Friday, August 30, 2019

Cops Skip Class, Still Get A’s. Any Questions?

By Professor Doom

     One aspect of fraud in higher education I seldom touch on is the credential fraud of graduate school. To clarify, to advance in a position, often a worker needs to have some sort of a graduate degree. Trouble is, if you have a job, you really don’t have time to go to grad school…but if you don’t already have a job, the graduate degree isn’t worth much.

      This has led to flood of graduate degree holders curious at why they don’t have the high-paying jobs they were told their degrees would yield, but I want to talk a bit about the other group involved in this type of fraud: the job-holders who nevertheless get these degrees.

      As one can guess by the “catch-22” situation of a degree being only useful if you’re not in a position to get it, this usually involves government workers. The most egregious example of this is in higher ed, where administrative positions almost always have a “Ph.D.” required restriction, but it applies to many other government jobs. In higher ed, this situation is resolved by the widespread granting of fake administrative degrees, as I’ve examined in detail.

    Other government jobs likewise resolve this issue through academic fraud:

For Years, UT-Dallas Instructors Told Officers To Skip Class—And The Cops Still Got A’s. How Did It Go On So Long?

      Much to unpack in the title above, but I’ll address the rhetorical question first. The reason why this, and many other, frauds go on so long is because higher education is regulated by accreditors, who to a large extent simply ask the schools to self-affirm their own legitimacy. So, when an accreditor somehow receives a report of fraud (and they make it very hard for such reports to get to them), the accreditor investigates. They do so by asking the school “Are you committing fraud?”

        The school looks at how much money they make committing the fraud, gives some of it to the accreditor in the form of accreditation fees, and says “Nope.” And then the accreditor closes their investigation of the fraud. I really wish this summary weren’t so accurate, but my years of dealing with accreditors in higher education had me seeing such investigations with my own eyeballs.

      The program which was allegedly fraudulent was basically a master’s degree in criminal justice (“Justice Administration and Leadership”--there are many variants of such programs in many states, much as there are many variations of bogus “higher education administrator” graduate degrees). Police officers typically need  a master’s degree to get a promotion. So let’s take a look at what was going on here:

A student told him he had permission to skip classes yet still get credit. Then, when the professor tried to verify the story with his bosses, they bristled.

“You need to be careful what questions you ask,” said one…

      The above story rings true, as the same thing happened when I started asking questions about what sure looked like fraud at a school. My bosses responded with anger, and I was discouraged from asking what struck me as obvious questions to ask.

Over the last eight years, a handful of faculty members in the university’s criminology department awarded top grades to students in courses they never took…

      Despite the huge proliferation of administrators on campus, they really don’t have much to do with education. The only “job” I’ve observed them do is advocate for failing students to get their grades changed. Any faculty who wishes never to have anything to do with any administrator need only award all A’s to all students at all times…and yes, that would include students who never came to class (honest, I’ve had such students complain about failing…only showing up at the end of the semester to do so, of course).

      So, again, this part of the story rings true. If only accreditors actually took a look at what’s going on in the classroom…

“Students were instructed to formally enroll in UT Dallas courses, with the proviso that they need not attend class or submit any material, but would be given the grade of ‘A’ in the class…

     Before going further, I should point out that I think it’s pretty stupid to require advanced degrees for job promotion, particularly degrees of little relevance to the job. But, this is how government operates, to a large extent.

      The school is seeking to fire the faculty involved but…I really think admin should take some responsibility for letting this fraud go on, particularly since it’s fairly obvious they were supporting the fraud.

      To their credit, UT Dallas is no longer accepting students for the program (though when I reviewed their site, it seems like they’re starting it up again).

“…school leaders said the program’s practices were well hidden from them…”

      Yeah, sure. And anyone who asked questions about what was going on was threatened to stop asking questions. It’s a shame the only way to get to the truth here would be for admin to investigate themselves. I’ve seen enough self-investigations to know how well that would turn out—some faculty member sacrificed, perhaps, but that’s as far as it goes.

“…the university said it didn’t know how many…graduates received improper grades and credits because its records are incomplete…”

       Am I really the only one to be curious what all those administrators do on campus? They don’t know what’s going on in the classrooms, and they don’t keep records, that’s for sure. They also don’t get fired for facilitating fraud, either.

      The master’s program was expected to make money. Unlike traditional master’s programs, it would be funded solely by tuition, not state dollars. And working professionals represented a promising and untapped market of tuition payers that could generate “unlimited economic potential,” according to school documents.

