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Bloggingheads 09-06-2011 01:01 AM

The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 

Stapler Malone 09-06-2011 01:51 AM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Interesting what low regard Prof. Ginsberg holds for the people who mail his paychecks, manage his health care, stock his textbooks, recruit his customers, disburse scholarships to subsidize his sales, and maintain his office in that ivory skyscraper he seems to be recording a Bloggingheads from in the middle of the afternoon on a workday. Buncha parasites.

And yet:
Quote:

Most college and university administrators have a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in their field of academic interest. Academic deans need a Ph.D. and many years of experience in their field. Lower-level administrators, such as financial aid administrators or registrars, usually have at least a master's degree. Smaller schools may hire administrators who have only a bachelor's degree. Some administrators have a degree in higher education administration.
So administrators are very highly-educated (read: purchase lots of Prof. Ginsberg's services), but they are idiots. All of them. Should be summarily fired because Prof Ginsberg considers them bad at their jobs, which are unworthy careers anyway. Of course he knows best how they should do their jobs, because he has been in a single non-administrative profession for the past 45 years. This is why dentists always give the best accounting advice.

But tenure needs to exist because academics "work hard," unlike everyone else who is lazy and undeserving. This is how it's possible for a political scientist to find the time to write a whole book of preening self-regard about how awful it is to coexist with the unwashed & untenured and how venal everyone around him is. Grand.

Whose fault could it be that administrators are so insufferably stupid?
http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/7281/adminszl.jpg

rcocean 09-06-2011 01:52 AM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
An excellent diavlog. However, it should be remembered that to many the high cost of a college degree isn't a negative - its a positive. Cost is a barrier to a college degree, and the harder to get the degree the more valuable it is. And if you're a doctor, lawyer, MBA, etc. the last thing you want is to make it easier for people to enter your field. So, there's a weird dynamic whereby lots of people don't care how expensive it is.

Another function of college is to keep verbally sharp people employed, as opposed to say leading revolutions or causing unrest. If the Czar had been able to give Lenin and Stalin tenure at Moscow U who knows how things would've turned out

But I can't disagree with the main point about the waste and inefficiency in higher education. Anyone who's been in the 'real world' after college has to marvel at the laziness and general goofiness of most of the tenured faculty.

Starwatcher162536 09-06-2011 02:01 AM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/385...6:25&out=27:14

We could probably also get rid of every third professor without anyone noticing. At least undergraduate students. Student study groups, TA's, Wikipedia, various online forums, & Khan Academy were all measurably more important to me then the professors.

harkin 09-06-2011 03:00 AM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stapler Malone (Post 224735)
Interesting what low regard Prof. Ginsberg has for the people who mail his pay-checks, manage his health care, stock his textbooks, recruit his customers, disburse scholarships to subsidize the service he sells, and maintain his office in that ivory skyscraper he seems to be recording a Bloggingheads from in the middle of the afternoon on a workday.........
So these people have a much higher education level (read: purchase more of Prof. Ginsberg's services) than the average person, but they are idiots. All of them. Should be summarily fired because he considers their careers unworthy and them to be bad at their jobs. Of course he knows best how they should do their jobs, because he has been in one single, totally distinct profession for the past 45 years, you see. This is why dentists always give the best accounting advice......

.......But tenure needs to exist because academics "work hard," unlike everyone else who is lazy and undeserving. This is how it's possible for a political scientist to find the time to write a whole book full of preening self-regard about how awful it is to coexist with the unwashed & untenured and how venal everyone around him is. Grand.

I heard him saying something different. To me he was saying he wasn't telling them how to " mail his pay-checks, manage his health care, stock his textbooks, recruit his customers, disburse scholarships to subsidize the service he sells, and maintain his office" so they shouldn't tell him how to teach. Still, there must be a department head or university provost to make a correction if a tenured prof has dropped to substandard performance.

The story about the "this is a happy campus" administrator really says it all. I've met products of those type of schools. Their parents should demand a refund.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Starwatcher
We could probably also get rid of every third professor without anyone noticing. At least undergraduate students. Student study groups, TA's, Wikipedia, various online forums, & Khan Academy were all measurably more important to me then the professors.

I come from a time and place where my professors (except for the really bad ones), the assigned text, the library and my accumulated knowledge were by far the most important factors. I did belong to some study groups but I seemed to do just as well on my own, which I usually had to do because I worked my way through school.

