Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Another Revealing Interview With An Education Poo-Bah

By Professor Doom

     The people running our institutions of higher education are fascinating. They’ve now gone so long without any checks on their power, without anyone to tell them “you have no clothes,” that they generally make fools of themselves when they speak…generally to a media lacking the guile of a child, or at least the guts to point at these self-proclaimed titans of industry and laugh.

       A recent interview with an interim Poo-Bah by a local affiliate of ABC yields a disappointing but typical representation of how our leaders in higher ed think. Literally every quote in this interview saddens me, so let’s go quote-by-quote:

"You notice as you walk around campus, the declining enrollment," [Poo-Bah] Dorsey said. "You used to see herds of students and it's not that way anymore."

     I’m not excited that this guy refers to students as “herds,” as though they were cattle to be milked at need. Moreover, this is a state school, supposedly serving the interests of the people of the state. If the people no longer need the services of the school, how is it a bad thing?

"Part of it is trying to catch up because we took a beating during the budget impasse," Dorsey said.

     Yes, and? I mean, there are only so many tax dollars, and if the taxpayers don’t want the school they’re paying for so much…shouldn’t it get fewer dollars? This guy gets around half a million a year in salary/benefits. Instead of moaning about it, how about a plan to cut back appropriately?

"I think the state legislators are recognizing the impact that underfunding the state university's [sic] has had over the past several years and the budget impasse really was devastating and pushed everyone over the edge," Dorsey said.

     I wish he could give a more concrete examples how exactly the school is “underfunded.” Even schools paying hundreds of millions in settlements seem to have the money for it…his claim of ”over the edge” just doesn’t do it for me. As far as I know all this “underfunding” has done is, maybe, cut into the administrative ability to buy lakefront property. His appeal to emotion is pathetic.

Dorsey agrees with Lathrop, "Enrollment is everybody's business. How we treat students, AKA customers, is important. So our customer relation has to be first rate."

     Oh no, not the student as customer canard. It’s long been established as a disaster when it comes to something the Poo-Bah never mentions. Can the gentle reader guess what it is?

"Clearly the goal is to continue to increase enrollment, but I can't produce students out of thin air," said Dorsey.

     Wait, the purpose of the school is to increase enrollment? What? The man is sadly confused.

    No, you can’t produce students…but you totally have the power to trim the excesses of the administrative caste. Really, we’re told these guys get paid so much because they’re leaders. Leaders have plans for moving forward, but all this guy does is whine.

      What might the school’s goal be, if not to increase enrollment?

Dorsey says the university doesn't want to lower standards to bring in more students.

     While not an exact quote, I want to discuss this, as I’ve heard the like from our campus leaders many times. You know what they do right after saying they don’t want to lower standards? Lower standards. Thousands of years ago, the great philosopher Socrates advised to pay more attention to actions than words…it’s still valid advice.

      Considering this Poo-Bahs obsession with enrollment and money, it’s very clear that, yes, there will be a lowering of standards here in the near future. It’s the only choice you see, because cutting into the lakefront property owned by admin just isn’t on the table…admin picks what goes on the table.

   Hey, did the gentle reader guess the one concept this Poo-Bah never mentions, a concept which would do more for the school, and the community supporting that school, than lowering of standards? Incidentally, it’s also the goal of the school, though he doesn’t know it:


     The Poo-Bah had every opportunity in this interview to talk about his plans for his school, an educational institution. Instead, he bemoans the facts that there are no herds of kids to fleece and that the flood of tax dollars flowing onto campus is slowing to a great river, and he simply cares about nothing else. Perhaps I’m wrong, but he certainly gives no indication that he cares about the one thing that should foremost be on the mind of the master of an educational institution.


      It’s not on the table, either, because the hard work of improving the education, building the school’s reputation so that students from far and wide will come to it, just won’t offer the immediate benefits of lowering standards, plundering the reputation of the school while scraping up as much of the local population as possible.