     Admin rake in huge amounts of money, bonuses for growing the school, and UT-Dallas is a fast-growing university. The dean overlooking this program when it was developed has moved on and up, a provost at another university—as I’ve said many times, the main job goal of an administrator is to sell out the school in any way possible in the name of growth, and then move on and up in the system.

      The program brought in around $22,000 per student.

“…the professor asked not to be named for fear of professional reprisals…”

      In case the gentle reader is wondering who the whistleblower was, I reckon the above is the best answer to be given. Now, admin assures that the school has cleaned up its act and everything is legitimate now.

      I guess that’s why the whistleblower is still not about to go public with his name. Seeing as the university has decided to drop its charges against the “rogue faculty” whosupposedly was solely responsible for what happened here…I think the whistleblower is quite  justified in being concerned for his well-being. I could only find a few articles on this story, even though (because?) it involves people now very high in law enforcement.

       I really want to point out that these types of programs go on in every state, and it is idiocy to believe this type of fraud is (“was”) restricted simply to UT-Dallas.

      Seeing as taxpayer money goes to our government employees to pay tuition at our taxpayer funded schools, perhaps it’s not so great a fraud as others going on in higher ed…but it’s fraud all the same, with the above only notable because it’s so rare for these types of stories to see even a little of the light of day.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

8 Reasons Not To Go To University

By Professor Doom

     When I taught at a community college or questionable state university, one of the things which surprised me was how many of my students did not want to be there. I don’t mean simply didn’t want to do homework, or study, or take tests…but even being on campus was a chore for them, something that was close to the last thing they wanted.

      This wasn’t merely represented in the increasing unwillingness of students to buy books, or submit work, or attend class, but in the types of excuses I’d get. At a legitimate school, the reasons for missing class were along the lines of “Grandma died,” or “car accident right before class,” or otherwise pretty ironclad, but at the fake schools? The excuses were more along the lines of “it was raining” and “I had stuff to do.” I don’t want to come across as elitist but honest, the vast majority of kids on campus who don’t want to be there…shouldn’t be there.

       A recent article lists 8 reasons not to go to university, and I’ll add some input:

1.    They just want your money.

     While the above is certainly true for most campuses (especially the for-profits), it is not, by itself, a good reason not to go.

2.    You Can “Get Smart” For Free Online or At The Library

       The above again has truth in it, but it depends on what you want to learn. If you’re all about Shakespeare, then, yes, your local library likely has everything you need. If you’re all about particular skills, then online is the way to go, particularly YouTube, which has an amazing array of skill-training videos available for free.

       Now, you can’t actually learn skills just by watching videos, you need to actually practice the skill as well. Instead of paying $10,000 a semester tuition, you can spend a fraction of that to buy the materials you need—as an insult to injury, many schools charge a materials fee in addition to tuition for the courses that require such.

3.    You May Be Tempted To Join Antifa If You Graduate And Under-Perform.

      I’m quoting the article for the above reason, which yet again has a bit of truth in it, although it requires explanation. Many students on campus are taking far too many ideology courses—it’s not entirely their fault, because they’re actually being guided into such courses (no papers! Easy A! Pizza party instead of a final! I wish I were joking…).

        They graduate with heads filled with ideology, and bank accounts empty of money. The ideology, unfortunately, makes them unemployable, and unwilling to gain skills worth anything. So, they have nothing to lose by joining a terrorist group and trying to overthrow the system, hoping to get “free stuff” from the government in the process. It not be Antifa, however, there are other lunatic fringe groups (eg, Democratic Socialists) that are quite attractive to desperate ideologues.

4.    You’re Playing Musical Chairs With Limited White Collar Jobs.

       The above is something they never tell you in the admissions process. For example, they’ll say things like “petroleum engineers make $100,000 a year,” and seeing those dollar signs, you enroll.

      Trouble is, the school is enrolling 4,000 students into that program every year…while only 300 such jobs open up every year, with a dozen other schools also having vastly oversized programs.

     It’s not hopeless, mind you, but the deck is stacked against you hard, so if you’re not exceptional (or better yet have family connections), realize you’re not getting the full story from the admissions office.

5.    Lower Market Value Of A Degree

      The above is simply a parallel to the 4th reason. Degrees were valuable when they were scarce (back when 15% of the population went to college), and are priced based on that scarcity. Trouble is, that scarcity no longer exists because now around 80% of the population goes to college, and yet the price of a degree has skyrocketed (instead of dropped due to economy of scale).

       Bottom line, even if you’re not trying to get a degree leading to a white collar job, the price of the degree generally far exceeds the value, and that’s a good reason not to get one.

