital bias didn’t look like a big issue; the major changes in income distribution had been among workers (when you include hedge fund managers and CEOs among the workers), rather than between labor and capital. So the academic literature focused almost exclusively on “skill bias”, supposedly explaining the rising college premium.

But the college premium hasn’t risen for a while. What has happened, on the other hand, is a notable shift in income away from labor:.

"Harley Goes Lean to Build Hogs," by James R. Hagerty, The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2012 ---
http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443720204578004164199848452.html?mod=djem_jiewr_AC_domainid&mg=reno64-wsj

If the global economy slips into a deep slump, American manufacturers including motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. that have embraced flexible production face less risk of veering into a ditch.

Until recently, the company's sprawling factory here had a lack of automation that made it an industrial museum. Now, production that once was scattered among 41 buildings is consolidated into one brightly lighted facility where robots do more heavy lifting. The number of hourly workers, about 1,000, is half the level of three years ago and more than 100 of those workers are "casual" employees who come and go as needed.

All the jobs are not going to Asia, They're going to Hal --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Space_Oddessey
"When Machines Do Your Job: Researcher Andrew McAfee says advances in computing and artificial intelligence could create a more unequal society," by Antonio Regalado, MIT's Technology Review, July 11, 2012 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428429/when-machines-do-your-job/

Are American workers losing their jobs to machines?

That was the question posed by Race Against the Machine, an influential e-book published last October by MIT business school researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. The pair looked at troubling U.S. employment numbers—which have declined since the recession of 2008-2009 even as economic output has risen—and concluded that computer technology was partly to blame.

Advances in hardware and software mean it's possible to automate more white-collar jobs, and to do so more quickly than in the past. Think of the airline staffers whose job checking in passengers has been taken by self-service kiosks. While more productivity is a positive, wealth is becoming more concentrated, and more middle-class workers are getting left behind.

What does it mean to have "technological unemployment" even amidst apparent digital plenty? Technology Review spoke to McAfee at the Center for Digital Business, part of the MIT Sloan School of Management, where as principal research scientist he studies new employment trends and definitions of the workplace.

Every symphony in the world incurs an operating deficit
"Financial Leadership Required to Fight Symphony Orchestra ‘Cost Disease’," by Stanford University's Robert J Flanagan, Stanford Graduate School of Business, February 8, 2012 ---
http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/symphony-financial-leadership.html

 What if you sat down in the concert hall one evening to hear Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 in E Minor and found 5 robots scattered among the human musicians? To get multiple audiences in and out of the concert hall faster, the human musicians and robots are playing the composition in double time.

Today’s orchestras have yet to go down this road. However, their traditional ways of doing business, as economist Robert J. Flanagan explains in his new book on symphony orchestra finances, locks them into limited opportunities for productivity growth and ensures that costs keep rising.

"Patented Book Writing System Creates, Sells Hundreds Of Thousands Of Books On Amazon," by David J. Hull, Security Hub, December 13, 2012 ---
http://singularityhub.com/2012/12/13/patented-book-writing-system-lets-one-professor-create-hundreds-of-thousands-of-amazon-books-and-counting/

Philip M. Parker, Professor of Marketing at INSEAD Business School, has had a side project for over 10 years. He’s created a computer system that can write books about specific subjects in about 20 minutes. The patented algorithm has so far generated hundreds of thousands of books. In fact, Amazon lists over 100,000 books attributed to Parker, and over 700,000 works listed for his company, ICON Group International, Inc. This doesn’t include the private works, such as internal reports, created for companies or licensing of the system itself through a separate entity called EdgeMaven Media.

Parker is not so much an author as a compiler, but the end result is the same: boatloads of written works.

"Raytheon's Missiles Are Now Made by Robots," by Ashlee Vance, Bloomberg Business Week, December 11, 2012 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-12-11/raytheons-missiles-now-made-by-robots

A World Without Work," by Dana Rousmaniere, Harvard Business Review Blog, January 27, 2013 --- Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/morning-advantage/2013/01/morning-advantage-a-world-with.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

Jensen Comment
Historically, graduates who could not find jobs enlisted in the military. Wars of the future, however, will be fought largely by drones, robots, orbiting orbiting satellites. This begs the question of where graduates who cannot find work are going to turn to when the military enlistment offices shut down and Amazon's warehouse robotics replace Wal-Mart in-store workers.

If given a choice, I'm not certain I would want to be born again in the 21st Century.

The question for cost accountants is whether some robot costs should be charged to direct labor rather than manufacturing overhead. For example, suppose that a leased robot has an on-the-job clock with rental fees being paid by the hour. Can a case be made that these rental fees by the hour should be charged to direct labor?

"It’s Time to Talk about the Burgeoning Robot Middle Class:  How will a mass influx of robots affect human employment?" by Illah Nourbakhsh, MIT's Technology Review, May 14, 2013 --- Click Here
 http://www.technologyreview.com/view/514861/its-time-to-talk-about-the-burgeoning-robot-middle-class/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130515

Jensen Comment
Note that robots can do more than physical things in factories. Robots can become teachers, doctors, surgeons, auditors, accountants, soldiers, sailors, pilots, truck drivers, etc. If we can figure out how to program them to cheat in terms of billions of dollars they can even be elected to office.

The key to robotics in the service sector is to make them interactive in terms of letting them do what they do best in interaction with humans doing what they do best. Surgery is a good example. Although there is a miniscule margin of error, robotic surgeons can perform delicate surgeries in interaction with human surgeons who might be located thousands of miles away. These robots actually make decisions and are not just hand extensions of the surgeon.

I've always admired drivers of 18-wheel trucks who can back those big rigs into tight alleys. The day is probably already here when a robot can back a big rig into tight places better than our top truck drivers.

For years robots have been landing airplanes, and the day may come when robots are better pilots than our top pilots. The automatic pilots are making decisions and are not just hand extensions of the pilots who are there mostly to override the robot when something malfunctions. Years ago I was on an American Airlines flight years ago when the pilot announced that the touch down had been a bit rough because the automatic pilot landed the aircraft. I'm sure robotic landings have smoothed out since then.

The question for cost accountants is whether some robot costs should be charged to direct labor rather than manufacturing overhead. For example, suppose that a leased robot has an on-the-job clock with rental fees being paid by the hour. Can a case be made that these rental fees by the hour should be charged to direct labor?

The Sad State of Economic Theory and Research ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/AccounticsDamn.htm


The question for cost accountants is whether some robot costs should be charged to direct labor rather than manufacturing overhead. For example, suppose that a leased robot has an on-the-job clock with rental fees being paid by the hour. Can a case be made that these rental fees by the hour should be charged to direct labor?

"It’s Time to Talk about the Burgeoning Robot Middle Class:  How will a mass influx of robots affect human employment?" by Illah Nourbakhsh, MIT's Technology Review, May 14, 2013 --- Click Here
 http://www.technologyreview.com/view/514861/its-time-to-talk-about-the-burgeoning-robot-middle-class/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130515

Jensen Comment
Note that robots can do more than physical things in factories. Robots can become teachers, doctors, surgeons, auditors, accountants, soldiers, sailors, pilots, truck drivers, etc. If we can figure out how to program them to cheat in terms of billions of dollars they can even be elected to office.

The key to robotics in the service sector is to make them interactive in terms of letting them do what they do best in interaction with humans doing what they do best. Surgery is a good example. Although there is a miniscule margin of error, robotic surgeons can perform delicate surgeries in interaction with human surgeons who might be located thousands of miles away. These robots actually make decisions and are not just hand extensions of the surgeon.

I've always admired drivers of 18-wheel trucks who can back those big rigs into tight alleys. The day is probably already here when a robot can back a big rig into tight places better than our top truck drivers.

For years robots have been landing airplanes, and the day may come when robots are better pilots than our top pilots. The automatic pilots are making decisions and are not just hand extensions of the pilots who are there mostly to override the robot when something malfunctions. Years ago I was on an American Airlines flight years ago when the pilot announced that the touch down had been a bit rough because the automatic pilot landed the aircraft. I'm sure robotic landings have smoothed out since then.

The question for cost accountants is whether some robot costs should be charged to direct labor rather than manufacturing overhead. For example, suppose that a leased robot has an on-the-job clock with rental fees being paid by the hour. Can a case be made that these rental fees by the hour should be charged to direct labor?

 

 

 


 

Largest Universities Worldwide

University (Definition and History) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University

Ten Largest Universities in the United States

From the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac Issue 2008-9, Page 17:

Ten Largest U.S. Universities in the Fall of 2006 (Enrollments)
Some of the universities below have more students on a system-wide basis

University of Phoenix (online campus)
Ohio State University
Miami Dade College
Arizona State University at Tempe
University of Florida


165,373
51,818
51,329
51,234
50,912

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
University of Texas at Austin
University of Central Florida
Michigan State University
Texas A&M at College Station

50,402
49,697
46,646
45,520
45,380

 

Twenty Largest Universities in the World --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_largest_universities
(Note that the data below are system-wide and not necessarily the numbers of enrolled students at one campus)
Explanatory footnotes accompanying each enrollment number are not included in this message.

Rank Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment
1 Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad, Pakistan 1974 Public 1.9 million
2 Indira Gandhi National Open University New Delhi, India 1985 Public 1.8 million
3 Islamic Azad University Tehran, Iran 1982 Private 1.3 million
4 Anadolu University Eskişehir, Turkey 1982 Public 884,081
5 Bangladesh National University Gazipur, Bangladesh 1992 Public 800,000
6 Bangladesh Open University Gazipur, Bangladesh 1992 Public 600,000
7 Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Andhra Pradesh, India 1982 Public 450,000
8 State University of New York New York, United States 1948 Public 418,000
9 California State University California, United States 1857 Public 417,000
10 University System of Ohio Ohio, United States 2007 Public 400,000+
11 University of Delhi New Delhi, India 1922 Public 400,000
12 Universitas Terbuka Jakarta, Indonesia 1984 Public 350,000
13 Universidad de Buenos Aires Buenos Aires, Argentina 1821 Public 316,050
14 State University System of Florida Florida, United States 1905 Public 301,570 (2008)
15 Osmania University Hyderabad, India 1918 Public 300,000 [
16 Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University Nashik, India 1989 Public 300,000
17 National Autonomous University of Mexico Mexico City, Mexico 1551 Public 290,000 (Aug 14th, 2006)
18 Tribhuvan University Kirtipur, Nepal 1959 Public 272,746
19 University of South Africa Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa 1873 Public 250,000
20 Instituto Politecnico Nacional Mexico City, Mexico 1936 Public 229,070

Data are provided for 51 universities  --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_largest_universities


Laureate International Universities --- http://www.laureate.net/

Question
What are the for-profit Laureate International Universities and where are their 800,000 paying students?
Why did key alumni of Thunderbird University resign from the Board because of the sale of campus to Laureate?

"Going Global," by Elizabeth Redden and Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, October 10, 2013 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/10/laureates-growing-global-network-institutions

Laureate Education is big. Like 800,000 students attending 78 institutions in 30 countries big. Yet the privately held for-profit university system has largely remained out of the public eye.

That may be changing, however, as the company appears ready for its coming out party after 14 years of quiet growth.

Laureate has spent heavily to solidify its head start on other globally minded American education providers. In addition to its rapid growth abroad, the company has courted publicity by investing in the much-hyped Coursera, a massive open online course provider. And Laureate recently made news when the International Finance Corporation, a World Bank subsidiary, invested $150 million in the company -- its largest-ever investment in education.

The company has also kicked up controversy over its affiliation with the struggling Thunderbird School of Global Management, a freestanding, nonprofit business school based in Arizona.

The backlash among Thunderbird alumni, many of whom aren’t keen on a takeover by a for-profit, has dragged the company into the ongoing fight over the role of for-profits in American higher education, which Laureate had largely managed to avoid until now.

In fact, Laureate likes to distinguish itself from other for-profit education companies. It is a strange (and substantial) beast to get one’s arms around.

Laureate is a U.S.-based entity whose primary operations are outside the U.S. It is a private, for-profit company that operates campuses even in countries, like Chile, where universities must be not-for-profit by law.

It is unabashed in its pursuit of prestige: Laureate boasts of partnerships with globally ranked public research universities like Monash University and the University of Liverpool as indicators of quality. It also aggressively promotes the connection to its honorary chancellor, former U.S. President Bill Clinton. When Laureate secured approval to build a new for-profit university in Australia (where for-profits are called “private” institutions), the headline in a national newspaper read: “First private uni in 24 years led by Clinton.”

Laureate likes to use the tagline “here for good.” The company has moved into parts of the world where there are insufficient opportunities to pursue a higher education, investing heavily in developing nations. It's based on this track record that the IFC invested in the company with the stated aim of helping Laureate expand access to career-oriented education in "emerging markets": Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

The strategy of expanding student access in the developing world has won Laureate many fans. And for a for-profit, it gets unexpectedly little criticism.

Until recently, at least. With Thunderbird, Laureate has done what it has done in many countries around the world -- purchasing or in this case partnering with a struggling institution with a good brand, offering an infusion of capital, and promising to help develop new programs and grow enrollments and revenues. This time around, however, widespread skepticism about for-profit education has bedeviled the deal.

The Bird's-Eye View

Laureate’s footprint outside the United States tops that of any American higher education institution. The company brought in approximately $3.4 billion in total revenue during the 2012 fiscal year, more than 80 percent of which came from overseas.

For comparison, the Apollo Group -- which owns the University of Phoenix and is the largest publicly traded for-profit chain -- brought in about $4.3 billion in revenue last year. However, Apollo Global, which is an internationally focused subsidiary, only accounted for $295 million of that.

Indeed, in the late 1990s, when most other for-profit education companies were focused on the potential of the U.S. market, Laureate looked abroad. The Baltimore-based company, at that point a K-12 tutoring outfit known as Sylvan Learning Systems, purchased its first campus, Spain’s Universidad Europea de Madrid, in 1999, and has since affiliated with or acquired a total of 78 higher education institutions on six continents, ranging from art and design institutes to hotel management and culinary schools to technical and vocational colleges to full-fledged universities with medical schools

Laureate operates the largest private university in Mexico, the 37-campus Universidad del Valle de México, and owns or controls 22 higher education institutions in South America (including 11 in Brazil), 10 in Asia, and 19 in continental Europe. It manages online programs in cooperation with the Universities of Liverpool and Roehampton, both in the United Kingdom. It has a new partnership with Australia’s Monash University to help manage its campus in South Africa and it runs seven vocational institutions in Saudi Arabia in cooperation with the Saudi government.

In contrast, Laureate’s largest and most recognizable brand in the U.S. is the online-only, predominantly graduate-level Walden University, which enrolls 50,000 students. And even Walden is global, with students in 145 countries.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on global education and training alternatives on line ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm


Size Matters (Video) --- http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=FqfunyCeU5g
Otherwise entitled "Shift Happens"

Even the Top Ranked Business Schools are in a Crisis in 2008 (including a slide show) --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/toc/08_47/B4109best_business_schools.htm
Applications for MBA programs are up, but job opportunities for second-year students in finance or consulting have turned wretched.
The scary part is that it will be a long, long time before finance and economics students will have rising opportunities.

But accounting students fair well in rain or shine --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/accountingstudents.xml

Bob Jensen's threads on careers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers

Bob Jensen’s threads on the financial markets meltdown --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm


Hard Choices for Developing Countries
"'World-Class' vs. Mass Education, by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, March 9, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/03/09/international-educators-debate-higher-education-priorities-developing-countries

Should developing nations expend their money and energy trying to build "world-class" universities that conduct job-creating research and educate the nation's elite, or focus on building more and better institutions to train the masses?

That question -- which echoes debates within many American states about relative funding for flagship research universities vs. community colleges and regional institutions -- drew barely a mention in the summary statement that emerged from an unusual symposium at the University of Oxford's Green Templeton College in January (though it was addressed a bit more directly in a set of recommendations released last month).

But the issue of whether developing nations should emphasize excellence or access as they build and strengthen their higher education systems undergirded much of the discussion of the three-day event, flaring at times into sharp disagreement among the attendees over "the extent to which the emerging world should be part of the educational arms race," says Simon Marginson, a professor of higher education at the University of Melbourne.

Different observers would define that race differently, and with varying degrees of sympathy and scorn. But in general, most experts on higher education would equate it with the push to have institutions in the top of worldwide rankings (or "league tables," as they're called in much of the world) -- rankings dominated by criteria such as research funding and student selectivity as opposed to measures that emphasize democratic student access

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on cross-border training and education alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm


"The Shorter, Faster, Cheaper MBA Accelerated MBA programs of a year or less are gaining in popularity, but critics say they're not right for everyone and may leave some students shortchanged, Business Week, October 15. 2009 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/oct2009/bs20091015_554659.htm?link_position=link1 

Schools in the U.S. are already responding to the demand from students for alternatives. One school starting a new program is Rutgers Business School (Rutgers Full-Time MBA Profile), which is launching a one-year MBA program in the summer of 2010. The school has offered a two-year MBA program on its Newark (N.J.) campus for years, but never offered a one-year program, says Susan Gilbert, Rutgers' associate dean of MBA programs, who was asked by the school to explore options for a new MBA program on the school's New Brunswick campus.

While researching, she reviewed applicant data from the past few years and unearthed a surprising discovery; about 40% of the applicants to the school's two-year MBA program already held undergraduate business degrees and were likely up to speed on the concepts typically covered in first-year core MBA courses. Adding a one-year MBA program to the school's degree offerings seemed to make sense, Gilbert says, with the idea that the program would cater to these more experienced applicants. "There's a growing niche segment of students who aren't making as big of a career switch." Gilbert says. "They want their MBAs in a hurry in order to advance their career in the field and function that they are already in."

Uptick in Enrollments

Schools that already offer one-year MBA programs say they are starting to reap the rewards of catering to this new market of students. At Utah State University's Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, which has offered a one-year MBA for more than a decade, enrollment is at 56 students this fall, up from 43 last year. In fact, this year's class was so big that the first-year cohort couldn't fit into the classroom where lectures are typically held and had to move into the school's larger 80-person capacity classroom, says Ken Snyder, Huntsman's director of MBA programs.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
There are lots of pressures for change in academe, but shortening the MBA program to one year or less is not the type of change I advocate in any way, shape, or form. When other professions like medicine are adding to the education requirements, cheapening the MBA degree is not a good idea for status as a profession.

I graduated from a one-year MBA program a hundred years ago and found it to be almost a joke. It got me out of a few business courses when I commenced a doctoral program in accountancy, but aside from that I think it did little for preparing me for a career in business. Of course, in Colorado in those days you could take the CPA examination as a senior majoring in accountancy. Hence, I entered the MBA program with the CPA exam already under my belt. In those days, an MBA degree in accountancy in Colorado also substituted for work experience, which made getting a license to practice in Colorado an even bigger joke (if I had not also worked in auditing and tax at Ernst and Ernst in Denver).

The proof of the pudding so to is said to be placement. If recruiters are offering jobs to one-year MBA graduates then some might deem the education program to be a success. However, this can be misleading. Some one-year MBA programs cater to military officers or other applicants who are not seeking immediate changes in their jobs upon graduation. Recruiters may also have other agendas such as badly wanting to hire a top engineer or hospital administrator who just happened to get a one-year MBA degree before seeking a new job. And recruitment can be motivated by affirmative action that sometimes leads to hiring of graduates that were short changed in education.

I am most definitely opposed to giving course credit or shortened degree programs to students with "work or other qualified life experience." By age 25, all God's children got "life experience." This in no way, shape, or form is a substitute for earned college credits --- well, er, maybe I could be convinced otherwise in a very unique circumstance, but as a general rule --- never!

For MBA applicants who majored in business as undergraduates I would allow waiving some core courses, but I would insist on substituting other courses.

Bob Jensen's thread on higher education controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


Definition of Millenials (Generation Y or Net Generation) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennials

"The Millennials Invade the B-Schools:  They're pursuing MBAs to change the world, but first they're forcing business schools to make changes in order to accommodate them," Business Week, November 13, 2008 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_47/b4109046025427.htm?link_position=link2

Top Global Business Schools According to Business Week --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_43/b4006014.htm

Slide Show --- Click Here
The 15 business schools included here are strong contenders among the world's top MBA programs, but lower marks keep them just shy of the top tier

Top European Business Schools According the Business Week --- http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/europe/special_reports/03/31/2008europeanb-s.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on ranking controversies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings

Controversies in College Rankings --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings


What should be the rights of the public to access of teaching materials and research data of faculty on the public payroll?

"U. of Wisconsin Seeks Stronger Data Protections Premium Link," by Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 9, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/As-Open-Access-Advances-U-of/141481/

These are heady days for the disciples of open access. The Obama administration has set a one-year limit on journals' charging readers for articles derived from federally sponsored research. Some states are weighing similar steps. And a majority of peer-­reviewed articles, according to a new tally, are now in open formats.

But in other realms of public access to publicly financed research, the situation remains murky, and may be getting even more opaque.

About half the states have laws that let state universities keep some details of their research activities secret until publication or patenting. And officials at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who are eager for their state to join that list, predict the pressure for such protections will only grow stronger as states face mounting pressure to turn their university research operations into revenue.

State lawmakers must realize, said William W. Barker, the institution's director of the Office of Industrial Partnerships, that a public university is a cherished asset and needs to be treated accordingly.

The primary threat, Mr. Barker said, comes from outsiders—sometimes faculty members at other institutions—who use his state's freedom­-of-information rules to poach ideas from University of Wisconsin scientists.

It's a matter of "economic competitiveness," he said, made even more urgent by this year's change in federal law giving ownership rights to the first person to file for a patent rather than to the person who can prove the earliest development of an idea.

Others aren't so sure. Despite several months of prodding by the university, Wisconsin lawmakers have declined to act on the proposal. And a key opponent of the idea, the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, a coalition of media organizations have argued that state law already lets the university keep research data secret if a release can cause harm, including economic harm.

The council's president, Bill Lue­ders, has challenged the university's rationale, saying he'd be surprised to see instances of outside faculty members' filing freedom-of-­information requests against University of Wisconsin rivals. "That seems to be poor form," he said.

Pressed on the matter, Mr. Barker could not provide specific examples involving state law. He and his staff found records of two requests from researchers at out-of-state universities seeking details of research conducted at Madison, but both were submitted to the National Institutes of Health under federal law.

Mr. Barker said that the university remained worried about the threat, especially given the change in federal patent law.

Other states agree, Mr. Barker said. University legal experts have identified at least 25 other states that have some explicit protections against the prepublication release of research information, he said.

Requests From Activists

In a memorandum prepared for state lawmakers, university officials suggested a law making clear they could withhold virtually any research data until they have been "publicly released, published, or patented."

"Nobody's talking about keeping research results secret, because we're going to publish them—it's a public institution," Mr. Barker said. "It's just a matter of timing, that's all we're talking about."

Beyond the issue of economic competitiveness, the university has made clear that animal-rights groups also factor into its thinking. Two groups, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and a Wisconsin ally, Alliance for Animals and the Environment, have been trying to pressure the university to halt experiments with animals.

They're upset by research like that carried out by Tom C. Yin, a professor of neuroscience whose work is aimed at improving human hearing. Part of Mr. Yin's work involves cats, and PETA used open-records requests to obtain and publish photographs that show a cat with metal sensors screwed into its skull.

The university wants to block such requests for reasons that include the costs, largely staff time, that it takes to process them, Mr. Barker said. There's also the risk that researchers and other university staff members, even after combing their records to answer requests from groups such as PETA, might fail to redact something of unrecognized importance that could help an economic competitor or violate an agreement with an outside partner, he said.

Mr. Lueders rejects the university's arguments. Animal-­related records processing may cost $100,000 a year—the number cited by the university in its memo to lawmakers—but that's a fraction of the university's tens of millions in annual research dollars, he said.

Mr. Barker contends that every research dollar is valuable, especially in a tight economy.

Leaders in the movement for open-access journals, waging their own battles to have articles financed by authors rather than readers, see themselves as separate from any fights over prepublication access.

"It is really contentious," said Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, calling the states "all over the board" on what disclosure protections, if any, they afford their researchers.

Some of those restrictions seem understandable from a university's perspective, Ms. Joseph said. But over all, she said, they don't seem in line with the sense—demonstrated empirically in open-access studies—that everyone does better when information is more widely shared.

Economic Benefits

John W. Houghton, a professorial fellow at Victoria University, in Australia, has carried out a series of economic analyses of open-access publishing in various countries. He has found that a full open-access system produces substantial and widespread economic benefits, but that early adopters among both countries and universities bear the burden, since they have to pay for journal subscriptions while financing their own authors.

A study financed by the European Commission and released last month estimated that, in the United States and several other countries, half of all papers are now freely available within a year or two of publication.

Continued in article

 


Skip the MCAT:  From High School Directly Into Medical School

Wow! This is a paradigm shift in terms of when students (as sophomores)  are promised they are admitted to medical school.
"Med School Without the MCAT," by Zack Budryk, Inside Higher Ed, February 28, 2013 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/02/28/mount-sinai-rethinks-medical-school-admissions

In a major policy shift, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Wednesday announced that it will fill half of its entering class going forward by admitting college sophomores -- three years before they would enroll in medical school -- and will do so without requiring traditional pre-med course requirements and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

In what a press release called the beginning of a “fundamental shift,” sophomores will be admitted to “FlexMed,” a new program in which they will spend the rest of their undergraduate time in tracks such as  computational science/engineering, biomedical sciences and humanities/social sciences. Students will be encouraged to take courses in biostatistics, ethics, health policy and public health.  These courses would replace the traditional pre-med science requirements.

Students will also be encouraged, but not required, to become proficient in Spanish or Mandarin.

David Muller, Mount Sinai’s dean of medical education, said in an interview that although requirements issues had been “written about for years and years... there’s been either an inertia or a reluctance to take a first step and break down the model and try something new. What I hope will happen is that this program will prove very successful and prove decisively that it’s a viable alternative.”

Mount Sinai has had a similar program on a much smaller scale in the past, and says it has been a success.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision to take a small program and apply it to half of the class, Muller said that pre-med science requirements tend to be “science that is not the most applicable to current clinical or translational research; it’s not unimportant science, but it’s kind of outdated.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It is not clear if there are selection criteria regarding what university sophomores will be eligible for the program. Will sophomores at Dade Community College be in contention? Will most of the students selected have to have stellar SAT scores as well as 4.0 grade averages in their first year of college (not so hard to do these days). Will minority students have an edge in affirmative action admissions?

Another consideration is that when college graduates apply for medical school they have already worked out a financial plan for paying the hundreds of thousands oif dollars that medical school may cost, especially those that are now five-year programs. Can sophomores realistically work out such financing plans years before they eventually go to medical school and are still struggling to pay for their undergraduate degrees.

There are thousands of college graduates applying for each open slot in nearly every medical school in the USA. I cannot think that this early-admission experiment will catch on in a serious way in other medical schools.

This plan is tantamount to letting a selected few jump the long line for admission.

Bob Jensen

Reply from Bob Blystone on March 1, 2013

This is a reply about the French Medical School system from a biology professor, Bob Blystone, who leads the premed program at Trinity University.

Note the extremely high drop out rate in the French system. This is some ways is wasted time for drop outs who must then begin their first year of college in another major.

Over half the students in Trinity's entering first-year class sign up for the premed program.

After encountering chemistry and biology, over half of those premed students change majors the second year. It's not that most of the students change majors because of grades. Many of them change majors when they learn that there are possibly over 1,000 applicants who graduate and take to MCAT for each open slot in an accredited USA medical school. Many do not want to leave the USA to study medicine, and so they become Trinity's science majors, business majors, economics majors, psychology majors, education majors, etc.

(PS, Trinity takes pride in having a relatively high percentage of their premed graduates accepted into medical school, although sometimes it takes over a year of persistently trying.)

In many cases these premeds who change majors do so when they learn the math of what four years at Trinity will cost plus the hundreds of thousands more it will cost to complete medical school afterwards. Obtaining some financial literacy contributes to their decisions to change majors, including discovery of the cost of malpractice insurance.

Note how the French system described below is a huge paradigm shift for becoming a licensed MD. Many medical schools in the U.S. will probably offer the French system in part (say half of the entering class) while B.S. degrees and the MCAT scores may be required for other students in the entering class.

There may also be other variations such as requiring students to have the equivalent of a two-year community college associate degree before entering medical school under a modified French system.

Certain specialties may be denied medical school graduates under the French system. For example, I cannot imagine that pathologists can be educated and trained without having a lot more science than is taught in high school and basic medical school.

Nurses, however, will still take four or five years of science in the undergraduate and masters programs.

On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 4:30 AM, rblyston123 <rblyston@trinity.edu> wrote:

In a french-style system a high school graduate begins medical school. Six years later they graduate as new MDs. So where did the college years go? There are many courses that one takes in undergraduate school that have no immediate bearing on the medical student. There are also some science courses that are redundant between undergraduate and medical school.

In the french system 2000 students start as medical students and in one year's time, more than 1000 have quit. So the first two years of the six are very undergraduate like but by the "Junior" year, the medical aspects of education take over the curriculum. It does require the student to grow up quickly.

So the efficiency is reflected in cutting down extraneous courses in the undergraduate years and cutting down redundant coursework. Internship can be longer in the french system. Where the system is inefficient is the first year. So many start and so few continue beyond the first year.

On the other hand in the german style (US) just as many start but we see them only as undergrad premeds. The medical school does the weeding at admissions. With the french style the students weed themselves out during the first year.

Students who come through the german style are more research prone and the french style are more clinical oriented.

Bob Blystone

 


The AAA's Pathways Commission Accounting Education Initiatives Make National News
Accountics Scientists Should Especially Note the First Recommendation

"Accounting for Innovation," by Elise Young, Inside Higher Ed, July 31, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/07/31/updating-accounting-curriculums-expanding-and-diversifying-field

Accounting programs should promote curricular flexibility to capture a new generation of students who are more technologically savvy, less patient with traditional teaching methods, and more wary of the career opportunities in accounting, according to a report released today by the Pathways Commission, which studies the future of higher education for accounting.

In 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department's  Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession recommended that the American Accounting Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants form a commission to study the future structure and content of accounting education, and the Pathways Commission was formed to fulfill this recommendation and establish a national higher education strategy for accounting.

In the report, the commission acknowledges that some sporadic changes have been adopted, but it seeks to put in place a structure for much more regular and ambitious changes.

The report includes seven recommendations:

According to the report, its two sponsoring organizations -- the American Accounting Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants -- will support the effort to carry out the report's recommendations, and they are finalizing a strategy for conducting this effort.

Hsihui Chang, a professor and head of Drexel University’s accounting department, said colleges must prepare students for the accounting field by encouraging three qualities: integrity, analytical skills and a global viewpoint.

“You need to look at things in a global scope,” he said. “One thing we’re always thinking about is how can we attract students from diverse groups?” Chang said the department’s faculty comprises members from several different countries, and the university also has four student organizations dedicated to accounting -- including one for Asian students and one for Hispanic students.

He said the university hosts guest speakers and accounting career days to provide information to prospective accounting students about career options: “They find out, ‘Hey, this seems to be quite exciting.’ ”

Jimmy Ye, a professor and chair of the accounting department at Baruch College of the City University of New York, wrote in an email to Inside Higher Ed that his department is already fulfilling some of the report’s recommendations by inviting professionals from accounting firms into classrooms and bringing in research staff from accounting firms to interact with faculty members and Ph.D. students.

Ye also said the AICPA should collect and analyze supply and demand trends in the accounting profession -- but not just in the short term. “Higher education does not just train students for getting their first jobs,” he wrote. “I would like to see some study on the career tracks of college accounting graduates.”

Mohamed Hussein, a professor and head of the accounting department at the University of Connecticut, also offered ways for the commission to expand its recommendations. He said the recommendations can’t be fully put into practice with the current structure of accounting education.

“There are two parts to this: one part is being able to have an innovative curriculum that will include changes in technology, changes in the economics of the firm, including risk, international issues and regulation,” he said. “And the other part is making sure that the students will take advantage of all this innovation.”

The university offers courses on some of these issues as electives, but it can’t fit all of the information in those courses into the major’s required courses, he said.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Higher Education Controversies and Need for Change ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

The sad state of accountancy doctoral programs ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/AccounticsDamn.htm
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/AccounticsDamn.htm 


Message from USC President Regarding Online Degrees

August 27, 2012 message from Denny Beresford

Bob,

I thought you’d be interested in this.

Denny

 

From: USC Alumni Association [mailto:usc.alumni@alumnicenter.usc.edu]
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 12:09 PM
To: Dennis R Beresford
Subject: A Message from USC President C. L. Max Nikias

 

August 27, 2012

Dear Fellow Trojan,

I thought you might be interested in a memorandum that USC President C. L. Max Nikias sent to the USC community this morning. It addresses the future of online education, an area of great importance for all universities in the years ahead.