     I’m not picking on this one guy, he’s pretty much the template for all our leaders in higher ed. But does it really need to be this way?

Saturday, January 26, 2019

An Inside Look At Faculty Job Interviews

By Professor Doom

     I’ve had a few jobs in “the real world,” though I admit my experience is very limited, dated, and restricted to entry level positions. That said, the “job interview” process mostly involved showing up, talking to the owner for a few minutes, and then it was usually a “go.”

     There are no “owners” in higher ed, and the Poo-Bah is way too important a person to involve himself in the hiring of such lowlifes as faculty. Instead, a committee is formed, usually of faculty, and they pick from a restricted list of applicants. Often, but not always, this restricted list is stacked by admin, so that, say, the committee will look at the top five candidates, four females (i.e., every female who applied) and a male. There has to be some thinning out of applicants, I admit, since open positions can easily attract hundreds of applications, even at a small school.

     I used to serve on hiring committees, so I know a thing or two, but a recent article on Inside Higher Ed reveals that the weirdness I saw as a committee member only touched the surface of what applicants see.

So let’s just get to it:

Weak if not inept use of email systems to transmit job search invitations. Erroneous invitations.

     For all the money our leaders in higher ed are paid, they have remarkably poor online and organizational skills (the latter masked by the sheer numbers of administrators, so that there’s so little for each of them to do).

     Yes, I’ve had a few “fake” candidates to interview, people who should not have been called in…but somehow were. We just politely pretended to do the interview and moved on.

Frequent questions and glaring hints of inquiry about marital status, pregnancies, children, personal identity (that often start with "I'm not supposed to ask you about this but..."). These questions and hints are overwhelmingly targeted at female candidates.

     To clarify, the “I’m not supposed to ask you this, but…” question comes from admin, who can get away it—the same question asked by faculty would cost that member his/her job. But the Dean can do whatever she wants, even if she isn’t on the hiring committee.

Unrealistic sample class lectures where professors or the search committee pretend to be students.

      At my own CC, prospective faculty almost always had to give a “sample lecture” of their own devising to the committee where the committee would pretend to be students. Such lectures were often revealing, as you could easily get someone with great credentials…but obviously didn’t have a clue about even material of his own choosing. The other way around, with weak credentials but a capable teacher, was sometimes true.

      And so begins my long anecdote about the worst I’ve experienced on a hiring committee (and that’s saying something). Admin had narrowed it down to 5 members. Two were wildly incompetent, one was skilled, one should not have been invited, and this one guy had magnificent credentials, credentials admin wanted. As above, each had to give a talk; one guy was so awful that his talk on the subject he picked, polynomials, was a train wreck…the poor guy couldn’t even define what a polynomial was, among many other issues in the things he said.

       Although this was a community college, the guy with credentials gave his 10 minute talk on a fairly advanced topic, one I doubt half the committee (most of whom weren’t even math teachers) understood.

     The guy lost his temper during his own talk, to the point that he visibly had to calm down afterward. We all agreed he was terrible, easily the worst possible choice for teaching at the community college.

Awkward if not unethical management of "diversity" dimensions of searches and candidate visits.

     Yeah, no kidding. I’ve certainly seen a few loaded candidate options, where we clearly were being steered into, well, “choosing” diversity or a certain gender.

       But at least it was steering. In my anecdote, this very angry guy managed to get hired, even though the committee ranked him dead last—even the incompetent people were better choices (the material at the community college is so simple you can teach an interested 12 year old to master it easily enough, so we could help them learn what they needed to know). Admin shoved it in our faces that our time on the committee was a waste, that they, and they alone, were choosing the faculty.

Erroneous offer and rejection communications. Extremely late and sometimes non-existent updates, with some candidates still waiting for updates years later.

      Admin assured us that all 4 of the other candidates got positions elsewhere…this lie was quickly revealed when several of these candidates e-mailed me to ask about the position—admin didn’t even have the decency to tell them they weren’t selected.