6.    Joke/Cultural Marxist Courses Are Everywhere

     A college education used to mean something not simply due to scarcity, but because it was also an education. But now even if you’re majoring in a “serious” degree, you’re still quite often obligated to take ideological courses of no educational value.

      Even if you’re not explicitly taking such courses, current job requirements for faculty involve “commitment to social justice,” which means many such faculty shove ideology into courses where it simply is not necessary. Even mathematics courses can involve discussion of how Hilary is great, for example…if ideology is being crammed into mathematics, I’m sure it’s in many other courses as well.

7.    Better Long Term Security In The Trades

     Granted, the above depends on why you’re going to college, but if you’re going to college to get a job, then, yes, learn a trade instead. A recent ad for welders says they make $80 an hour…and you don’t need 4 years of college to do it. I’ve done my share of hot, sweaty work (and I wish I could still do it, rather than be carved on and poisoned by an endless array of oncologists), but the bottom line is if you can repair of build things, you’ll probably find steady employment far more easily, for far more money, than if you can recite all 26 genders we have now.

8.    You Are Still Gonna Start At The Bottom

       The days where you could get an executive position right out of college (assuming you don’t have connections) are long past. Because our universities are now gargantuan institutions with tens of thousands of students, because “average” GPA is basically an A, you’re basically going to apply for a job with a thousand (or more) other recent graduates, with the same GPA. Granted, if you can distinguish yourself (for example, by having a last name of “Clinton”), that’ll help, but otherwise your prospects aren’t nearly as great as the registrar will tell you.

        While the eight reasons given in the above article are fine, I’ll reiterate the primary and most important reason not to go to university:

You don’t want to go.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

A-grade = Being Wrong Half The Time

By Professor Doom

     I’ve written several times of how GPA is essentially meaningless now in higher ed. What used to be solid F grade when I started teaching in higher ed is a solid C now, if not better. As much as I’d like to see every student get an A, I realize awarding grades like that is unfair to the students who study the hardest, and utterly debases the value of any degree ultimately awarded. How do you justify charging $125,000 for a degree (roughly the average) if you assert that literally everyone has complete mastery of everything every time?

      Such a concept is a puzzle for me, though admin has never seen a problem with it, always granting awards and bonuses for “great teachers” who manage to get 100% passing and A grades to their students every semester (even students who never even set foot on campus…). Admin sees things differently because they get dibs on the student loan money, and care nothing for the students who, after getting their degrees and 4.0 GPAs, don’t understand why employers are unimpressed.

       It’s been interesting watching the corrupted American system of higher education slowly infect the rest of the world. The “free education” of Europe is often touted as a great model for the American system, as a way to get around the crushing student loan debts. It’s true in theory, but the problem is other countries use entrance examinations as a means to restrict entry only to those who actually study and have an interest in academics.

        We used to have those here as well, but entrance examinations cut into the student loan money, the growth which allowed the “leaders” of higher education here to inflate their incomes (and tuition) to grotesquely high levels.

        It’s a simple matter, then to watch the corrupted US system spread across the world and predict what will happen:

First ever Maths A-level where getting almost half of answers wrong will get you an A

---the above is from the U.K.

     To get into university in the UK, students typically need to take a placement exam. How well the student does opens up better and better schools. What’s the scoring nowadays?

Just 54 per cent is required for an A in this year’s OCR exam, according to a leaked copy of the grade boundaries seen by The Daily Telegraph. It is believed to be the lowest amount of marks ever needed to secure a top grade in a Maths A-level. 

      Hmm, 54% used to be a failing grade, and now it’s an A. That’s quite the debasement.

It comes as thousands of students prepare to pick up their A-level results on Thursday. Pearson revealed last week that dozens of students face having their Maths grade withheld amid an investigation into an online leak which saw exam questions circulated on social media ahead of the exam. 

      Much like in the US, cheating is quite widespread. For now, admin will do a little to slow it down, but I assure the gentle reader the time will come where it as encouraged there as it is here.

A separate petition claimed that students’ hopes of attending university have been “shattered” thanks to the Maths exams.

       Yes, the above is sad, shattering dreams is hardly a good thing but…can’t the students study hard and take the test again next year? Honest, there was a time when getting into university did take additional study. 

       But, again, much like in the US, it’s not about studying and academics, it’s about getting these people into university, even if it’s quite established that many of them would be better off elsewhere.

        Why isn’t anyone asking hard questions about the debasement?

…a new Government policy - where schools are offered a cash incentive of up to £2,400 for every extra student that takes Maths in the sixth form - may have played a role in the lower grade boundaries this year. 

