Monday, August 5, 2013

So, there's this post at LewRockwell, on how college football won't be around in 20 years, mostly due to the shenanigans in higher education, as well as new technologies, like the MOOCs, free online coursework offered at top tier institutions.

It's amazing how familiar looking that article is. I wrote a 10 paper on the same topic last year, and distributed it to faculty and admin, detailing and documenting the behaviors only lightly alluded to in that previous article. My paper finished with something along the lines of "if we don't have integrity, how can we hope to compete with the online courses being offered for free?" I think there is much cheating going on in online courses, but with the cost being "zero", I can still safely recommend them.

All I received in response was threats to keep my mouth shut, and I was told it wasn't collegial to bring up the truths I documented...when appeals to integrity are responded to by kicks to the teeth, that's a hint that maybe I shouldn't even be interested in trying to preserve higher education. The library was kind enough to show me that my colleagues, these "scholars," didn't even bother to check my documentation...I just don't think shooting the messenger and/or sticking your fingers in your ears is a good response to the changing world, but time will tell.

On a slightly related note, I'm not a major fan of football, at least at the college level. My alma mater has a vast campus, as large as some towns. No, it didn't get the land through wise investing on the part of administration. Instead, a little old lady willed the land to the university, provided it promised to NEVER have a college football team. The university made the promise, land for no football team.

The lady died. The university got the land.

Then, admin decided they'd have better growth and retention if they had a football team. So, they went to a judge so that they could have a team, and keep the land (no, the much more honorable option of simply returning the land was not considered).

The judge said "No, you made an agreement, you keep it."

So, next year, the university went to another judge.

The new judge said "No, you made an agreement, you keep it."

So, next year, they university went to another judge.

"Heck, I wanna see a football team!"

So now my alma mater has a vast amount of land, and a football team. And all it took was complete annihilation of integrity by the administration.

So, no, I'm not a fan of college football, although I'll add one more thing: the football players that show up in my classes are decent enough students. It turns out the same sort of drive that makes an excellent athlete can indeed carry over into academia.