You can download a PDF of the memorandum here.

Fight On!

Scott M. Mory, Esq.
Associate Senior Vice President and
CEO, USC Alumni Association

 

 

August 27, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Denny,

Interesting how USC is more willing to go online with graduate degrees but not undergraduate degrees. This is consistent with my thesis that courses are only a small part of the maturation and learning process of 16-25 year old college students. Having said this, however, we must consider the non-traditional students such as those over 25 years of age, single parents with babes in their laps, people working full-time to make ends meet (including active military), and severely disabled students. That of course does not mean that USC has to scope in those non-traditional undergraduate students.

Any schools offering online courses should be keenly aware, however, of the laws regarding access no matter what the missions are for the online courses ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped

Thanks,
Bob


Those Newer MS Specialty Programs in Business

Question
How does one become a Professor of Pricing?

This is already starting to happen at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business, which now offers about a dozen full-time and part-time specialty master’s business programs. The school is introducing two new MS programs in January, one in pricing and another in business analytics. This year, seven students from the school’s MS programs went directly into the school’s MBA program, and about five others have indicated they have plans to do so in the future, says Simon School Dean Mark Zupan.
See below

 

"The Booming Market for Specialized Master’s Degrees," Bloomberg Business Week, November 21, 2012 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-21/the-booming-market-for-specialized-masters-degrees

About five years ago, the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business had an approach to one-year specialized master’s degrees that was fairly typical among business schools. It offered just one MS in Business program, a degree in accounting that helped students get specialized knowledge about the industry and a leg up in the job market. The program was so large and thriving that the school’s leadership soon started thinking about dipping its toe further into the marketplace, says Ken White, the school’s associate dean of MBA and MS programs.

First, in 2009 they created an MS program for students who wanted to specialize in finance. Buoyed by its success, the school added two new MS degrees to its roster in 2011, one in supply chain management and another in information systems. Today, there are 522 students enrolled in specialized master’s programs at Smith, and plans are in the works for a fifth program in marketing analytics, set to launch in the fall of 2013.

“This is a new frontier for a lot of schools,” White says. “We’ve been surprised by how quickly these programs and the demand for these programs have grown. It has been almost extraordinary.”

The market for specialized master’s programs in accounting, management, finance, and a number of other business disciplines has never been stronger. A growing number of business schools, from the Smith School to Michigan State University’s Broad Graduate School of Management, are riding on that wave of interest. They’re creating a whole new suite of MS degrees, sometimes as many as half a dozen or more, in response to a new generation of students, the vast majority of whom are either straight out of college or just a year or two out of school. The MS students are hungry for the specialized knowledge these programs offer and are looking to distinguish themselves in an increasingly competitive job market, administrators and recruiters say. Administrators are hoping some of them will build lasting relationships with the school, and consider them for other full-time degree programs down the road.

The surge in interest in these programs comes at a time when many business schools are at a crossroads, with their flagship MBA programs struggling to attract students. Nearly two-thirds of full-time, two-year MBA programs in the U.S., or 62 percent, are reporting a decline in applications this year, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) 2012 Application Trends Survey.

At the same time, specialized master’s programs in business are experiencing robust growth, making it a wise move for B-schools to invest in these programs. There were 160,500 GMAT score reports sent to U.S. specialized master’s programs in 2012, up 15 percent from last year, and 86 percent from five years ago, according to GMAC.

The surge in applications is being driven by several factors. Many applicants are international students looking for a degree from a U.S. school to help advance their careers back home. Others are seeking additional credit hours now required for a CPA credential in states such as New York and Massachusetts that have increased the requirements beyond what a typical bachelor’s degree provides. Many are simply doing the math and concluding that the five years of work experience required at most MBA programs is a luxury they can’t afford. Getting a one-year degree straight out of college is less expensive, results in no career disruption, and leads to higher immediate post-college earnings.

The most popular programs by far are accounting, finance, and business or management, but increasingly schools are expanding to other hot emerging fields, such as data analytics, information technology, supply chain management, and others, says Michelle Sparkman-Renz, GMAC’s director of research communications.

“It’s appealing for them because the relationship they begin with a candidate very early on is one that could possibly continue through MBA or executive MBA programs,” Sparkman-Renz says.

This is already starting to happen at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business, which now offers about a dozen full-time and part-time specialty master’s business programs. The school is introducing two new MS programs in January, one in pricing and another in business analytics. This year, seven students from the school’s MS programs went directly into the school’s MBA program, and about five others have indicated they have plans to do so in the future, says Simon School Dean Mark Zupan.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In my opinion, these specialty programs are mostly attempts to bolster faltering conventional MBA programs. They are typical of business firms that offer newer products to bolster a declining product. But specialty programs have drawbacks as well as advantages. For example, if the Simon School offers a new MS program in Pricing, it may have to bolster faculty with some experts on pricing. And there are no Ph.D. graduates in "pricing." Prospective faculty in pricing are most likely economists, accountants, and production managers who have real-world experience in pricing. Students entering this program are expecting to graduate with knowledge of tools (including software) on pricing. The typical accountics scientis who has run some regression studies on the impacts of pricing on stock prices but has zero real-world experience in product pricing is not likely to be suited to what students are expecting from a MS in Pricing.

And the concept of "pricing" can become further specialized. For example, there's a world of difference when setting the price of Twinkies versus setting the price of a new structured financing product in a Wall Street investment bank. For one thing, Twinkies have millions of customers wanting low prices. Buyers of structured financing products are fewer in numbers and concerned more with return and risk as opposed to a quick sugar fix.

 

Fulbright Fellowships, Including the Fulbright-Hays Program  --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulbright_Program

"Fulbright Tries Out Short-Term Fellowships," by Ian Wilhelm, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 28, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Fulbright-Tries-Short-Term/135420/

After more than 60 years of sending American scholars overseas, the U.S. State Department's Fulbright International Educational Exchange Program is getting a tune-up. To better accommodate the workloads of today's scholars and respond to changes in how research is conducted, the department is experimenting with new types of awards.

The program sends some 1,100 academics outside the United States annually to teach, do research, or serve as advisers to faculty and officials at foreign universities. They are a small but significant portion of the 8,000 Fulbright awards each year, which also support international exchanges of students, artists, elementary and secondary schoolteachers, and other professionals.

Traditionally, Fulbright has sent American scholars abroad for a semester or an academic year. The majority of the grants will continue to do that, but the department is looking at new approaches, says Meghann Curtis, deputy assistant secretary for academic programs in the department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

"We're constantly having to look at our program and the various options within it," she says. "We ask ourselves: Is this feasible for an academic on an American college campus these days, whether they're an adjunct, a postdoc, or a tenured faculty member?"

A few years ago, the department began the Fulbright Specialist Program, which sends academics for two to six weeks to provide assistance on curriculum development or other educational projects at foreign institutions.

The department is also starting to offer a small number of "serial grants." They allow a scholar to travel between home and abroad several times for short stints over three years. When the international-exchange program started in the 1940s, such an approach would not have worked, says Ms. Curtis, but now, with online tools like Skype, a Fulbright winner can stay in touch with overseas partners while at home. "While you aren't physically there, you can continue to be in very close contact," she says.

While both newer programs lack the cultural immersion of the traditional program, they give more options to scholars, who face ever-increasing demands on their personal and professional lives, says Ms. Curtis.

She also hopes the new flexibility appeals to colleges and universities, where some deans and department leaders frown on giving a professor an extended leave of absence, even for an award as prestigious as the Fulbright.

"That's the direction we're moving in: to make it more feasible for your typical academic and frankly also to make it more appealing for U.S. universities to endorse their faculty to go."

The department also wants to respond to changes in how research is conducted. In the future, it may provide awards to international teams of scientists to facilitate travel among their countries, a shift meant to appeal in part to engineers and others in the STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, fields. "We'd love to bring together cohorts so folks from the U.S. and, say, India, China, and Thailand, would be working together on a team," says Ms. Curtis.

Continued in article

Top 20 Destinations for Fulbright Scholars 2012-2013 --- http://chronicle.com/article/Fulbright-Tries-Short-Term/135420/ 

 


Student Loans, Financial Aid, and College Net-Price Calculators

At 3,100 Colleges and Universities
Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2013-14 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/TuitionFees-1998-99/142511/

Think of a dubious tactic of doubling tuition and then giving all student prospects 50% scholarships to attract more applicants

"Net-Price Calculators Get the Kayak Treatment," by Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 9, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/net-price-calculators-get-the-kayak-treatment/32238?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Remember when net-price calculators were going to be the next U.S. News & World Report rankings? That’s the comparison that staff members at Maguire Associates, a consulting firm, made a couple of years ago in a paper explaining what the calculators could mean for admissions.

But the calculators, which allow students to estimate what they would pay at a particular college after grants and scholarships, don’t seem to have gained much traction yet. While colleges have been required to post the calculators on their Web sites for nearly a year now, early evidence shows that only about a third of prospective students have tried one out.

The Maguire Associates paper predicted that online aggregators would spring up to allow students to compare their net prices at different colleges, much as Kayak.com lets travelers compare air fares. The prediction has come true: A new Web site, College Abacus, lets students do just that.

Whether this new comparison tool will encourage more prospective students to use the calculators, though, remains to be seen.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


"Federal Student-Loan Sharks Print: Why is the government gouging our college kids? The new law on loan rates just makes things worse," by William J. Quirk, The American Scholar, Autumn 2013 ---
http://theamericanscholar.org/federal-student-loan-sharks/?utm_source=email#.Ul6DtxBjU3g

Education, Thomas Jefferson believed, should be free. Its universal availability was at the center of his vision for the republic. In the wake of the Constitution’s drafting in Philadelphia, he remarked in a letter to James Madison, “Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to, convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.” In 1778, Jefferson proposed to the Virginia legislature a bill for the “More General Diffusion of Knowledge.” The bill’s preamble reads, “those entrusted with power,” in all forms of government, “have perverted it into tyranny,” and “the most effectual means of preventing this would be to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large.” When Jefferson thought about the nation’s education system, writes Merrill D. Peterson in Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation (1970), he “projected three distinct grades of education—elementary, middle, and higher—the whole rising like a pyramid from the local communities.” Elementary schools would freely educate all children in reading, writing, and other basics. The middle and higher schools would be selective and charge tuition, except for poor students who passed rigorous examinations and received state scholarships. From its opening in 1825 until 1860, Jefferson’s University of Virginia charged a tuition of $75 per session.

Perhaps it won’t surprise you to hear that we have very few Jeffersons in the 113th United States Congress, but then we don’t have any in the White House or the Department of Education. Congress spent the summer bickering over whether the rates for student loans for higher education would double on July 1, from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. They did double through congressional inaction; but at the end of July, Congress passed a Senate compromise that fixes rates annually to the 10-year U.S. Treasury note plus 2.05 percent, capped at 8.25 percent. This year’s rate will be 3.9 percent for undergraduates and 5.4 percent for graduate students, who have traditionally paid a higher rate. In the press, the new bill was hailed for decreasing rates and saving students significant amounts in interest. But of course the bill actually increases rates by half a percentage point from what it had been before July 1. The federal government is in effect levying a new tax on college students in a program that already raises an obscene amount of money for the Treasury and is jeopardizing the financial future of a whole generation of young Americans. Our third president, it’s fair to say, would be disappointed if not disgusted.

In his 2010 State of the Union address, our 44th and current president proposed to “finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans.” We all agree with that; but what should we have done next? For starters, the government could have stopped being so greedy and instead made direct loans to students at its cost. With the current cost of funding at 0.7 percent, that approach would have put student loans at around one percent. President Obama apparently never considered that course—by continuing the same high rates, the same high profits go to the government instead of to the banks.

Government loans are wildly profitable. If you borrow at 0.7 percent and lend at 3.9 or 5.4 percent, you have what’s called a favorable spread. The Congressional Budget Office reports that the government makes 36 cents on every dollar lent to undergraduates and 64 cents on every dollar lent to graduate students and parents. The loans cannot be absolved through bankruptcy except under extreme conditions, and the government can, without even a court order, garnish wages, disability payments, and Social Security. Indeed, the only certain way to beat the government is to die without any assets—an extreme course of action.

The original student-loan program followed Jefferson. Passed in 1958, as part of the National Defense Education Act—a response to Sputnik—it provided for Treasury loans to students at three percent. The government’s borrowing rate was 3.1 percent in 1957. The program gave priority to “students with a superior academic background” who expressed an interest in teaching elementary or secondary school, and to students with a “superior capacity” for “science, mathematics, engineering, or a modern foreign language.” Loans were limited to 10 years and were forgiven if the student went into public school teaching.

In 1965, as part of President Johnson’s Great Society program, Congress passed the Higher Education Act. The law introduced the government-guaranteed bank loan, which today has grown to more than $1 trillion in student loans outstanding—an amount greater than credit card debt and second only to mortgage debt. The guaranteed loan program created the student aid industry, led by the banks and the government-sponsored entity Sallie Mae. The industry has enjoyed significant profits from high interest rates on riskless loans. Sallie Mae stock rose more than 1,900 percent between 1995 and 2005. Its CEO, Albert Lord, made $225 million between 1999 and 2004.

As the industry attached a giant siphon to students’ lifetime earnings, the nation began an experiment not in illuminating young minds or upholding the Jeffersonian educational ideal but in finding out what would happen if our college graduates started their working lives with a large negative net worth.

Who came up with the idea that anyone should profit from student loans? Would it be a surprise to hear that the banks and the lenders were involved? When Congress created the guaranteed bank loan in 1965, Sen. Wayne Morse, a Democrat from Oregon, said,

The loan program that we have worked out in this bill is the result of prolonged conferences with the representatives of financial institutions of this country, the banks, and the loaning agencies, the Treasury, the Bureau of the Budget, and with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

The switch from direct loans to guaranteed loans was an accounting fiddle: direct loans showed as a budget expenditure, and the guaranteed loans did not. The Johnson administration was seeking to keep overall budget numbers down in view of its heavy expenses for the war in Vietnam. No one mentioned that a parasitic industry had been created, one that could make money without risk.

The program not only became a profit center, first for the banks and Sallie Mae and then for the federal government, but it also became the main support for a profligate American higher education system. In 2011–12, the program pumped $113 billion into colleges and universities, which amounts to about 35 percent of the total tuition bill. Private colleges and universities typically receive an estimated 60 percent of their tuition from student loans; law schools, 80 percent. The student-loan program is growing bigger and bigger. It has already increased almost 10 times since 1989–90 ($12 billion), tripled since 1999–2000 ($33 billion), and doubled since 2004–05 ($55 billion).

One sign from the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests read, “Borrowed $26,400, Paid Back $32,700, Still owe $45,276.” As the sign implies, there is no escape from student-loan debt. If a student defaults, he is headed, as financial-aid expert Mark Kantrowitz told Business Week in a metaphor mash-up, “for a trip through hell with no light at the end of the tunnel.”

A 10-year loan can almost double because of debt collection charges of nearly 20 percent. The federal government paid collection agencies $1.4 billion in 2011. Those who predict that student loans are a bubble about to pop note that the increasing cost of tuition and the increased debt load carried by students are similar to housing debts in 2007. But student loans are forever: unlike a house, a student loan can’t be abandoned. The students owe their soul to the company store. And the biggest cost of the student-loan fiasco may not be the crushing debt to the individual graduate but the deflation of that entrepreneurial spirit that distinguishes the United States from much of the rest of the world.

Debt is silent. It creeps along, but once it is incurred, the obligation is as strong as death. Two-thirds of graduates leave college with student loans, owing on average $26,600. A dependent student (one under 24 who is still supported by parents) can borrow up to $31,000 at 3.9 percent over a five-year term by taking out Stafford loans. An “independent” student can borrow as much as $57,500 at the same rate. Parents can borrow further at 6.4 percent. About 90 percent of law students graduate with debt averaging more than $100,000. Each year a graduate student can borrow $138,500 at 5.41 percent and an additional amount up to the “cost of attendance,” say, $54,000 at 7.9 percent.

Up to 3.7 million former students owe over $54,000 and 1.1 million owe more than $100,000. Over two million Americans 60 or older still have outstanding student loans. The miracle of compound interest works against the student. A loan at six percent interest doubles in 12 years—at three percent, it doubles in 24 years. The government, universities, and bankers have captured a substantial part of the student’s future income stream.

Real people exist behind these figures. Consider the example of Alan Collinge, who attended the University of Southern California, taking out $38,000 in loans for his undergraduate and graduate degrees in aerospace engineering. He got a job at Caltech and repaid $7,000 before leaving his job. He could not find a new one and stopped paying Sallie Mae after it refused any forbearance of his debt. He eventually owed $100,000 and couldn’t get a military contractor job because of his bad credit. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Education offered to waive his accrued interest and fees, according to The New York Times. He is now an activist on the subject of student-loan debt. Fortune magazine reports that in the early 2000s, Sallie Mae charged one student at Katharine Gibbs, a for-profit school, 28 percent interest—a stated 14 percent and a supplemental fee. Angelica Gonzales did not graduate from Emory University but owes $60,000 on student loans and is earning $8.50 an hour as a clerk in a furniture store.

Since World War II, there has been a sharp increase in the percentage and number of high school graduates who enroll at colleges and universities. In 1958, 24 percent were enrolled; in 1980, 45 percent; in 2010, 68 percent. (The total number of students doubled between 1980 and 2012, to 19.7 million.) Since 1964, the student-loan industry has financed the increased demand.

The Economist from December 1, 2012, reports that the cost of higher education per student since 1983 has risen by five times the rate of inflation. In comparison, medical costs have gone up twice the rate of inflation. Between 2000 and 2010, tuition rose 42 percent at public institutions and 31 percent at private ones.

Before the era of student loans, college tuition was substantial, but it didn’t threaten a student’s long-term financial health. A college kid could contribute a good part of the cost by working summers and holidays. But very few summer jobs pay well enough to make a dent in a $40,000 tuition bill. To pay tuition, room, and board for four years at Harvard today, at about $65,000 a year, parents need to earn (assuming a 50 percent tax cost) in the neighborhood of $520,000 in pretax money—a pretty exclusive neighborhood. Harvard’s tuition was $1,520 in 1960. Adjusting for inflation, that amount would still be only $11,990 today, but the actual price is $40,016. Tuition at Columbia University cost $1,450 in 1960, which would be $11,438 today, but the current cost is $46,846. State schools have also dramatically increased what they charge. In-state tuition at the University of Virginia cost $490 in 1960, which would be $3,865 in today’s dollars, but the current cost is $12,458. Although the government has piles of studies denying it, student loans appear to have induced, or at least facilitated, the astonishing rise in tuition.

Admittedly, it seems counterintuitive that student loans, intended to make college more affordable, have fueled skyrocketing tuition. But as education policy consultant Arthur M. Hauptman wrote in Inside Higher Ed in 2011, “There is a strong correlation over time between student and parent loan availability and rapidly rising tuitions. Common sense suggests that growing availability of student loans at reasonable rates has made it easier for many institutions to raise their prices.”

Continued in article

 
 "The Fuzzy Math in Financial Aid Offers," by Janet Lorin, Business Week, May 3, 2012 ---
 http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-03/the-fuzzy-math-in-financial-aid-offers

Bob Jensen's threads Student Loans, Financial Aid, and College Net-Price Calculators ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#NetPriceCalculators

 

 

 


 

Common Curriculum:  Some Nonsense Distinctions Between Training and Theory

"Making Computer Science a Requirement?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 4, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2012/04/04/making-computer-science-a-requirement/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Jensen Comment
Making a new course requirement runs counter to the turf war compromises (e.g., at Harvard) of replacing required courses with required categories wherein students chose from a smorgasbord of alternative courses and even disciplines.

I like to think more in terms of required general education topics. For example, I've been a long time advocate of requiring personal finance topics, including some tax education in so far as it affects personal finance. It depresses me greatly that so many graduates have no understanding of time value of money, inflation, tax exempt income, tax deductions and strategies, pensions, financial risk, and other essentials of financial literacy. In support of my advocacy is the research that concludes financial distress is a leading cause of divorce, especially distress arising from such rudimentary mistakes as piling up more credit card debt than can be afforded or buying new cars when gently used cars may be a better strategy.
Bob Jensen's threads on requiring financial literacy (at least minimal) among all college graduates ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#FinancialLiteracy

Back when Bill Paton was a towering force on campus at the University of Michigan it was reported to me (I never verified this) that Accounting 101 was a required course. I suspect that this would be rare today except for selected majors such as economics, health care administration, and business.

What topics as opposed to courses should be required in gen ed?

April 8 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Tom, Jagdish, and the Others

I think at Trinity University and most other universities the "Common Curriculum" is intended to be a combination of Skills (e.g., writing and mathematics), physical fitness, multiple language proficiency, and five "Fundamental Understandings" ---
http://web.trinity.edu/x1272.xml 

My proposal for financial literacy would be to add more into the skills components.

I think the skill and physical education components deal more with living skills (including nutrition which is becoming a larger part of physical fitness) whereas Fundamental Understandings are intended to stimulate wanting to be educated as opposed to being trained.

When I first arrived at Trinity in 1982, there was a team-taught Fundamental Understandings course called Quest which as I recall ran over multiple semesters for something like nine credits. The main purpose at the time was to give all Trinity Students a truly "common educational experience" as was typical many universities in this era.

But over the years following Common Curriculum changes at Harvard, universities replaced the "common experience" of required courses like Quest with more of a "common curriculum" comprised of smorgasbord of choices in various categories of Fundamental Understandings.

This was in part due to a movement to give students more freedom of choice. It also served some turf war issues, especially in departments with very few majors that found it increasingly difficult to justify their budgets without have courses in the Common Curriculum smorgasbord.

Thus we now have a dilemma of graduating students who may have never studied Shakespeare since high school. They may never have studies Hobbes or Marx simply because they chose other dishes in the smorgasbord such as African American history great women in literature.

I do not pretend to know what is the ideal common curriculum. One thing certain that there's far to much important knowledge to cover the waterfront in a Common Curriculum. I suspect scholars will never be totally satisfied with the Common Curriculum smorgasbord no matter what great chefs prepared the food of common knowledge to choose from.

Life would be much easier if all graduates of all universities had to take a uniform Graduate Record Examination to be certified as a college graduate. Then every university to teach to that exam much like accounting educators teach to the CPA examination for a large part of the accounting curriculum.

In fact, it has become much more difficult to write the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, and other examinations that we now use for graduate school admissions since college graduates now have smorgasbord rather than common experience in the Common Curriculum.

Respectfully,
Bob Jensen

Ignorant Distinctions Between Training and Education

Hi Roger and Don,

I agree that employers are going to assume that students know how to use MS Office products (maybe not MS Access) and that stressing those basic skills may even be dysfunctional on a resume. However, mentioning some advanced skills like computing bond yields or making pivot tables in Excel might be worth mentioning.


There are some things, however, that most accounting students do not learn in college that set my students ahead in some CPA firms and corporations were some advanced skills that probably should not be taught in a basic computer science course but I think should be taught in an accounting or finance theory course.


The training skill my students learned was how to value interest rate swaps ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133swapvalue.htm
When teaching such valuation techniques the underlying economic theory complexities and controversies of derivatives and hedging can "sneaked in" along the way.


And if your university has access to a Bloomberg or Reuters terminal, it's even better to teach students how to derive yield curves and then sneak in the underlying theory of yield curves. Believe me that they will remember the theory of yield curves better if they also learned how to derive them in the real world.


My bottom line conclusion is that professors who get on a soap box and preach that we should educate rather than train in college just do not know that one of the best ways to educate is to sneak complicated theory in while teaching some complicated training techniques. I think the General Motors Institute (GMI) that grants engineering degrees discovered years ago that a whole lot of mathematics and physics can be taught while teaching mechanical engineering.
http://www.kettering.edu/about/our-history/gmi


Hence, at the collegiate level when professors rant that we should educate rather than train I chuckle under my breath that they may not know how to make students more interested in complicated and controversial theory.


The soap box distinction between training and education is often elaborated upon out of teaching and learning ignorance, especially at the collegiate level.


Respectfully,
Bob Jensen

April 6 added reply by Bob Jensen

Hi Tom, Jagdish, and the Others
I think at Trinity University and most other universities the "Common Curriculum" is intended to be a combination of Skills (e.g., writing and mathematics), physical fitness, multiple language proficiency, and five "Fundamental Understandings" ---
 
http://web.trinity.edu/x1272.xml 
 
My proposal for financial literacy would be to add more into the skills components.
 
I think the skill and physical education components deal more with living skills (including nutrition which is becoming a larger part of physical fitness) whereas Fundamental Understandings are intended to stimulate wanting to be educated as opposed to being trained.
 
When I first arrived at Trinity in 1982, there was a team-taught Fundamental Understandings course called Quest which as I recall ran over multiple semesters for something like nine credits. The main purpose at the time was to give all Trinity Students a truly "common educational experience" as was typical many universities in this era.
 
But over the years following Common Curriculum changes at Harvard, universities replaced the "common experience" of required courses like Quest with more of a "common curriculum" comprised of smorgasbord of choices in various categories of Fundamental Understandings.
 
This was in part due to a movement to give students more freedom of choice. It also served some turf war issues, especially in departments with very few majors that found it increasingly difficult to justify their budgets without have courses in the Common Curriculum smorgasbord.

 
Thus we now have a dilemma of graduating students who may have never studied Shakespeare since high school. They may never have studies Hobbes or Marx simply because they chose other dishes in the smorgasbord such as African American history great women in literature.

 
I do not pretend to know what is the ideal common curriculum. One thing certain that there's far to much important knowledge to cover the waterfront in a Common Curriculum. I suspect scholars will never be totally satisfied with the Common Curriculum smorgasbord no matter what great chefs prepared the food of common knowledge to choose from.
 
Life would be much easier if all graduates of all universities had to take a uniform Graduate Record Examination to be certified as a college graduate. Then every university to teach to that exam much like accounting educators teach to the CPA examination for a large part of the accounting curriculum.
 
In fact, it has become much more difficult to write the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, and other examinations that we now use for graduate school admissions since college graduates now have smorgasbord rather than common experience in the Common Curriculum.
 
Respectfully,
Bob Jensen

"Empathy: The Most Valuable Thing They Teach at HBS,"  by James Allworth, Harvard Business School Blog, May 15, 2012 --- Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/05/empathy_the_most_valuable_thing_they_t.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

These probably aren't words that you were expecting to see in the same sentence — Harvard Business School and empathy. But as I reflect back on my time as a student there, I've begun to realize that more than anything else, this is one of the the most valuable things that the school teaches.

It starts on day one. You're put into a "section" with 90 incredibly smart folks, people with whom you quickly become good friends. Then the moment arrives when you step into class, prepared for a case discussion with what you're sure is the right answer — but just before you're able to stick your hand up and get in on the discussion, a good friend — someone who you deeply respect and admire — jumps in to the conversation with an opinion that's exactly the opposite of yours. And it begins to dawn on you...that what they've expressed is right.

It's a humbling moment. It's valuable not just in reminding you that you're not always right (though that's always valuable), but also in teaching you to step out of your own shoes, and to put yourself into those of someone else.

It's a trait that is sorely lacking at the moment. There's a case to be made that the American political system is suffering at present because empathy has been almost entirely exorcised from within its walls. Politicians are being elected on the back of their ability to vilify those with whom they don't agree. These are not people who come to office with questions, or who seek to understand; instead, many are dogmatists, able to see the world through their own eyes. Their interest in conversation runs only one way — many seem capable of only talking at, not with, those with a different point of view on the world. The jettisoning of compromise is a direct result of this state of affairs; why would you give an inch of your position to someone whose perspective you can't even bring yourself to entertain?

The place for me, however, where an appreciation of empathy is most undervalued, is in business. The potential upside for those in business who are able to be empathetic is huge, and is eloquently described in Professor Clay Christensen's jobs-to-be-done theory. Understanding that people don't buy things because of their demographics — nobody buys something because they're a 25-30 year old white male with a college degree — but rather, because they go about living their life and some situation arises in which they need to solve a problem... and so they "hire" a product to do the job. This is a big "ah ha" to many folks when they first hear it; but when you really boil it down, the true power of this is in giving people in business a frame with which to exercise empathy. In fact, both Akio Morita of Sony and Steve Jobs were famous for never commissioning market research — instead, they'd just walk around the world watching what people did. They'd put themselves in the shoes of their customers.

And for those businesses whose executives are incapable of it? Well, they are subject to the ultimate stick — disruption. No better example of this exists than the story of Blockbuster and its competitive tangle with Netflix.

Blockbuster saw the rise of Netflix in the very early 2000s, and chose not to do anything about it. Why? Well, its management couldn't see the world from any perspective other than from the vantage point from which they sat: atop a $6 billion business with 60% margins, tens of thousands of employees and stores all across the country. Blockbuster's management couldn't bring itself to see Netflix's perspective: that while Netflix was only achieving 30% margins, Netflix wasn't comparing its 30% to Blockbuster's 60%. Netflix was comparing it to no profit at all. And Blockbuster's management certainly couldn't see the world from their customers' perspective: that late fees were driving folks up the wall, and that their range of movies eschewed anything that wasn't a new release. While Blockbuster knew it could invest to create a Netflix competitor, that would be an expensive proposition, it might not work, and even if it did, it would probably cannibalize its existing business. With that being their perspective, they saw two choices: creating a disruptive entrant with all the pitfalls of cost, and risk; or just continuing with the existing business. Thinking those were their options, continuing with the existing business looked like a pretty obvious choice.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


A study released last week by researchers at Harvard and Stanford quantified what everyone in my hometown already knew: even the most talented rural poor kids don’t go to the nation’s best colleges. The vast majority, the study found, do not even try ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/education/scholarly-poor-often-overlook-better-colleges.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

"The Ivy League Was Another Planet," Claire Vaye Watkins, The New York Times, March 28, 2013 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/opinion/elite-colleges-are-as-foreign-as-mars.html?hpw&_r=0#h[ItgRaw,1]

. . .

A study released last week by researchers at Harvard and Stanford quantified what everyone in my hometown already knew: even the most talented rural poor kids don’t go to the nation’s best colleges. The vast majority, the study found, do not even try.

For deans of admissions brainstorming what they can do to remedy this, might I suggest: anything.

By the time they’re ready to apply to colleges, most kids from families like mine — poor, rural, no college grads in sight — know of and apply to only those few universities to which they’ve incidentally been exposed. Your J.V. basketball team goes to a clinic at University of Nevada, Las Vegas; you apply to U.N.L.V. Your Amtrak train rolls through San Luis Obispo, Calif.; you go to Cal Poly. I took a Greyhound bus to visit high school friends at the University of Nevada, Reno, and ended up at U.N.R. a year later, in 2003.

If top colleges are looking for a more comprehensive tutorial in recruiting the talented rural poor, they might take a cue from one institution doing a truly stellar job: the military.

I never saw a college rep at Pahrump Valley High, but the military made sure that a stream of alumni flooded back to our school in their uniforms and fresh flattops, urging their old chums to enlist. Those students who did even reasonably well on the Asvab (the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, for readers who went to schools where this test was not so exhaustively administered) were thoroughly hounded by recruiters.

My school did its part, too: it devoted half a day’s class time to making sure every junior took the Asvab. The test was also free, unlike the ACT and SAT, which I had to choose between because I could afford only one registration fee. I chose the ACT and crossed off those colleges that asked for the SAT.

To take the SAT II, I had to go to Las Vegas. My mother left work early one Friday to drive me to my aunt’s house there, so I could sleep over and be at the testing facility by 7:30 on Saturday morning. (Most of my friends didn’t have the luxury of an aunt in the city and instead set their alarms for 4:30.) When I cracked the test booklet, I realized that in registering for the exam with no guidance, I’d signed up for the wrong subject — Mathematics Level 2, though I’d barely made it out of algebra alive. Even if I had had the money to retake the test, I wouldn’t have had another ride to Vegas. So I struggled through it and said goodbye to those colleges that required the SAT II.

But the most important thing the military did was walk kids and their families through the enlistment process.

Most parents like mine, who had never gone to college, were either intimidated or oblivious (and sometimes outright hostile) to the intricacies of college admissions and financial aid. I had no idea what I was doing when I applied. Once, I’d heard a volleyball coach mention paying off her student loans, and this led me to assume that college was like a restaurant — you paid when you were done. When I realized I needed my mom’s and my stepfather’s income information and tax documents, they refused to give them to me. They were, I think, ashamed.