       Oh, so there’s money involved here in getting more students to take the placement test. Since the only way to get more students taking the test is to have weaker students taking (since all the strong students are already taking it), the success rate has to drop…and the only way to fix that is to redefine “success” so that you can miss half the questions and still get top score.

An OCR spokesman said they do this to “minimise the chance of students feeling anxious”

       I just can’t make this stuff up. Does anyone else remember when, years ago, we were told to make grading easier so that the students would feel better? 

      As, step by step, the corrupted American higher education system spreads across the world, we will see the everyday scandals here repeated in other countries, even if those scandals are currently rare outside of North America.

       As long as more money pours in the more the system is debased, no other outcome is possible.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Expose Leftist Academic Fraud = Re-Education For You

By Professor Doom

     I’ve written of the re-education system a few times, where “transgressing” faculty are punished by being forced to go to re-education “seminars,” with Commissars teaching them the proper way to think. I know it sounds like hyperbole, but I keep hoping that if I keep bringing it up, more and more people will realize it’s not hyperbole, merely reality.

     A few months back I covered how a group of scholars submitted completely bogus research to Leftist journals, covering such topics as how straight males would benefit from anal penetration, how Mein Kampf written from the feminist point of view was completely acceptable as valid, and how watching dogs copulate relates to “queer performativity,” among other topics. While the research was utterly bogus in every way, it actually won awards in the field (and I reinforce that the scholars themselves had no training in the field, and literally nothing but contempt for the ideology, in fact).

     Now, what’s supposed to happen in academia, is when you identify fraud you’re rewarded for it, at least a little. That was years ago, nowadays if you even show a student is cheating, you’ll only receive punishment for it, and the same thing happens when it comes to scholarly research:

Prof who exposed 'biased academic left with fake studies' barred from research until he takes Protection of Human Subjects training

Our schools are loaded down now with extremely expensive Diversity Fiefdoms, filled with very highly paid Commissars justifying their existence in many ways. While mostly it’s by creating race riots and otherwise agitating students, they also create re-education camps…and are always looking for reasons to subject victims to such camps. 

     So, on the surface, “Protection of Human Subjects training” sounds like a pretty valid thing for a researcher to have, I can assure the gentle reader it’s ideological indoctrination, and nothing more. 

      And, of course, this is simple punishment for exposing how this ideology isn’t remotely academic, despite it granting itself of the trappings of peer reviewed scholarly research.

Portland State administrators found in December that he violated school policy by publishing false research and then launched disciplinary proceedings against him.

     Administrators are, of course, confused by all things academic. The researcher here didn’t publish false research, he submitted false research. It was the fake journals which published it. Seeing as this was the whole point of the researcher’s experiment demonstrating the bogus nature of the entire field, punishing him for it seems entirely unjustified.

     Unjustified if you’re a legitimate scholar. On the other hand, if you’re an ideologue wishing to protect the narrative of your own (unwarranted) legitimacy, then yeah, punishment is quite justified.

…the school determined that Boghossian did violate human subjects' rights and protections.

    Seeing as the research was utterly fake, with no actual human subjects involved, this is an odd “determination” by admin. Of course, coming from a community college where admin “determined” that 12/5 should be 2.35 and that “mutually exclusive” assignation of resources should mean 33% overlap, I don’t find such a determination surprising.  

      ... he must complete "Protection of Human Subjects" training, and that he's hereby forbidden to participate in any "human subjects"-related research or sponsored research until he can show evidence that he understands the protections the school offers human subjects.

      This is, of course, blatant retribution. It’s curious how our mainstream media will rail endlessly against an objectively true (albeit impolite) Trump tweet, but doesn’t see punishing faculty for identifying fraud as worthy of even minor discussion.

      I want to reiterate why the legitimate research of exposing Leftist academic fraud is so critical:

The writers added that "aggrieved academics can put broken, biased, and even openly racist and sexist ideas through the peer-review process, and have them come out the other side legitimized as though they are established knowledge.

     Ultimately, the above is the issue. We’re really supposed to take concepts like “toxic masculinity,” “microaggressions,” and “whites as the problem,” seriously, because “established science” says these concepts are valid and legitimate, and that something needs to be done about them, and that this legitimacy is granted by Leftist academic journals.

       But what the actual scholars have shown here (and other scholars have shown as well) is that these journals are completely bogus, that all they do is publish anything which agrees with their ideology, with no concern for or knowledge of how real academic work is evaluated.

     Exposing this fraud is important, critical research, but instead of getting an award for it, the result is only punishment and destruction of scholarly careers.

