via WSJ: Putting a Price on Professors

Here’s another account of the A&M accountability system, this time from the WSJ.

A 265-page spreadsheet, released last month by the chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, amounted to a profit-and-loss statement for each faculty member, weighing annual salary against students taught, tuition generated, and research grants obtained.

So what would be the impact of such initiatives be on instruction on campus , if such statements began to determine the curriculum available to studetnts at the undergraduate and graduate levels?



2 Comments on “via WSJ: Putting a Price on Professors”

  1. Peter Gingiss says:

    The most immediate impact would be on class size. The quality of instruction would be affected in that more evaluation would be objective questions, as opposed to essays. Those most in the line of fire would be on professors who have been at UH for a while and whose salaries are higher than new instructors. Of course, professors in the sciences can get big grants. Last I looked, the National Science Foundation was not handing out million dollar grants for Chaucer studies.

  2. Dave Mazella says:

    Hi Pete, the spreadsheet approach seems to demand larger class sizes in both humanities and science fields, though they may be “excused” in the sciences if the lecturer already has big grants. So huge parts of the curriculum are predefined as “losers,” even if their enrollments are being used to feed the cash-hungry science fields. Research disappears as an expectation for all but a few fields.

    The distinction between graduate and undergrad teaching also disappears. Overall, I find the proposals at odds with the organization of almost any comprehensive research university. It sounds essentially like a technical school or agricultural college approach.

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