Eventually, I just stole the documents and forged their signatures. (Like nearly every one of the dozen or so kids who went on to college from my class at P.V.H.S., I paid for it with the $10,000 Nevada Millennium Scholarship, financed by Nevada’s share of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.)

Granted, there’s a good reason top colleges aren’t sending recruiters around the country to woo kids like me and Ryan (who, incidentally, got his B.S. at U.N.R. before going on to earn his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue and now holds a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship with the National Research Council). The Army needs every qualified candidate it can get, while competitive colleges have far more applicants than they can handle. But if these colleges are truly committed to diversity, they have to start paying attention to the rural poor.

Until then, is it any wonder that students in Pahrump and throughout rural America are more likely to end up in Afghanistan than at N.Y.U.?

Jensen Comment
The conclusions above do not necessarily apply to elite Ph.D. programs where top college graduates XYZ state universities more frequently find their way into the Ivy League's hallowed halls on full-ride financial support packages. For example, years ago I graduated from a small Iowa farm town high school that I don't think ever placed a high school graduate in any of the nation's Ivy League universities. I commenced my higher education journey at Iowa State University. However, quite a few of this high school's graduates eventually made their way into doctoral programs in the Ivy League-class universities.

In my case I was given a full-ride fellowship (including room and board) to enroll in the Stanford University Ph.D. program after earning my MBA degree from the University of Denver. Much depends, however, on what the competition is for those graduate schools. In my case there was less competition to get into Stanford's accounting doctoral program than Stanford's MBA program. I'm absolutely certain that, even if I had been admitted into Stanford's MBA program, I would not have been given a full-ride financial fellowship.

Even today, I think applicants to accounting doctoral programs are more apt to get full-ride fellowships as doctoral students than if they instead applied for those elite MBA programs. Of course the incoming number of doctoral students is less than one percent than that of the popular Ivy League MBA programs. Many more top students apply for elite MBA degrees rather than Ph.D. degrees that take many more years of study and do not offer those Wall Street jobs upon attaining a Ph.D. diploma. Wall Street prefers the Ivy League's MBA hotshots.

Ironically, some of us unable to get Wall Street job offers ended up teaching the graduates who made millions and millions on Wall Street.

How many high-cap corporate CEOs have accounting Ph.D. degrees?

Off had, I can't think of one CEO of  among Fortune 500 companies that has a Ph.D. in accounting, although I can think of a lot of them that have MBA degrees.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


Can You Train Business School Students To Be Ethical?
The way we’re doing it now doesn’t work. We need a new way

Question
What is the main temptation of white collar criminals?

Answer from http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnronQuiz.htm#01
Jane Bryant Quinn once said something to the effect that, when corporate executives and bankers see billions of loose dollars swirling above there heads, it's just too tempting to hold up both hands and pocket a few millions, especially when colleagues around them have their hands in the air.  I tell my students that it's possible to buy an "A" grade in my courses but none of them can possibly afford it.  The point is that, being human, most of us are vulnerable to some temptations in a weak moment.  Fortunately, none of you reading this have oak barrels of highly-aged whiskey in your cellars, the world's most beautiful women/men lined up outside your bedroom door, and billions of loose dollars swirling about like autumn leaves in a tornado.  Most corporate criminals that regret their actions later confess that the temptations went beyond what they could resist.  What amazes me in this era, however, is how they want to steal more and more after they already have $100 million stashed.  Why do they want more than they could possibly need?

"Can You Train Business School Students To Be Ethical? The way we’re doing it now doesn’t work. We need a new way," by Ray Fisman and Adam Galinsky, Slate, September 4, 2012 ---
http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/2012/09/business_school_and_ethics_can_we_train_mbas_to_do_the_right_thing_.html

A few years ago, Israeli game theorist Ariel Rubinstein got the idea of examining how the tools of economic science affected the judgment and empathy of his undergraduate students at Tel Aviv University. He made each student the CEO of a struggling hypothetical company, and tasked them with deciding how many employees to lay off. Some students were given an algebraic equation that expressed profits as a function of the number of employees on the payroll. Others were given a table listing the number of employees in one column and corresponding profits in the other. Simply presenting the layoff/profits data in a different format had a surprisingly strong effect on students’ choices—fewer than half of the “table” students chose to fire as many workers as was necessary to maximize profits, whereas three quarters of the “equation” students chose the profit-maximizing level of pink slips. Why? The “equation” group simply “solved” the company’s problem of profit maximization, without thinking about the consequences for the employees they were firing.

 

Rubinstein’s classroom experiment serves as one lesson in the pitfalls of the scientific method: It often seems to distract us from considering the full implications of our calculations. The point isn’t that it’s necessarily immoral to fire an employee—Milton Friedman famously claimed that the sole purpose of a company is indeed to maximize profits—but rather that the students who were encouraged to think of the decision to fire someone as an algebra problem didn’t seem to think about the employees at all.

 

The experiment is indicative of the challenge faced by business schools, which devote themselves to teaching management as a science, without always acknowledging that every business decision has societal repercussions. A new generation of psychologists is now thinking about how to create ethical leaders in business and in other professions, based on the notion that good people often do bad things unconsciously. It may transform not just education in the professions, but the way we think about encouraging people to do the right thing in general.

 

At present, the ethics curriculum at business schools can best be described as an unsuccessful work-in-progress. It’s not that business schools are turning Mother Teresas into Jeffrey Skillings (Harvard Business School, class of ’79), despite some claims to that effect. It’s easy to come up with examples of rogue MBA graduates who have lied, cheated, and stolen their ways to fortunes (recently convicted Raj Rajaratnam is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business; his partner in crime, Rajat Gupta, is a Harvard Business School alum). But a huge number of companies are run by business school grads, and for every Gupta and Rajaratnam there are scores of others who run their companies in perfectly legal anonymity. And of course, there are the many ethical missteps by non-MBA business leaders—Bernie Madoff was educated as a lawyer; Enron’s Ken Lay had a Ph.D. in economics.

 

In actuality, the picture suggested by the data is that business schools have no impact whatsoever on the likelihood that someone will cook the books or otherwise commit fraud. MBA programs are thus damned by faint praise: “We do not turn our students into criminals,” would hardly make for an effective recruiting slogan.

 

If it’s too much to expect MBA programs to turn out Mother Teresas, is there anything that business schools can do to make tomorrow’s business leaders more likely to do the right thing? If so, it’s probably not by trying to teach them right from wrong—moral epiphanies are a scarce commodity by age 25, when most students start enrolling in MBA programs. Yet this is how business schools have taught ethics for most of their histories. They’ve often quarantined ethics into the beginning or end of the MBA education. When Ray began his MBA classes at Harvard Business School in 1994, the ethics course took place before the instruction in the “science of management” in disciplines like statistics, accounting, and marketing. The idea was to provide an ethical foundation that would allow students to integrate the information and lessons from the practical courses with a broader societal perspective. Students in these classes read philosophical treatises, tackle moral dilemmas, and study moral exemplars such as Johnson & Johnson CEO James Burke, who took responsibility for and provided a quick response to the series of deaths from tampered Tylenol pills in the 1980s.
It’s a mistake to assume that MBA students only seek to maximize profits—there may be eye-rolling at some of the content of ethics curricula, but not at the idea that ethics has a place in business. Yet once the pre-term ethics instruction is out of the way, it is forgotten, replaced by more tangible and easier to grasp matters like balance sheets and factory design.  Students get too distracted by the numbers to think very much about the social reverberations—and in some cases legal consequences—of employing accounting conventions to minimize tax burden or firing workers in the process of reorganizing the factory floor.

 

Business schools are starting to recognize that ethics can’t be cordoned off from the rest of a business student’s education. The most promising approach, in our view, doesn’t even try to give students a deeper personal sense of mission or social purpose – it’s likely that no amount of indoctrination could have kept Jeff Skilling from blowing up Enron. Instead, it helps students to appreciate the unconscious ethical lapses that we commit every day without even realizing it and to think about how to minimize them.  If finance and marketing can be taught as a science, then perhaps so too can ethics.

 

These ethical failures don’t occur at random – countless experiments in psychology and economics labs and out in the world have documented the circumstances that make us most likely to ignore moral concerns – what social psychologists Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrusel call our moral blind spots.  These result from numerous biases that exacerbate the sort of distraction from ethical consequences illustrated by the Rubinstein experiment. A classic sequence of studies illustrate how readily these blind spots can occur in something as seemingly straightforward as flipping a fair coin to determine rewards. Imagine that you are in charge of splitting a pair of tasks between yourself and another person. One job is fun and with a potential payoff of $30; the other tedious and without financial reward. Presumably, you’d agree that flipping a coin is a fair way of deciding—most subjects do. However, when sent off to flip the coin in private, about 90 percent of subjects come back claiming that their coin flip came up assigning them to the fun task, rather than the 50 percent that one would expect with a fair coin. Some people end up ignoring the coin; more interestingly, others respond to an unfavorable first flip by seeing it as “just practice” or deciding to make it two out of three. That is, they find a way of temporarily adjusting their sense of fairness to obtain a favorable outcome.

 

Jensen Comment
I've always thought that the most important factors affecting ethics were early home life (past) and behavior others in the work place (current). I'm a believer in relative ethics where bad behavior is affected by need (such as being swamped in debt) and opportunity (weak internal controls at work).  I've never been a believer in the effectiveness of teaching ethics in college, although this is no reason not to teach ethics in college. It's just that the ethics mindset was deeply affected before coming to college (e.g. being street smart in high school) and after coming to college (where pressures and temptations to cheat become realities).

An example of the follow-the-herd ethics mentality.
If Coach C of the New Orleans Saints NFL football team offered Player X serious money to intentionally and permanently injure Quarterback Q of an opposing team, Player X might've refused until he witnessed Players W, Y, and Z being paid to do the same thing.  I think this is exactly what happened when several players on the defensive team of the New Orleans Saints intentionally injured quarterbacks for money.

New Orleans Saints bounty scandal --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Orleans_Saints_bounty_scandal

 

Question
What is the main temptation of white collar criminals?

Answer from http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnronQuiz.htm#01
Jane Bryant Quinn once said something to the effect that, when corporate executives and bankers see billions of loose dollars swirling above there heads, it's just too tempting to hold up both hands and pocket a few millions, especially when colleagues around them have their hands in the air.  I tell my students that it's possible to buy an "A" grade in my courses but none of them can possibly afford it.  The point is that, being human, most of us are vulnerable to some temptations in a weak moment.  Fortunately, none of you reading this have oak barrels of highly-aged whiskey in your cellars, the world's most beautiful women/men lined up outside your bedroom door, and billions of loose dollars swirling about like autumn leaves in a tornado.  Most corporate criminals that regret their actions later confess that the temptations went beyond what they could resist.  What amazes me in this era, however, is how they want to steal more and more after they already have $100 million stashed.  Why do they want more than they could possibly need?

See Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" document at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm
The exact quotation from Jane Bryant Quinn at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#MutualFunds

Why white collar crime pays big time even if you know you will eventually be caught ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#CrimePays

Bob Jensen's threads on professionalism and ethics ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001c.htm

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core threads ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

September 5, 2012 reply from Paul Williams

Bob,

This is the wrong question because business schools across all disciplines contained therein are trapped in the intellectual box of "methodological individualism." In every business discipline we take as a given that the "business" is not a construction of human law and, thus of human foible, but is a construction of nature that can be reduced to the actions of individual persons. Vivian Walsh (Rationality Allocation, and Reproduction) critiques the neoclassical economic premise that agent = person. Thus far we have failed in our reductionist enterprise to reduce the corporation to the actions of other entities -- persons (in spite of principal/agent theorists claims). Ontologically corporations don't exist -- the world is comprised only of individual human beings. But a classic study of the corporation (Diane Rothbard Margolis, The Managers: Corporate Life in America) shows the conflicted nature of people embedded in a corporate environment where the values they must subscribe to in their jobs are at variance with their values as independent persons. The corporate "being" has values of its own. Business school faculty, particularly accountics "scientists," commit the same error as the neoclassical economists, which Walsh describes thusly:

"...if neo-classical theory is to invest its concept of rational agent with the penumbra of moral seriousness derivable from links to the Scottish moral philosophers and, beyond them, to the concept of rationality which forms part of the conceptual scheme underlying our ordinary language, then it must finally abandon its claim to be a 'value-free` science in the sense of logical empiricism (p. 15)." Business, as an intellectual enterprise conducted within business schools, neglects entirely "ethics" as a serious topic of study and as a problem of institutional design. It is only a problem of unethical persons (which, at sometime or another, includes every human being on earth). If one takes seriously the Kantian proposition that, to be rationally ethical beings, humans must conduct themselves so as to treat always other humans not merely as means, but also always as ends in themselves, then business organization is, by design, unethical. Thus, when the Israeli students had to confront employees "face-to-face" rather than as variables in a profit equation, it was much harder for them to treat those employees as simply disposable means to an end for a being that is merely a legal fiction. One thing we simply do not treat seriously enough as a worthy intellectual activity is the serious scrutiny of the values that lay conveniently hidden beneath the equations we produce. What thoughtful person could possibly subscribe to the notion that the purpose of life is to relentlessly increase shareholder wealth? Increasing shareholder value is a value judgment, pure and simple. And it may not be a particularly good one. Why would we be surprised that some individuals conclude that "stealing" from them (they, like the employees without names in the employment experiment, are ciphers) is not something that one need be wracked with guilt about. If the best we can do is prattle endlessly on about the "tone at the top" (do people who take ethics seriously get to the top?), then the intellectual seriousness which ethics is afforded within business schools is extremely low. Until we start to appreciate that the business narrative is essentially an ethical one, not a technical one, then we will continue to rue the bad apples and ignore how we might built a better barrel.

Paul

September 5, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Paul,


Do you think the ethics in government is in better shape, especially given the much longer and more widespread history of global government corruption throughout time? I don't think ethics in government is better than ethics in business from a historical perspective or a current perspective where business manipulates government toward its own ends with bribes, campaign contributions, and promises of windfall enormous job benefits for government officials who retire and join industry?


Government corruption is the name of the game in nearly all nations, beginning with Russia, China, Africa, South America, and down the list.


Political corruption in the U.S. is relatively low from a global perspective.
See the attached graph from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_%28political%29

 

 

Respectfully,
Bob Jensen

 


"MIT’s New Free Courses May Threaten (and Improve) the Traditional Model, Program’s Leader Says," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/mits-new-free-courses-may-threaten-the-traditional-model-programs-leader-says/35245?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The recent announcement that Massachusetts Institute of Technology would give certificates around free online course materials has fueled further debate about whether employers may soon welcome new kinds of low-cost credentials. Questions remain about how MIT’s new service will work, and what it means for traditional college programs.

On Monday The Chronicle posed some of those questions to two leaders of the new project: L. Rafael Reif, MIT’s provost, and Anant Agarwal, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. They stressed that the new project, called MITx, will be run separately from the institute’s longstanding effort to put materials from its traditional courses online. That project, called OpenCourseWare, will continue just as before, while MITx will focus on creating new courses designed to be delivered entirely online. All MITx materials will be free, but those who want a certificate after passing a series of online tests will have to pay a “modest fee.”

Q. I understand you held a forum late last month for professors at MIT to ask questions about the MITx effort. What were the hottest questions at that meeting?
 

Mr. Agarwal: There were a few good questions. One was, How will you offer courses that involve more of a soft touch? More of humanities, where it may not be as clear how to grade answers?

Mr. Reif: One particular faculty member said, How do I negotiate with my department head to get some time to be doing this? Another one is, Well, you want MIT to give you a certificate, how do we know who the learner is? How do we certify that?

Q. That is a question I’ve heard on some blogs. How do you know that a person is who they say they are online? What is your answer to that?
 

Mr. Agarwal: I could give a speech on this question. … In the very short term students will have to pledge an honor code that says that they’ll do the work honestly and things like that. In the medium term our plan is to work with testing companies that offer testing sites around the world, where they can do an identity check and they can also proctor tests and exams for us. For the longer term we have quite a few ideas, and I would say these are in the so-called R&D phase, in terms of how we can electronically check to see if the student is who they say they are, and this would use some combination of face recognition and other forms of technique, and also it could involve various forms of activity recognition.

Q. You refer to what’s being given by MITx as a certificate. But there’s also this trend of educational badges, such as an effort by Mozilla, the people who make the Firefox Web browser, to build a framework to issue such badges. Is MIT planning to use that badge platform to offer these certificates?
 

Mr. Agarwal: There are a lot of experiments around the Web as far as various ways of badging and various ways of giving points. Some sites call them “karma points.” Khan Academy has a way of giving badges to students who offer various levels of answering questions and things like that. Clearly this is a movement that is happening in our whole business. And we clearly want to leverage some of these ideas. But fundamentally at the end of the day we have to give a certificate with a grade that says the student took this course and here’s how they did—here’s their grade and we will give it to them. … But there are many, many ways the Internet is evolving to include some kind of badging and point systems, so we will certainly try to leverage these things. And that’s a work in progress.

Q. So there will be letter grades?

 

Mr. Agarwal: Correct.

Q. So you’ve said you will release your learning software for free under an open-source license. Are you already hearing from institutions that are going to take you up on that?
 

Mr. Agarwal: Yes, I think there’s a lot of interest. Our plan is to make the software available online, and there has been a lot of interest from a lot of sources. Many universities and other school systems have been thinking about making more of their content available online, and if they can find an open platform to go with I think that will be very interesting for a lot of people.

Q. If you can get this low-cost certificate, could this be an alternative to the $40,000-plus per year tuition of MIT for enough people that this will really shake up higher education? That may not threaten MIT, but could it threaten and even force some colleges to close if they have to compete with a nearly free certificate from your online institution?
 

Mr. Reif: First of all this is not a degree, this is a certificate that MITx is providing. The second important point is it’s a completely different educational environment. The real question is, What do employers want? I think that for a while MITx or activities like MITx—and there is quite a bit of buzz going on around things like that—will augment the education students get in college today. It’s not intended to replace it. But of course one can think of, “What if in a few years, I only take two MITx-like courses for free and that’s enough to get me a job?” Well, let’s see how well all this is received and how well or how badly the traditional college model gets threatened.

In my personal view, I think the best education that can be provided is that in a college environment. There are many things that you cannot teach very well online. Let me give you, for instance, an example of something that is important: ethics and integrity and things like that. You walk on the MIT campus and by taking a course with Anant Agarwal and meeting him and other professors like him you get the sense of ethics and integrity. Is it easy to transfer that online in a community? Maybe it is, but it’s going to take a bit of research to figure out how to do that.

Continued in article

The Game Changer
More on Porsches versus Volkswagens versus Competency Based Learning
Bringing Low Cost Education and Training to the Masses
Both a 1950 VW bug and a 1950 Porsche can be driven from Munich to Berlin. A Porsche (MIT degree) can make the trip faster, more comfortable (the VW didn't even have a heater), and safer on the autobahn.  But the VW can achieve the same goal at a lower cost to own and drive.

As fate would have it, the day after I wrote about Hitler's Volkswagen versus Porsche analogy with meeting higher education needs of the masses at very low cost, the following article appeared the next day of February 3. Ryan Craig and I went about make the same point from two different angles.

Part of my February 2, 2012 message read as follows:

. . .

But the MITx design is not yet a Volkswagen since MIT provides high quality lectures, videos, and course materials without yet setting academic standards. MIT is instead passing along the academic standard setting to the stakeholders. For example, when an engineering student at Texas A&M graduates with a 3.96 grade average, the Texas A&M system has designed and implemented the academic quality controls. In the MITx certificate program, the quality controls must be designed by the employers or graduate school admissions officers not part of the Texas A&M system..

My earlier example is that a student in the MITx program may learn a great deal about Bessel functions --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessel_functions 
But obtaining a MITx certificate for completing a Bessel function module says absolutely nothing about whether the certificate holder really mastered Bessel functions. It's up to employers and graduate school admissions officers to introduce filters to test the certificate holder's mastery of the subject.

I hope that one day the MITx program will also have competency-based testing of its MITx certificate holders --- that would be the second stage of a free MITx Volkswagen model.

Bob Jensen

For all the hubbub about massive online classes offered by elite universities, the real potential game-changer in higher education is competency-based learning.
Ryan Craig. February 3, 2012

"Adventures in Wonderland, by Ryan Craig, Inside Higher Ed, February 3, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/02/03/essay-massive-online-courses-not-game-changing-innovation

"Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2011/12/20/will-mitx-disrupt-higher-education/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

"MIT Expands 'Open' Courses, Adds Completion Certificates," Inside Higher Ed, December 19, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2011/12/19/mit-expands-open-courses-adds-completion-certificates

"MIT’s New Free Courses May Threaten (and Improve) the Traditional Model, Program’s Leader Says," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/mits-new-free-courses-may-threaten-the-traditional-model-programs-leader-says/35245?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

 

Bob Jensen's threads on open source video and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology in general ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

THE COLLEGE OF 2020: STUDENTS  ---
https://www.chronicle-store.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=78956&WG=0

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm


College, Reinvented --- http://chronicle.com/section/College-Reinvented/656

"For Whom Is College Being Reinvented? 'Disruptions' have the buzz but may put higher education out of reach for those students likely to benefit the most," by Scott Carlson and Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 17, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-False-Promise-of-the/136305/

Last year, leading lights in for-profit and nonprofit higher education convened in Washington for a conference on private-sector innovation in the industry. The national conversation about dysfunction and disruption in higher education was just heating up, and panelists from start-ups, banking, government, and education waxed enthusiastic about the ways that a traditional college education could be torn down and rebuilt—and about how lots of money could be made along the way.

During a break, one panelist—a banker who lines up financing for education companies, and who had talked about meeting consumer demands in the market—made chitchat. The banker had a daughter who wanted a master's in education and was deciding between a traditional college and a start-up that offered a program she would attend mostly online—exactly the kind of thing everyone at the conference was touting.

For most parents, that choice might raise questions—and the banker was no exception. Unlike most parents, however, the well-connected banker could resolve those uncertainties, with a call to the CEO of the education venture: "Is this thing crap or for real?"

In higher education, that is the question of the moment—and the answer is not clear, even to those lining up to push for college reinvention. But the question few people want to grapple with is, For whom are we reinventing college?

The punditry around reinvention (including some in these pages) has trumpeted the arrival of MOOC's, badges, "UnCollege," and so on as the beginning of a historic transformation. "College Is Dead. Long Live College!," declared a headline in Time's "Reinventing College" issue, in October, which pondered whether massive open online courses would "finally pop the tuition bubble." With the advent of MOOC's, "we're witnessing the end of higher education as we know it," pronounced Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University, in The Boston Globe last month.

Read beneath the headlines a bit. The pundits and disrupters, many of whom enjoyed liberal-arts educations at elite colleges, herald a revolution in higher education that is not for people like them or their children, but for others: less-wealthy, less-prepared students who are increasingly cut off from the dream of a traditional college education.

"Those who can afford a degree from an elite institution are still in an enviable position," wrote the libertarian blogger Megan McArdle in a recent Newsweek article, "Is College a Lousy Investment?" For the rest, she suggested, perhaps apprenticeships and on-the-job training might be more realistic, more affordable options. Mr. Aoun, in his Globe essay, admitted that the coming reinvention could promote a two-tiered system: "one tier consisting of a campus-based education for those who can afford it, and the other consisting of low- and no-cost MOOC's." And in an article about MOOC's, Time quotes David Stavens, a founder of the MOOC provider Udacity, as conceding that "there's a magic that goes on inside a university campus that, if you can afford to live inside that bubble, is wonderful."

But if you can't, entrepreneurs like him are creating an industrialized version of higher education that the most fervent disruptionists predict could replace mid-sized state institutions or less-selective private colleges. "I think the top 50 schools are probably safe," Mr. Stavens said.

A 'Mass Psychosis'

Higher education does have real problems, and MOOC's, badges—certificates of accomplishment—and other innovations have real potential to tackle some of them. They could enrich teaching, add rigor, encourage interdisciplinarity, reinforce education's real-world applicability, and make learning more efficient—advances all sorely needed.

But the reinvention conversation has not produced the panacea that people seem to yearn for. "The whole MOOC thing is mass psychosis," a case of people "just throwing spaghetti against the wall" to see what sticks, says Peter J. Stokes, executive director for postsecondary innovation at Northeastern's College of Professional Studies. His job is to study the effectiveness of ideas that are emerging or already in practice.

He believes that many of the new ideas, including MOOC's, could bring improvements to higher education. But "innovation is not about gadgets," says Mr. Stokes. "It's not about eureka moments. ... It's about continuous evaluation."

The furor over the cost and effectiveness of a college education has roots in deep socioeconomic challenges that won't be solved with an online app. Over decades, state support per student at public institutions has dwindled even as enrollments have ballooned, leading to higher prices for parents and students. State funds per student dropped by 20 percent from 1987 to 2011, according to an analysis by the higher-education finance expert Jane Wellman, who directs the National Association of System Heads. States' rising costs for Medicaid, which provides health care for the growing ranks of poor people, are a large part of the reason.

Meanwhile, the gap between the country's rich and poor widened during the recession, choking off employment opportunities for many recent graduates. Education leading up to college is a mess: Public elementary and secondary systems have failed a major segment of society, and the recent focus on testing has had questionable results.

Part of the problem is that the two-tiered system that Mr. Aoun fretted about is already here—a system based in part on the education and income of parents, says Robert Archibald, an economics professor at the College of William and Mary and an author of Why Does College Cost So Much?

"At most institutions, students are in mostly large classes, listening to second-rate lecturers, with very little meaningful faculty student interaction," he says. "Students are getting a fairly distant education even in a face-to-face setting."

If the future of MOOC's as peddled by some were to take hold, it would probably exacerbate the distinction between "luxury" and "economy" college degrees, he says. Graduates leaving high school well prepared for college would get an even bigger payoff, finding a place in the top tier.

"The tougher road is going to be for the people who wake up after high school and say, I should get serious about learning," Mr. Archibald says. "It's going to be tougher for them to maneuver through the system, and it is already tough."

That's one reason economists like Robert B. Reich argue for more investment in apprentice-based educational programs, which would offer an alternative to the bachelor's degree. "Our entire economy is organized to lavish very generous rewards on students who go through that gantlet" for a four-year degree, says the former secretary of labor, now a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. As a country, he says, we need to "expand our repertoire." But it's important that such a program not be conceived and offered as a second-class degree, he argues. It should be a program "that has a lot of prestige associated with it."

With few exceptions, however, the reinvention crowd is interested in solutions that will require less public and private investment, not more. Often that means cutting out the campus experience, deemed by some a "luxury" these days.

Less Help Where It's Needed

Here's the cruel part: The students from the bottom tier are often the ones who need face-to-face instruction most of all.

"The idea that they can have better education and more access at lower cost through massive online courses is just preposterous," says Patricia A. McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University. Seventy percent of her students are eligible for Pell Grants, and 50 percent come from the broken District of Columbia school system. Her task has been trying to figure out how to serve those students at a college with the university's meager $11-million endowment.

Getting them to and through college takes advisers, counselors, and learning-disability experts—a fact Ms. McGuire has tried to convey to foundations, policy makers, and the public. But the reinvention conversation has had a "tech guy" fixation on mere content delivery, she says. "It reveals a lack of understanding of what it takes to make the student actually learn the content and do something with it."

Amid the talk of disruptive innovation, "the real disruption is the changing demographics of this country," Trinity's president says. Waves of minority students, especially Hispanics, are arriving on campus, many at those lower-tier colleges, having come from schools that didn't prepare them for college work. "The real problem here is that higher education has to repeat a whole lot of lower education," Ms. McGuire says. "That has been drag on everyone."

Much of the hype around reinvention bypasses her day-to-day challenges as a president. "All of the talk about how higher education is broken is a superficial scrim over the question, What are the problems we are trying to solve?" she says. The reinvention crowd has motivations aside from solving higher education's problems, she suspects: "Beware Chicken Little, because Chicken Little has a vested interest in this. There is an awful lot of hype about disruption and the need for reinvention that is being fomented by people who are going to make out like bandits on it."

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia and a frequent commentator on technology and education, believes that some of the new tools and innovations could indeed enhance teaching and learning—but that doing so will take serious research and money.

In any case, he says, the new kinds of distance learning cannot replace the vital role that bricks-and-mortar colleges have in many communities.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, EdX, and MITx ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


"Online-Education Start-Up Teams With Top-Ranked Universities to Offer Free Courses," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 18, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/online-education-start-up-teams-with-top-ranked-universities-to-offer-free-courses/36048?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

 

Bob Jensen's threads on free online courses, lectures, videos, tutorials, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


The Wandering Path From Knowledge Portals to MOOCs

The President of Northwestern University Predicts Online Learning … in 1934! ---
http://www.openculture.com/2014/01/the-president-of-northwestern-university-predicts-online-learning-in-1934.html
Only the medium was radio in those days --- the barrier then and now was inspiring people to want to sweat and endure pain to learn
Bob Jensen's threads for online education and training alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm


Department of Education in March 2014:  17,374 online higher education distance education and training programs altogether

Jensen Comment
Note that the hundreds of free MOOC courses from prestigious universities are not the same as fee-based distance education degree and certificate programs that are more like on-campus programs in terms in student-instructor interactions, graded assignments, and examinations. Some campuses like the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee even treat online programs as cash cows where the tuition is higher for online programs than identical on-campus programs.

The (Department of Education Report in March 2014) report says that American colleges now offer 17,374 online programs altogether, 29 percent of which are master’s-degree programs, with bachelor’s and certificate programs making up 23 percent each. Business and management programs are the most popular, at 29 percent of the total, followed by health and medicine programs (16 percent), education programs (14 percent), and information technology and computers (10 percent) ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/quickwire-there-may-be-fewer-online-programs-than-you-think/51163?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

From US News in 2014
Best Online Degree Programs (ranked)
---
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education

Best Online Undergraduate Bachelors Degrees --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings
Central Michigan is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Business MBA Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
Indiana University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Education Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
Northern Illinois is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/engineering/rankings
Columbia University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Information Technology Programs ---
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/computer-information-technology/rankings
The University of Southern California is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/nursing/rankings
St. Xavier University is the big winner

US News Degree Finder --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/features/multistep-oe?s_cid=54089
This beats those self-serving for-profit university biased Degree Finders

US News has tried for years to rank for-profit universities, but they don't seem to want to provide the data.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on online programs ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm


The top flagship state universities in the USA are under increasing pressures from their legislators to offer more an more business degrees online, including undergraduate business degrees, masters of accounting degrees, and MBA degrees. The question is whether the most prestigious private universities like Stanford and Harvard will join in the competition.

The Top MBA Programs in the World according to the Financial Times ---
http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2014

The Top MBA Programs in the USA according to US News
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools

"Half of U.S. Business Schools Might Be Gone by 2020," by Patrick Clark, Bloomberg Businessweek, March 14, 2014 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-14/online-programs-could-erase-half-of-u-dot-s-dot-business-schools-by-2020

Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, has a dire forecast for business education: “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years—or five,” he says.

The threat, says Lyons, is that more top MBA programs will start to offer degrees online. That will imperil the industry’s business model. For most business schools, students pursuing part-time and executive MBAs generate crucial revenue. Those programs, geared toward working professionals, will soon have to compete with elite online alternatives for the same population.

. . .

Online MBA programs aren’t siphoning choice students from campuses yet, says Ash Soni, executive associate dean at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Kelley ranks 15th on Bloomberg Businessweek’s list of full-time programs and was an early player in online MBAs. The school draws students from across the country, but it is more likely to compete with online MBA programs offered by the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and Arizona State’s Carey School of Business. Says Soni: “If you’re a dean from a regional school and you’re asking, ‘Are these online guys tapping into my space?’ The answer is: maybe in the future, but not yet.”

Michael Desiderio, the executive director of the Executive MBA Council, says change is coming, but his group isn’t panicking. “We’re not saying it’s a threat or this is the end of the EMBA space,” he says. “It’s stimulating a discussion: How do we adapt to continue to serve a population that has changing needs?”

Online education is sure to shift the ways schools compete for students. For-profit MBA programs such as DeVry’s Keller School of Management have been the early losers as more traditional universities go online, says Robert Lytle, a partner in the education practice at consultancy Parthenon Group. That trend could extend to lower-ranked schools as the big-name brands follow.

When Lytle talks to directors at schools who are debating the merits of online learning, he tells them to stop dallying and start building programs. “Once you get out of the top tier of schools, you’re either already online, on your way there, or dead in the water,” he says. It isn’t clear which online models will be most successful, but many schools are feeling pressure to get on board. When Villanova School of Business announced a new online MBA program earlier this year, Dean Patrick Maggitti said there has never been a more uncertain time in higher education. “I think it’s smart strategy to be looking at options in this market.”