     How did the fake journals feel about having their fraud exposed?


Reason's John Stossel said he tried to talk to the editors of the journals that accepted the bogus grievance studies to find out how they got fooled, but none of them wanted to — except for Roberto Refinetti, editor in chief of Sexuality and Culture. His journal published the fake study titled, "Going in Through the Back Door: Challenging Straight Male Homohysteria, Transhysteria, and Transphobia Through Receptive Penetrative Sex Toy Use."

Refinetti told Stossel the trio of writers who pulled off the hoax are the ones at fault: "You're deceiving people without much of a reason."

        Deceiving people? Without much of a reason? The gentle reader should understand that the current madness of transexualizing children is supported by research published in journals like the above. The current lunacy of “snowflakes” triggered by the most idiotic “aggressions” was in part created by research published in journals like the above. The violence we’re seeing from kids who’ve been trained to believe white males are the problem and they should be punched is instigated in part by research published in journals like the above. 

     Who’s deceiving who, here? Stopping such deception, showing that these journals print pure garbage but give it the patina of “established science” strikes me as a perfectly valid reason for submitting utterly ridiculous and bogus research to these fake academic journals.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

U California: We Only Hire SJWs

By Professor Doom

     Watching the Democratic debates really highlights the flaw of degeneracy1 within an organization. To even get on the stage, they all needed to have the same fairly narrow set of views. Not only does this make a debate pretty difficult to have, it also makes it easy to expose how far off the rails things are in this party, with 100% of them raising their hands in wanting to offer free health care to illegal aliens—what citizen could vote for this? If by some inconceivable turn of events any of these contenders got elected, there should be widespread forswearing of citizenship in this county, since this, apparently, would be the way to get free health care.


     In any event, we’re seeing much the same structural flaws in our higher education system, which is likewise ruled by a likewise degenerate pack of “leaders” all believing the same things to the exclusion of all others. What used to be done with a wink and a nod is now out in the open—there’s no need to surreptitiously corrupt the system when everyone is in favor of corrupting the system.

       I’ve highlighted some of these “open frauds” before, such as the openly discriminatory hiring of a physics professor—whites need not apply—in Kentucky of all places. Such hiring practices have been going on for a long, long time, particularly with respect to political beliefs. It’s now quite common for a student to go his entire “education” without being exposed to a conservative…even though half the country holds such beliefs.

39% of colleges have 0 Republican professors

     Fairly consistently, around half the country votes Republican, and professors tend to keep their jobs a long time. You can’t get a result like the above unless there’s a longstanding policy of not hiring Republicans.

     Thing was, that policy was unwritten. But now that the Democrat (more accurately, Leftist) stranglehold over higher education is complete, there’s no need for secrecy anymore.

       And so California, almost unarguably our most converged state in the union, will openly admit and write into policy, political bias in their hiring practices:

UC imposes political litmus test

      I can’t even imagine the outrage if a school attempted open political degeneracy like this even 20 years ago…but now it’s hardly a blip on the scholastic or political or civil rights radar. In fact, it was understood, decades ago, that doing this sort of thing was wrong enough to lose your job over it while waiting for the Supreme Court to verify it was against the laws of our country to do this:

California had its own version of McCarthyism, as it came to be known. The Legislature created a Committee on Un-American Activities and in 1950 enacted the Levering Act, requiring all state employees to sign “loyalty oaths.”

It was specifically aimed at the University of California’s faculty, and 31 tenured professors were fired for refusing to sign it.

The state was unconstitutionally imposing “a political test for employment,” as the California State Federation of Teachers said at the time. And after much legal wrangling, the state Supreme Court voted 6-1 in 1967 to declare the Levering Act unconstitutional.


     I’m against Communism (and racism) in all its forms, but I still respect people can have such views, for what it’s worth. I’ve been forced to sign loyalty oaths as a college professor…but those oaths were what they said they were, and not a forswearing of a set of beliefs.


      The fact remains: forcing faculty to hold political views is illegal. But in a degenerate system, there’s nobody to point out common sense flaws, and so here we go again:

As part of its “commitment to diversity and excellence,” UC’s administrators are telling recruiters for faculty positions, as one directive puts it, to take “pro-active steps to seek out candidates committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

      The above sounds harmless enough from a certain point of view I suppose, but I assure the gentle reader things get sinister fast:

To enforce that dictum, UC also requires applicants for new faculty employment and promotions to submit “diversity statements” that will be scored “with rubrics provided by Academic Affairs and require applicants to achieve a scoring cutoff to be considered.”