Also, I recently read an article that stated that the number of university administrators (per student) had grown by about 40% over the last 20 years while the number of employees involved in instruction had remained static. To me that says that students would notice the loss of 33% of admins a lot less than that of instructors.

Hume's Bastard 09-06-2011 03:57 AM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
I recall similar debates in the 1980s about the relative virtues of a vocational vs a liberal arts education.And, as then, it comes down to an evaluative standard. At the secondary level, test scores are an easy way to quantify results in a globalized field. Profit, I assume, plays a similarly convenient role at the tertiary level. Tenured faculty, junior faculty, admins, alumni, etc. all could have their own standards and profit would still win out. BTW, what do alumni do anymore. I thought the idea was for alumni to become successful and then give money back to the alma mater.

Stapler Malone 09-06-2011 11:37 AM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 224746)
I heard him saying something different..

Maybe when he complains about their meddling in his syllabus, but he doesn't just stop there. When he says that every third administrator should be fired, he basically is saying "You guys sod off. My faculty buddies and I can handle the hiring of security guards and the financing of the new library wing. Can't be that difficult... we are, after all, tenured."

Then when he says all administrators are dumb as rocks, and we refer back to the abnormally high educational attainment levels among that population... You know where this is going. I don't think Prof Ginsberg's "admins don't accomplish anything as far as I can see so they should all go hang" reasoning is a precedent he really wants to set.

harkin 09-06-2011 12:08 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stapler Malone (Post 224762)
Maybe when he complains about their meddling in his syllabus, but he doesn't just stop there. When he says that every third administrator should be fired, he basically is saying "You guys sod off. My faculty buddies and I can handle the hiring of security guards and the financing of the new library wing.

Maybe he is just one of those lone professors who actually gets it. Universities in CA are going berserk and blaming conservatives because there isn't enough cash coming in from the taxpayers. Do you see anywhere in the positions and their supporting staff below at UC San Diego where cuts could be made without harming academics and still ensuring that libraries get financed and security guards get hired?

"The Chancellorís Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Womenís Center."


Quote:

Then when he says all administrators are dumb as rocks, and we refer back to the abnormally high educational attainment levels among that population...
In the old days admin positions at colleges were usually covered by teaching personnel who were at least familiar with the needs of their students and departments. All those degrees and years of training cited earlier seem to be targeted at creating an abnormally high amount of useless politically-correct administration at the expense of the actual purpose of the institution.

Florian 09-06-2011 12:24 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Too many overpaid parasites in university administration who know nothing about education? Yes no doubt, but the professors who neglect teaching so that they can do research and write unreadable and often unnecessary books in order to win tenure also bear some responsibility for the sad state of American higher education. During the height of the financial mania something like 50% of Harvard undergraduates aspired to go to work on Wall Street. So much for the virtues of an expensive liberal education.

I would have been more sympathetic to Ginsberg's complaints about proliferating administrators if he had been less complacent about the American system of tenure.

ohreally 09-06-2011 02:09 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Ginsberg is spot on. He's right about the pullulation of administrative lilliputians and the corrupting influence of money. I'd go further than him, actually, and remove the tax exempt status of richly endowed schools. But Florian is right, too. Education at top universities is subpar -- training robots headed for Wall St. At Harvard, which he knows well (and I do, too), it's an embarrassment: great researchers, smart ugrads, and the education quality of a fancy finishing school.

But there are two points I didn't hear being addressed.

1. There is no such thing as a private research university in the US. Princeton, for example, relies on government funds to a greater extent than the NJ state university system. So who is private and who is public? All the ivies should be treated as semi-public entities.

2. While this country is fast becoming a giant swamp of waste and mediocrity, America's research universities are just about the only thing left in this country that the world still admires. And for good reasons. Of course the products we admire have a lag time, and so that only tell us that universities were great 30 years ago. Are they still so great now? I am not so sure. I think Europe and China are rapidly catching up.

osmium 09-06-2011 02:35 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
I am an adjunct prof, teaching mostly transport phenomena. For my first year of teaching, if you worked out the math I probably made far, far below minimum wage at that job. Classes you have taught before become exponentially easier as the years go by though, so perseverance allows you to recoup that loss eventually.