 

Jensen Comment --- Where I Disagree
Firstly, this is not so much a threat to undergraduate business schools, because most of the prestigious and highly ranked universities with MBA programs do not even offer undergraduate business degrees. It's not likely that Harvard and Stanford and the London Business School will commence to offer undergraduate business degrees online.

Secondly, this is not so much a threat to masters of accounting programs, because most of the prestigious and highly ranked universities with MBA programs do not even offer masters of accounting degrees and do not have enough accounting courses to meet the minimal requirements to take the CPA examination in most states. . It's not likely that Harvard and Stanford and the London Business School will commence to offer masters of accounting degrees online.

Thirdly, this is not so much of a threat even at the MBA level to universities who admit graduate students with lower admissions credentials. The US News Top MBA programs currently pick off the cream of the crop in terms of GMAT and gpa credentials. The top flagship state universities like the the Haas School at UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois pick off the top students who cannot afford prestigious private universities. By the time all these universities skim the cream of the crop the second-tier public and private universities struggle with more marginal students applying for MBA programs.

It would be both dangerous and sad if the very top MBA programs introduced lower admissions standards for online programs vis-a-vis on-campus programs. In order to maintain the highest standards the most prestigious universities will have to cater to the highest quality foreign students and herein lies a huge problem. Some nations like China are notorious for fraud and cheating on admissions credentials like the GMAT. In Russia such credentials are for sale to the highest bidders.

The name of the game in business education is placement of graduates. Prestigious university MBA programs are at the top of the heap in terms of placement largely because of their successful alumni and strong alumni networks that actively seek MBA graduates from their alma maters. This will not work as well for online programs, especially since many of the online graduates of prestigious university online programs will live outside the USA.

However, top flagship state universities are under increasing pressures from their legislators to offer more an more business degrees online, including undergraduate business degrees, masters of accounting degrees, and MBA degrees. This is already happening as is reflected in the following rankings of online programs by US News:

From US News in 2014
Best Online Degree Programs (ranked)
---
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education

Best Online Undergraduate Bachelors Degrees --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings
Central Michigan is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Business MBA Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
Indiana University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Education Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
Northern Illinois is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/engineering/rankings
Columbia University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Information Technology Programs ---
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/computer-information-technology/rankings
The University of Southern California is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/nursing/rankings
St. Xavier University is the big winner

US News Degree Finder --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/features/multistep-oe?s_cid=54089
This beats those self-serving for-profit university biased Degree Finders

US News has tried for years to rank for-profit universities, but they don't seem to want to provide the data.

 

I don't anticipate that the highest-prestige MBA programs will have online degree programs anytime soon.
They may have more and more free MOOCs, but that is an entirely different ballgame if no credit is given for the MOOCs. The highly prestigious Wharton is now offering its first-year MBA courses as free MOOCs ---
http://www.topmba.com/blog/wharton-steps-experimentation-moocs-mba-news
Also see http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-13/wharton-puts-first-year-mba-courses-online-for-free

Who are these students taking free first-year MOOC courses from Wharton?
Some are college professors who adding what they learn in MOOCs to the courses they themselves teach. Most MOOCs, by the way, are advanced courses on highly specialized topics like the literature of both famous and obscure writers. Others are basic courses that contribute to career advancement.

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education programs ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

 


"SUNY Outlines First Degrees in Its New Online Initiative," Inside Higher Ed, January 15, 2015 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/01/15/suny-outlines-first-degrees-its-new-online-initiative 

Open SUNY -- through which the State University of New York plans to take existing online programs in the 64-campus system and to build on them, making them available for students throughout the system -- has its first degree programs. In her annual address on the state of the university, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher announced the first degree programs and the campuses that are producing them. The offerings include associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. Two SUNY institutions -- Empire State College and SUNY Oswego -- are each offering two programs. The others are being offered by Broome Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, SUNY Delhi and SUNY Stony Brook.

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learni8ng ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


From US News in 2014
Best Online Degree Programs (ranked)
---
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education

Best Online Undergraduate Bachelors Degrees --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings
Central Michigan is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Business MBA Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
Indiana University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Education Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
Northern Illinois is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/engineering/rankings
Columbia University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Information Technology Programs ---
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/computer-information-technology/rankings
The University of Southern California is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/nursing/rankings
St. Xavier University is the big winner

US News Degree Finder --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/features/multistep-oe?s_cid=54089
This beats those self-serving for-profit university biased Degree Finders

US News has tried for years to rank for-profit universities, but they don't seem to want to provide the data.

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education programs ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

 


You can read about the early knowledge portal experiment at Columbia University that offered great hopes by failed early on.
Fathom was one of the early on initiatives to create an academic knowledge portal somewhat similar to Wikipedia, although Columbia and its prestigious university partners were taking on responsibility for content rather than users. Fathom was not a Wiki.

Bob Jensen's threads on Fathom and Other Knowledge Portals ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/portals.htm
Note that this page was written before Columbia and its partners abandoned the costly effort.

Fathom Partners



 

How to Mislead With Statistics

"Report by Faculty Group Questions Savings From MOOCs," by Lawrence Biemiller, Inside Higher Education, October 16, 2013 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/report-by-faculty-organization-questions-savings-from-moocs/47399?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

In the second of a series of papers challenging optimistic assumptions about massive open online courses, a coalition of faculty-advocacy organizations asserts that online instruction “isn’t saving money—and may actually be costing students and colleges more,” but that “snappy slogans, massive amounts of corporate money, and a great deal of wishful thinking have created a bandwagon mentality that is hard to resist.”

The paper, “The ‘Promises’ of Online Higher Education: Reducing Costs,” was released by the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, whose backers include a number of faculty unions. Drawing on news articles and public-opinion surveys, it says that while the business model supporting MOOCs is “still a work in progress,” the trend is to offer courses free but charge for “a degree or a certificate or anything from the MOOC that carries real value.”

Merely having taken one of the courses, the paper says, is “virtually valueless in the marketplace.”

“The bottom line for students? The push for more online courses has not made higher education cheaper for them. The promise has always been that it will—but that day always seems to be in the future,” the paper says.

MOOCs may also cost colleges money, the paper says, citing an agreement between Udacity and the Georgia Institute of Technology to offer an online master’s degree in computer science.

“Udacity gets the intellectual content for a master’s program of 20 courses at an upfront cost of $400,000,” the paper says. “It borrows Georgia Tech’s reputation as its own, at a huge discount (no training of graduate students, no support for labs, no decades of accumulated know-how through which Georgia Tech earned its reputation).  It acquires these courses for a proprietary platform: Georgia Tech cannot offer these OMS CS courses, created by its own faculty, to a competing distributor.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This is a classic study on how to mislead with statistics. The study does not give credit to the fact that the MOOC effort commenced by Stanford that fits totally within the Open Knowledge Initiative of MIT and other prestigious universities was intended not to save money.

By definition, a MOOC is free to anybody in the world and does not have prerequisites or admission standards. Anybody can take a MOOC free of charge by the very definition of a MOOC. The prestigious universities offering such courses intended these courses to give the world access to course materials and some of the top teaching professors of the world.

There are adaptations like SMOCs, Future Learn, and Iversity that are intended to become massive (10,000+ plus students) distance education courses that are not MOOCs. And there are options to pay for transcript credits for some MOOCs but this entails paying fees for competency-based examinations ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Firstly, in my opinion the universities with hundreds of billions of dollars in endowments given from rich sources that took advantages of tax deductions when contributing to those endowment funds can well afford to offer some free MOOCs. Were not talking in the case of Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Yale, Texas, etc. about stealing tuition money paid by on-campus students and taxpayers to benefit the poor people who take MOOCs. The universities offering free MOOCs can afford to pay the costs from endowment funds ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Second, what I find as inconsistent is that the same professors, often in union activists, arguing that:  "Merely having taken one of the (MOOC) courses, the paper says, is “virtually valueless in the marketplace," have not conducted any meaningful study of how many students who intently completed MOOCs are using the knowledge gained. If they did they would find some teachers who benefitted when taking licensure examinations to become teachers. If they did they would find many college professors who added what they learned in MOOCs to the courses they themselves teach. Most MOOCs, by the way, are advanced courses on highly specialized topics like the literature of both famous and obscure writers. Otherss are basic courses that contribute to career advancement.

Third, the above study ignores what universities save by having their students take some off-campus free offerings. For example, the Khan Academy is now partnering with various colleges that require free Khan Academy modules as part of the curriculum. Those colleges do not have to hire as many instructors like math instructors to meet the needs of students both at the introductory and advanced levels of mathematics.

The study confuses free MOOCs with fee-based distance education. For example, Harvard University offers many MOOCs as a free public service to the world. The Harvard Business School, however, will soon offer expensive distance education MBA courses because of enormous anticipated profits from those courses.

Fourth, if Georgia Tech is losing money on its online engineering degree it's not necessarily a bad thing. Georgia Tech loses money on its on-campus engineering degrees that require taxpayer subsidies to survive. Why are taxpayer subsidies for Gerogia Tech's online engineering degrees any worse in in principle? An argument might be made that there is more justification since taxpayers do not also have to subsidize room and board fees.

Five, distance education courses are gaining acceptance in the academic sector, the private sector, and public sector. For example, a distance education outfit called 2U has gained prestigious acceptance.
"3 Universities (Baylor, Southern Methodist, and Temple Universities) Will Grant Credit for 2U’s Online Courses," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 30, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/3-universities-will-grant-credit-for-2us-online-courses/45143?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

I have one word for the self-serving study cited above that contends;
"Merely having taken one of the (MOOC) courses, the paper says, is “virtually valueless in the marketplace,"
My word for such an assertion is --- BARF!

Of course this not mean that there are not tremendous problems with MOOCs. One of the problems is that most of them are advanced courses, thereby shutting out introductory students.

Another problem is that most students sign up for MOOCs out of curiosity without the intent, time, and ability to successfully complete the courses with heavy sweat that is usually necessary for serious learning.. MOOCs probably would pass the benefit-cost tests for these casual students, but the prestigious universities are intending to make opportunities available to those students who will successfully complete the courses for financial and other educational benefits in their lives. These are courses they could never afford at on-campus student prices.

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and how to sign up for them from prestigious universities in the USA, the United Kingdom, France, and now Asia ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


"The Gates Effect The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $472-million (so far) on higher education. Why many in academe are not writing thank-you notes," by Marc Parry, Kelly Field, and Beckie Supiano. Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2014 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-Gates-Effect/140323/

Jensen Comment
This is a long article filled with more opinion than fact. One suspects that faculty unions had the major impact.

Obviously, distance education with large or small classes and competency-based examinations are poor choices for the learning challenged and unmotivated learners that need more hand holding and inspiration to learn.

On the other had, the article assumes ipso facto that traditional colleges are doing a great job educating. The fact of the matter is that the best thing traditional colleges are doing best is inflating grades for lazy students ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GradeInflation

The other misleading thing thing about the article is that competency-based testing leads to watered down courses. The fact of the matter is that many traditional teachers would shake in their boots if their grade-inflated pampered students had to take competency based examinations --- which is why students tend do quite poorly on the MCAT competency-based examinations for medical school after getting mostly A grades in their science courses. This is aspiring teachers do so poorly on teacher certification examinations that are hardly rocket science.

This is mostly a paranoia article patting the status quo in higher education a pat on the back. If Bill Gates wants better reviews in the Chronicle he should simply give the money to the AAUP.

Threads on competency-based education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ConceptKnowledge

 


2U Distance Education Course Provider --- http://www.study2u.com/
2U (The Anti-MOOC Provider) ---  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_technology

"3 Universities (Baylor, Southern Methodist, and Temple Universities) Will Grant Credit for 2U’s Online Courses," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 30, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/3-universities-will-grant-credit-for-2us-online-courses/45143?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Bob Jensen's Threads on Pricey Online Courses and Degrees ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm
These do not help global low income students other than by allowing students  to learn at home and accumulate transcript credits toward degrees. Sometimes the credits are accepted only by the college or university providing distance education courses. Some universities like the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee that offer both onsite and online sections of the same course will charge higher fees for the online sections. Distance education for come colleges and universities are cash cows.

Bob Jensen's Threads on Free Online Courses, Videos, Tutorials, and Course Materials ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
These help low income students by providing totally free courses and learning materials, often from the best professors in the world at prestigious universities. However, if students want transcript credit there will be fees to take competency-based examinations. And those credits are not always accepted by other colleges and universities. The free alternatives are mainly for students who just want to learn.


"Professors Are About to Get an Online Education:  Georgia Tech's new Internet master's degree in computer science is the future." by Andy Kessler, The Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2013 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324659404578504761168566272.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

Anyone who cares about America's shortage of computer-science experts should cheer the recent news out of Georgia Tech. The Atlanta university is making major waves in business and higher education with its May 14 announcement that the college will offer the first online master's degree in computer science—and that the degree can be had for a quarter of the cost of a typical on-campus degree. Many other universities are experimenting with open online courses, or MOOCs, but Georgia Tech's move raises the bar significantly by offering full credit in a graduate program.

It comes just in time. A shortfall of computer-science graduates is a constant refrain in Silicon Valley, and by 2020 some one million high-tech job openings will remain unfilled, according to the Commerce Department.

That's why Georgia Tech's online degree, powered by Udacity, is such a game-changer. For the same $7,000 a year that New York City spends per student on school buses, you can now get a master's from one of the most well-respected programs in the country. Moore's Law says these fees should drop to $1,000 by 2020—a boon for students and for the economy.

Sadly, MOOCs are not without controversy. Consider what happened at San Jose State after the university last fall ran a test course in electrical engineering paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Students who worked with online content passed at a higher rate than classroom-only students, 91% to 60%. The course was so successful that the school's president decided to expand online courses, including humanities, which will also be rolled out to other California State universities.

You'd think professors would welcome these positive changes for students. Some teachers across the country are, however cautiously, embracing the MOOC model. But plenty of professors smell a threat to their livelihood. In an April 29 open letter to the university, San Jose State philosophy professors wrote: "Let's not kid ourselves; administrators at the CSU are beginning a process of replacing faculty with cheap online education."

In April, an Amherst faculty committee decided against online courses, since they apparently run afoul of the school's mission of "learning through close colloquy." As it happens, Amherst professors rank seventh in salary of top liberal arts colleges, pulling in $137,700. And at Duke, where my son is a student, a faculty council at the school's arts and sciences college voted 16 to 14 against granting graduation credits for taking a Duke MOOC. By the way, Duke professors' average salary is $180,200.

I have nothing against teachers—or even high salaries, if the teachers are worth it. But half of recent college graduates don't have jobs or don't use their degree in the jobs they find. Since 1990, the cost of college has increased at four times the rate of inflation. Student loans are clocking in at $1 trillion.

Something's got to give. Education is going to change, the question is how and when. Think about it: Today's job market—whether you're designing new drugs, fracking for oil, writing mobile apps or marketing Pop Chips—requires graduates who can think strategically in real time, have strong cognitive skills, see patterns, work in groups and know their way around highly visual virtual environments. This is the same generation that grew up playing online games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, but who are almost never asked to use their online skills in any classroom.

MOOCs will inevitably come to K-12 education too. Everyone knows great public school teachers. But we also all know the tenured type who has been mailing it in for years. Parents spend sleepless nights trying to rearrange schedules to get out of Mr. Bleh's fourth-period math class. Online education is about taking the "best in class" teachers and scaling them to thousands or millions of students rather than 25-30 at a time.

The union-dominated teaching corps can be expected to be just as hostile as college professors to moving K-12 to MOOCs. But a certain financial incentive will exist nonetheless. I noted this in a talk recently at an education conference where the audience was filled with people who create education software and services.

I began by pointing out that in 2011 only 7.9% of 11th graders in Chicago public schools tested "college ready." That's failure, and it's worse when you realize how much money is wasted on these abysmal results. Chicago's 23,290 teachers—who make an average salary of $74,839, triple U.S. per capita income and 50% more than median U.S. household income—cost Chicago taxpayers $1.75 billion out of the city's $5.11 billion budget.

Why not forget the teachers and issue all 404,151 students an iPad or Android tablet? At a cost of $161 million, that's less than 10% of the expense of paying teachers' salaries. Add online software, tutors and a $2,000 graduation bonus, and you still don't come close to the cost of teachers. You can't possibly do worse than a 7.9% college readiness level.

Continued in article

Masters of Accounting and Taxation Online Degree Programs
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm#MastersOfAccounting

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm


"A Pioneer in Online Education Tries a MOOC," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Ed, October 1, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/A-Pioneer-in-Online-Education/134662/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

MOOOOOOOOC! Surely "massive open online course" has one of the ugliest acronyms of recent years, lacking the deliberate playfulness of Yahoo (Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle) or the droll shoulder shrug suggested by the word "snafu" (Situation Normal, All Fouled Up).

I'm not a complete neophyte to online learning. Back in 1999, I led the start-up team for Fathom, one of the earliest knowledge networks, in partnership with Columbia University and other institutions here and abroad, and I'm a board member of the Apollo Group. So I was understandably curious about these MOOC's. With fond memories of a thrilling virtual trip a dozen years ago to Ephesus, Turkey, via a multimedia-rich, self-paced course created by a professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, I decided to check out a MOOC for myself.

Coursera, a new company that offers free online courses through some of the world's best-known universities, had the widest and most impressive selection. I blocked my ears to the siren call of science fiction, poetry, and history and opted for something sober: "Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act." It's taught by the Emanuel brother who isn't the Chicago mayor or the Hollywood superagent—Ezekiel Emanuel, an M.D. and Ph.D. who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. For the next eight weeks, I was part of a noisy, active, earnest, often contentious, and usually interesting group of students. There didn't seem to be any way to gauge the number enrolled, but I learned about the students from a discussion group. There were quite a few lawyers, doctors, and other health-care professionals. Some were struggling with personal health disasters and wanted tools to predict how the health-care act would affect their futures. Some were international researchers doing comparative studies. Others were higher-education folks like me, testing the MOOC waters.

The quality and format of the discussions were immediate disappointments. A teaching assistant provided some adult supervision, but too many of the postings were at the dismal level of most anonymous Internet comments: nasty, brutish, and long. The reliance on old-fashioned threaded message groups made it impossible to distinguish online jerks from potential geniuses. I kept wishing for a way to break the large group into small cohorts self-selected by background or interests—health-care professionals, for instance, or those particularly interested in the economics of health care. There was no way to build a discussion, no equivalent to the hush that comes over the classroom when the smart kid raises his or her hand.

If you believe the sage's advice that we learn much from our teachers and colleagues but most of all from our students, MOOC's will be far more effective when we are able to learn from one another.

Not surprisingly, enterprising MOOCsters are already organizing themselves outside the online classroom, using social-media tools like Google Hangouts and Facebook. In New York, students schedule meetings in Starbucks; in Katmandu, a group relies on Meetup to get together. Some course providers are facilitating external interaction: Udacity has offered Global Meetup Day with Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford University computer scientist (and Udacity co-founder) known for his course on artificial intelligence. Coursera threw a giant barbecue in Menlo Park, Calif., complete with volleyball and beanbag tossing.

Of course, peer learning takes you only so far: At some point, somebody has to know something about the subject. Professor Emanuel was a presence only in videos, but these were uniformly excellent. The cameras caught him walking briskly around an actual lecture hall, and I liked the presence of shadowy classmates sitting in Philadelphia, as if this were happening in real time. The videos were pleasantly peppered with pop-up quizzes. No embarrassment for the wrong answer, and I was ridiculously pleased at correctly guessing that the proportion of health-care costs in the United States that goes to prescription drugs is only 10 percent. For those in a rush, watching at twice normal speed is sort of fun— don't you secretly wish you could sit through some meetings at double speed?

I was a faithful student for a few weeks, until I fell prey to my worst undergraduate habit, procrastination—only now my excuses were far more sophisticated. I have to finish a manuscript! I have a board meeting! I have to meet my mother's new cardiologist!

In a MOOC, nobody can hear you scream.

I might have abandoned the charming Professor Emanuel altogether had the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's health-care program not injected the spice of real-time action into the discussion and refreshed my interest.

Somewhere between the videos and the readings and the occasional dip into the discussion groups, I found myself actually learning. I was particularly interested in how malpractice contributes to health-care costs but was instructed by my professor that the potential savings there amounted to mere "pencil dust." And who knew about the proposed National Medical Error Disclosure and Compensation Act of 2005, which would have reduced the number of malpractice cases, accelerated their resolution, and lowered costs by two-thirds?

To earn a certificate, I would have had to submit several essays for a grade, and I stopped short of that (see excuses above). Essays are peer-graded, and it won't surprise anybody who has ever taught undergraduates to hear that the student evaluations can be fierce. On the discussion boards, there was considerable discussion of grade deflation, plagiarism, and cheating. Alas, academic sins do follow us into the land of MOOC's, despite a nicely written honor code. Bad behavior in any classroom, real or virtual, should be no more surprising than gambling in Casablanca. In fact, brace yourself for a breathtaking new form of voluntary identity sharing: Your fake student avatar, now available for a small fee, will take your class for you.

Looking back, I suppose Fathom was a proto-MOOC, and I confess to some surprise that the Coursera format has evolved little beyond our pioneering effort of a decade ago. Yet when it came time to assess the course, I found myself rating it pretty highly, and concluded that aside from the format, the failings were mostly mine, for lack of focus. Like many MOOC students, I didn't completely "finish" the course. However, the final evaluations seemed mostly enthusiastic. From the comments, most of the students seemed to find the course long on substance: "comprehensive," "a good balance between the law, policy, and economics," "rich with multiple perspectives on health-policy issues."

Now, I could have read a book or done this on my own. But you could say the same thing about most education. A course is not a book but a journey, led by an expert, and taken in the company of fellow travelers on a common quest for knowledge. My MOOC had those elements, albeit in a pretty crude form.

You'd have to live under a rock not to know that crushing student debt, declining state support, and disruptive technologies have made it imperative to look at new models for teaching. The competitive landscape for higher education is changing every day. China recently declared the goal of bringing half a million foreign students to its shores by 2020, and is investing in programs friendly to Americans and other international students. American MOOC's may point the way to retaining the best students and faculty in the world, while adding the lively and collaborative components of technology-enhanced teaching and learning.

It is true that nobody yet has a reasonable business plan for these courses, and there is concern over completion rates and whether colleges are "giving away the farm," as a recent MIT alumni-magazine article put it. It is not hard to anticipate the end of free and the start of the next stage: fee-based certificate programs built around MOOC's. But for now, the colleges leading those efforts are making relatively modest—and rare—investments in research and development. Their faculty members are excited about the opportunity to experiment. Let's give this explosion of pent-up innovation in higher education a chance to mature before we rush to the bottom line.

Continued in article

"What You Need to Know About MOOC's," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 20, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/What-You-Need-to-Know-About/133475/

. . .

Who are the major players?

Several start-up companies are working with universities and professors to offer MOOC's. Meanwhile, some colleges are starting their own efforts, and some individual professors are offering their courses to the world. Right now four names are the ones to know:

edX

A nonprofit effort run jointly by MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley.

Leaders of the group say they intend to slowly add other university partners over time. edX plans to freely give away the software platform it is building to offer the free courses, so that anyone can use it to run MOOC’s.

Coursera

A for-profit company founded by two computer-science professors from Stanford.

The company’s model is to sign contracts with colleges that agree to use the platform to offer free courses and to get a percentage of any revenue. More than a dozen high-profile institutions, including Princeton and the U. of Virginia, have joined.

Udacity

Another for-profit company founded by a Stanford computer-science professor.

The company, which works with individual professors rather than institutions, has attracted a range of well-known scholars. Unlike other providers of MOOC’s, it has said it will focus all of its courses on computer science and related fields.

Udemy

A for-profit platform that lets anyone set up a course.

The company encourages its instructors to charge a small fee, with the revenue split between instructor and company. Authors themselves, more than a few of them with no academic affiliation, teach many of the courses.

The Big List of 530 Free Online Courses from Top Universities (New Additions) --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/09/new_additions_to_our_list_of_530_free_online_courses_from_top_universities_.html

"The Future Is Now?" by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, August 13, 2012 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-future-is-now.html

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, MITx, and Courses from Prestigious Universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training alternatives in general ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and other free courses, videos, tutorials, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm


"College Degree, No Class Time Required University of Wisconsin to Offer a Bachelor's to Students Who Take Online Competency Tests About What They Know," by Caroline Porter, The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2013 --- "
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578255992379228564.html
Thank you Ramesh Fernando for the heads up.

David Lando plans to start working toward a diploma from the University of Wisconsin this fall, but he doesn't intend to set foot on campus or even take a single online course offered by the school's well-regarded faculty.

Instead, he will sit through hours of testing at his home computer in Milwaukee under a new program that promises to award a bachelor's degree based on knowledge—not just class time or credits.

"I have all kinds of credits all over God's green earth, but I'm using this to finish it all off," said the 41-year-old computer consultant, who has an associate degree in information technology but never finished his bachelor's in psychology.

Colleges and universities are rushing to offer free online classes known as "massive open online courses," or MOOCs. But so far, no one has figured out a way to stitch these classes together into a bachelor's degree.

Now, educators in Wisconsin are offering a possible solution by decoupling the learning part of education from student assessment and degree-granting.

Wisconsin officials tout the UW Flexible Option as the first to offer multiple, competency-based bachelor's degrees from a public university system. Officials encourage students to complete their education independently through online courses, which have grown in popularity through efforts by companies such as Coursera, edX and Udacity.

No classroom time is required under the Wisconsin program except for clinical or practicum work for certain degrees.

Elsewhere, some schools offer competency-based credits or associate degrees in areas such as nursing and business, while Northern Arizona University plans a similar program that would offer bachelor's degrees for a flat fee, said spokesman Eric Dieterle. But no other state system is offering competency-based bachelor's degrees on a systemwide basis.

Wisconsin's Flexible Option program is "quite visionary," said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, an education policy and lobbying group that represents some 1,800 accredited colleges and universities.

In Wisconsin, officials say that about 20% of adult residents have some college credits but lack a degree. Given that a growing number of jobs require a degree, the new program appeals to potential students who lack the time or resources to go back to school full time.

"It is a big new idea in a system like ours, and it is part of the way the ground is shifting under us in higher education," said Kevin Reilly, president of the University of Wisconsin System, which runs the state's 26 public-university campuses.

Under the Flexible Option, assessment tests and related online courses are being written by faculty who normally teach the related subject-area classes, Mr. Reilly said.

Officials plan to launch the full program this fall, with bachelor's degrees in subjects including information technology and diagnostic imaging, plus master's and bachelor's degrees for registered nurses. Faculty are working on writing those tests now.

The charges for the tests and related online courses haven't been set. But university officials said the Flexible Option should be "significantly less expensive" than full-time resident tuition, which averages about $6,900 a year at Wisconsin's four-year campuses.

The Wisconsin system isn't focusing on the potential cost savings the program may offer it but instead "the university and the state are doing this to strengthen the state work force," said university spokesman David Giroux.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media-studies professor at the University of Virginia who has written about the future of universities, called the program a "worthy experiment" but warned that school officials "need to make sure degree plans are not watered down."

Some faculty at the school echoed the concern, since the degree will be indistinguishable from those issued by the University of Wisconsin the traditional way. "There has got to be very rigorous documentation that it lives up to the quality of that name," said Mark Cook, an animal-sciences professor and chairman of the university committee for the faculty senate at the Madison campus.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has championed the idea, in part because he left college in his senior year for a job opportunity and never finished his degree. He said he hoped to use the Flexible Degree option himself.

"I think it is one more way to get your degree. I don't see it as replacing things," Mr. Walker said

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
If competency based learning is to be offered in this manner, I think the pretense that this is equivalent to a traditional undergraduate degree should be dropped. An undergraduate diploma traditionally maps to a curriculum that includes some courses that just cannot be examined with competency-based testing proposed in this article. This includes speech courses where students must stand in front of audiences to perform and be evaluated. This includes case courses where the student's oral contributions to oral discussions of a case, discussions that take on  serendipitous tracks and student interactions. Science laboratories and many other courses entail use of onsite equipment, chemicals, etc. Some physical education courses entail individual and team performances. Music courses often entail performances on musical instruments or singing before critics. Education courses often entail live teaching and other interactions with K-12 students.

In between we have online universities that still make students take courses and interact with instructors and other students by email, chat rooms, etc. A few like Western Governors University even have course grades based on competency-based testing. But WGU only offers certain majors that do not entail onsite laboratory experiences and other onsite experiences. In the 19th Century the University of Chicago allowed students to take final examinations in some courses without attending any classes.  But this did not apply to all types of courses available on campus.

The day will probably come where there are no undergraduate or graduate degrees. Students will instead have transcript records of their graded performances onsite and online. But that day has not yet arrived. The above University of Wisconsin alternative to obtaining an undergraduate diploma must be severely limited in terms of the total curriculum available onsite at state university campuses in Wisconsin.

The above University of Wisconsin alternative to obtaining an online diploma cuts out important parts of online learning in a course where students frequently interact with instructors and other students enrolled in class.

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm


 


Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States
The Sloan Consortium and the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, 2012
http://babson.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_4SjGnHcStH5g9G5

Some key report findings include:

Full Report Now Available.
(PDF and several eBook formats)

Bob Jensen's links to online training and education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

 


Higher Education Bubble --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_bubble

Educating the Masses:  From MITx to EDX
Harvard and MIT Create EDX to Offer Free Online Courses Worldwide --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/05/harvard_and_mit_create_edx_to_offer_free_online_courses_worldwide.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

It all started early last fall. Sebastian Thrun went a little rogue (oh the audacity!) and started offering free online courses under Stanford’s banner to mass audiences, with each course promising a “statement of accomplishment” at the end. Hundreds of thousands of students signed up, and universities everywhere took notice.

Since then we have witnessed universities and startups scrambling fairly madly to create their own MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), hoping to gain a foothold in a new area that could eventually disrupt education in a major way. In December, MIT announced the creation of MITx, promising free courses and a “certificate of completion” to students worldwide. Sebastian Thrun left Stanford to create Udacity, and another Stanford spinoff, Coursera, gained instant traction when it announced in April that it had raised $16 million in venture capital and signed partnerships with Princeton, Penn and U Michigan.

Now comes the latest news. MIT has teamed up with its Cambridge neighbor, Harvard, to create a new non profit venture, EDX. To date, Harvard has barely dabbled in open education. But it’s now throwing $30 million behind EDX (M.I.T. will do the same), and together they will offer free digital courses worldwide, with students receiving the obligatory certificate of mastery at the end. The EDX platform will be open source, meaning it will be open to other universities. Whether EDX will replace MITx, or sit uncomfortably beside it, we’re not entirely sure (though it looks like it’s the former).

Classes will begin next fall. And when they do, we’ll let you know … and, of course, we’ll add them to our massive collection of 450 Free Online Courses.

For more information, you can watch the EDX press conference here and read an FAQ here.

"Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2011/12/20/will-mitx-disrupt-higher-education/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

 

"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Bob Jensen's threads on free courses, lectures, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 


April 29, 2012 message from Mark Lewis

This is an interview with Sebastian Thrun, formerly of Stanford and still associated with Google. In my ideal world, every faculty member and a large fraction of the administration and staff would watch the last half of this video. The first half is worth watching if you have an interest in Google Glass, autonomous cars, or Google X projects in general. The second half talks about his views and what he is doing in education. He is the person who taught an AI course online that had 160,000 students enroll and had 23,000 students complete it. In this interview he describes how this impacted him so much that he left his tenured position at Stanford. The lack of personal contact he talks about in his classroom does not apply in most Trinity classrooms, however, a cost of $0 for something that many students find as more personal than a large lecture hall does have the potential to change the economics of higher education.

 
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12321
 
Mark

The MOOC Model Revisited
"Massive Open Online Courses: How: 'The Social” Alters the Relationship Between Learners and Facilitators'," by Bonnie Stewart, Inside Higher Ed, April 30, 2012 --- Click Here
 http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/massive-open-online-courses-how-%E2%80%9C-social%E2%80%9D-alters-relationship-between

We're getting close to the tail end of the 36-week-long experiment called #change11, or “the mother of all MOOCs.”

How can I tell?

First, I'm getting ready to facilitate my week, exploring Digital Identities. I'm second-last in the lineup, so the fact that I'm on deck means the whole undertaking is drawing to a close.

But it's also clear we're winding down because the #change11 conversation hubs have begun to resemble, uh, ghost-towns.  Once there were lively debates and intense exchanges. As the winter wore into the spring of the year, though, the tumbleweeds began to tickle.

Note to self: next time you facilitate a MOOC module, pick Week #2, not Week #35.