      So much money is spent on so many administrators, and the only skill they seem to be sort-of good at is lying, and then only because they practice so much.

      Back to my anecdote. The whole year, the guy kept getting into shouting matches with students. One time, he told a student who was refusing to do homework, “You’re acting like a little boy…”

     “WHO YOU CALLING BOY!?” replied the student, leading to a shouting match which attracted many faculty. I was late to the event, but I got to watch the angry kid tornado down the hallway, tossing books and papers everywhere in feral rage.

      Maybe that one wasn’t the guy’s fault, but there were plenty of others, and admin had to get rid of him after a year.

       The next hiring committee got to see many of the same candidates “passed over” but supposedly hired elsewhere the year before…

Squabbling over meal budgets in front of the candidates, as well as under-resourced searches.

      Indeed, I’ve seen some lean budgets. $60 doesn’t go far for a dinner when you’ve five members on the committee and an applicant. We complained about it, so the Dean changed it so it would just be a private meal between her and the applicant.

      Same budget, of course. I sure don’t begrudge the applicant for eating well, at least.

Interview in hotel room with two men, with unmade bed and room service from the night before just lying there. Blech.

     The “hotel room interview” is unfortunate, but this typically happens at a conference…all the conference rooms are taken, prices to rent anything are very high, and there’s no budget anyway.

     That said, you probably should make your bed and maybe slide the room service tray to the hall, one room over, if faculty were worth that kind of respect.

     Is this roughly how hiring interviews go “in the real world” nowadays?


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

College Sportsball “Organizer” Gets $1,000,000 A Year…Only Does ONE Game

By Professor Doom

     I don’t often cover the immense fraud of college sportsball, there are so many frauds in higher education that I focus more on things which impact the real students on campus. On the other hand, I do often talk about the immense pay our administrators on campus make, and their luxurious lifestyles, and this guy really is par for the course:

“…there’s one particularly impressive home, with a 600-bottle wine cellar, a wraparound shower with massage jets, and a sizeable pool with a waterfall and Jacuzzi overlooking a lake…”

--what is it with these guys and their lakefront property? Perhaps H.P. Lovecraft was on to something...

     So many admin on campus, they have so little to do individually. What’s this guy’s job?

“…run the Outback Bowl, a second-tier college football postseason game featuring third-place teams…”

     Aaaand…that’s the entirety of his job. Now, I concede I don’t know exactly what this entails but just how hard can it be? Most of it seems pretty self-correcting, as you have the teams and vendors coming right to you to sign up to show up at the stadium. What kind of money does he get for this one game?

“…$1,045,000 in 2017, according to the bowl’s most recent tax filing…”

     Take a million off that you have more pay than most faculty in higher ed, even faculty with 25 years’ experience (voice of experience, here) will ever receive.  This game is between distant contenders, in a season that’s already over. So, it’s no surprise that the whole bowl generates less than $12,000,000 a year…and a sizeable chunk of it goes to just. This. One. Guy. Man, it must be nice to be at the top—the bowl only has five full-time employees, incidentally.

      The bowl also donates to charity, $500,000 in the last two years.  I feel the need to mention the sportsball players themselves get nothing.

      Does the guy have some explanation for why he’s so precious?

“…a new policy forbids Outback Bowl officials from publicly discussing compensation…”

     Um, this one guy runs the whole show. He had a heavy hand in the policy, if not made it himself. It’s not like I haven’t mentioned before how these guys hold all the cards. It’s no surprise they also take all the pots, too, I suppose.

      Actually, I was wrong when I said the players get nothing. For risking life and limb in an extremely violent game, a game where some 90% of the players, even at the college level, have permanent brain damage from playing it, they do get something:


“…each get $550 of souvenir gifts, the maximum allowed under NCAA rules…”

     Whoop. De. Doo. When you consider just how many hours the players spent practicing for this particular game—recall this is an extra game, not part of the regular season—I’d be surprised if their hourly pay is much past $5 an hour.