       You don’t merely have to nod your head and agree with the pabulum, you have to put in writing that you wholeheartedly believe in this stuff, with determination of your sincerity made by Commissars. A scoring cutoff! If you don’t believe hard enough, no job for you!

       In case it’s still not perfectly clear what’s going on here, the restrictions continue:

The academic affairs department at UC-Davis says that diversity statements from tenure-track faculty applicants should have “an accomplished track record…of teaching, research or service activities addressing the needs of African-American, Latino, Chicano, Hispanic and Native American students or communities.” Their statements must “indicate awareness” of those communities and “the negative consequences of underutilization” and “provide a clearly articulated vision” of how their work at UC-Davis would advance diversity policies.

       God (more accurately, The State) have mercy on your soul if you’ve been caught helping human beings in general, instead of focusing on Approved Minority groups which are solely deserving of attention.

       I grant that UC isn’t completely degenerate, and one person speaks up, after making the requisite virtue signals:

“As a supporter of the original goals of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, my skepticism toward this policy surprised a number of friends and colleagues,” Flier wrote this year in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

“But it is entirely inappropriate to require diversity statements in the process of appointment and promotion. Such requirements risk introducing a political litmus test into faculty hiring and reviews.”

       While the above is correct, it’s not as clear as it should be. The litmus test has been there for years, the only difference is now the school is so degenerate in its political beliefs that they now can be open in their political bias.

1  1.  By ‘degeneracy’ here I mean singularity of point of view, as opposed to ‘variety,’ although in reference to many of our political leaders, other definitions of degeneracy clearly apply.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ohio State Gets Anti-White Discrimination Lawsuit

By Professor Doom

      You needn’t sit long in an ideological class on campus or in re-education seminar before you’re told something along the lines of “you can’t be racist against white people because they have all the power.” Obviously, that “all the power” part is rubbish for anyone paying attention to politics or the world, but it’s the former I want to dispute today, with the following news which received so little coverage:

Ohio State U. faces anti-white discrimination lawsuit

      My own eyeballs, and a post or two on this blog, see anti-white discrimination to be quite blatant on many of our campuses, from job positions advertised basically as “no whites need apply,” to diversity fiefdoms with a constituency composed of strictly non-whites (this type of thing has often been shown as RACIST in the against “under-represented” minority groups many times, so turnabout should be fair), to departments where it’s very clear you simply cannot get position if you happen to white.

       Of course, raising objections to any of the previous immediately gets you branded as RACIST, and defending yourself against the charge is hopeless because it’s basically an axiom: there’s no such thing as anti-white discrimination.

      Or so they say. But you can’t exactly have a lawsuit charging a fundamentally impossible activity. That said, an accusation doesn’t mean much, what kind of case is there against Ohio State?

The suit, filed by Mary Faure in federal court Monday, claims that despite “positive performance and teaching evaluations” she was discharged from her position as director of the Engineering Technical Communications Program within the Department of Engineering Education.

     Interesting, the case is being brought forth by a female. I’d comment on the very significant anti-male discrimination on our campuses but that’d be a distraction (and, of course, something we’re also often told is impossible).

      Another digression: “Department of Engineering Education”? Why, what, how, is “Education” here? I hope they have an Engineering department at this campus so people can learn Engineering, but I can’t help but worry.

      So far, just a disgruntled employee, perhaps, taking one last swing at her employer. She’ll need more than a firing despite good evaluations. Does she have it?

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Faure alleges her boss, Monica Cox, “frequently made ‘racist statements'” and that Cox’s “racist attitude had infected her employment decisions.”

“I despise white people,” Cox allegedly told Faure at their first meeting following the former’s hiring in 2016. Faure said Cox also complained about the “many old white men” in her department and noted that one of them, whom Cox nicknamed “Colonel Sanders,” would “have to go.”

     Well, those are certainly claims of racism, far stronger than the usual crap levied at our current President. Isn’t it interesting that we have two bosses in higher ed, both female, in something that sort of sounds like engineering? 

     Our cultures gives something of a pass to people making racist statements against their own race. What race is Monica Cox?

Black female chair of Ohio State’s engineering department calls it ‘very male, very white’

     Ok, she’s black, female, and, of course head of the supposed engineering department. And she has a history of racist (and sexist) behavior. Not looking good…although again I feel the need to point how odd it is that the “leadership” of department, clearly identified as mostly white and male…doesn’t have white male leadership. Am I really so alone in noticing how consistently this happens?