Any course that runs from September through May requires stamina. When that course is voluntary on the part of both learners and facilitators, and runs as a series of totally separate modules, the drop-off can be fairly significant. Erm, even my own participation as a student has crawled to a stop over the last month or two.

I find myself wondering if the other learners will be keener than I've been? Am I going to throw a MOOC and have nobody show up?

I suppose it doesn't matter. I'm a teacher at heart. I'll put the work into developing my one-week course whether there are going to be 3 students or 300. But as I'm preparing, I'm thinking about what it means to facilitate in a truly social, networked, voluntary environment like #change11.

Or the internet.

As the awareness of the MOOC experiment grows, the term is being increasingly applied to grand-scale enterprises like the Stanford AI course and MITx. While heady, this blurs some very important distinctions.

The MOOC model from which #change11 originates was built on the connectivist learning theory of George Siemens and Stephen Downes. Highly social in format, these courses tend to be experimental, non-linear, and deeply dialogic and participatory. Contributions from participants frequently direct the course of discussion, and the connections and ideas built between learners can be considered as valuable as the knowledge expounded by the facilitator.

On the other hand, the MOOC models offered by the big universities tend towards formalized curricula, content delivery, and verification of completed learning objectives.

Far more embedded in traditional paradigms of knowledge and teaching, these courses only harness the connectivity of social media insofar as they enable masses of people to link themselves to the prestige of a big-name institution. They offer discussion boards, but their purpose is content-focused, not connection-focused.

If I were teaching in an MITx-style course, I'd have a very different module ahead of me, one far more familiar to me as a higher ed instructor.

I've been teaching for eighteen years. I profess to be in favour of learner-centered classrooms. But until this MOOC module, every single course I've taught has on some level obliged the students to be there. I am accustomed to having the institutional powers of status, credentialism, and grading backing me in the classroom.

In the connectivist MOOC model, I don't.

There is no bonus for learners who participate in my week of #change11. They won't get a badge at the end, and there is no certification announcing they completed anything. There's nothing specific for them to complete, unless I design an exit goal as part of the week's activities. But that would be MY exit goal: not theirs. They don't get to put the word MIT on their CV. And while some weeks of the #change11 MOOC have allowed participants to connect with leaders in the learning and technologies field – Howard Rheingold, Pierre Levy – I'm among the less well-known of the 30-plus facilitators in the year's lineup. They won't even get the relational perk of engaging with somebody famous.

Continued in article

 


"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

. . .

(Conclusion)
Some of the most interesting work begins in the academy but grows beyond it. "Scale" is not an academic value—but it should be. Most measures of prestige in higher education are based on exclusivity; the more prestigious the college, the larger the percentage of applicants it turns away. Consider the nonprofit Khan Academy, with its library of more than 3,000 education videos and materials, where I finally learned just a little about calculus. In the last 18 months, Khan had 41 million visits in the United States alone. It is using the vast data from that audience to improve its platform and grow still larger. TED, the nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, just launched TED-Ed, which uses university faculty from around the world to create compelling videos on everything from "How Vast Is the Universe?" to "How Pandemics Spread." Call it Khan Academy for grown-ups. The Stanford University professor Sebastian Thrun's free course in artificial intelligence drew 160,000 students in more than 190 countries. No surprise, the venture capitalists have come a-calling, and they are backing educational startups like Udemy and Udacity.

All of those are signposts to a future where competency-based credentials may someday compete with a degree.

At this point, if you are affiliated with an Ivy League institution, you'll be tempted to guffaw, harrumph, and otherwise dismiss the idea that anyone would ever abandon your institution for such ridiculous new pathways to learning. You're probably right. Most institutions are not so lucky. How long will it take for change to affect higher education in major ways? Just my crystal ball, but I would expect that institutions without significant endowments will be forced to change by 2020. By 2025, the places left untouched will be few and far between.

Here's the saddest fact of all: It is those leading private institutions that should be using their endowments and moral authority to invest in new solutions and to proselytize for experimentation and change, motivated not by survival but by the privilege of securing the future of American higher education.

The stakes are high. "So let me put colleges and universities on notice," President Obama said in his recent State of the Union address. "If you can't stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down." Because of the academy's inability to police itself and improve graduation rates, and because student debt is an expedient political issue, the Obama administration recently threatened to tie colleges' eligibility for campus-based aid programs to institutions' success in improving affordability and value for students.

Whether the president's threat is fair or not, it will not transform higher education. Change only happens on the ground. Despite all the reasons to be gloomy, however, there is room for optimism. The American university, the place where new ideas are born and lives are transformed, will eventually focus that lens of innovation upon itself. It's just a matter of time.

 

Jensen Comment
This a long and important article for all educators to carefully read. Onsite colleges have always served many purposes, but one purpose they never served is to be knowledge fueling stations where students go to fill their tanks. At best colleges put a shot glass of fuel in a tanks with unknown capacities.

Students go to an onsite college for many reasons other than to put fuel in their knowledge tanks. The go to live and work in relatively safe transitional environments between home and the mean streets. They go to mature, socialize, to mate, drink, laugh, leap over hurdles societies place in front of career paths, etc. The problem in the United States is that college onsite living and education have become relatively expensive luxuries. Students must now make more painful decisions as to how much to impoverish their parents and how deeply go into debt.

I have a granddaughter 22 years old majoring in pharmacy (six year program). She will pay off her student loans before she's 50 years old if she's lucky. Some older students who've not been able to pay off their loans are becoming worried that the Social Security Administration will garnish their retirement Social Security monthly payments for unpaid student loans.

We've always known that colleges are not necessary places for learning and scholarship. Until 43 years ago (when the Internet was born) private and public libraries were pretty darn necessary for scholarship. Now the Internet provides access to most known knowledge of the world.  But becoming a scholar on the Internet is relatively inefficient and overwhelming without the aid of distillers of knowledge, which is where onsite and online college courses can greatly add to efficiency of learning.

But college courses can be terribly disappointing as distillers of knowledge. For one thing, grade inflation disgracefully watered down the amount of real fuel in that shot glass of knowledge provided in a college course ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GradeInflation
Grades rather than learning became the tickets to careers and graduate schools, thereby, leading to street-smart cheating taking over for real learning perspiration ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

When 80% of Harvard's graduating class graduates cum laude, we no longer identify which graduates are were the best scholars in their class.

Soon those graduates from Harvard, Florida A&M University, Capella University, and those who learned on their own from free courses, video lectures, and course materials on the Web will all face some sort of common examinations (written and oral) of their competencies in specialties. Competency testing will be the great leveler much like licensure examinations such as the Bar Exam, the CPA exam, the CFA exam, etc. are graded on the basis of what you know rather than where you learned what you know. It won't really matter whether you paid a fortune to learn Bessel Functions onsite at MIT or for free from the MITx online certificate program ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

If you are an educator or are becoming an educator, please read:
"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

This is related to issues of "badges" in academe
"A Future Full of Badges," by Kevin Carey, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/A-Future-Full-of-Badges/131455/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

"College at Risk," by Andrew Delbanco, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/College-at-Risk/130893/


Five Free Courses from Stanford Start This Month --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/03/5_free_courses_from_stanford_start_this_month.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Stanford’s big open course initiative keeps rolling along. On March 12, three new courses will get underway:

Then, starting on March 19, two more will take flight:

The courses generally feature interactive video clips; short quizzes that provide instant feedback; the ability to pose high value questions to Stanford instructors; feedback on your overall performance in the class; and a statement of accomplishment at the end of the course.

And, yes, the courses are free and now open for enrollment.

As always, don’t miss our big list of 425 Free Online Courses. It may just be the single most awesome page on the web.

Story via Stanford University News. Algorithm image courtesy of BigStock.

Bob Jensen's threads on the MITx Certificates and other free courses, lectures, and learning materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


LMS = Learning Management System --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_management_system
CMS = Course Management System = LMS
History of LMS/CMS --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm

MOOC = Massively Open Online Course --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooc
MOOCs from Prestigious Universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
 

"An LMS for Elite MOOCs?" by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, March 7, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/03/07/more-stanford-professors-stage-their-free-online-courses-profit 

Google artificial-intelligence guru Sebastian Thrun made a splash last month when he left Stanford University to start a company based on an A.I. course he made freely available last fall to tens of thousands of students on the Web. Now, two of Thrun's former Stanford colleagues who conducted similar experiments have spun off their own free online courses into a for-profit venture.

The engineering professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, who also ran free online versions of their Stanford courses last fall, have started Coursera, a company that says it wants to make "the best education in the world freely available to any person who seeks it."

The company currently serves as a platform for eight courses, centering on computer science with some math, economics and linguistics. Five are taught by Stanford professors, two by professors at the University of California at Berkeley and one by a University of Michigan professor. All of the courses are currently listed as free of charge. None will count as credit toward a degree at any of the professors' home universities.

Koller and Ng were not immediately available to elaborate on Coursera's business model, but the
terms of use on the company's website suggest that it plans to trade in information. The terms stipulate that Coursera may use "non-personal" information it collects from users "for business purposes." They also indicate that Coursera may share personal information with its "business partners" so that registered students might "receive communications from such parties that [students] have opted in to."

Stanford appears to be collaborating closely with the professors who are teaching courses through Coursera. To help brainstorm improvements to the quality of these massively open online courses (known as MOOCs), the university is assembling a "multidisciplinary faculty committee on educational technology that will include deans of three schools, the university provost's office and faculty or senior administrators from across campus," according to the
Stanford News Service.

Stanford is not the only elite university to focus faculty and administrative brainpower on the question of how to create inexpensive versions of its courses available to massive online audiences without sacrificing quality. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently opened MITx, a subsidiary nonprofit aimed at providing top-flight interactive courses online at a "modest" price. The MITx project is actively drawing on the creativity and expertise of the M.I.T. computer science faculty, with involvement from the university's provost.

The founders of Coursera may be counting on this trend to continue. A January job posting for part-time work developing, designing and programming for the company (referred to in the posting as Dkandu, apparently a working title at the time) suggests that it has ambitions of being the preferred partner for elite universities that want to take their courses online in a big way.

"We see a future where world-leading educators are at the center of the education conversation, and their reach is limitless, bounded only by the curiosity of those who seek their knowledge; where universities such as Stanford, Harvard, and Yale serve millions instead of thousands," the author of the posting. "In this future, ours will be the platform where the online conversation between educators and students will take place, and where students go to for most of their academic needs."

More than 335,000 people have registered for the five Stanford-provided courses in the Coursera catalog, which comprise courses in natural language processing, game theory, probabilistic graphic models, cryptography and design and analysis of algorithms. The three non-Stanford courses are in model thinking (Michigan), software as a service and computer vision (Berkeley).

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology and distance learning ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 

 


Principles of Accounting is one of the initial (Phase 1) open sharing courses from the State of Washington

Washington State Open Course Library --- http://www.opencourselibrary.org/phase-1-courses

If you use a learning management system you can import course materials for an entire course. Course files are available for download in two formats on the SBCTC Connexions page. We are grateful to Connexions for helping us share these courses with the world.

Please note: Human Anatomy & Physiology I/II will be available soon.

 

OCL-Master - Try College (High School) 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master - Principles of Accounting I-ACCT&201 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master - Try College/College Success Course 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Art Appreciation-ART&100 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Calculus III-MATH&153 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Calculus II-MATH&152 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Calculus I-MATH&151 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Cultural Anthropology-ANTH&206 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Elementary Algebra-MATH9X 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Engineering Physics I-PHYS&221 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-English Composition I-ENGL&101 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-English Composition II-ENGL&102 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-General Biology w/Lab-BIOL&160 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-General Chemistry w/Labs CHEM&161 CHEM&162 CHEM&163 
Role: Guest 
 
OCL-Master-General Psychology-PSYC&100 
Role: Guest 
 
OCL-Master-Instroduction to Philosophy-PHIL&101 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Intermediate Algebra-MATH9Y 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Introduction to Business-BUS&101 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Introduction to Chemistry(Inorganic)-CHEM&121 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Introduction to Literature I-ENGL&111 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Introduction to Logic-PHIL&106 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Introduction to Oceanography-OCEA&101 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Introduction to Physical Geology-GEOL&101 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Introduction to Statistics-MATH&146 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Lifespan Psychology-PSYC&200 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Macroeconomics-ECON&202 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Microeconomics- ECON&201 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Music Appreciation-MUSC&105 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Physical Anthropology -ANTH&205 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Precalculus II-MATH&142 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Precalculus I-MATH&141 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Pre-College English-ENGL9Y 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Principles of Accounting II -ACCT&202 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Public Speaking-CMST&220 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Research for the 21st Century-LIB180 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-Technical Writing-ENGL&235 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-US History I-HIST&146 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-US History II-HIST&147 
Role: Student 
 
OCL-Master-US History III-HIST&148 
Role: Student 

Bob Jensen's threads on free open sharing lectures, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. Congress ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

How SOPA Would Affect You ---
http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57329001-281/how-sopa-would-affect-you-faq/

"Wikipedia begins 24-hour shutdown protest," New Zealand Herald, January 19, 2012 ---
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10779616

Wikipedia has gone 'dark' for 24 hours in protest of US anti-piracy legislation. Photo / Supplied Expand Wikipedia has gone 'dark' for 24 hours in protest of US anti-piracy legislation. Photo / Supplied

Wikipedia went dark, Google blotted out its logo and other popular websites planned protests to voice concern over legislation in the US Congress intended to crack down on online piracy.

Wikipedia tonight shut down the English version of its online encyclopaedia for 24 hours to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate version, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

Google placed a black redaction box over the logo on its much-visited US home page to draw attention to the bills, while social news site reddit and the popular Cheezburger humour network planned to shut down later in the day.

The draft legislation has won the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce.

But it has come under fire from digital rights and free speech organisations for allegedly paving the way for US authorities to shut down websites accused of online piracy, including foreign sites, without due process.

Continued in article

Jensen Copy
This is a classic example of trying to pop a pimple with a sledge hammer. If Congress passes this legislation as proposed it will be a disaster to open sharing as we know it today.

The good news is Wikileaks --- http://wikileaks.org/
I despise the Wikileaks site itself, but the good news is that Congress could not remove Wikileaks from the Internet even if it tried. Wikileaks may fold due to diminished financial support, but an act of Congress cannot shut it down unless there is worldwide cooperation to shut it down, and there will probably be ice fishing in Hell before the U.S. could engineer such cooperation. Similarly, I don't think an act of Congress can shut down Wikipedia or any other open sharing site that moves off shore. Stick that in your ear Rep. Lamar Smith.

"Brake the Internet Pirates:  How to slow down intellectual property theft in the digital era," The Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2012 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203471004577142893718069820.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t

Wikipedia and many other websites are shutting down today to oppose a proposal in Congress on foreign Internet piracy, and the White House is seconding the protest. The covert lobbying war between Silicon Valley and most other companies in the business of intellectual property is now in the open, and this fight could define—or reinvent—copyright in the digital era.

Everyone agrees, or at least claims to agree, that the illegal sale of copyrighted and trademarked products has become a world-wide, multibillion-dollar industry and a legitimate and growing economic problem. This isn't college kids swapping MP3s, as in the 1990s. Rather, rogue websites set up shop oversees and sell U.S. consumers bootleg movies, TV shows, software, video games, books and music, as well as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion, jewelry and more.

Often consumers think they're buying copies or streams from legitimate retail enterprises, sometimes not. Either way, the technical term for this is theft.

The tech industry says it wants to stop such crimes, but it also calls any tangible effort to do so censorship that would "break the Internet." Wikipedia has never blacked itself out before on any other political issue, nor have websites like Mozilla or the social news aggregator Reddit. How's that for irony: Companies supposedly devoted to the free flow of information are gagging themselves, and the only practical effect will be to enable fraudsters. They've taken no comparable action against, say, Chinese repression.

Meanwhile, the White House let it be known over the weekend in a blog post—how fitting—that it won't support legislation that "reduces freedom of expression" or damages "the dynamic, innovative global Internet," as if this describes the reality of Internet theft. President Obama has finally found a regulation he doesn't like, which must mean that the campaign contributions of Google and the Stanford alumni club are paying dividends.

The House bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and its Senate counterpart are far more modest than this cyber tantrum suggests. By our reading they would create new tools to target the worst-of-the-worst black markets. The notion that a SOPA dragnet will catch a stray Facebook post or Twitter link is false.

Under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998, U.S. prosecutors and rights-holders can and do obtain warrants to shut down rogue websites and confiscate their domain names under asset-seizure laws. Such powers stop at the water's edge, however. SOPA is meant to target the international pirates that are currently beyond the reach of U.S. law.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright

 


Have We Overvalued Science (STEM) Degrees to a Fault?

"High Demand for Science Graduates Enables Them to Pick Their Jobs, Report Says," by Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 20. 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/High-Demand-for-Science/129472/
 

A couple of years ago, a pair of researchers at Georgetown University and Rutgers University concluded that, contrary to widespread perception, the United States produces plenty of scientists and engineers.
 

The problem, wrote Harold Salzman of Rutgers and B. Lindsay Lowell of Georgetown, is that fewer than half of all college graduates in science and engineering actually take jobs in those fields. So instead of pressing colleges to produce more science graduates, they wrote, the country needed only to persuade new graduates to take the right jobs.
 

A study released on Wednesday by another Georgetown research team suggests, however, that lot of persuasion may be necessary.
 

Among its findings, the study, from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, shows that science and engineering graduates enjoy high demand in a variety of fields, with a bachelor's degree in a science major commanding a greater salary than a master's degree in a nonscience major.
 

And, the new report says, English-speaking science graduates are much less likely than foreign-born science graduates to take a job in a traditional science career, which American graduates often view as too socially isolating.
 

"It sort of fits the stereotype, frankly," said the report's lead author, Anthony P. Carnevale, a research professor at Georgetown who serves as director of the Center on Education and the Workforce.
 

In recent months, the center has also issued reports that analyzed students' future earnings based on their undergraduate majors, and that tied lifetime earnings as much to students' choice of occupation as to their degrees.
 

The 2009 study by Mr. Salzman, a professor of public policy on Rutgers's New Brunswick campus, and Mr. Lowell, director of policy studies at Georgetown's Institute for the Study of International Migration, used 30 years of federal job data to show that American colleges produce far more talented graduates in the sciences than is required by the industry for which they've been specifically trained. But there is a labor shortfall, the professors said, because so many science graduates take jobs in areas such as sales, marketing, and health care.
 

The training and expertise of science graduates give them that flexibility, Mr. Carnevale found in his study. Sixty-five percent of students earning bachelor's degrees in science or engineering fields earn more than master's-degree holders in nonscience fields do, the report says. And 47 percent of bachelor's-degree holders in science fields earn more than do those holding doctorates in other fields.

Continued in article
 

Jensen Comment
This article begs some questions.

  1. If "science" is such a hot undergraduate degree, why do other studies conclude that for students not going on to graduate or professional schools, most science undergraduate degrees are "useless?" And why would some major universities be contemplating dropping physics as an undergraduate major due to lack of students electing to major in physics?


    Answer
    I think Salzman and Lowell confound engineering with science, thereby making science degrees more attractive than undergraduates perceive them to be as majors.


     

    STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STEM_fields

    "Re-Engineering Engineering Education to Retain Students," by Josh Fischman, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 19, 2012 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/percolator/re-engineering-engineering-education-to-retain-students/28745?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    Vancouver, British Columbia—Alarmed by the tendency of engineering programs to hemorrhage undergraduates, at a time when the White House has called for an additional million degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fieldsknown as STEM—education researchers here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science proposed ways to improve the numbers. At a symposium on engineering education, one group outlined a broad revamping of curriculum, while another proposed more modest changes to pedagogy.

    The re-evaluation of curriculum is an effort called Deconstructing Engineering Education Programs. The project is led by Ilene Busch-Vishniac, the provost of McMaster University in Ontario and a mechanical engineer, and involves faculty from nine universities, including large public institutions like the University of Washington and small private ones like Smith College.

    Patricia Campbell, a collaborator on the project who leads an education-consulting firm in Groton, Mass., said that the time to get an engineering degree was a major reason that undergraduates dropped the major. “We call these four-year schools,” she said. “But 64 percent of STEM undergraduates complete their degrees in six years.” In engineering, she continued, that was largely due to two factors: a proliferation of courses, called “topic creep,” and rigid chains of prerequisite courses that students had to follow to move on to higher courses.

    Matthew Ohland, an associate professor of engineering education at Purdue University, added that the rigid structure not only prevented students from getting out of these programs with a degree, but it also kept potential students from migrating in. For example, he said, an industrial-engineering program might insist its students take a particular economics course to fulfill the program’s general-education requirements. But sophomores and juniors might have already taken a related but different econ course. To join the program, they would have to retake economics, a strong disincentive.

    Ms. Campbell (who was formerly a professor at Georgia State University) and her colleagues attempted to streamline this system, focusing on mechanical engineering. At nine schools, they identified mechanical engineering courses that covered 2,149 topics. But after closely looking at the coursework, they found a number of similar topics with different names, and narrowed the list of unique topics to 833. Ultimately they grouped the courses on those topics into 12 clusters, each of which contained chains of classes focused around closely related topics, and required few courses from another cluster. The clusters covered all 833 topics, and instructional times ranged from 52 to 115 hours, with an average length of 91 hours. That corresponds, roughly, to four hours of course time each week for one semester on the low end or one year on the high end.

    That means, Ms. Campbell said, that a mechanical-engineering student could cover all the required topics, but do so in four years, by taking three clusters each year.

    It would also, she claimed, meet the standards of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, because it includes everything that accredited engineering programs do. Mr. Ohland, who works as an evaluator for the board, said the accreditor is open to new approaches like these, although he acknowledged there were many of what he called “horror stories” about the accreditor being very traditional and resistant to change. “If you do something too wild, you have to convince [the board] that it won’t hurt students.”

    No institution has adopted the cluster formulation. Ms. Campbell said that faculty members were leery of the new course formulations, which grouped topics that they usually taught with other topics they did not. The solution, she said, was team-teaching of a course, but that’s something that pushes many professors beyond their comfort levels.

    A less-radical approach would be to improve teaching techniques in existing courses, said another symposium participant, Susan S. Metz, executive director of the Lore-El Center for Women in Engineering and Science at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. She leads the Engage project, a consortium of engineering schools at 30 institutions, supported by the National Science Foundation, to identify best practices in teaching.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    In accountancy we face somewhat similar problems in that even in four-year degree programs accounting majors are required to take more courses in their major than most other majors on campus, including majors in economics, finance, marketing, and management. To that we now add a fifth year of courses required to sit for the CPA examination.

    But in accountancy we face a different job market than engineers. There are no shortages of top accounting majors to meet the available entry level jobs in CPA firms, corporations, and government agencies in most states. There is a shortage of accounting PhD graduates, but these shortages are not caused by undergraduate professional accountancy curricula. The main problem lies in that accountancy PhD degrees take twice as long as most other doctoral degrees and require mathematics and statistics prerequisites not taken by former accounting majors ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

    In the roaring 1990s there was great worry among the CPA firms that accounting was losing top majors to the soaring bubble of jobs in computer science, IT, and finance. But that bubble burst big time making homeless people out of computer science, IT, and finance graduates. Students who had not yet declared majors returned to the accounting fold in spite of the expanding requirements to have a fifth year (150-credits) to sit for the CPA examination.

    The curriculum of accountancy has been and probably always will be dictated by content of the CPA examination. For example, when the CPA examination commenced to have larger and tougher problems in governmental accounting, accounting programs beefed up governmental accounting courses. The same beefing up is now taking place with ethics content in the curricula. Perhaps this isn't such a bad thing until more shortages of accounting graduates arise.

    The problem with the CPA-exam focus of accounting curricula lies in finding accounting instructors qualified to teach upper division accountancy, auditing, tax, and AIS courses. There's a huge shortage of accountancy PhD graduates and many of them are econometricians not qualified to teach upper division accounting courses. As a result accounting programs are turning more and more to the AACSB's Professionally Qualified (PQ) adjunct instructors who are strong in accountancy but do not have doctoral degrees. A few even have doctoral degrees but are not interested in doing accountics research and publishing required for AQ tenure tracks.

    Hence even though we could streamline accounting curricula along the same lines suggested for engineering majors in the above article, I personally don't think there's a need to meet the supply of available jobs in accountancy in the United States and Canada.

    And apart from engineering and technology, I'm not certain that we are not deluding high school students about career opportunities in science and mathematics opportunities. For example, chemistry and physics are now ranked among the "most useless" majors and students with four-year degrees or even PhD degrees in these disciplines have to branch into other fields to find careers

    "Texas May Cut Almost Half of Undergrad Physics Programs," Inside Higher Ed, September 27, 2011 ---
    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/09/27/qt#271341

    Note that "useless" in context means an oversupply of graduates relative to job opportunities in a discipline. The jobs themselves may be high paying, but 300 may apply for a single opening such that the 299 that got turned away wish they'd majored in some other discipline.

     

    The most useless 20 college degrees," The Daily Beast, April 27, 2011 ---
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-04-27/useless-college-majors-from-journalism-to-psychology-to-theater/ 
    As college seniors prepare to graduate, The Daily Beast crunches the numbers to determine which majors—from journalism to psychology —didn’t pay.

    Some cities are better than others for college graduates. Some college courses are definitely hotter than others. Even some iPhone apps are better for college students than others. But when it comes down to it, there’s only one question that rings out in dormitories, fraternities, and dining halls across the nation: What’s your major?

    Slide Show
    01.Journalism
    02. Horticulture
    03. Agriculture
    04. Advertising
    05. Fashion Design
    06. Child and Family Studies
    07. Music
    08. Mechanical Engineering Technology
    09. Chemistry
    10. Nutrition
    11. Human Resources
    12. Theatre
    13. Art History
    14. Photography
    15. Literature
    16. Art
    17.Fine Arts
    18. Psychology
    19. English
    20. Animal Science
     

  2. There are more opportunities for those that go on to earn their PhD degrees in science, but even here opportunities are limited. When a college gets a tenure track opening in science it will probably get hundreds of highly qualified PhD applicants, including those who earned their doctorates at very prestigious universities like Cal Tech or MIT. More scientists will go into industry, but even here there is not a shortage of supply like there is in some engineering specialties and medicine. This is why some undergraduates choose to go on to professional programs like medical, law, business and education graduate programs.

     
  3. Even though there are opportunities in industry for both science and engineering graduates, some choose professional undergraduate degrees like premed, prelaw, accounting, finance, marketing, and management because they view these degrees as having faster tracks to high paying medical doctor careers or managerial jobs and partnerships in corporations, accounting firms, and law firms.

     
  4. To compete in the global economy where science and engineering specialists are prized, the U.S. job market does not place a high enough premium on opportunities in those disciplines to attract many of the brightest and best who opt for alternatives like those mentioned above. The Salzman and Lowell study outcomes suggests this by noting that science and engineering undergraduates often track into nonscientific careers.
     

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


"Emory University to eliminate programs," by Laura Diamond, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 14, 2012 ---
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/emory-university-to-eliminate-programs/nSByn/

. . .

Emory will phase out the journalism program, department of visual arts, division of educational studies and department of physical education. Students enrolled in these programs will be able to complete their degrees and tenured faculty will move to other departments.

The university will suspend admissions to Spanish and economics graduate programs so leaders there can redefine the missions, Forman said. Emory also will suspend admissions to the Institute for Liberal Arts so it can be restructured.

The changes will begin at the end of this academic year and finish by the end of the 2016-17 academic year. About 20 staff positions will be cut over the next five years, officials said.

Savings from the changes will be re-invested into existing programs and growing areas, such as neurosciences, contemporary China studies and digital and new media studies, Emory officials said.

Leaders of affected departments sent letters and emails to students.

“These changes represent very difficult choices but I am confident it will lead to a more exciting future for Emory College,” Forman said. “These were fundamental decisions about the size and scope of our mission and how we use our resources to realize our mission of providing a world-class education for our students.”

President Jim Wagner endorsed the plan, saying Forman and others had the “willingness to go back to first principles, look at each department and program afresh, and begin the process of reallocating resources for emerging needs and opportunities.”

The college has shuttered programs before. Emory decided to close the dental school in 1990 and shut down the geology department in 1986.

 


"The Unabomber's Pen Pal," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-Unabombers-Pen-Pal/131892/?sid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

Jensen Comment
This is a long and serious article about the philosophy of technology. Innovations nearly always have side effects and must be embraced at a price. As I read this is can appreciate the insights of George Orwell who saw much of this long before modern day philosophers. In many ways this is a philosophy of despair regarding the paradoxes of technology and innovation. I say "despair" because because like so many scholars who find fault, Ted Kaczynsk has no suggestions of hope and improvement. Everything seems so predetermined to fail.

It is important to read the comments that follow this article.

For example, I like cb's comment:

"So the question is, Can the ideas stand on their own merit regardless of who said them?" This assumes that a particular idea or set of ideas is unique to an individual. As Winner posits, the more rational of Kaczynski's are not. So, why give additional attention to an individual who has caused so much pain and threatened so many? The thrill of engaging a sociopath? Drawing off Kaczynski's infamy for attention-seeking? It's hard to find a noble or responsible answer to the question.

It should be added that the moral ambivalence found in Skrbina's approach, notwithstanding his understandable disclaimers rejecting Kaczynski's violence, is a sign of the real problem in human society. Technology will always be with us, whether the tool is a stick or a supercomputer. Whatever problems we have as humans are the result of our own fallibility, including the stubborn tendency towards moral pragmatism and relativity.

Resisting the technological advancements that have saved millions of lives through medicine, computers, robotics, and agriculture is not a sign of a moral superiority. Whatever evils have been accomplished through technology are evils of human behavior. Kaczynski's grievances became excuses to attack and kill defenseless civilians, but the Rosseauian temptation to turn back the clock to some romanticized natural state threatens the well being of billions while only indulging the moral hypocrisy that truly threatens us.

 

 


College Degrees Without Instructors

Competency-Based Assessment --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/competency.htm

There are a few really noteworthy competency-based distance education programs including Western Governors University (WGU) and the Chartered Accountancy School of Business (CASB)  in Canada. But these competency-based programs typically have assigned instructors and bear the costs of those instructors. The instructors, however, do not assign grades to students.

It appears that the Southern New Hampshire University (a private institution) is taking competency-based distance education to a new level by eliminating the instructors. It should be noted that SNHU has both an onsite campus and online degree programs.

"Online Education Is Everywhere. What’s the Next Big Thing?" by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 31, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/online-education-is-everywhere-whats-the-next-big-thing/32898?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

. . .

The vision is that students could sign up for self-paced online programs with no conventional instructors. They could work at their own speeds through engaging online content that offers built-in assessments, allowing them to determine when they are ready to move on. They could get help through networks of peers who are working on the same courses; online discussions could be monitored by subject experts. When they’re ready, students could complete a proctored assessment, perhaps at a local high school, or perhaps online. The university’s staff could then grade the assessment and assign credit.

And the education could be far cheaper, because there would be no expensive instructor and students could rely on free, open educational resources rather than expensive textbooks. Costs to the student might include the assessment and the credits.

“The whole model hinges on excellent assessment, a rock-solid confidence that the student has mastered the student-learning outcomes,” the memo says. “If we know with certainty that they have, we should no longer care if they raced through the course or took 18 months, or if they worked on their courses with the support of a local church organization or community center or on their own. The game-changing idea here is that when we have assessment right, we should not care how a student achieves learning. We can blow up the delivery models and be free to try anything that shows itself to work.”

Continued in article

"A Russian University Gets Creative Against Corruption:  With surveillance equipment and video campaigns, rector aims to eliminate bribery at Kazan State," by Anna Nemtsova, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 17, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/A-Russian-University-Gets/63522/


"Treating Higher Ed's 'Cost Disease' With Supersize Online Courses," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Treating-Higher-Eds-Cost/130934/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Oh my God, she's trying to replace me with a computer.

That's what some professors think when they hear Candace Thille pitch the online education experiment she directs, the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University.

They're wrong. But what her project does replace is the traditional system of building and delivering introductory college courses.

Professors should move away from designing foundational courses in statistics, biology, or other core subjects on the basis of "intuition," she argues. Instead, she wants faculty to work with her team to put out the education equivalent of Super Bowl ads: expensively built online course materials, cheaply available to the masses.

"We're seeing failure rates in these large introductory courses that are not acceptable to anybody," Ms. Thille says. "There has to be a better way to get more students—irrespective of where they start—to be able to successfully complete."