      Meanwhile, the one guy “organizing” the game gets over a million bucks.

      It’s little different on the academic side of campus, where the dean who “organizes” the poorly-paid adjuncts rakes in enough to get her own slice of lakefront property while the students impoverish themselves with future debt.

     The article I’m quoting from has over 500 comments, and one requires clarification:

“…These guys are entrepreneurs. Who is to say how much they are paid?...”

      I suppose this is correct, but he does work for a tax exempt corporation...all taxpayers thereby get to say how much of the free loot goes to him. I still feel there’s a deep iniquity here. That bowl doesn’t generate all that money because of this one guy, it generates it because people find it amusing to watch the players on the field smash into each other and get brain damage…I think the players should get more than a few hundred bucks’ worth of tchotchkes.

      In fact, only a few of the comments seem to “get” that there’s a real disparity here between who’s generating the money and who’s getting the money. I’m clearly in the minority, but I’ll take such comfort as I can in not being alone.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Famous College Prep School Exposed As Fraud…And Reveals Fraud At Elite Universities

By Professor Doom

Admin: “The Landry school is sending many of its students to Harvard this year. Why can’t you?”

--I’ve a friend who teaches in Louisiana, where the Landry school is located. He would get constantly told of how great this school is.

T. M. Landry is in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, a high-poverty town of fewer than 10,000. The school’s graduates are overwhelmingly black, poor, or both—a socioeconomic segment that, due to pervasive discrimination, is notoriously underrepresented in higher ed. Statistically speaking, when a poor black student is admitted to a Harvard or a Yale, it’s a minor miracle. The odds of an institution sending graduate after graduate to the Ivy League and similar schools are infinitesimal. Watching T. M. Landry’s viral videos was akin to watching lightning strike the same spot not twice, but over and over again. Had the Landrys cracked the educational code?

--Emphasis added, and citation needed, though the article gives none. Of course.

    The T.M. Landy College Preparatory School has been famous for years. This school seemed to specialize in taking poor kids of minimal academic ability and, in just a few years, send them off to the most elite schools in the country.

Admin: “Why can’t you have the same the level of success as Landry? We have much better students here. Is it because you’re not as good a teacher?”

--I can’t emphasize strongly enough how irritating it was to get these kind of missives; I received something similar at a CC.

     The Landry school was wildly successful, and nobody thought it strange how they could consistently do so well with so little.

TM Landry boasts a 100% graduation average and a 100% 4-yr. college acceptance rate!

     The school was a fraud. A recent article in The Atlantic identifies the school as a fraud, but then goes on to ask, but not answer, an important question: how did these fake students succeed once they came to a school like Harvard?

      Let’s spell out the fraud here:

The Landrys’ school seems to have been a fraud all along—faking transcripts, forcing students to lie on college applications, and staging rehearsed lessons for curious media and other visitors. According to the Times, an atmosphere of abuse and submission helped maintain the deception, with Michael Landry lording over his flock of children like a tyrant. In the Times story, Landry admitted to helping children with college applications while denying any fraud.

     Any school without integrity can get a 100% graduation rate, after all. But how are these kids succeeding at the elite schools?

Still, a mystery remains. Even taking the alleged fakery into account, how did T. M. Landry seem to fool so many of America’s most prestigious universities for years?

      The article details more of the obvious fraud at the school, and asks questions like the above several times. It never answers the main question, however, and it’s a fair question. Since the school did little educating of students, and the students coming in had little education to begin with…how did our elite universities not notice these students, who quite possibly were barely literate at best, really weren’t up to the presumably high standards at these schools?

      Admissions officers are vague about who they let in, and it’s been known for years that it’s unwritten policy they use affirmative action to make sure “the right people” get in. Asians have to score much higher than other ethnicities, for example, to get accepted, or so a recent lawsuit affirms (as an unwritten policy, proving such in court might be tough).