     Curiously, while there are “bias response teams” on campus, this type of racism doesn’t go there, instead it goes to Human Resources (a fiefdom on campus which my own eyeballs also seem to show having some bias issues…). They laugh at her and let her know if she complains about her boss, it’ll only make things worse:

Faure reported Cox’s comments to human resources officials on multiple occasions and attempted to make a formal complaint. But the human resources director cautioned Faure against making a formal complaint, said the allegations “could come back” against Faure and that the allegations would be “your word against hers,” the lawsuit says.

      The lawsuit is all accusations and alleged and so forth…but these types of complaints need to be documented. If Faure has the documentation, and HR has magically “lost” it (I’ve seen the like a few times), that sure won’t look good for OSU.

       I’m hardly the only one to find the claims credible:

For anyone in academia, this isn't surprising at all. Anti-white, and increasingly anti-asian, attitudes are prevalent and institutionalized in hiring/promotion policies, awards, and grants. Here we have a black female professor involved in engineering education. Engineering is dominated by men and non-blacks. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this black professor is a racist and has discriminated against whites (and probably men and asians as well) in her professional decision making. It's sad that influential blacks have completely destroyed the vision and gains of the civil rights movement with their embrace of racial hatred and scapegoating.

     I reiterate that, much like the above poster, I find these claims credible not because of logic, reason, or evidence, but because I’ve seen the like multiple times with my own eyes. 

      That there is such anti-white racism at OSU, “if” there is such, is not the story here. The story is, after years of such activity on our campuses, the victims are finally not wasting their time on the internal kangaroo campus court system, and instead simply taking it to our “real” court system. We’ve seen more than enough times a university getting creamed in the real courts, because the “leaders” of the schools actually believe their own lies. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if their defense against these charges of racism summarizes to “we didn’t do it because it’s impossible to be racist against white people.”

       I hope that’s exactly what they try, as it’ll amuse me greatly when it fails greatly.


Monday, August 12, 2019

Top Computer Scientist Never Uses E-Mail

By Professor Doom

     We’re running all sorts of experiments on the human race nowadays. Widespread vaccination, widespread exposure to wireless fields, widespread exposure to pornography, and constant tests to see just how often the public will believe highly convenient suicides, among many other experiments…maybe it’s all safe and harmless, maybe, but I completely understand how some people can worry about such things.

      The list is long, but today I want to talk about one that annoys me, if not necessarily worries me: instant communication. Ten years ago, when I walked into a classroom, I would be greeted with the sound of students talking—not something to annoy me, as I rather encourage kids at college to talk to each other, make friends, form study groups, that sort of thing…just not while I’m talking at the board, of course. Sure, I’d have to spend a few seconds getting them to quiet down, but that comes with the territory.

      Nowadays, the rooms are silent when I walk in. Oh, there are still plenty of students, but now they’re all hunched over their little communication devices, texting away, and it doesn’t stop when I start class. It’s not just on campus, either, time and again I’ll be talking to a friend and I have to shut up, as the friend responds to a chirp or buzz from a phone. Too many people respond far too quickly to every little text on the phone, but I respect some altruism there: too many people stress far too much when their texts aren’t replied to, quickly.

     A precursor to the texting experiment is e-mail—same principle, and I’ve experienced many students to write e-mails to me in “txt” language…and get upset when I don’t respond in a few minutes. I’ve had days where I have 4 e-mails from the same student over the course of a half hour, wondering why I haven’t responded.

      One of the giants of computer science is Donald Knuth; his book series The Art of Computer Programming is on the bookshelf of most everyone interested in such things. How does he feel about e-mail?

Given Knuth’s renown, many people seek him out. If you’re one of those people, however, you’ll end up disappointed. On arriving at Knuth’s homemade Stanford homepage, you’ll notice that no email address is provided. If you dig deeper, you’ll eventually find a page named email.html which opens with the following statement:

“I have been a happy man ever since January 1, 1990, when I no longer had an email address. I’d used email since about 1975, and it seems to me that 15 years of email is plenty for one lifetime.”

      Now, I grant he had little choice, he was probably receiving thousands of e-mails a day even in 1990 (I get over a hundred, not counting those to my campus account). I use the delete key often and “cut and paste” to deal with those requiring a response, while he has minions to organize his “snail mail” correspondence (it may take 3 months to get a response).

       But the fact remains: he realized that all the near-instant communication was sucking up too much of his time, and walked away from it nearly 30 years ago. Of course, he can walk away from it…it’s not an option for most of us.