Her approach brings together faculty subject experts, learning researchers, and software engineers to build open online courses grounded in the science of how people learn. The resulting systems provide immediate feedback to students and tailor content to their skills. As students work through online modules outside class, the software builds profiles on them, just as Netflix does for customers. Faculty consult that data to figure out how to spend in-person class time.

When Ms. Thille began this work, in 2002, the idea was to design free online courses that would give independent novices a shot at mastering what students learn in traditional classes. But two things changed. One, her studies found that the online system benefits on-campus students, allowing them to learn better and faster than their peers when the digital environment is combined with some face-to-face instruction.

And two, colleges sank into "fiscal famine," as one chancellor put it. Technological solutions like Ms. Thille's promise one treatment for higher education's "cost disease"—the notion, articulated by William G. Bowen and William J. Baumol, that the expense of labor-heavy endeavors like classroom teaching inevitably rises faster than inflation.

For years, educational-technology innovations led to more costs per student, says Mr. Bowen, president emeritus of Prince­ton University. But today we may have reached a point at which interactive online systems could "change that equation," he argues, by enabling students to learn just as much with less "capital and labor."

"What you've got right now is a powerful intersection between technological change and economics," Mr. Bowen tells The Chronicle.

Ms. Thille is, he adds, "a real evangelist in the best sense of the word."

Nowadays rival universities want to hire her. Venture capitalists want to market her courses. The Obama administration wants her advice. And so many foundations want to support her work that she must turn away some would-be backers.

But the big question is this: Can Ms. Thille get a critical mass of people to buy in to her idea? Can she expand the Online Learning Initiative from a tiny darling of ed-tech evangelists to something that truly changes education? A Background in Business

Ms. Thille brings an unusual biography to the task. The 53-year-old Californian spent 18 years in the private sector, culminating in a plum job as a partner in a management-consulting company in San Francisco. She earned a master's degree but not a doctorate, a gap she's now plugging by studying toward a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.

She has never taught a college course.

Ms. Thille wasn't even sure she'd make it through her own bachelor's program, so precarious were her finances at the time. Her family had plunged from upper middle class to struggling after her father quit his job at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. But with jobs and scholarships, she managed to earn a degree in sociology from Berkeley.

After college, Ms. Thille followed her fiancé to Pittsburgh. The engagement didn't last, but her connection to the city did. She worked as education coordinator for a rape-crisis center, training police and hospital employees.

She eventually wound up back in California at the consultancy, training executives and helping businesses run meetings effectively. There she took on her first online-learning project: building a hybrid course to teach executives how to mentor subordinates.

Ms. Thille doesn't play up this corporate-heavy résumé as she travels the country making the case for why professors should change how they teach. On a recent Tuesday morning, The Chronicle tagged along as that mission brought Ms. Thille to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was meeting with folks from the university and two nearby community colleges to prepare for the development of a new pre-calculus course.

It's one piece of a quiet but sweeping push to develop, deploy, and test Open Learning Initiative courses at public institutions around the country, led by an alphabet soup of education groups.

The failure rate in such precalculus courses can be so bad that as many as 50 percent of students need to take the class a second time. Ms. Thille and her colleagues hope to improve on that record while developing materials of such quality that they're used by perhaps 100,000 students each year. Facing Skepticism

But first the collaborators must learn how to build a course as a team. As Ms. Thille fires up her PowerPoint, she faces a dozen or so administrators and professors in Chicago. The faculty members segregate themselves into clusters—community-college people mostly in one group, university folks mostly in another. Some professors are learning about the initiative in detail for the first time. There is little visible excitement as they plunge into the project, eating muffins at uncomfortable desks in a classroom on the sixth floor of the Soviet-looking science-and-engineering building.

By contrast, Ms. Thille whirls with enthusiasm. She describes Online Learning Initiative features like software that mimics human tutors: making comments when students go awry, keeping quiet when they perform well, and answering questions about what to do next. She discusses the "dashboard" that tells professors how well students grasp each learning objective. Throughout, she gives an impression of hyper-competence, like a pupil who sits in the front row and knows the answer to every question.

But her remarks can sometimes veer into a disorienting brew of jargon, giving the impression that she is talking about lab subjects rather than college kids. Once she mentions "dosing" students with a learning activity. And early on in the workshop, she faces a feisty challenge from Chad Taylor, an assistant professor at Harper College. He worries about what happens when students must face free-form questions, which the computer doesn't baby them through.

"I will self-disclose myself as a skeptic of these programs," he says. Software is "very good at prompting the students to go step by step, and 'do this' and 'do that,' and all these bells and whistles with hints. But the problem is, in my classroom they're not prompted step by step."

Around the country, there's more skepticism where that came from, Ms. Thille confides over a dinner of tuna tacos later that day. One chief obstacle is the "not-invented-here problem." Professors are wary of adopting courses they did not create. The Online Learning Initiative's team-based model represents a cultural shift for a professoriate that derives status, and pride, from individual contributions.

Then there's privacy. The beauty of OLI is that developers can improve classes by studying data from thousands of students. But some academics worry that colleges could use that same data to evaluate professors—and fire those whose students fail to measure up.

Ms. Thille tells a personal story that illustrates who could benefit if she prevails. Years ago she adopted a teenager, Cece. The daughter of a drug user who died of AIDS, Cece was 28 days' truant from high school when she went to live with Ms. Thille. She was so undereducated, even the simple fractions of measuring cups eluded her. Her math teacher told Ms. Thille that with 40 kids in class, she needed to focus on the ones who were going to "make it."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In a way we already have something like this operating in colleges and universities that adopt the Brigham Young University variable speed video disks designed for learning the two basic accounting courses without meeting in classrooms or having the usual online instruction. Applications vary of course, and some colleges may have recitation sections where students meet to get help and take examinations ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#BYUvideo

Although BYU uses this no-class video pedagogy, it must be recognized that most of the BYU students learning accounting on their own in this manner are both exceptionally motivated and exceptionally intelligent. For schools that adopt the pedagogies of Me. Thile or BYU, the students must be like BYU accounting students or the pedagogy must be modified for more hand holding and kick-butt features that could be done in various ways online or onsite.

Perhaps Ms. Thille is being somewhat naive about turf wars in universities. Certain disciplines are able to afford a core faculty for research and advanced-course teaching with miniscule classes because teaching large base courses in the general education core justifies not having to shrink those departments with almost no majors.

Where Ms. Thille's pedagogy might be more useful is in specialty courses where its expensive to hire faculty to teach one or two courses. For example, it's almost always difficult for accounting departments to hire top faculty for governmental accounting courses and the super-technical ERP courses in AIS.

Bob Jensen's threads on courses without instructors ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#NoInstructors
Of course Ms. Thille is not exactly advocating a pedagogy without instructors. There are instructors in her proposed model.

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based learning and assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ECA


"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

. . .

(Conclusion)
Some of the most interesting work begins in the academy but grows beyond it. "Scale" is not an academic value—but it should be. Most measures of prestige in higher education are based on exclusivity; the more prestigious the college, the larger the percentage of applicants it turns away. Consider the nonprofit Khan Academy, with its library of more than 3,000 education videos and materials, where I finally learned just a little about calculus. In the last 18 months, Khan had 41 million visits in the United States alone. It is using the vast data from that audience to improve its platform and grow still larger. TED, the nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, just launched TED-Ed, which uses university faculty from around the world to create compelling videos on everything from "How Vast Is the Universe?" to "How Pandemics Spread." Call it Khan Academy for grown-ups. The Stanford University professor Sebastian Thrun's free course in artificial intelligence drew 160,000 students in more than 190 countries. No surprise, the venture capitalists have come a-calling, and they are backing educational startups like Udemy and Udacity.

All of those are signposts to a future where competency-based credentials may someday compete with a degree.

At this point, if you are affiliated with an Ivy League institution, you'll be tempted to guffaw, harrumph, and otherwise dismiss the idea that anyone would ever abandon your institution for such ridiculous new pathways to learning. You're probably right. Most institutions are not so lucky. How long will it take for change to affect higher education in major ways? Just my crystal ball, but I would expect that institutions without significant endowments will be forced to change by 2020. By 2025, the places left untouched will be few and far between.

Here's the saddest fact of all: It is those leading private institutions that should be using their endowments and moral authority to invest in new solutions and to proselytize for experimentation and change, motivated not by survival but by the privilege of securing the future of American higher education.

The stakes are high. "So let me put colleges and universities on notice," President Obama said in his recent State of the Union address. "If you can't stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down." Because of the academy's inability to police itself and improve graduation rates, and because student debt is an expedient political issue, the Obama administration recently threatened to tie colleges' eligibility for campus-based aid programs to institutions' success in improving affordability and value for students.

Whether the president's threat is fair or not, it will not transform higher education. Change only happens on the ground. Despite all the reasons to be gloomy, however, there is room for optimism. The American university, the place where new ideas are born and lives are transformed, will eventually focus that lens of innovation upon itself. It's just a matter of time.

 

Jensen Comment
This a long and important article for all educators to carefully read. Onsite colleges have always served many purposes, but one purpose they never served is to be knowledge fueling stations where students go to fill their tanks. At best colleges put a shot glass of fuel in a tanks with unknown capacities.

Students go to an onsite college for many reasons other than to put fuel in their knowledge tanks. The go to live and work in relatively safe transitional environments between home and the mean streets. They go to mature, socialize, to mate, drink, laugh, leap over hurdles societies place in front of career paths, etc. The problem in the United States is that college onsite living and education have become relatively expensive luxuries. Students must now make more painful decisions as to how much to impoverish their parents and how deeply go into debt.

I have a granddaughter 22 years old majoring in pharmacy (six year program). She will pay off her student loans before she's 50 years old if she's lucky. Some older students who've not been able to pay off their loans are becoming worried that the Social Security Administration will garnish their retirement Social Security monthly payments for unpaid student loans.

We've always known that colleges are not necessary places for learning and scholarship. Until 43 years ago (when the Internet was born) private and public libraries were pretty darn necessary for scholarship. Now the Internet provides access to most known knowledge of the world.  But becoming a scholar on the Internet is relatively inefficient and overwhelming without the aid of distillers of knowledge, which is where onsite and online college courses can greatly add to efficiency of learning.

But college courses can be terribly disappointing as distillers of knowledge. For one thing, grade inflation disgracefully watered down the amount of real fuel in that shot glass of knowledge provided in a college course ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GradeInflation
Grades rather than learning became the tickets to careers and graduate schools, thereby, leading to street-smart cheating taking over for real learning perspiration ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

When 80% of Harvard's graduating class graduates cum laude, we no longer identify which graduates are were the best scholars in their class.

Soon those graduates from Harvard, Florida A&M University, Capella University, and those who learned on their own from free courses, video lectures, and course materials on the Web will all face some sort of common examinations (written and oral) of their competencies in specialties. Competency testing will be the great leveler much like licensure examinations such as the Bar Exam, the CPA exam, the CFA exam, etc. are graded on the basis of what you know rather than where you learned what you know. It won't really matter whether you paid a fortune to learn Bessel Functions onsite at MIT or for free from the MITx online certificate program ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

If you are an educator or are becoming an educator, please read:
"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

This is related to issues of "badges" in academe
"A Future Full of Badges," by Kevin Carey, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/A-Future-Full-of-Badges/131455/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

"College at Risk," by Andrew Delbanco, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/College-at-Risk/130893/


"MIT’s New Free Courses May Threaten (and Improve) the Traditional Model, Program’s Leader Says," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/mits-new-free-courses-may-threaten-the-traditional-model-programs-leader-says/35245?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The recent announcement that Massachusetts Institute of Technology would give certificates around free online course materials has fueled further debate about whether employers may soon welcome new kinds of low-cost credentials. Questions remain about how MIT’s new service will work, and what it means for traditional college programs.

On Monday The Chronicle posed some of those questions to two leaders of the new project: L. Rafael Reif, MIT’s provost, and Anant Agarwal, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. They stressed that the new project, called MITx, will be run separately from the institute’s longstanding effort to put materials from its traditional courses online. That project, called OpenCourseWare, will continue just as before, while MITx will focus on creating new courses designed to be delivered entirely online. All MITx materials will be free, but those who want a certificate after passing a series of online tests will have to pay a “modest fee.”

Q. I understand you held a forum late last month for professors at MIT to ask questions about the MITx effort. What were the hottest questions at that meeting?
 

Mr. Agarwal: There were a few good questions. One was, How will you offer courses that involve more of a soft touch? More of humanities, where it may not be as clear how to grade answers?

Mr. Reif: One particular faculty member said, How do I negotiate with my department head to get some time to be doing this? Another one is, Well, you want MIT to give you a certificate, how do we know who the learner is? How do we certify that?

Q. That is a question I’ve heard on some blogs. How do you know that a person is who they say they are online? What is your answer to that?
 

Mr. Agarwal: I could give a speech on this question. … In the very short term students will have to pledge an honor code that says that they’ll do the work honestly and things like that. In the medium term our plan is to work with testing companies that offer testing sites around the world, where they can do an identity check and they can also proctor tests and exams for us. For the longer term we have quite a few ideas, and I would say these are in the so-called R&D phase, in terms of how we can electronically check to see if the student is who they say they are, and this would use some combination of face recognition and other forms of technique, and also it could involve various forms of activity recognition.

Q. You refer to what’s being given by MITx as a certificate. But there’s also this trend of educational badges, such as an effort by Mozilla, the people who make the Firefox Web browser, to build a framework to issue such badges. Is MIT planning to use that badge platform to offer these certificates?
 

Mr. Agarwal: There are a lot of experiments around the Web as far as various ways of badging and various ways of giving points. Some sites call them “karma points.” Khan Academy has a way of giving badges to students who offer various levels of answering questions and things like that. Clearly this is a movement that is happening in our whole business. And we clearly want to leverage some of these ideas. But fundamentally at the end of the day we have to give a certificate with a grade that says the student took this course and here’s how they did—here’s their grade and we will give it to them. … But there are many, many ways the Internet is evolving to include some kind of badging and point systems, so we will certainly try to leverage these things. And that’s a work in progress.

Q. So there will be letter grades?

 

Mr. Agarwal: Correct.

Q. So you’ve said you will release your learning software for free under an open-source license. Are you already hearing from institutions that are going to take you up on that?
 

Mr. Agarwal: Yes, I think there’s a lot of interest. Our plan is to make the software available online, and there has been a lot of interest from a lot of sources. Many universities and other school systems have been thinking about making more of their content available online, and if they can find an open platform to go with I think that will be very interesting for a lot of people.

Q. If you can get this low-cost certificate, could this be an alternative to the $40,000-plus per year tuition of MIT for enough people that this will really shake up higher education? That may not threaten MIT, but could it threaten and even force some colleges to close if they have to compete with a nearly free certificate from your online institution?
 

Mr. Reif: First of all this is not a degree, this is a certificate that MITx is providing. The second important point is it’s a completely different educational environment. The real question is, What do employers want? I think that for a while MITx or activities like MITx—and there is quite a bit of buzz going on around things like that—will augment the education students get in college today. It’s not intended to replace it. But of course one can think of, “What if in a few years, I only take two MITx-like courses for free and that’s enough to get me a job?” Well, let’s see how well all this is received and how well or how badly the traditional college model gets threatened.

In my personal view, I think the best education that can be provided is that in a college environment. There are many things that you cannot teach very well online. Let me give you, for instance, an example of something that is important: ethics and integrity and things like that. You walk on the MIT campus and by taking a course with Anant Agarwal and meeting him and other professors like him you get the sense of ethics and integrity. Is it easy to transfer that online in a community? Maybe it is, but it’s going to take a bit of research to figure out how to do that.

Continued in article

The Game Changer
More on Porsches versus Volkswagens versus Competency Based Learning
Bringing Low Cost Education and Training to the Masses
Both a 1950 VW bug and a 1950 Porsche can be driven from Munich to Berlin. A Porsche (MIT degree) can make the trip faster, more comfortable (the VW didn't even have a heater), and safer on the autobahn.  But the VW can achieve the same goal at a lower cost to own and drive.

As fate would have it, the day after I wrote about Hitler's Volkswagen versus Porsche analogy with meeting higher education needs of the masses at very low cost, the following article appeared the next day of February 3. Ryan Craig and I went about make the same point from two different angles.

Part of my February 2, 2012 message read as follows:

. . .

But the MITx design is not yet a Volkswagen since MIT provides high quality lectures, videos, and course materials without yet setting academic standards. MIT is instead passing along the academic standard setting to the stakeholders. For example, when an engineering student at Texas A&M graduates with a 3.96 grade average, the Texas A&M system has designed and implemented the academic quality controls. In the MITx certificate program, the quality controls must be designed by the employers or graduate school admissions officers not part of the Texas A&M system..

My earlier example is that a student in the MITx program may learn a great deal about Bessel functions --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessel_functions 
But obtaining a MITx certificate for completing a Bessel function module says absolutely nothing about whether the certificate holder really mastered Bessel functions. It's up to employers and graduate school admissions officers to introduce filters to test the certificate holder's mastery of the subject.

I hope that one day the MITx program will also have competency-based testing of its MITx certificate holders --- that would be the second stage of a free MITx Volkswagen model.

Bob Jensen

For all the hubbub about massive online classes offered by elite universities, the real potential game-changer in higher education is competency-based learning.
Ryan Craig. February 3, 2012

"Adventures in Wonderland, by Ryan Craig, Inside Higher Ed, February 3, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/02/03/essay-massive-online-courses-not-game-changing-innovation

"Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2011/12/20/will-mitx-disrupt-higher-education/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

"MIT Expands 'Open' Courses, Adds Completion Certificates," Inside Higher Ed, December 19, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2011/12/19/mit-expands-open-courses-adds-completion-certificates

"MIT’s New Free Courses May Threaten (and Improve) the Traditional Model, Program’s Leader Says," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/mits-new-free-courses-may-threaten-the-traditional-model-programs-leader-says/35245?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

 

Bob Jensen's threads on open source video and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology in general ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

THE COLLEGE OF 2020: STUDENTS  ---
https://www.chronicle-store.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=78956&WG=0

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm


Critical Thinking Badges for Brains That Do Not Have Course Content Competency
"Online Course Provider, StraighterLine, to Offer Critical-Thinking Tests to Students," by Jeff Selingo, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 19, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/online-course-provider-straighterline-to-offer-critical-thinking-tests-to-students/35092?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

As alternatives to the college diploma have been bandied about recently, one question always seems to emerge: How do you validate badges or individual classes as a credential in the absence of a degree?

One company that has been hailed by some as revolutionizing introductory courses might have an answer.

The company, StraighterLine, announced on Thursday that beginning this fall it will offer students access to three leading critical-thinking tests, allowing them to take their results to employers or colleges to demonstrate their proficiency in certain academic areas.

The tests—the Collegiate Learning Assessment, sponsored by the Council for Aid to Education, and the Proficiency Profile, from the Educational Testing Service—each measure critical thinking and writing, among other academic areas. The iSkills test, also from ETS, measures the ability of a student to navigate and critically evaluate information from digital technology.

Until now, the tests were largely used by colleges to measure student learning, but students did not receive their scores. That’s one reason that critics of the tests have questioned their effectiveness since students have little incentive to do well.

Burck Smith, the founder and chief executive of StraighterLine, which offers online, self-paced introductory courses, said on Thursday that students would not need to take classes with StraighterLine in order to sit for the tests. But he hopes that, for students who do take both classes and tests, the scores on the test will help validate StraighterLine courses.

StraighterLine doesn’t grant degrees and so can’t be accredited. It depends on accredited institutions to accept its credits, which has not always been an easy task for the company.

“For students looking to get a leg up in the job market or getting into college,” Mr. Smith said, “this will give them a way to show they’re proficient in key academic areas.”

Jensen Comment

Jensen Comment

College diplomas might be obtained in three different scenarios:

  1. Traditional College Courses
    Students take onsite or online courses that are graded by their instructors.
     
  2. Competency-Based College Courses
    Students take onsite or online courses and are then given competency-based examinations.
    Examples include the increasingly popular Western Governors University and the Canada's Chartered Accountancy School of Business (CASB).
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ComputerBasedAssessment
     
  3. Competency-Based College Courses That Never Meet or Rarely Meet
    Students might study from course materials and videos in classes that do not meet or rarely meet with instructors.
    In the 1900s the University of Chicago gave degrees to students who took only examinations to pass courses.
    In current times BYU teaches the first two accounting courses from variable speed video disks and then administers competency-based examinations.
    The University of New Hampshire now is in the process of developing a degree program for students who only competency-based examinations to pass courses.
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#NoInstructors

Recently, there are increasingly popular certificates of online "attendance" in courses that do not constitute college credits toward diplomas. MIT is providing increasingly popular certificates ---
"Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2011/12/20/will-mitx-disrupt-higher-education/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en
There are no admission requirements or prerequisites to enroll in these online courses. Presumably the only tests of competency might be written or oral examinations of potential employers. For example, if knowledge of Bessel Functions is required on the job, a potential employer might determine in one way or another that the student has a competency in Bessel Functions ---
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessel_Functions

In all the above instances, a student's transcript is based upon course content whether or not the student takes courses and/or competency-based examinations in the content of those courses.

StraighterLine's new certificates based upon "Critical-Thinking Tests" is an entirely different concept. Presumably the certificates no longer are rooted on knowledge of content. Rather these are certificates based upon critical thinking skills in selected basic courses such as a writing skills course.

In my opinion these will be a much harder sell in the market. Whereas a potential employer can assess whether an applicant has the requisite skills in something like Bessel Functions, how does an employer or college admissions officer verify that StraightLine's "Critical-Thinking Tests" are worth a diddly crap and, if so, what does passing such tests mean in terms of job skills?

Thus far I'm not impressed with Critical Thinking Certificates unless they are also rooted on course content apart from "thinking" alone.

Bob Jensen's threads on the BYU Variable Speed Video Courses ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#BYUvideo

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses. lectures, videos, tutorials, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

I should point out that this is very similar to the AAA's Innovation in Accounting Education Award Winning BAM Pedagogy commenced at the University of Virginia (but there were instructors who did not teach) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm


Bringing Low Cost Education and Training to the Masses

Jensen Comment
Perhaps a better analogy than a Volkswagen versus a Porsche would be where a MIT jumbo jet takes off in the evening from Differential Equations in the USA bound for Bessel Functions, Germany. Passengers in First Class get live MIT professors and one-on-one help in preparation for landing. Passengers in the economy section are only given videos of the MIT professors and the MITx free course handout materials. Beyond that the economy class passengers are on their own.

MIT professors keep first class passengers attentive whenever there's a hint of a passenger falling asleep or day dreaming. They also require interactive feedback. Back in the economy section 95% of the passengers grow bored and doze off around midnight. But the others are even more driven than the first class passengers to pass through customs at Bessel Functions.

Upon arrival each passenger is given a competency examination in Bessel functions. Passage rates are 80% (24 passengers) for first class passengers and 5% (50 passengers) for economy class passengers. Those that fail must return to the USA.

The point is that, in spite of having much higher failure rates, there are many more MITx graduates passing through Bessel Functions competency examinations than MIT graduates who paid for luxuries of live lectures and interactive communications with their instructors.

The problem with MITx low cost (economy class) fares is that students that are not highly motivated fail the competency examinations. Those students needed first class live classes or online interactive inspirations and prodding to learn.

The enormous problem with Professor Obama's drive to bring low cost education to the masses is that there is such a high proportion of students who want top grades without the scholastic blood, sweat, and tears it takes to attain scholastic competency . These are the couch potatoes and the hard workers dragged down by other duties (such as tending to two toddlers at their feet and a baby in their arms) who are driven to learn but just have other duties and priorities.

MIT is doing wonders with its MITx certificate program for intelligent and highly motivated students. But MIT has not yet offered help to those students not even motivated to bleed, perspire, and cry over college algebra, spelling, and grammar.

Bob Jensen's threads on competency based assessment are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ComputerBasedAssessment


 

Bob Jensen's threads on the MITx certificate program are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 

"Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2011/12/20/will-mitx-disrupt-higher-education/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

MIT has been doing online access to education a lot longer than most people, largely due to their invaluable OpenCourseWare project. (Here’s an interview MIT did with me last year on how OCW strongly influenced my inverted-classroom MATLAB course.) Now they are poised to go to the next level by launching an online system called MITx in Spring 2012 that provides credentialing as well as content:

Mr. Reif and Anant Agarwal, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, said M.I.T.x would start this spring — perhaps with just one course — but would expand to include many more courses, as OpenCourseWare has done. [...]

The M.I.T.x classes, he said, will have online discussions and forums where students can ask questions and, often, have them answered by others in the class.

While access to the software will be free, there will most likely be an “affordable” charge, not yet determined, for a credential.

“I think for someone to feel they’re earning something, they ought to pay something, but the point is to make it extremely affordable,” Mr. Reif said. “The most important thing is that it’ll be a certificate that will clearly state that a body sanctioned by M.I.T. says you have gained mastery.”

The official FAQ reveals a couple of additional points. First, the content of MITx courses will be free — which seems to imply that MITx course content will be different than OCW course content, and not just a certification layer on top of existing resources — and you’ll only pay money for the certificate. Second, there will be no admissions process. If you want a course, you just take it and then pay for the credentialing if you feel like you’re up to it.

I think this last point about having no admissions process may be the most significant piece of MITx. It seems to represent a complete shift from the traditional way of providing access to higher education. As far as I can tell, there will not even be a system of checking prerequisites for MITx courses. If that’s so, then if you feel you can step into, say, an Algorithms class and keep up with the material and demonstrate your mastery, then nobody at MIT will care if you haven’t had the right courses in basic programming, data structures, discrete math, or whatever. MIT is basically saying, we won’t be picky about who we let take these courses — if you can afford it and live up to our standards, we’re happy to credential you.

Of course there are a lot of questions about MITx that are yet to be answered. What is the “modest fee” they plan to charge, and is it really affordable? How exactly will the credentialing process work? (It’s interesting that the certification will be handled by a non-profit organization to be formed within MIT. Is this a kind of outsourcing of grading?) How will one “demonstrate mastery” and what will MITx define as “mastery” in courses that are not strictly skills-based? Will there eventually be a full enough slate of courses offered to make the whole system compelling for learners? And perhaps most importantly, what will employers, graduate schools, and even undergraduate institutions make of applicants who come in with some of these MITx certifications? Without external buy-in, MITx will likely be just another continuing education program like hundreds of others.

We’ll hear a lot more about this in the future, but for now this seems to have the potential to be genuinely disruptive in higher education. What do you think?

"MIT Expands 'Open' Courses, Adds Completion Certificates," Inside Higher Ed, December 19, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2011/12/19/mit-expands-open-courses-adds-completion-certificates

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- which pioneered the idea of making course materials free online -- today announced a major expansion of the idea, with the creation of MITx, which will provide for interaction among students, assessment and the awarding of certificates of completion to students who have no connection to MIT.

MIT is also starting a major initiative -- led by Provost L. Rafael Reif -- to study online teaching and learning.

The first course through MITx is expected this spring. While the institute will not charge for the courses, it will charge what it calls "a modest fee" for the assessment that would lead to a credential. The credential will be awarded by MITx and will not constitute MIT credit. The university also plans to continue MIT OpenCourseWare, the program through which it makes course materials available online.

An FAQ from MIT offers more details on the new program.

While MIT has been widely praised for OpenCourseWare, much of the attention in the last year from the "open" educational movement has shifted to programs like the Khan Academy (through which there is direct instruction provided, if not yet assessment) and an initiative at Stanford University that makes courses available -- courses for which some German universities are providing academic credit. The new initiative would appear to provide some of the features (instruction such as offered by Khan, and certification that some are creating for the Stanford courses) that have been lacking in OpenCourseWare.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on open source video and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology in general ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

THE COLLEGE OF 2020: STUDENTS  ---
https://www.chronicle-store.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=78956&WG=0

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

 

 


Financial Literacy Should Be Required Learning on Campus

"Teach Financial Literacy," by Steven Bahls, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 13, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/06/13/essay_on_responsibility_of_colleges_to_teach_financial_literacy

 As a college president, I ask students and graduates what are we doing correctly and what can we improve upon. The typical responses to how we can improve are not surprising — more parking and more financial aid (often in that order). Lately the most common answer from recent graduates as to how we can improve has been surprising — more education about financial literacy and the practical aspects of living in today’s world.

I hear the following comments with increasing frequency, particularly since the Great Recession of 2008:

Faculty and administrators at liberal arts colleges do not shy at complex thinking. We tend to scrutinize the details even as we comprehend the big picture. We look for connections among areas of thought, and revel in a multitude of perspectives. By the end of their four years on campus, our students have benefited from a well-rounded, richly layered education. I believe most even recognize what it means to be liberally educated. Having learned to "turn the crystal" as they develop their views and goals, they are confident and able to find success on many levels.

Why then do so many recent graduates seem unable to demonstrate sound decision-making in an area as fundamental as finances and entering the work world?

Is it possible that in our efforts to foster creative and critical problem solving, we neglect the basics of responsible day-to-day living and working? As we carefully engage students in discerning shades of gray, is it at the expense of black and white?

Two events have led me to ask these questions. First is the number of conversations like those described above, with graduates who confided to me their frustrating lack of “real-world” financial knowledge. The second is the fact of the high loan default rate among recent college graduates, which is 7 percent nationwide (Augustana’s rate is 4.2 percent). I know I am not alone in asking the question: What should we do?

Personal Prosperity and the Common Good

Jon Meacham, the former editor of Newsweek, addressed the 2011 Council of Independent College Presidents Institute. Meacham praised the role of liberal education, noting that "people who know about Shakespeare tend to create the Internet." But if appreciating Shakespeare and other skills common to a liberal education is viewed by most as "quaint and quirky," liberal education will not survive. Instead, he argues that liberal education must be "vital and relevant" by "training young minds to solve problems and to see what others have yet to see and to think energetically about creating jobs and wealth," which Meacham calls the "oxygen of democracy."

I'd go one step further than Meacham. Our graduates can’t create wealth and jobs if they don’t have the ability to balance a checkbook, or the skills to hold a job.

When asked to define "personal success," I think it is fair to suggest that most college freshmen would put "financial success" toward the top of their list. As they begin taking liberal arts courses, they connect their learning to other aspects of their lives, and many begin to think of a career as something more than just a paycheck. They develop meaningful working relationships with faculty members and other students, and may experience some peaks in their education — whether through an internship, international study, research with faculty or other achievements in their major studies. Their definition of success develops more facets.

At Augustana College, we have long promoted high-impact learning experiences as well as the close relationships that allow integrated and collaborative learning to flourish. Recently we have begun to take new steps toward teaching certain life skills fundamental to ensuring success of all kinds.

Leadership about financial literacy must come from the top. I remind our students that if they live like college graduates with good jobs while they are students, their debt levels will cause them to live like students when they graduate. Going out to a mid-priced restaurant twice a week for four years could easily cost $8,000. Putting those charges on a credit card and carrying the balance over four years tips the cost to well over $10,000.

Five years ago, before the severe economic downturn, we introduced a class on personal finance. Offered each spring and fall term, the class is packed with seniors and some juniors. Having read Plato and Neruda, spent hours upon hours working in our human cadaver or volcano lab, or climbed Machu Picchu, these students suspect they must improve their financial literacy before they graduate.

Their instructor, an alumnus retired banker, begins by teaching how to use financial templates. The students create a personal profile and then produce a cash flow statement for the previous year. After clarifying their own understanding of their financial history, which generally is filled with gaps until this class, they work with their instructor on the process of creating a budget for the next year. Taking into account three to four personal financial goals (e.g., paying for students loans, emergency funds, etc., and even retirement), the students lay their financial path for the future. At all times throughout the class they keep in mind their current net worth, and how that value should affect their financial decisions. The course is such a success that, given the financial illiteracy demonstrated by too many young alumni, we now are offering a free three-hour seminar as a "crash course" in personal finance for our graduating seniors.

Sharing Responsibility

Augustana is not the only liberal arts college to offer such a class, and there is more we all can do. Many liberal arts colleges are adding majors that address personal financial viability in a changing world and also attract prospective students in an increasingly competitive market.

Augustana’s newest majors — which extend from traditional majors — include graphic design, neuroscience, environmental studies, multimedia journalism and engineering physics, among others. While some of our faculty state concerns that our college’s liberal arts foundation might be shaken by the contemporary and perhaps more fiscal focus of these programs, most see the new majors as logical progressions of traditional fields and therefore deeply related to our college’s mission.