     On the other hand, David Hogg, the kid the media foisted on us after that weird shooting in Broward County, was recently let into Harvard despite his respectable, but low for Harvard, SAT score. Any Asian student with such a low score who is at Harvard is welcome to contact me to show me how wrong I am about that unwritten policy…

      So how are these quite possibly illiterate students doing well at elite schools? The school’s first graduating class was in 2013…we should be seeing some college graduates by now. How are they doing? What were their majors?

      The second question is the key, and allow me to conjecture how marginal students could still do well at an elite school.

      See, many schools, even quality schools, have a “two tier” system of education. Yes, if you want a quality education instilling value, you can get it at the school…but if you want a bogus education, you can get that, too. It’s up to the student to figure it out, although certainly an advisor at the school, after dealing with the student, could well steer the student into a real education, or a fake education.

      I strongly suspect these Landry school fake students aren’t going to Harvard to get their law degrees, or to Princeton to get degrees in mathematics. No, they’re getting degrees in Gender Studies, or African-American Studies, or something where their gender or skin color, and not the content of their learning, is determining their success.

      Please understand, I’ve highlighted Gender Studies courses…you don’t need to know much to do well there, just don’t shave. It’s all ideology and anger, and you don’t need to be academically gifted to do well with that. Harvard totally has such programs, so my conjecture is hardly a stretch.

      Even our elite schools, apparently, are selling fake degrees, or at least giving fake courses to fake students.

       Thus it is that a fake college prep school can operate for years, provided its students are the right skin color, as such a color can get a student into an elite school which is just as eager to show their “success” by awarding degrees to students who after graduation probably still can’t perform at the high school level. Granted, many college graduates are no better off than when they graduated high school, as is well documented, but in this case the fraud was so blatant we really need to start asking questions.

      At least I, unlike the author at The Atlantic, can answer some of those questions.



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Racist Professor Gets A Pass From Uni. Guess Which Race He Hates?

By Professor Doom

     I’m all for freedom of speech, but the rulers of our campuses think otherwise. It isn’t simply they wish to control what’s said in the classroom, they’ll cheerfully punish, and punish hard, a professor who dares express wrongthink on social media, as I’ve documented many times in this blog.

     Now, when faced with such smackdown, the professor can fight back (we do have this Bill of Rights thing), but such fights are tough. You can’t win in the heavily rigged university system, so that means the “real” courts…and that means time and money. Generally, the professors win when they do this, possibly even by presenting the case to the supreme court, but I find such victories Pyrrhic at best—even if you get your money back, the fight can take years you’ll never regain, and going back to work for an infuriated boss eager for payback isn’t fun.

      Curiously, the free speech abuse cases I’ve covered all go one way, namely with a professor saying something against the Social Justice Warrior agenda.

      What happens when a professor is racist, but in a SJW-approved manner?

posting on Facebook that he hates “white people.”

     Well, that certainly is racist, in the classic definition of the word for hating a whole classification of people based on skin color. No judgement here on my part, though I can’t help but note the professor is white (and hasn’t self-destructed, leading me to believe he, like so many who virtue signal this kind of stuff, doesn’t actually believe it).

      In response to his rant, some social media sites shut him down, and the University did have a response:

Before the fall semester started, Rutgers announced that Livingston’s Facebook posts had violated the university’s Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment. 

     While I don’t approve of the university’s actions, this is consistent with how other universities have behaved. Not being a law professor, he went to FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, to help him out. Even with this organization at his back, one would think the university would have the integrity to hit the professor with suspensions and whatever, and force him to fight in the courts for years to protect his rights. I mean, if we assume the school honestly believed what the professor did was inappropriate, one would think that.

     One would think wrong:

“FIRE is pleased that Rutgers did the right thing and reversed the charge of racial discrimination against Professor Livingston,” the FIRE representative said. “Any other result would have undermined the free speech and academic freedom rights of all Rutgers faculty members.”

