Search This Blog

Monday, August 4, 2008

on stupidity

here is an interesting editorial in the Chronicle of Education that was passed on to me:
On Stupidity.

1 comment:

Diogenes said...

Thank you, Lawrence, for recommending this provocative essay. The author concludes after citing many recent book publications that “We need to reverse the customer-service mentality that goes hand-in-hand with the transformation of most college teaching into a part-time, transient occupation and the absence of any reliable assessment of course outcomes besides student evaluations.” Motivated by this conclusion I recommend moving to the top of our reading lists a book authored by Robert Zemsky (with others) titled Remaking the American University: Market-Smart and Mission-Centered (2005). Read more about this book here:

Dr. Zemsky is described in this Amazon blurb as “the chair of The Learning Alliance.” The Learning Alliance is the outside consulting firm hired by the Jacobs administration to evaluate our A&S College during the next few months. Here is mention of the arrangement in the June BOT minutes:

“Dr. Jacobs provided the Trustees with a status report on the College of Arts & Sciences. He and several others, including Board of Trustees Chair Stansley, traveled to Philadelphia on June 4 to meet with the Learning Alliance to outline the scope and direction for planning a strategic assessment of the College. The assessment is scheduled to begin early fall 2008 and completed around February 1, 2009.”

I suggest that A&S students, faculty and alumni, as well as everyone else on the UT campus, read the Zemsky book immediately and begin to discuss its contents and implications in formal and informal forums prior to the visit of the Learning Alliance consulting team. Concerned A&S students, faculty, staff and alumni should be prepared to engage the consultants with hard questions, since the book offers valuable insights into their disturbing agenda (which unsurprisingly jibs with President Jacobs’ “Directions” planning document already being implemented throughout the UT campus).