Continued in article


"Lack of Financial Literacy Complicates Student-Aid Process, Report Says," by Allie Bidwell, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Lack-of-Financial-Literacy/139223/

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers

 


Education: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City ---  http://www.kansascityfed.org/education/
Note the Financial Fables section --- http://www.kansascityfed.org/education/fables/index.cfm

Bob Jensen's threads on financial literacy ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers


"My Financial Mis-Education," by Lee Bessette, Inside Higher Ed, January 16, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/my-financial-mis-education

Jensen Comment
This reminds me of when I gave my daughter a credit card (the billings came to me) when she left home as a first-year student at the University of Texas. As I recall I did say this card was for "emergencies," but then she started discovering all sorts of emergencies to the tune of nearly $1,000 per month even though I was directly paying for her tuition, room and board, car insurance, etc. One type of "emergency" was rather amusing until I put an end to such amusement. At Christmas time she lavished me with rather expensive gifts that, of course, she'd charged on her credit card.

The need for financial literacy and elementary tax accounting in the common core of both high school and college ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#FinancialLiteracy

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers

 


Financial Education in the Math Classroom --- http://mathforum.org/fe/

A Government Website for Helpers in Personal Finance
MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you do it better. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 federal agencies government wide.
My Money.gov --- http://www.mymoney.gov/

PBS Television will now answer your personal finance questions ---
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/insider/business/jan-june09/pocketchange_05-05.html

Bob Jensen's helpers in personal finance --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/BookBob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers


A Sad, Sad Case That Might Be Used When Teaching Personal Finance:  Another Joe Lewis Example
"Desperate times:  Ex-Celtic Williams, once a top scorer, is now looking for an assist," by Bob Hohler, Boston Globe, July 2, 2010 ---
http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/articles/2010/07/02/desperate_times/

Every night at bedtime, former Celtic Ray Williams locks the doors of his home: a broken-down 1992 Buick, rusting on a back street where he ran out of everything.

The 10-year NBA veteran formerly known as “Sugar Ray’’ leans back in the driver’s seat, drapes his legs over the center console, and rests his head on a pillow of tattered towels. He tunes his boom box to gospel music, closes his eyes, and wonders.

Williams, a generation removed from staying in first-class hotels with Larry Bird and Co. in their drive to the 1985 NBA Finals, mostly wonders how much more he can bear. He is not new to poverty, illness, homelessness. Or quiet desperation.

In recent weeks, he has lived on bread and water.

“They say God won’t give you more than you can handle,’’ Williams said in his roadside sedan. “But this is wearing me out.’’

A former top-10 NBA draft pick who once scored 52 points in a game, Williams is a face of big-time basketball’s underclass. As the NBA employs players whose average annual salaries top $5 million, Williams is among scores of retired players for whom the good life vanished not long after the final whistle.

Dozens of NBA retirees, including Williams and his brother, Gus, a two-time All-Star, have sought bankruptcy protection.

“Ray is like many players who invested so much of their lives in basketball,’’ said Mike Glenn, who played 10 years in the NBA, including three with Williams and the New York Knicks. “When the dividends stopped coming, the problems started escalating. It’s a cold reality.’’

Williams, 55 and diabetic, wants the titans of today’s NBA to help take care of him and other retirees who have plenty of time to watch games but no televisions to do so. He needs food, shelter, cash for car repairs, and a job, and he believes the multibillion-dollar league and its players should treat him as if he were a teammate in distress.

One thing Williams especially wants them to know: Unlike many troubled ex-players, he has never fallen prey to drugs, alcohol, or gambling.

“When I played the game, they always talked about loyalty to the team,’’ Williams said. “Well, where’s the loyalty and compassion for ex-players who are hurting? We opened the door for these guys whose salaries are through the roof.’’

Unfortunately for Williams, the NBA-related organizations best suited to help him have closed their checkbooks to him. The NBA Legends Foundation, which awarded him grants totaling more than $10,000 in 1996 and 2004, denied his recent request for help. So did the NBA Retired Players Association, which in the past year gave him two grants totaling $2,000.

Continued in article

 

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/BookBob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers


"A Degree of Practical Wisdom:: The Ratio of Educational Debt to Income as a Basic Measurement of Law School Graduates’ Economic Viability," by Jim Chen, SSRN, December 3, 2011 ---
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1967266

Abstract:     
This article evaluates the economic viability of a student’s decision to borrow money in order to attend law school. For individuals, firms, and entire nations, the ratio of debt to income serves as a measure of economic stability. The ease with which a student can carry and retire educational debt after graduation may be the simplest measure of educational return on investment.

Mortgage lenders evaluate prospective borrowers' debt-to-income ratios. The spread between the front-end and back-end ratios in mortgage lending provides a basis for extrapolating the maximum amount of educational debt that a student should incur. Any student whose debt service exceeds the maximum permissible spread between mortgage lenders' front-end and back-end ratios will not be able to buy a house on credit.

These measures of affordability suggest that the maximum educational back-end ratio (EBER) should fall in a range between 8 and 12 percent of monthly gross income. Four percent would be even better. Other metrics of economic viability in servicing educational debt suggest that the ratio of total educational debt to annual income (EDAI) should range from an ideal 0.5 to a marginal 1.5.

EBER and EDAI are mathematically related ways of measuring the same thing: a student's ability to discharge educational debt through enhanced earnings. This article offers guidance on the use of these debt-to-income ratios to assess the economic viability of students who borrow money in order to attend law school
.

. . .

To offer good financial viability, defined as a ratio of education debt to annual income no greater than 0.5, post-law school salary must exceed annual tuition by a factor of 6 to 1. Adequate financial viability is realized when annual salary matches or exceeds three years of law school tuition. A marginal, arguably minimally acceptable level of financial viability requires a salary that is equal to two years’ tuition. The following table compares some tuition benchmarks with the salary needed to ensure the good, adequate, and marginal levels of financial viability identified in this article:

Chen

 

Jensen Comment
This type of study, in my viewpoint, has some relevancy for professional schools beyond the bachelors degree. However, I would not recommend this type of analysis for students contemplating where to go after high school. In the first four years, students get much more out of college than career opportunities. There are liberal education quality considerations, greatness of faculty considerations, socialization experiences, dating, dorm living, and intimacy often leading to marriage. Often more expensive schools have more to offer beyond the classroom experience. By the time students are more mature after graduation from college, the importance of some of these "extracurricular" experiences often diminishes.

And if we look at post-graduate law, medicine, engineering, and business schools, the job opportunities and salary expectations are not independent of the halo effect of where the candidate graduated. Diplomas from Harvard and Yale Law Schools add a great deal to salary expectations. And there are huge advantages of being able to network with alumni who often pave the way for job opportunities. What I'm saying is going to a law school having a tuition of $60,000 may well be worth it to graduates who take full advantage of the "extracurricular" opportunities such as networking with alumni. And for all practical purposes you can never be a U.S. Supreme Court justice unless you either graduated from Harvard or Yale law schools or were on the faculty at one of those law schools.

In other words, if you can swing it go to Yale Law school rather than UCONN (sorry Amy).

EGADS. I'm a snob.


Is $1+ Trillion in Student Debt a Huge Problem?

"What Does $1-Trillion in Student Debt Really Mean? Maybe Not That Much," by Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 16, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/What-Does-1-Trillion-Mean-/131900/

Student-loan debt is having a moment in the spotlight. An interest-rate hike planned for July 1 has become a hot political issue. New graduates, the majority carrying loans, are entering a still-weak job market. Through it all, nearly every public analysis on education debt now cites the same statistic: The total amount of outstanding student-loan debt is more than $1-trillion.

That milestone made headlines in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, tabloids, and blogs; it was on CBS and NPR. Pundits and interest groups have used the number to raise eyebrows about the high volume of education debt, sometimes suggesting a crisis.

A trillion is a big, round number. It has some shock value. But what does crossing the $1-trillion mark really tell us?

For one thing, that more people are going to college—and graduate school. The sum is an estimate of all outstanding education debt: private and federal student loans for undergraduates, parents, and graduate and professional-school students. And greater educational attainment is a goal the Obama administration and many nonprofit groups are pushing.

At the same time, in the wake of severe state budget cuts, tuition is rising, and students and their families are footing a larger share of the bill. A greater percentage of bachelor's-degree recipients have borrowed, and the average amount of debt per borrower has also risen. About two-thirds of graduates of public and private nonprofit colleges have loans, with the borrowers' average debt about $25,000, according to the most recent analysis, of the Class of 2010, by the Project on Student Debt. (The average debt for the Class of 2004 was under $19,000, according to the federal government, which counts somewhat differently.)

Total outstanding student-loan debt—even $1-trillion of it—may not have broad economic implications. It's still too small a sum to derail the economy, at least for now, says Mark Kantrowitz. He runs a well-known consumer Web site, FinAid, that displays a Student Loan Debt Clock, perpetually ticking up. But the clock is "intended for entertainment purposes only," the site says.

The student-loan market can't be viewed like the housing market, says Mr. Kantrowitz. No one speculates on the value of an education, artificially inflating its price.

Total annual student-loan payments, which come to $60- or $70-billion, now represent only about 0.4 percent of GDP, Mr. Kantrowitz says. And should a day come when the federal government—which makes most student loans—is too hard up to offer them, that will be the least of the nation's worries.

Besides, education debt is "good debt," says Anthony P. Carnevale, director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. "This is exactly the kind of debt a society wants."

A homeowner might find himself underwater on a mortgage, but an education doesn't lose value. And the government's new "gainful employment" rules, which attempt to prevent borrowers from ending up with worthless degrees, should make student debt an even better bet, Mr. Carnevale says.

Still, student loans have been called the next bubble. That doesn't faze Judith Scott-Clayton, an assistant professor of economics and education at Columbia University's Teachers College. It is "not something that keeps me up at night," she says.

Parallels with the housing market, she says, are unconvincing. But rising debt levels could affect graduates' pursuits, potentially deterring them from careers in public service. The government does offer income-based repayment programs, but few borrowers take advantage of them, she says, a fact that puzzles economists.

Individual Impact

The $1-trillion total, which varies depending on where data come from and how interest is counted, didn't hit 13 digits suddenly. It has been climbing for years, and there's little reason to think it will stop now.

So today's tally doesn't necessarily matter, says Robert A. Sevier, senior vice president for strategy at the higher-education marketing company Stamats. "It's the trend line that's terrifying."

But pointing to an impressive number can be helpful to groups that want to raise awareness about student debt and what they see as its repercussions. "It represents the impact to the economy as a whole, not just to individuals," says Jen Mishory, deputy director of Young Invincibles, an advocacy group that has called itself the AARP for young people. Debt delays some recent graduates from buying homes or starting a family, she says, decisions that affect the economy. (The group conducted a poll last fall of about 900 people ages 18 to 34, finding that almost half had delayed purchasing a home, but because of the "current economy" in general, not student loans specifically.)

Meanwhile, the total student-loan debt now has enough zeros to get the attention of policy makers, who are used to thinking in trillions, says Andy MacCracken, associate director of the National Campus Leadership Council, a new student advocacy group. But students themselves are more concerned with the numbers that bear on them directly: how much they have borrowed, what their monthly payments are, and whether they can afford to make them.

Individual calculations, of course, have more impact on students and colleges. And the total amount of debt isn't inherently bad. "If it can be paid off the way it's supposed to be, it's not a problem," says Kathy Dawley, president of Maguire Associates, a higher-education consulting firm. What matters is who has borrowed, and if they can pay it back.

Someone who borrows a reasonable amount to help finance a good education, finds a well-paying job, and repays loans comfortably is evidence of the system's working. But if a borrower has either taken on too much debt, attended a subpar college, or failed to graduate or find work, that's a different story. Last week The New York Times posited that student loans are "weighing down a generation with heavy debt." Unemployment for recent college graduates stood at 8.9 percent at the end of 2011.

When the Institute for College Access & Success, an independent nonprofit, started the Project on Student Debt in 2005, its goal was to bring attention to an overlooked issue, says Lauren J. Asher, the group's president. Now, she says, it is no longer on the sidelines: "Student debt has touched more and more people's lives."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I'm a long-time advocate of having financial literacy somewhere in the general education core curriculum ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#FinancialLiteracy

What I found more interesting than Supiano's article (that I thought was naive) were some of the comments following her article. One in particular is quoted below:

Comment by thececinc
Thanks for the courage to critique without identifying yourself "11336405". That's very professional of you. With that approach I am certain you are held in the highest esteem by your colleagues. Good for you. 

For your reference the fee is $3,500, not $750 and it's not for a seminar, it's for a complete and comprehensive Financial Education program for a campus to implement. The program has the ability to scale to 500 students per semester. Now let's compare that price to the average amount of student loan debt today's college graduate has: $25,000. The program is priced in a fair & equitable range. (Also for your reference The Rich Grad Project is developed by Collegiate EmPowerment a 501c3 non profit educational organization)

So Dr. 11336405, let's get to the real heart of the matter. Currently there are over 4,813 degree granting colleges & universities in the US, enrolling approximately 18.3 million students. Based on the most current data from the CIRP Study from UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute The American Freshman, the #1 Lifetime Objective of today's college student is: To Be Very Well Off Financially (79.6%). 

Now here is the current economic reality of the Student Loan Crisis: 
1. We have a student loan debt amount exceeding $1 Trillion Dollars
2. The average student will graduate with over $25,000 in student loan debt
3. We have $67 Billion Dollars of student loan debt in DEFAULT 
4. In July of 2012, the interest rate on federal student loans will jump from 3.4% to 6.8%

Now put this in context with these two additional facts
5. The #1 lifetime objective of today's student is: To Be Very Well Off Financially (wether you agree with it our not)
6. Yet of the 4,813 degree granting institutions in the US, how many of them have Financial Education in the core curriculum? Take a guess....

ONLY 1 (Champlain College, Burlington, VT)

So let's forget that facts & economic indicators that show THE SKY IS FALLING when it comes to the student loan crisis. There is a much, much deeper problem here. It's the fact that we are graduating an entire generation of financial illiterates and then sticking them with a non-dischargable debt the size of mortgage. Not only does this hurt our students, not only does this hurt our industry of Higher Education bottom-line it hurts the future of our country. 

So keep the critiques rolling in Dr. 11336405 and maybe you can learn a thing or two. Then again you probably bought your condo at the height of the Real Estate bubble too. How's that working for you? 

Additional Jensen Comment
Among the comments

Ms. Sapaiano stated: "A homeowner might find himself underwater on a mortgage, but an education doesn't lose value. And the government's new "gainful employment" rules, which attempt to prevent borrowers from ending up with worthless degrees, should make student debt an even better bet, Mr. Carnevale says."

I find the real estate mortgage versus student loan debt comparison to be misleading. Firstly, the value of an education is only a heart beat away from having no future value. An insured house has future value that is far less risky since home ownership is easily transferred in full.

Secondly, the amount of mortgage is highly correlated with quality where usually a high quality house qualifies for a much larger mortgage than a low quality house. In the education market, the highest student loans are often going to the lowest quality education, especially some of those for-profit university scams. This begs the question of why students will opt to borrow more for a low quality education given the choice of higher quality education, including distance education degrees, from state universities?

The answer is that students are borrowing for grades rather than education. They are gaming the system for grades and are willing to borrow more for a low quality education as long as they can game for an A grade average ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GamingForGrades

 

 

 


Some Things to Ponder When Choosing Between an Accounting Versus History PhD

Applicants for academic jobs, particularly in the humanities, know instinctively—and by the job offers that never materialize—that they face tough competition in trying to get tenure-track positions. And when the odds are sometimes as high as 600 to one, as they were for a recent opening for assistant professor in the department of political science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, candidates have no way of knowing exactly whom they are up against or how they stack up.
"The Long Odds of the Faculty Job Search," by Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 19, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-Long-Odds-of-the/139361/?cid=wb


Question
What is the world like for some many Ph.D. graduates in medieval history?

"From Welfare to the Tenure Track," by Stacey Patton, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 25, 2013 ---
https://chroniclevitae.com/news/97-from-welfare-to-the-tenure-track?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

Bob Jensen's threads on the job prospect differences between new accounting doctoral graduates and history doctoral graduates ---
See below


From The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 12, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Where-Recent-History-PhDs/130720/

Warning: 
It's often misleading to look at percentages of small numbers. For example, 25% of Brown University history PhD graduates are reported as being employed in tenure-track jobs, but this is only two of the eight graduates in 2010.

Where Recent History Ph.D.'s Are Working

History departments are facing increased pressure to track where their Ph.D. recipients end up. Here are employment data for students who received Ph.D.'s in 2010 from 17 of the top-20 history programs, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Officials at history departments at Cornell and Stanford Universities and at the University of California at Berkeley said they could not provide data because they were too busy.

 
University Total No. of Ph.D.'s Percent in tenure-track jobs Percent in postdocs Percent lecturers, sdjuncts, or visiting professors Percent in nonteaching academic jobs Percent high-school teachers Percent in nonacademic jobs Percent independent scholars Percent unemployed/unknown
Brown U. 8 25% 13% 25%         38%
Columbia U. 21 28% 19% 14% 10% 5% 10%   14%
Duke U. 2 50%   50%          
Harvard U. 13 46% 31%       15%   8%
Johns Hopkins U. 7 43% 28% 14%     14%    
New York U. 18 56% 22% 6% 6%       11%
Northwestern U. 9 33%   22%   11% 11%   22%
Princeton U. 20 55% 15% 5%         25%
Rutgers U. 7 43% 29%         29%  
U. of California at Los Angeles* 21 38% 5% 33%     5%   14%
U. of Chicago 25 18% 14% 55%     5%   6%
U. of Michigan 20 40% 25% 20% 10%       5%
U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 15 40% 7% 20% 7%       27%
U. of Pennsylvania 10 30% 10% 50%         10%
U. of Texas at Austin 10 60%     30%   10%    
U. of Wisconsin at Madison 15 30% 10% 20%         10%
Yale U. 20 55% 5% 25%         15%

*Total includes 1 student who passed away.
Note: Some percentages do not add to 100% due to rounding.
 
Source: Chronicle reporting
Correction, 2/14/12 at 2:57 p.m.: Numbers for the University of Wisconsin at Madison have been corrected. The program had 15 Ph.D. graduates, not 10, and the proportion of Madison's Ph.D.'s who were lecturers, adjuncts, or visiting professors was 20 percent, not 50 percent.

 

In accountancy there are generally fewer PhD graduates than history PhD graduates in any of the above universities. The large accountancy PhD accounting mills decades ago, such as the University of Illinois and the University of Texas, that each produced 10-20 accounting PhD graduates per year have shrunk down to producing 1-5 graduates per year. Reasons for this are complicated, but I don't hesitate to give my alleged reasons at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

For comparative purposes compare the above table for History PhD graduates in 2010 with the 2010 column in the table of Accountancy PhD graduates table at ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms
The largest numbers of accountancy PhD graduates from a single university were the five graduates at Virginia Tech in 2010. But this may be a 2010 anomaly year for Virginia Tech that normally produces two or fewer accounting PhD graduates per year.

It takes a bit of work, but the employment status of 2010 Accountancy PhD graduates can be determined from the table at
http://www.jrhasselback.com/AtgDoct/XSchDoct.pdf
Most 2010 accounting PhD graduates had multiple high-paying tenure track offers (well over $100,000 for nine-month contracts) and are now in the tenure-track positions of their first choices in 2010. Many in R1 research universities, however, will move to tenure track positions in other universities after a few years on the job. More often than not the first-time moves to other universities is not due to tenure rejections per se. Sometimes new PhD graduates want to start out at major R1 research universities to build research publications into their resumes. But many of these graduates never intended to spend the rest of their careers in R1 universities that highly pressure faculty year-after-year to conduct research and publish in top research journals.

Unlike in engineering where most PhD graduates track into private sector industries, most accounting PhD graduates settle into careers in tenure track in academe. There are generally no comparative advantages of having a PhD for job applicants in accounting firms, government, or business corporations. Hence it's not surprising that most accountancy PhD graduates are in the Academy.

Closing Comment
Of course there are many other things to consider such as the fact that most accountancy PhD programs admit only students with prior professional experience in accounting. Accounting PhD programs may also take twice as long to complete and are replete with courses in mathematics, statistics, econometrics, psychometrics, and technical data mining. On the other hand, most accountancy PhD programs offer free tuition and relatively handsome living allowances in return for some teaching and research assistance. Usually at least one year is also covered with a full-ride fellowship in an accountancy PhD program.

The KPMG Foundation is now providing great supplemental financial and other support for minority students interested in accountancy PhD programs. This has been a very successful program considering how difficult it is to lure minority students back to the campus when they're successfully employed as CPAs, Treasury Agents, and other accounting professionals with young families to support ---
http://www.kpmgfoundation.org/foundinit.asp


"Life as a Captive of the Job Market," by Eunice Williams is the pseudonym of a Ph.D. candidate in history at a Southern university, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 4, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Life-as-a-Job-Market-Captive/136939/


"The Radical New Humanities Ph.D.," by Kaustuv Basu, Inside Higher Ed, May 16, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/05/16/rethinking-humanities-phd

The warning last year from Russell Berman, who at the time was president of the Modern Language Association, was apocalyptic: If doctoral programs in the humanities do not reduce the time taken to graduate, they will become unaffordable and face extinction.

Now, Berman has taken his ideas home. At Stanford University, where he is a professor of comparative literature and directs the German studies program, he and five other professors at the university have produced a paper that calls for a major rethinking at Stanford -- a reduction in the time taken to graduate by Ph.D. candidates in the humanities, and preparing them for careers within and beyond the academy. The professors at Stanford aren't just talking about shaving a year or so off doctoral education, but cutting it down to four or five years -- roughly half the current time for many humanities students.

The Stanford professors aren’t alone in pushing this kind of thinking. The Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, for example, is already testing some ideas, and so is the University of Minnesota. The initiatives at all three places, whether proposed or in its infancy, involve changing academic culture and university policies to refashion the humanities Ph.D. The University of Colorado at Boulder recently announced a four-year Ph.D. in German studies, consistent with the principles being discussed at Stanford, although the Colorado effort applies to one small program while the Stanford and Minnesota initiatives are much broader.

The Stanford document proposes a scenario where students decide on a career plan -- academic or nonacademic -- they want to embark on by the end of their second-year of graduate study, file the plan with their department, and then prepare projects and dissertation work that would support that career. Similarly, departments have to help students make realistic career choices at the end of the second year of graduate study, and advise students regularly. “…[T]hey should aim to balance academic training in a particular discipline and field with the provision of broader professional perspectives that may extend beyond the traditional academic setting,” the document said.

This would represent a dramatic shift from the current norm, whereby many humanities grad students say that their entire program is designed for an academic career, and that they only start to consider other options when they are going on the job market -- a bit late to shape their preparation for nonacademic options.

According to the document, one way to speed up time to degree would be to include “four-quarter” support for students instead of unfunded summers, currently the standard for many humanities Ph.D. programs. Gabriella Safran, a professor of Slavic languages and literature at Stanford, who also worked with Berman to create the proposal, said the key might be to anticipate when Ph.D. candidates are getting bogged down and respond to the issue earlier. “A better use of time might be to use the summers more effectively. Right now, I think there are too many unfunded summers when students don’t make progress,” she said.

Berman, who said that the recent document was mostly an effort directed at administrators to “reform degree trajectories," believes that time to degree can be reduced to four or five years. “The study of the humanities need to be accessible and cheap. And we have to become more transparent about our placement records,” he said.

The document said that departments should have suitable plans in terms of curriculum, examination schedule, and dissertation that will help speed up time to degree. “Scholarly fields have widened, and added a lot of expectations,” Berman said.

He emphasized the need to amplify success stories of students who have ventured beyond the academic world. “We should be telling all their stories,” said Berman, who is also chairing a MLA task-force on the future of the doctorate in the languages and literature.

David Damrosch, a professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, said that Ph.D. students and professors in his department have been thinking more carefully about coursework. “Very often, students drift for extended periods,” he said. Frequent meetings with dissertation committee members are helpful, he said. “All this result in fewer incompletes in coursework … and more consistent progress in the dissertations,” said Damrosch.

“In anthropological terms, academia is more of a shame culture than a guilt culture: you may feel some private guilt at letting a chapter go unread for two or three months, but a much stronger force would be the public shame you'd feel at coming unprepared to a meeting with two of your colleagues,” he said. “It’s also ultimately a labor-saving device for the faculty as well as the student, as the dissertation can proceed sooner to completion and with less wasted effort for all concerned….” With frequent meetings, the students doesn’t lose time on “unproductive lines of inquiry” or “tangential suggestions tossed out by a single adviser,” Damrosch said.

A two-hour oral exam, meetings each semester with “dissertation-stage” students and their committee members, and clearer feedback for students are part of the graduate program in the comparative literature department now. “We also introduced a monthly forum for students to share and discuss their own work; and an ambitious series of professional development talks, on everything from article submission to dissertation planning to alternative careers,” Damrosch said.

The University of Minnesota is also taking a fresh look at its Ph.D. programs. Henning Schroeder, vice provost and dean of the graduate school at the university, said that professors and administrators have been discussing how to give the Ph.D. a narrower focus. “How much coursework do students need before they engage in scholarly research?” he asked.

Getting students into a “research mode” earlier helps save time, Schroeder said. “The question is also, what can we do at the administrative level?” he said. The university has promoted discussion on best practices on advising, and also how the “prelim-oral” -- a test students take before writing their dissertations – can delay research. The university now lets students get credit for research work before the oral examination, in an effort to allow for more flexibility in curriculums and to reduce time to degree.

Debra Satz, senior associate dean for the humanities at Stanford and a professor of philosophy, said that too many students end up spending six to eight years in the Ph.D. program. “There is no correlation between taking a longer time to degree and getting a job in an academic humanities department,” she said. And ultimately, she said, how can the length of time taken by a Ph.D. be justified if the person has to reinvent or retool at the end to be employed?

The discussions should not only be about new career paths and the time taken to graduate, but about how to implement change without affecting the quality of the programs, Satz said. “Many ideas have been floated: creating paths for our humanities Ph.D.s to high school teaching, creating paths to the high technology industry, thinking about careers in public history, and so on,” she said.

And while it is too early to see definite results from these institutions, many believe that the timing is right.

Anaïs Saint-Jude, director of the BiblioTech program – which seeks to bridge the gulf between doctoral humanities candidates at Stanford and jobs outside academe, including those in the tech world -- believes that all this is happening because this is a pivotal moment in higher education. “It was kindling that was ready to be ignited…. We started talking about it, and it created such momentum that we were able to create a veritable program,” Saint-Jude said, referring to the BiblioTech program that began in 2011. Part of the program’s vision includes trying to change the mindset of academics and non-academics alike. “It is about garnering the trust of industry leaders, and trying to break apart and think differently,” she said. The program’s annual conference last week included venture capitalists as well as executives from Google and Overstock.com.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Suppose Karen Smith enters into a customized PhD program at XXXXX State University with a goal of getting into a history tenure track position in the Academy. Wishing it so just is not going to make it so. When she graduates with her PhD diploma in hand, there will probably be over 100 qualified applicants wherever she applies in North America. The competition is keen.


Graduate Education in Humanities is in a Crisis
"The Humanities, Unraveled," by Michael Bérubé, The Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, February 18, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Humanities-Unraveled/137291/?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

Let me start with the bad news. It is not even news anymore; it is simply bad. Graduate education in the humanities is in crisis. Every aspect, from the most specific details of the curriculum to the broadest questions about its purpose, is in crisis. It is a seamless garment of crisis: If you pull on any one thread, the entire thing unravels.

It is therefore exceptionally difficult to discuss any one aspect of graduate education in isolation. Questions about the function of the dissertation inevitably become questions about the future of scholarly communication; they also entail questions about attrition, time to degree, and the flood of A.B.D.'s, who make up so much of the non-tenure-track and adjunct labor force. Questions about attrition and time to degree open onto questions about the graduate curriculum and the ideal size of graduate programs. Those questions obviously have profound implications for the faculty. So one seamless garment, one complexly interwoven web of trouble.

In the humanities, when we talk about the purpose of graduate programs and the career trajectories of our graduate students, the discussion devolves almost immediately to the state of the academic job market. For what are we training Ph.D.'s in the humanities to do, other than to take academic positions? Graduate programs in the humanities have been designed precisely to replenish the ranks of the professoriate; that is why they have such a strong research component, also known as the dissertation. But leaving aside a few upticks in the academic job market in the late 1980s and late 1990s, the overall job system in the humanities has been in a state of more or less permanent distress for more than 40 years.

Since 1970 doctoral programs have been producing many more job candidates than there are jobs; and yet this is not entirely a supply-side problem, because over those 40 years, academic jobs themselves have changed radically. Of the 1.5 million people now employed in the profession of college teaching, more than one million are teaching off the tenure track, with no hope or expectation of ever winding up on the tenure track. Many of them do not have Ph.D.'s: According to the 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (the last such study conducted), 65.2 percent of non-tenure-track faculty members hold the M.A. as their highest degree—57.3 percent teach in four-year institutions, 76.2 percent in two-year institutions (many holding more than one part-time position).

Clearly, something about the structure of graduate education in the humanities is broken. Or, more precisely, the system has been redesigned in such a way as to call into question the function of the doctorate as a credential for employment in higher education.

It is a dispiriting subject, to be sure. It was long ago, in 1994, that Cary Nelson, a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I wrote a polemical essay for The Chronicle, "Graduate Education Is Losing Its Moral Base." We argued that many graduate programs had become little more than sources of cheap teaching labor for low-level undergraduate classes, and that some programs should be reduced in size or eliminated altogether. Many of our critics responded that we had failed to understand the "apprenticeship" model of graduate education. But we had not failed to understand that. On the contrary, we noted that in the apprenticeship model, which dates back to the days of the guilds, the apprentices got jobs.

That model was no longer relevant to the conditions of the academic job market. Our critique eventually led to a more radical critique of the system by Marc Bousquet, now a professor of English at Emory University. He argued that, for many students, the Ph.D. marked not the beginning but the effective end of a career in teaching. Bousquet is not entirely right. Many Ph.D.'s who fail to land tenure-track jobs do wind up on the non-tenure-track career path—as adjuncts or full-time untenured faculty. But his argument that the Ph.D. is actually the "waste product" of a system designed to produce cheap teaching labor was—and remains—a bracing and necessary response to colleagues who believed that the apprenticeship model was still viable.

More recently, in 2011, Anthony T. Grafton, then president of the American Historical Association, and Jim Grossman, AHA executive director, declared that henceforth nonacademic employment for history Ph.D.'s would not be considered a Plan B: "Alternative" careers should have as much legitimacy as the traditional Ph.D.-to-tenure-track trajectory. The alt-ac option, as it is widely known, has generated much debate in the humanities, but so far little sense of what the viable "alternatives" to academic employment might be. The situation is vastly different in the arts, where M.F.A. or Ph.D. holders typically expect to find employment in a far wider array of cultural institutions than humanists—orchestras, dance companies, design companies, museums, theaters, nonprofits. But of course, the cultural institutions to which degree holders in the arts aspire are often in states of distress similar to those affecting universities, albeit for different structural reasons.

So here the debate stands: We need to remake our programs from the ground up to produce teachers and researchers and something elses, but since it is not clear what those something elses might be, we haven't begun to rethink the graduate curriculum accordingly. (Anyway, we're not trained to do that! All we know how to do is to be professors!)

And since it is not clear what those something elses might be, the alt-ac discussion also tends to be conflated (reductively and mistakenly) with the DH discussion—that is, the emergence of the digital humanities, onto which, in recent years, we have deposited so many of our hopes and anxieties. Somehow we expect the digital humanities to revolutionize scholarly communication, save university presses, crowdsource peer review, and provide humanities Ph.D.'s with good jobs in libraries, institutes, nonprofits, and innovative start-ups. And the digital humanities will do all that by sometime late next week.

The revolution in scholarly communication has consequences for the future of the dissertation, as the former MLA president Sidonie Smith has been arguing for the past few years. Smith's work follows in the wake of, and extends, the 2006 report of the MLA Task Force on the Evaluation of Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion, which urged that the relevant criterion for peer-reviewed scholarship be the intellectual quality and originality of work, not the container it comes in. There is one overwhelmingly obvious implication of that argument: If we have all these new forms of scholarly communication, why are we asking our graduate students to write proto-monographs for a system that no longer supports monographs? (I am referring, of course, to the reduction or elimination of subsidies for university presses and university libraries.)

It might help to remember, though, that the alt-ac debate has a history, at least in the MLA. In 1998, then-MLA President Elaine Showalter decided to promote the idea of alternative, nonacademic careers for humanities Ph.D.'s. The backlash was intense—and it came chiefly from the MLA's Graduate Student Caucus, led by Bousquet and William Pannapacker, now an associate professor of English at Hope College, in Holland, Mich. Bousquet replied with his "waste product" theory of graduate education, and Pannapacker has since written many columns in The Chronicle urging people not to go to graduate school in the humanities at all. Both, in different ways, have come to regard the enterprise as a shell game, and both, 15 years ago, construed Showalter's call as a disingenuous suggestion that people who had trained for a decade to be humanists could suddenly switch gears and become secretaries and screenwriters.