     Well, that was quick, and easy…not even one semester of fighting and his university forgave him. I’m not even sure what “reverse the charge” means in this context…does this mean outright approval of his racism? I guess I’ll let legal scholars figure that one out.

     Is this going to be yet another example of SJW hypocrisy, or will other, similar infringements of free speech by universities likewise be overturned before a long court battle ensues?

     Only time will tell, but, call me cynical, I lean towards hypocrisy here.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Columbia MFA Students Demand Tuition Refund

By Professor Doom

      I know this is something of old news…but today’s topic just strikes me as a more important phenomenon for higher ed than anything in the “top 10” of last post. We now have nearly an entire class of students at a good school asking for refunds.

      When it comes to student loans, the most painful are for grad school—many students, finding themselves unable to get a job right out of college and deep in debt, double down (more accurately, quadruple down) on education by going to graduate school.

     The people most hurt by this? The MFA, Master of Fine Arts, students. They pay a fortune for their degree, then are unleashed into a world where, well, you don’t need a degree to be an artist, and a degree doesn’t confer nearly as much of an advantage as, well, being a skilled artist. Additionally, arts people aren’t necessarily the most financially astute; the time they realize they’ve signed away their future for a piece of paper might not come until after years of payments, possibly with the debt getting even larger. The largest student loan debtors just seem to be art students.  

     Since accreditation—amazingly!—cares less for grad school education than it does for undergraduate education, even well-established schools can skimp pretty heavily when it comes to teaching these advanced students, even as they charge multiples more.

     Art students might not all be financial whizzes, but they know when they’re being cheated:

     In April, 51 of the 54 students slated to graduate from Columbia University’s visual-arts M.F.A. program came to the provost with an unusual demand: a full tuition refund for the 2017-18 academic year.

     Wow. I’ve seen an entire cohort of MFA students resign rather than indebt themselves, but the concept of nearly a whole class asking for a refund just boggles my mind. I trust they had reasons?

These candidates had reportedly been working in decrepit conditions. Limestone had fallen from studio ceilings and hallways had flooded, damaging works of art. Room temperatures often dropped below 40 degrees… (One year of tuition at Columbia’s fine-arts program is $63,961.) 

     Can the gentle reader, or any sane person, conceive of paying over $60k a year for an education under these conditions? Every legit business I know of treats customers shelling out this kind of dough as VIPs, to the point that if the VIP was cold, they’d pop down to the store and buy a space heater, blankets, and thermal socks if necessary to make the VIP happy.

      But not Columbia, which saw only the opportunity for plunder. The reader should not take this essay as picking on this particular MFA program, as I’ve covered other arts schools with similarly sketchy practices.

     At least admin here conceded the students were treated poorly:

The state of Columbia’s highly ranked program — a "disgrace," the provost acknowledged…

     Great! So surely the provost will do the right thing here, it’s not like the school spent the money on heating bills or building maintenance.

…he declined their refund request…

      Wow, again. It used to be admin would have the decency (?) to lie about what they’re doing, but administrative control is now so strong that they can literally tell the students they were cheated and their money is not coming back. I’m sure the provost got some nice lakefront property (one of the key life goals of administrators, as near as I can tell) for his work overseeing this program.

     It’s not just this one school:

Seven of the 10 most-expensive higher-education institutions in the United States, after financial aid is factored in, are art schools. In 2014, Art Times reported, tuition and expenses for a four-year undergraduate degree at the Rhode Island School of Design cost $253,000. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, at a mere $205,000, it said, begins to seem like a bargain… at freestanding art schools, debt levels are even higher.

     What do these students learn, anyway?

Not craft or technique, it turns out. We are a long way from late-19th-century Paris, where "academic painting" signified technically dazzling neoclassical figures, lush but sterile, and where the brutal disruptions of Manet and the Impressionists were consigned to the "Salon des Refusés."… students take no classes on technique, and most take no art history.

