15 June 2011

Peeking Inside The Ivory Tower

I've been criticized here on a number of occasions by other bloggers for my frequent criticism of academia. One infamous CW blogger claimed I had no right to criticize since I was an "outsider." This same blogger often criticizes the Sons of Confederate Veterans, though he is an outsider to that organization. The same can be said of those who criticize the Tea Party - they're outsiders. I suppose being an outsider in these cases are ok. What's good for the goose . . . ?

In any event, one insider has given us some reason why those on the inside of academia don't like scrutiny and criticism. Academic insider, Dr. Ronald L. Trowbridge, who is a former vice president of Hillsdale College, posted a rather scathing indictment of certain academics today at BigGovernment.com. Trowbridge's comments center around a battle raging in Texas over more transparency regarding colleges and universities, as well as a recent study on the productivity (accountability) of faculty. Here are a few choice excerpts from Trowbridge's piece:

  • A firestorm now rages in Texas over transparency and accountability in higher education. Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Public Policy Foundation have encouraged regents to peek inside the ivory towers, and the universities are responding. History argues that we must peek.
  • “Four-year graduation rates at Texas institutions of higher education currently average just 28.6 percent.”
  • “academic presses now publish books selling fewer than 300 copies,” and he quotes a humanities editor as saying that “the demands of productivity are leading to the production of much more nonsense.”
  • The Economist reports that “senior professors in Ivy League universities now get sabbaticals every third year rather than every seventh. This year, 20 of Harvard’s history professors will be on leave.” Perhaps one reason universities may not want regents to peek inside the ivory tower is that it’s somewhat empty . . .
You can read the complete piece here.

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