One lesson I took away from the bitter battles of 1998 is that the people who feel most betrayed by the idea of "alternative careers" are the people closest to finishing their dissertations and going out on the academic job market. I suppose that is unsurprising. But at first, I had imagined that the most entrenched opposition would come from tradition-minded faculty and deans who regarded nonacademic careers as deeply undesirable postgraduate trajectories for humanities Ph.D.'s.

That is also the opposition imagined in Grafton and Grossman's "No More Plan B" essay, where they suggest that the problem with the rhetoric of "alternative" careers leads students to internalize the values of tradition-minded faculty who regard nonacademic careers with disdain: "We should not be surprised when students internalize our attitudes (implicit or explicit) and assume that the 'best' students will be professors and that for everyone else ... well, 'there's always public history.' Even those who happily accept jobs at secondary schools, for example, describe themselves as 'leaving the academy' or 'leaving the historical profession,'" they wrote.

Continued in article

Some Things to Ponder When Choosing Between an Accounting Versus History PhD ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#HistoryVsAccountancy

"Emory University to eliminate programs," by Laura Diamond, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 14, 2012 ---
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/emory-university-to-eliminate-programs/nSByn/

. . .

Emory will phase out the journalism program, department of visual arts, division of educational studies and department of physical education. Students enrolled in these programs will be able to complete their degrees and tenured faculty will move to other departments.

The university will suspend admissions to Spanish and economics graduate programs so leaders there can redefine the missions, Forman said. Emory also will suspend admissions to the Institute for Liberal Arts so it can be restructured.

The changes will begin at the end of this academic year and finish by the end of the 2016-17 academic year. About 20 staff positions will be cut over the next five years, officials said.

Savings from the changes will be re-invested into existing programs and growing areas, such as neurosciences, contemporary China studies and digital and new media studies, Emory officials said.

Leaders of affected departments sent letters and emails to students.

“These changes represent very difficult choices but I am confident it will lead to a more exciting future for Emory College,” Forman said. “These were fundamental decisions about the size and scope of our mission and how we use our resources to realize our mission of providing a world-class education for our students.”

President Jim Wagner endorsed the plan, saying Forman and others had the “willingness to go back to first principles, look at each department and program afresh, and begin the process of reallocating resources for emerging needs and opportunities.”

The college has shuttered programs before. Emory decided to close the dental school in 1990 and shut down the geology department in 1986.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


Question
How honest and forthcoming should you be when advising students regarding opportunities in academe for a new PhD graduate?
 

"Enlightening Advisees," by Henry Adams, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 1, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Enlightening-Advisees/130948/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Jensen Comment
Law schools are now pondering the same ethics issues regarding advising applicants about careers in law ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#OverstuffedLawSchools


At 3,100 Colleges and Universities
Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2013-14 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/TuitionFees-1998-99/142511/

Hate may be too strong a verb, but this article does raise some good points
"Why Do They Hate Us?" by Thomas H. Benton  (actually William Pannapacker), Chronicle of Higher Education, September 26, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Do-They-Hate-Us-/124608/
Thomas H. Benton is the pen name of William Pannapacker, an associate professor of English at Hope College.

I  am only a decade out of graduate school—and I suppose it's possible that I am a disagreeable person—but I have had more than a few unpleasant conversations with complete strangers, and even some friends, in which they have expressed their anger about professors while knowing that I am one.

• "What you teach is worthless—I mean, who needs more measurements of Walt Whitman's beard when the economy and the environment are collapsing?"

• "Being a professor is good money for, like, six hours of work per week. What do you do with all that free time?"

• "Oh, I can't talk to you, since I'm not politically correct or anything."

• "I wish I had tenure and didn't have to worry about being fired for not doing my job." 

• "Why don't you English profs just teach people how to write?"

• "I still owe more than $50,000 for my undergraduate degree, and it's never done me any good."

• "My job [pharmaceutical sales] saves lives; your so-called work is a waste of other people's time and money."

I seldom admit or discuss my primary occupation with nonacademics nowadays, if I can avoid it. It's safer to say that I'm a program administrator.

By now, most academics are inoculated against attacks from the right, the conversational relics of the culture war of a generation ago: Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind (1987), Charles Sykes's ProfScam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education (1988), and Martin Anderson's Impostors in the Temple (1992), to name just a few. I almost feel nostalgia for that time, since the conversation was about what professors should teach. There was no doubt, as yet, whether higher education would continue in some recognizable form.

Over the last 20 years, the positions on both sides have hardened. But now the criticisms of academe are also coming from the left, and not just from the think tanks and journalists, but increasingly from within academe. Some of those works include Marc Bousquet's How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation (2008); Cary Nelson's No University Is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom (2010); and, most recently, Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our KidsAnd What We Can Do About It (2010), by Andrew Hacker and Claudia C. Dreifus; and Mark Taylor's Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities (2010).

For the past several months, The Chronicle's forums and the comment section of its articles—and the larger blogosphere—have been abuzz with discussions of a string of seemingly anti-faculty articles with titles like "Goodbye to Those Overpaid Professors and Their Cushy Jobs" (July 25) and "Do All Faculty Members Really Need Private Offices?" (July 30). The majority feeling seems to be that the present model of higher education is no longer sustainable, and that the necessary changes will focus—for good or ill—on the working lives of professors.

I can't remember a time when professors, particularly in the humanities and social sciences—already the survivors of a 40-year depression in the academic job market—had a stronger feeling of being under siege. At some institutions, there is something aggressive and visceral about the recent rounds of cutbacks and accountability measures. They go beyond mere economic justifications.

So "hate" is not too strong a word, I think, for how nonacademics feel about us. Some of the reasons should flatter us, some are the result of economic and institutional forces beyond our control, and a few should cause us to wonder whether we deserve to be the last generation of traditional academics.

Anti-intellectualism and populism. Those tendencies in American life are not new, but they have become more virulent (see parts one and two of my column "On Stupidity"). Traditionally, professors have countered the tendency toward simplistic, slogan-based thinking—and manipulation—by teaching students to evaluate sources and reach their own conclusions on the basis of evidence derived from painstaking research.

The notion that knowledge is always political, and that perspectives are always relative, has eroded the belief in expertise and earned authority. If everyone's biased, including professors, why not just "go with your gut"? It's much easier, and it empowers you against the academics whose admonitions—as we have lost influence—have become increasingly condescending, sanctimonious, and shrill.

Market-based values. Academics, as a group, are among the last people who question the market as the sole determiner of value. We continue to hold out against the idea that our students are customers who must be pleased even at the cost of their own development. I think most professors still believe, privately, that our role is to liberate students and prepare them for lives of leadership in a relatively democratic society.

A generation ago, we could still defend the belief that our courses in literature, art, history, philosophy—the liberal arts, broadly defined, and always self-critical—were enriching in ways that could not be deposited in a bank or measured by outcomes assessment. In the intervening years, that consensus has fragmented, and we are no longer able to articulate a coherent vision of why others should value what we teach. And with that, I think, we have lost any remaining justification for our autonomy.

The rising cost of higher education. The price of a college degree has risen faster than the cost of health care. Anxiety about those costs crowds out the mental space that might be given to contemplating subjects without direct, practical applications.

The cost increase is driven not by faculty salaries, primarily, but by the rapid growth of administration, massive athletics programs, and the amenities arms race—not who has the most full-time faculty members so much as who has the most successful football team and the fanciest dorm rooms. Some institutions have astronomical endowments and tax-exempt status, asking a mostly excluded population to support what looks like country-club indulgences for elites.

But it is the faculty members who are held accountable for the cost of education, even while a growing majority of them are adjuncts and graduate students who receive no benefits and earn less than the minimum wage.

The changing job market. For a long time, college has been marketed as a requirement for entry into middle-class occupations. A lot of students—surely the majority—now attend college for reasons that have little to do with education for its own sake. Even so, when higher education was a reasonably secure pathway to employment, professors were worthy of some respect: We were gatekeepers, and we could help you. But in today's economic climate, a college degree is expensive, time-consuming, coercive, and does not necessarily lead to employment.

If institutions can't respond to that situation, why shouldn't students, who are not wealthy or devoted to the life of the mind, invest their money and time in something else, like starting a business?

Ignorance about what professors do. Highly paid academic stars make it politically possible to paint faculty members as pampered elites. A few weeks ago, I heard Andrew Hacker say, in an NPR interview, that a major problem with higher education is that "you have professors drawing six-figure salaries for two hours in the classroom each week."

That's a common claim, most often made by politicians looking to slash education budgets. But academic superstars are rare. They are limited to elite research universities, where professors are not paid, primarily, for their teaching.

For all of us, time in the classroom is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to published research (now required of faculty members at most levels of higher education), courses must be prepared, papers graded, students advised and supported, and administrative work conducted. Many tenure-track faculty members spend more time on administrative work than they do on teaching or research, because there are relatively few of us left to conduct the business of our institutions.

Professors are not a leisure class. Most of us work more than 50 hours a week, and whatever free time we have is generally spent thinking about work or answering e-mail and texts from colleagues and students. We are never off the clock.

Overproduction of scholarly research. Specialized research is inherently difficult to understand, yet we often hear demands that work outside of the sciences should be immediately accessible to the general public. There is no question that more work can be done to publicize the value of scholarship in many fields, but there is also no doubt that a lot of scholarly productivity is a result of the increasing competitiveness of the academic job system.

The pressure to publish, at every level, arguably at the expense of our students, is not something that most academics have chosen, and it has led to a collapse of the university-press system, skyrocketing publishing costs, unsustainable pressures on library budgets, and, ironically, declining engagement with our larger disciplines—a loss of a common scholarly culture—since it's a challenge simply to keep up with a few subfields.

Another result is that many courses reflect specialized research interests rather than broader topics that might be more useful to our students.

Tenure. In a period of extreme anxiety about economic security, when millions of people are losing their jobs, and their lives are unraveling, the appearance of a professor with a job for life and no accountability seems as offensive as a portly aristocrat being carried in a sedan chair through the streets of Paris during the hungry summer of 1789.

Continued in article
 

"Why Do They Hate Us? Part 2,"  by Thomas H. Benton (actually William Pannapacker), Chronicle of Higher Education, October 24, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Do-They-Hate-Us-Part-2/125066/

Sometimes I write sequels to columns when they generate a lot of comments, blog discussion, and e-mail. Usually, the first column is based on my own experiences and intuitions. In the second one I try to respond to issues and compelling criticisms raised by the readers.

Last month, when I tried to explain why professors are so unpopular these days, the initial response—mostly from inside academe—suggested that I was being overly provocative. Professors, like other professionals, attract some criticism, readers said, but we are still regarded with moderate respect. At worst, we are treated with indifference: Most people don't care about us as much as we'd like to think they do.

And, besides, worrying about whether people like us is a little neurotic.

I was beginning to believe that my initial theory—that I am just a disagreeable person—was the best explanation for all the hostile remarks I've heard over the years about professors. But then my column started to make the rounds of the conservative blogosphere, and the tone of the comments and e-mail shifted to one that sounded both threatening and familiar.

Essentially, the message was that a large segment of the population thinks humanities professors are a bunch of left-wing elitists who hate America, are overpaid, underworked, focused on pointless research, and unwilling to teach undergraduates.

That perspective has been represented most recently by Glenn Beck's accusation that professors are systematically lying about our national history. A few years ago David Horowitz published a who's who of professors who have been reviled by the right: The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (Regnery 2006). One blurb on the book's cover says it "reveals a shocking and perverse culture of academics who are poisoning the minds of today's college students." And, of course, that point of view is familiar to anyone who remembers the culture wars of the 80s and 90s. American populism is eternally self-renewing, and that's probably a good thing, since academe—as well as other institutions—should be accountable to the population at large and not just to itself.

But I was disappointed that most readers from outside academe did not notice the self-critical elements of my essay: Once they find out someone is a professor—particularly in the humanities—they just assume that person has a whole set of clearly defined beliefs and attitudes. There's no need to read the essay, and there's no need to construct any new arguments in response, or build any new alliances.

We're trapped in a polarized state of indifference to each other's complexities and conflicts.

So after teaching for 10 years at a Christian, liberal-arts college in the rural Midwest, and writing articles critical of academe under the pen name of a notoriously populist painter, it's almost a pleasant surprise to find myself categorized as an arugula-eating leftist. It makes me feel like I belong in academe, after all, despite a background that might otherwise have made me a card-carrying member of the Tea Party.

I was born in Camden, N.J., and I grew up in a working-class, Catholic neighborhood where professors—when they were discussed at all—were regarded as dangerous subversives (they would turn you into an atheist and a Democrat), but they also had a lot of power to determine your future, so you had to please them if you went to college.

Of course, I didn't know any professors back then—neither did anyone in my immediate family—which made it easy to demonize them. As a new undergraduate at a Catholic university, I regarded professors with suspicion, particularly if they had ostentatiously liberal sensibilities. I believed that they did not like people like me, and I might not have been wrong in some cases.

Even now, I don't really feel at home in some academic contexts, like the big, national conventions: I still regard other professors—particularly from elite colleges (like Harvard University, where I eventually earned my doctorate)—as people living on some other social plane, against whom I have some reflexive and defensive grievances. Always, they seem concerned with social justice, but those concerns almost never extend to working-class Americans, as such, including all the adjuncts who increasingly do the teaching at our universities.

In the small community of academics with working-class origins, it is sometimes noticed that professors at major universities—the ones who attract most of the public's attention—seem to be mostly from the upper half of the income spectrum. I suspect that they are clustering even higher now than they were at any time since before the 1960s.

With few exceptions, elite positions are seemingly filled through a kind of closed system in which academic pedigree (itself the outcome of prior class position) stands in for the more blatant old-boy network of an earlier period. As a result, a large percentage of the faculty members of our leading universities have a limited understanding of the way most people live; they cannot be expected to sympathize with the alienating experience of moving between social classes, or the strain of paying for an education coupled with the fear of not finding a job afterward.

My entire education took place in the shadow of such anxieties, so I think I understand why many people who feel coerced into attending college at great expense, while still being potentially shut out from economic opportunity, might resent those for whom an elevated social position seems to have come as a matter of course. People resent professors even more when they seem to attack the institutions that give people's lives meaning, such as the military, the church, and the traditional family. Denouncing any of those things from behind the shield of tenure and potentially at taxpayer expense is offensive to most Americans.

It is also offensive to many professors who are not at elite institutions.

The "public be damned" attitude of some academic provocateurs ignores the impact that their grandstanding has on higher education as a whole—on the lives of professors farther down in the academic-status hierarchy. Professors at elite institutions can do as they please; they are not going to bear the brunt of cutbacks inspired by their more extreme remarks, or be regarded with suspicion by their students, most of whom think as they do because they come from the same social stratum.

Again, most professors are not part of that small, elite culture of pseudoradicalism. Outside the major universities, most of us have more ordinary social backgrounds and more moderate views. We are people who worked hard at school, won scholarships, invested many years in our educations, became admirers of traditional disciplines, devoted ourselves idealistically to scholarship and teaching, and trusted the system.

A lot of us entered graduate school following the promise of tenure-track jobs being available in the not-so-distant future—the familiar "labor-shortage hoax." But an increasing percentage of Ph.D.'s in the last 40 years have ended up working for poverty-class wages with no benefits or job security. Far from being a leisure class, most college teachers are sharing the economic stresses faced by millions of other displaced, downsized, and outsourced workers who see no relief on the horizon.

Yet, for some reason, most graduate students and adjuncts remain unrealistically aspirational: They do not work together to reform the academic labor system because they still believe that they will, somehow, become tenure-track professors on the basis of individual merit. The thousands of adjuncts who staff most college courses are like the part-time warehouse worker who doesn't want the rich to pay more taxes because he buys a lottery ticket every day.

Whose interest does it serve for most academics to alienate themselves from the working class, and for the working class to regard all professors as elitists with whom they have no common interests? What is it going to take for academe to become part of a broader movement for economic opportunity, instead of being perceived—sometimes rightly—as an impediment to that goal?

Those are larger questions than I can answer in a column. But some changes could take place within academe—in addition to the ones I suggested last month—that could begin to disrupt the unproductive divisions between professors and the broader public.

First, academics should begin to think of ourselves as workers rather than members of an elite profession. We should stop competing with each other individually and look for ways to build solidarity across the divisions of discipline, institutional hierarchy, and academic rank.

Second, academe needs to work harder to deal with the ways that social class has isolated its leading institutions from the perspectives of most Americans.

Third, we need to take the economic concerns of our students more seriously at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It is no longer enough to merely teach subjects we happen to find interesting.

Meanwhile, we need to work together to improve our image in the public imagination. Most of us are working long hours with our students and managing the business of our institutions for relatively modest salaries—when we are reliably employed at all. But a large number of people are convinced, as an article of faith, that we are all millionaires who engage in pointless research with the goal of indoctrinating students into radical beliefs. We need to work harder to crowd out the more polarizing examples of academic work with evidence of our enormous dedication to furthering the public good.

Given enough evidence of good-faith efforts, we might begin to move away from the tired clichés of the culture wars toward a new coalition that aligns academe with the interests of most citizens.

Thomas H. Benton is the pen name of William Pannapacker, an associate professor of English at Hope College.

Jensen Comment
Can you think of other reasons to "hate us?" For example, many employees in the private and public sectors give up their returns from work-related consulting and book royalties. Top professors six-figure salaries and keep additional consulting fees and book royalties that, in many instances, are enhanced by the reputations of their employers. For example, a MIT professor who consults or obtains successful textbook royalties greatly benefits by being affiliated with one of the great universities of the world. Sounds like a cushy deal to me!

The counter argument of course is that professors would do less consulting and textbook writing if they did not get huge rewards for their added efforts. The public, however, does not always see it this way, especially when they are taxpayers helping to pay the salaries of the professors.


"Can't Get Tenure? Then Get a Real Job," by Megan McArdle, Bloomberg, January 3, 2014 ---
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-03/can-t-get-tenure-then-get-a-real-job.html

The last few days have seen the eruption, among academic bloggers, of a tense discussion over tenure. These discussions have been going on for a while, of course, as the situation for newly minted PhDs keeps getting more dire, and the reaction of people with tenure is to tut-tut about how awful it is and say that someone should do something.

The proximate cause of the most recent explosion is a letter that University of California at Riverside sent to applicants for tenure-track positions in the English department, informing them that five days hence, they would have the opportunity to interview at the annual meeting of the Modern Languages Association. Rebecca Schulman reasonably, if somewhat intemperately, pointed out that for people living on the paltry wages of a grad student, a last-minute plane ticket is a pretty expensive entry fee for a slim chance of a tenure-track job.

Karen at The Professor Is In blog followed up with a long, angry post about the blind eye that tenured faculty turn to the travails of adjuncts and grad students. The title, “How the Tenured are to the Job Market as White People are to Racism” drew more than a little anger, understandably. But her broader point is sound: academia is now one of the most exploitative labor markets in the world. It’s not quite up there with Hollywood and Broadway in taking kids with a dream and encouraging them to waste the formative decade(s) of their work life chasing after a brass ring that they’re vanishingly unlikely to get, then dumping them on the job market with fewer employment prospects than they had at 22. But it certainly seems to be trying to catch up.

As I’ve remarked before, it’s not surprising that so many academics believe that the American workplace is a desperately oppressive and exploitative environment in which employers can endlessly abuse workers without fear of reprisal, or of losing the workers. That’s a pretty accurate description of the job market for academic labor ... until you have tenure.

Continued in article


Question
How far have USA students slipped in terms of:

The charts in the following article from The New Yorker are not pretty.

John Cassidy is probably my favorite columnist for The New Yorker
"Measuring America’s Decline, in Three Charts Posted," by John Cassidy, The New Yorker, October 2013 ---
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/10/measuring-americas-decline-in-three-charts.html

. . .

I’ll just make three additional points.

There are some questions that should be asked about any multi-country survey like this one: Is the methodology consistent across the sample? Does it control for cultural and language differences? Can the results from various countries really be compared? As far as I know, nobody has suggested that this study particularly disadvantaged the U.S. subjects, or that the results were unreliable. (Of course, the survey is still new. Criticisms may yet emerge.)

The education and skill levels of a country’s population aren’t the only determinants of its economic fate. Other factors matter: resource endowments; investment in physical capital and R. & D.; political stability; competition; openness to new innovations, ideas, and people; a reliable legal system; and ready access to finance. In some of these areas, the United States still ranks very high. But as countries such as Japan and Korea have amply demonstrated, having a well-educated and well-trained labor force is an essential foundation of economic prosperity. And for the United States, where one of the greatest economic challenges is raising the living standards of the middle class, enhancing workers’ skill sets and productivity is simply essential.

This is, again, far from the first international comparison to make the United States look bad. It is well known, for example, that when it comes to test scores in math and science, American middle-school and high-school students lag behind their counterparts in Asia and Europe. At this stage, we don’t really need more evidence that there is a problem. We need a concerted national effort to address it.

Bob Jensen's threads on controversies in education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


Why Do They Hate Us?
Jill Kronstadt, an associate professor of English at Montgomery College, was in the middle of grading papers Sunday when she came across a Washington Post opinion piece questioning whether college professors work hard enough ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/03/27/newspaper-op-ed-sets-debate-over-faculty-workload-and-faculty-bashing


Gee:  Living High on the Buckeye at Ohio State University
"Gordon Gee, the Teflon President, Weathers Another Storm Over Expenses," by Jack Stripling, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Gordon-Gee-the-Teflon/134694/

It has been said that the only survivors of a nuclear holocaust will be cockroaches and Cher. At this point, it might seem reasonable to add E. Gordon Gee to that list.

At a time when college leaders are being tossed out at the very first whiff of a scandal, the Ohio State University president appears impervious to controversy.

Over the course of his decades-long career in higher education, Mr. Gee has weathered athletics scandal, spending probes, and even jokes about his ex-wife's smoking pot in the president's residence at Vanderbilt University.

Through it all, the unflappable Mr. Gee, 68, has never seemed to stop smiling.

Continued in article

 


"Assess Carefully: Don’t Be Duped by Bogus Journals," by Brendan A. Rapple, Inside Higher Ed, June 17, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/assess-carefully-don%E2%80%99t-be-duped-bogus-journals 

This blog follows a previous post on a related theme by Maria Yudkevich, "Publications for Money: What Creates the Market for Paid Academic Journals."

Numerous evaluative criteria may be used in determining a journal’s scholarly worth. A common criterion is a journal’s Impact Factor (IF). However, among the many problems with IFs is that only journals indexed by ISI’s Journal Citation Report have them (over 8,000 in Science and 2,700 in the Social Sciences). SCImago Journal & Country Rank, a portal showing the visibility of the journals contained in the Scopus® database from 1996, is also useful for assessing journals. Another tool, Google Scholar Metrics, facilitates gauging the visibility and influence of recent journal articles and by extension journals themselves. Yet another instrument, the Eigenfactor score and Article Influence score, utilizes citation data to evaluate the influence of a journal in relation to others. Of course, strong pointers about a journal’s quality are usually provided by the status of the body publishing it, the reputation of its editorial board members, the rigor of its peer-reviewing, its acceptance/rejection rates, and where it is indexed.

Another factor in assessing a journal’s worth may be author publication fees. Such fees do not necessarily constitute a red flag as numerous quality open access (OA) journals employ a system of “author pays". However, there’s the swiftly growing difficulty of sham journals whose sole rationale is to make a profit with little interest in disseminating scholarship. Such journals, often with credible scholarly names, publish most articles submitted and charge authors high publication fees. It’s a significant problem that more and more academics are being hoodwinked by these clearly fake journals. A useful resource for determining some of these phony publications is Jeffrey Beall's
List of Predatory, Open-Access Publishers.

Though I’m a librarian I receive numerous solicitations to submit articles, together with hefty publication fees, to supposedly scholarly journals and/or to serve on their editorial boards. I suspect that faculty scholars receive far more of these invitations. It’s an epidemic. Indeed, it’s probable that the owners of these sham periodicals when spamming scholars pay little attention to whether the recipients’ academic interests are relevant to the journal’s disciplinary focus. Some scholars are even placed on editorial boards even though they have not given their consent. Generally these ersatz journals, with scientific and technological disciplines being particularly well represented, have abnormally high acceptance rates with minimal or no peer reviewing. Of course, this is a rational modus operandi for the journals’ sleazy operators as genuine peer review that weeds out poor scholarship would thwart their primary goal of making money. The more articles they publish, the more money they make with publication fees of $500 or more per article being common. Moreover, articles are often published with little or no proofreading and checking. Indeed, authors are often not asked for their final approval before publication. Little thought is given to digital preservation. Articles, journals and, indeed, the publishers themselves can disappear without trace. The result is a proliferation of essentially vanity press publishing that benefits the purveyors of these spurious journals and does damage to the academic reputation of the naïve or careless authors who are conned by these predators.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
We also have some bogus journals in accounting research and education, those journals of last resort when your paper has been rejected by three or more legitimate accounting research journals. Sometimes those journals publish proceedings of bogus conferences. Those are conferences held in very delightful tourist places in Europe, the tropics, Australia, New Zealand, etc. where your presentation session will be attended by three "scholars" only because they are presenters in the same session. These high registration fee conferences are attended mainly by professors ripping off their universities for a free tourist trip, and publishing the conference papers electronically is an added bonus of a line on a resume. Does anybody really read those "published" papers for which "refereeing" is a fraud?


"'Hall of Shame,' Year Two," by Elise Young and Libby A. Nelson, Inside Higher Ed, June 13, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/13/education-department-focuses-state-role-cost-increases-annual-lists


"Rewarding Teaching," by Dean Dad, Inside Higher Ed, March 13, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/rewarding-teaching

What would it look like if, say, the Federal government were to decide to prioritize good college-level teaching at the same level that it supports university research?

This piece in IHE addressed the question, but it struck me as falling badly short of reality.  

Briefly, the piece suggests that Congress establish a National Pedagogy Foundation as a sort of counterpart to the NEH or the NSF.  By pooling a pile of money into a project to award grant funds to deserving projects that promise to advance quality teaching, it suggests, we’d be much more likely to see tenure committees take teaching as seriously as they take research.  Until then, “internal mission creep” on the ground -- in which each stratum of higher education imitates those higher -- will defeat the best intentions.

The author works at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Encouraging good teaching in the context of a research university is important, and the remedy offered here may have some limited traction in that context.  But outside that context, it misses the point.

Quick quiz: Among community colleges with tenure systems, which counts more: teaching or research?

Teaching.  That has always been true.  And that makes sense, given the mission of the institution.  Grants are lovely, of course, but they aren’t required for tenure, and they wouldn’t make much difference on the ground.  (If the good folks at Harvard would like to investigate what it means to value good teaching, I suggest a field trip to nearby Bunker Hill Community College.)  

Followup quiz: which of the following has more students taking classes: research universities or community colleges?

Community colleges, by a substantial margin.  So if you want to make a measurable difference in the quality of teaching for a broad population, you’d start here.  Harvard can wait.

So let’s say, then, that we wanted the Federal government to help improve the caliber of teaching at community colleges, and even at four-year public state colleges.  What would a National Pedagogy Foundation have to do?

My first thought is to define the mission.  Is the goal to improve actually-existing teaching quickly, or to be transformative over time?  If it’s the former, the only serious answer -- the ONLY serious answer -- is a massive, sustained infusion of operating funds into college budgets.  Not conditional funding, or “seed” funding, or funding with strings: straight-up operational funding.  And it would have to come with “matching” requirements, to keep the states and localities from cheaping out and just using the new money as an excuse to cut their own contributions.

I really can’t emphasize this enough.  Grants require project managers, and come with expiration dates.  Money with expiration dates doesn’t mesh with well with tenure; typically, any faculty hired would be on the cusp of tenure just when the money goes away.  So too much of the money is lost to administrative costs, and that which remains can’t be used for faculty.  But with committed, sustained operating funding, the existing administrative infrastructure will do, and we could actually hire faculty.  

If it’s meant to be transformative, then it needs to be both competitive, substantial, and sustained. (The competition could be based on how plausibly innovative the proposals are, and how scalable they are.  No more boutique programs.)  It needs to be long-term enough that the institution can risk failure of the first version without necessarily losing the funding.  Anything truly transformative will be high-risk; in this fiscal climate, colleges will be risk-averse because they have to be.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think this could well become another black hole for for taxpayers if for no other reason than so much will be raked off by administrators before the rewards finally trickle down to the teachers themselves. And there will be endless debates about what constitutes "good teaching." I don't equate good teaching with popularity with students. Good teachers in my opinion are teachers who challenge students to the maximum of their abilities while at the same time inspire them to want to learn more and more after the courses come to an end. Performance along these lines is very difficult to assess in part because proof of success comes so many years after the courses end.

And "Rewarding Teaching" does not just equate to entirely to paychecks and other benefits that depend upon money alone. Respected professionals generally take pride in their professionalism no matter what money flows in from a task. We should not expect every task to have a carrot for genuine professionals.

For an example of unprofessionalism we can point to those hundreds of teachers in Atlanta who cheated by revising student test scores just so those teachers could receive higher paychecks. This type of cheating unprofessional because it was "cheating." But to make matters worse these cheating teachers were depriving their students of incremental money for added remedial study that could've raised their performance levels. These teachers were not robbing from the rich to give to the poor. These teachers were depriving the poor so they themselves could have higher standards of living. Even if these cheating teachers were "under paid" there self-serving actions at the expense of their weakest students are not justified

 


Possibly the Worst Academic Scandal in Past 100 Years:  Deception at Duke
The Loose Ethics of Co-authorship of Research in Academe

In general we don't allow faculty to have publications ghost written for tenure and performance evaluations. However, the rules are very loose regarding co-author division of duties. A faculty member can do all of the research but pass along all the writing to a co-author except when co-authoring is not allowed such as in the writing of dissertations.

In my opinion the rules are too loose regarding co-authorship. Probably the most common abuse in the current "publish or perish" environment in academe is the partnering of two or more researchers to share co-authorships when their actual participation rate in the research and writing of most the manuscripts is very small, maybe less than 10%. The typical partnering arrangement is for an author to take the lead on one research project while playing only a small role in the other research projects
Gaming for Tenure as an Accounting Professor ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTenure.htm
(with a reply about tenure publication point systems from Linda Kidwell)

Another common abuse, in my opinion, is where a senior faculty member with a stellar reputation lends his/her name to an article written and researched almost entirely by a lesser-known colleague or graduate student. The main author may agree to this "co-authorship" when the senior co-author's name on the paper improves the chances for publication in a prestigious book or journal.

This is what happened in a sense in what is becoming the most notorious academic fraud in the history of the world. At Duke University a famous cancer researcher co-authored research that was published in the most prestigious science and medicine journals in the world. The senior faculty member of high repute is now apologizing to the world for being a part of a fraud where his colleague fabricated a significant portion of the data to make it "come out right" instead of the way it actually turned out.

What is interesting is to learn about how super-knowledgeable researchers at the Anderson Cancer Center in Houston detected this fraud and notified the Duke University science researchers of their questions about the data. Duke appears to have resisted coming out with the truth way to long by science ethics standards and even continued to promise miraculous cures to 100 Stage Four cancer patients who underwent the miraculous "Duke University" cancer cures that turned out to not be miraculous at all. Now Duke University is exposed to quack medicine lawsuit filed by families of the deceased cancer patients who were promised phone 80% cure rates.

The above Duke University scandal was the headline module in the February 12, 2012 edition of CBS Sixty Minutes. What an eye-opening show about science research standards and frauds ---
Deception at Duke (Sixty Minutes Video) --- http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57376073/deception-at-duke/

Next comes the question of whether college administrators operate under different publishing and speaking ethics vis-à-vis their faculty
"Faking It for the Dean," by Carl Elliott, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 7, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/says-who/43843?sid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

Added Jensen Comment
I've no objection to "ghost writing" of interview remarks as long as the ghost writer is given full credit for doing the writing itself.

I also think there is a difference between speeches versus publications with respect to citations. How awkward it would be if every commencement speaker had to read the reference citation for each remark in the speech. On the other hand, I think the speaker should announce at the beginning and end that some of the points made in the speech originated from other sources and that references will be provided in writing upon request.

Bob Jensen's threads on professors who let students cheat ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#RebeccaHoward

Bob Jensen's threads on professors who cheat
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize


"Here I'm a 'Member,' Not an Adjunct," by Emma Thornton, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 11, 2011 ---