     So, these MFA graduates have no technique and no academic knowledge. Much like Math Education majors can teach in a community college without knowing any (if that much) math, it’s clear the MFA graduate can likewise get a job there. The gentle reader should keep this in mind when “saving money” by going to a community college.

"I’m sure we could all make beautiful Monet paintings or Picasso paintings if we wanted to," one student says brazenly, "but that’s not what we want to do."

     Well, they certainly learn brazen confidence. I certainly was reluctant to talk like that about mathematics, because a professor hearing me might say “Good. Demonstrate.” That would have ended my career before it started.

     The M.F.A. programs identify beauty with commercialism and with naïve illustration devoid of ideas…Yet there is a contradiction here, as Fine acknowledges: If beauty is commercial, then why do elite collectors, in step with art-world conventions, clamor after "ugly" art?

      This is a rare error in the article. I’m no artist, but my parents were dealers in antiques. Yes, beautiful antiques were valuable, but often the most precious were the most hideous—nobody wanted them at the time because they were so ugly, and thus scarce. I can see something similar for art in general, but there still needs to be a demonstration of skill, right? Even the ugly things were nevertheless made well.

      So, again, what skills are they learning?

The M.F.A. trains artists to talk about their work with slickness and flair, in conformity with the lexicon of the art world… Art schools require students to justify and explain their art in highly theoretical terms, but give them no adequate instruction in philosophy, literature, or any other discursive field that prizes subtle distinctions or analytical clarity. 

     Hey, that’s something, I suppose. But what do these de-skilled and deeply indebted artists create?

 "Part of my own narrative," the student says, "is me painting my shit on the walls, out of my diapers as a kid, and that carrying itself onward." 

     I apologize for the language but…with no skill training, no education in this very particular field, I hardly expect a graduate to be any different in his artistry than, well, a completely ignorant Philistine like me.

     Except I know better than to put crap on the walls and call it art.

     At the risk of being tiresome, I point out the insanely high tuition is only possible because of the student loan scam, a scam which is destroying a generation of our students. End it already.


Friday, January 11, 2019

The 10 Most Important Events in Higher Ed Of 2018

By Professor Doom

     I know, it’s a bit late for such considerations, but a recent article listed what are supposedly the 10 most important events of 2018…they’re off a bit, but allow me to clarify:

1.     Purdue University Launched “Purdue Global” after Purchasing For-Profit Kaplan University

      The article indicates this “may signal a change” in online programs, but…no. Time and time again in higher ed, I’ve seen admin come on campus, and execute plans to sell out a school’s reputation in exchange for growth.

      Purdue has a good reputation, while for-profits have a terrible reputation. This purchase represents a merger, increasing the student base of Purdue while weakening its reputation. They’ll try to sell Purdue Global as a “non-profit,” but as I’ve shown before, non-profits are still quite capable of literally prostituting students for profits, as well as engaging in business practices Ponzi himself would be ashamed of.

2.      Three Scholars Hoaxed “Grievance Studies” Journals. Their Efforts Have Been Dubbed “Sokal Squared”

     I covered this before, with many articles of pure gibberish not merely being published, but getting awards, even though the scholars themselves admit they were submitting garbage. The vast bulk of the academic journal “industry” is very highly suspect at this point, with wide swaths of peer-reviewed, scientific papers being non-reproducible.

3.     Demographic Changes and Enrollment Declines Have Started to Affect Colleges and Universities

      Even though our government says enrollments will increase 15% by 2025, it’s very clear that, like all government numbers, this is rubbish. The article correctly points out that for-profits and community colleges are bearing the brunt of the loss of students, it neglects to point that people are realizing that these types of schools represent the largest frauds in higher ed, and fleeing them. The schools themselves are responding by becoming “non-profit” (by accounting trickery), or by changing their classification into a “university,” respectively.

      I’m not convinced these cosmetic changes will make much difference, but we shall see.