…. In 2014, the Boise State anthropologist John Ziker released the results of a faculty time-use study, which found that the average professor spent a little over 60 hours a week working, with 30 percent of that time dedicated to email and meetings. Anecdotal reports hint that this allocation has only gotten worse over the past five years. “The days of the ivory tower are a distant memory,” concludes Ziker, and many burnt-out professors agree.

      Wow, 18 hours a week on “e-mails and meetings.” I’ve had my share of “e-mail meetings” so I can accept these two time-suckers being lumped together. It can get quite onerous: at the community college of less than a thousand students, I had 4 people above me in the chain of command (and 4 more off campus), and so every day I’d get “important” e-mails from on high. Mostly it was my bosses congratulating each other on awarding each other trips or Excellence Awards, and I could safely ignore those, but when it came time for a student complaint? I’d easily get three different e-mails from three different bosses asking me to explain myself.

      While I’m a very fast writer, my replies to such would take forever to compose: every word or stray punctuation mark might be used against me, so I had to be curt (but not too curt!) and informative (but not too informative!). E-mails are a permanent record, you see, leaving a paper trail (heh) which could easily be incriminatory.

      I sure think we need to be less communication-intensive in general. I know the corporate world thinks otherwise, but the article I cited above makes a case for campus to be different.

First, universities have more freedom to experiment than a business struggling in a competitive market. Georgetown University, where I work, has been around since the time of George Washington (you can still see the steps where this founding father once gave a speech on campus): It’s unlikely that after two centuries our downfall will be experimenting with email norms. The academy should leverage this durability to take the lead in exploring how to preserve the value of focused thought in a society overwhelmed by distraction.


      Constantly having to respond to e-mail, and respond quickly, makes it impossible to focus thought, at least for some. Scholars are supposed to be all about the thinking…I think this is a little overblown and bottom line, if severely curtailing e-mail is a good thing for academics, it’s almost certainly a good thing for everyone else. We’re not that weird, after all.

Second, by prioritizing deep work universities would get better at their primary tasks of research and pedagogy. Producing and organizing complex knowledge requires uninterrupted concentration — the more time you have to focus, the better the work you produce. Switching from Task A (say, preparing a course lecture) to Task B (say, responding to “urgent” emails) can significantly reduce your cognitive capacity — essentially making you artificially dumber. Professors are increasingly buffeted by a relentless tide of digital disruptions and onerous administrative demands.


     Again, I think the author missing something here. We could curtail e-mail by thinning the herd of the administrative caste; we have considerably more administrators and support for admin than we have faculty on campus. Cull the admin and I bet those onerous administrative demands will reduce as well.

Finally, a reorganization of academic life to support careful thought and sustained attention would produce benefits that extend well beyond the campus. It would allow higher education to proudly present itself as the last bastion of focus in a distracted world…

     While the author is lecturing us from his high horse, he’s neglected to realize an important obstacle here. At the end of the year, admin presents all those e-mails they send as part of their justification for their job, so I suspect there’d be some pushback.

     Ignoring the legion of $150,000 a year administrators blocking the way, he does describe how we might restructure our campus for less e-mail:

What concrete changes are needed to create a Donald Knuth-style academic culture? I propose two starting points: a return to intellectual specialization, and an overhaul of the way we structure faculty service obligations.


     By intellectual specialization, he means letting faculty focus on teaching and research (hey, I’ve proposed as much, myself), and less on jumping through administrative hoops like indoctrination camp. So, yes, that’s a good idea. About that legion…

Imagine if when you first arrive on campus, instead of being shown how to configure your email inbox or access the university IT systems, you’re introduced to the assistant who will handle most of that for you.

      The author points out Knuth has a full time assistant to handle all the other stuff, and actually proposes all faculty get the same. I have to laugh—the counter to faculty spending too much time dealing with the excessive administrators and staff is to give faculty their own staff to deal with the surplus staff already on campus! Brilliant! I suppose it might work but I still think decimating that legion at least nine times over would be a better solution.

In short, we’re already paying a price for the proliferation of ceaseless communication and administrative busywork. The question is whether we’re finally ready to admit it and have an honest discussion about whether it’s worth it. 

     Dude’s a little out of touch here, as our soaring tuition and slow exodus of students from campus to, well, anything else, says what we’re currently doing isn’t worth it. He’s clearly a bit behind the times.

      And that’s rather the message: scholars picked up years ago that “instant communication” via e-mail was a deadly time-consuming trap. Now that “instant” is now even faster on our phones, I do advise the gentle reader:

     Put down the phones, you don’t need to read those texts the instant they come in…and you certainly don’t have to respond. And for God’s sake, if someone’s talking to you in person, let that communication take top priority over anything the electronic device has to say.