4. Spellings Resignation a Sign of the Times

      I had to look up Spellings. There were many issues, but prevalent among them was her stance on keeping a Confederate statue on campus. I’m glad she took a stand against the history-rewriting madness on our campuses today, and I’m pleased I couldn’t find anything regarding her golden parachute (she served 3 years as leader of UNC, a fairly long time nowadays).

5. Two Liberal Authors Expose the Rot in American Higher Education

     “Liberal” and “Leftist” are used interchangeably of late, but there’s a difference: a real liberal can be spoken with in a rational way. The “exposure” here was how our campuses are being taken over by Leftists, claiming to be Liberals. As I’ve pointed out, you’re hard pressed to even find a Republican faculty member, much less a Conservative, on many campuses.

     The end results here are two-fold: not only are many campuses little more than indoctrination centers, but even on “balanced” campuses, students are unlikely to be exposed to anything but Leftist ideas…you can’t get an education this way.

6. Harvard Sued Over Admissions Discrimination

     It’s been well-known, but unspoken, for years that Harvard has been discriminating against Asian students. Like much of the racism on other campuses, it’s all been done with a wink and a nod. The fact that we’re finally at the point where we’re ready to stop turning a blind eye to campus racism is certainly a  start, although it's not just Asians who are being treated improperly (hi white males!).

7. Universities Have Started to Ban Greek Life after Hazing Deaths

     I seldom address fraternities/sororities on campus, there are just so many bigger issues than dealing with voluntary clubs, although I personally don’t like them much. It’s funny that decades after hazing still became illegal, there are still hazing deaths.

      The real issue is not the deaths, the banning of such groups is only happening now because these fraternities/sororities are much weaker than they were a few decades ago. Much like with falling enrollments, there just aren’t as many members (and big donor parents of members) as there used to be.

8. Colleges and Students Have Started to Accept Campus Surveillance as “the New Normal”

      I’m conflicted about such surveillance. I’d be completely against it, but campus race hoaxes are so common today, and the surveillance has gone a long way to exposing that which, much like discrimination in admissions, we’ve all known about for years.

9. New and Innovative Colleges Have Emerged to Compete with Traditional Schools

      Every school and program claims to be “innovative” so allow me to narrow this down a bit:

Fortunately, innovative institutions have emerged to break the higher education mold and trailblaze a new path. Two recent examples can be found in North Carolina: the CreatEd Institute (est. 2016) and Thales College (to open in fall 2019). CreatEd and Thales are unique in a number of ways. First, both institutions are not currently accredited—and are hesitant to ever be so—because of the arbitrary criteria and conformity that accrediting agencies impose.

      Accreditation, much like discrimination at Harvard and Campus “hate” crimes, is yet another massive fraud which everyone knows about. All accreditation stands for today is a seal that certifies the school can put students into debt from Federally backed student loans, and has nothing to do with education.

      As I’ve pointed out before, some unaccredited schools will refund your money if you can’t get a job based on what they teach you, while accredited schools never dare to stand behind their so-called “education.”

10. Protesters Toppled the Confederate “Silent Sam” Statue at UNC-Chapel Hill

      Note how the article says “protesters,” not “students.” I love the administrative response to this outrage:

Now, one can’t help but wonder whether the university’s recent proposal to build a brand-new $5.3 million building to house Sam is just a way for the administration to kick the issue down the road for as long as possible—even for years.

     Hmm, so the response to rioters is to give in to their demands. As I’ve mentioned before, if schools would just expel any students caught engaged in violent, riotous, behavior, we could fix the campus riots in fairly short order. Instead admin just keeps giving in to demands.

      While the “top 10” in the article addresses a Confederate statue twice, I feel it’s missing the big issue of 2018: student debt. It topped over $1.5 trillion in 2018, and this problem will only get larger.

      Unlike all of the “top 10” issues, student loans will definitely, eventually, destroy higher education far more thoroughly than any Confederate statue. Part of the reason I say this with confidence is the above issues were compiled/submitted by people within higher ed, who (present company excluded) are just too busy looking at trees to notice the tsunami coming from a completely different direction.