A tenure track job is of course what I want, but honestly I could care less about tenure. What I really want is a PI-level job, but they are largely interchangeable in the current environment. But it's not unfireability I ultimately want--rather I just want to drive the ideas I have myself. If some responsible person responsibly decides I'm not effective I have no fear of being let go. However, I wonder if someone on the tenure track would tell me I'm naive.

miceelf 09-06-2011 02:38 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 224766)
2. While this country is fast becoming a giant swamp of waste and mediocrity, America's research universities are just about the only thing left in this country that the world still admires. And for good reasons. Of course the products we admire have a lag time, and so that only tell us that universities were great 30 years ago. Are they still so great now? I am not so sure. I think Europe and China are rapidly catching up.

I would also add that unlike most other areas, there's still at least some semblance of a meritocracy in academics. Publications are easy to measure and generally a good indicator of work and value. And whatever problems exist with teaching assessments at the university level, they make more sense there than anywhere else.

bkjazfan 09-06-2011 02:57 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Awhile back there was one gutsy Los Angeles Unified School District teacher in North Hollywood who said that he gained tenure without be monitored, evaluated, or any other criteria that is used for gaining it - not even for a nanosecond. His claim was never disputed by anyone in authority.

Perusing the article that dealt with this issue from an investigative piece by the L.A. Times where they found tenure is often given to those with no to minimum evaluation by those in administration - "the reviews are so lacking in rigor as to be meaningless, many instructors say."

BornAgainDemocrat 09-06-2011 03:32 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Great discussion, important issues.

1. Problem: Vocational ed (how to fix your car) at liberal arts universities. Solution: these are -- or, rather, should be -- high school courses. American high schools shirk their responsibility to teach basic industrial arts, the result being that most of their graduates are unequipped to make a living in this world. Vocational courses are stigmatizing, academic course are not? Ok, make vocational courses mandatory for all students, academic courses optional. Everybody needs to know how to cook, deal with electricity and basic plumbing, and above all everybody needs to know what hard physical labor is that they might respect it. The dignity of labor in a democratic society is a must.

2. Problem: The core curriculum has disappeared, replaced by electives and a commitment to teach students "how to think critically." The latter is pure bullshit of course. How can you think critically if you are an ignoramus. The focus of higher education (outside the hard sciences) needs to shift from research to transmission: transmission of knowledge of facts. Which facts? The facts of history, literature, science primarily. I went to a liberal arts college with a one star faculty, a two star student body, and a three star curriculum. That's when I learned that institutions are greater than the people who are in them at a particular moment in time. They embody the wisdom of the founders.

3. Problem: Our universities are entrenched, immune to reform, exorbitantly expensive. Answer: revolt of the parents in the new age of austerity. We have a lot of billionaires and multi-billionaires nowadays. Instead of endowing a new building on the Harvard or Yale campus, why not shoot for true immortality: endow a new liberal arts college with a strong core curriculum and a low administration to faculty ratio.

[Speaking of faculty reluctance to take on the details of administrative responsibility, I will never forget a visit my wife and I once paid to the master of Trinity College at Cambridge University. It was a purely social call, made possible by a close friend who was herself a close friend. During the course of the afternoon the master of the college was dealing with some of the details of managing a large farm that belonged to Trinity as part of its ancient endowment. He and the farm overseer were discussing the minutae of live stock, crops, pasturage, etc. That business didn't stop him from winning a Nobel Prize in physiology however. Take that, Harvard!]

4. Problem: without a degree -- preferably from an elite college -- it is impossible to land a good job at a big corporation. Answer: reintroduce aptitude tests as an allowable part of the employment application process. For the past 40 years or so it has been illegal for employers to administer IQ tests on the grounds of disparate impact. So instead employers use college degrees as a proxy for brains. If you were smart enough to get into Harvard you must have had a high SAT score. Therefore you are smart. That means somebody had to spend $200,000 dollars to prove something that could have been revealed with a $10 test. We can't afford that shit anymore!

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head.

badhatharry 09-06-2011 03:59 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 224773)
1. Problem: Vocational ed (how to fix your car) at liberal arts universities. Solution: these are -- or, rather, should be -- high school courses. American high schools shirk their responsibility to teach basic industrial arts, the result being that most of their graduates are unequipped to make a living in this world. Vocational courses are stigmatizing, academic course are not? Ok, make vocational courses mandatory for all students, academic courses optional. Everybody needs to know how to cook, deal with electricity and basic plumbing, and above all everybody needs to know what hard physical labor is that they might respect it. The dignity of labor in a democratic society is a must.

The last time I looked they weren't even training industrial arts teachers. Maybe somewhere but the programs are certainly not as prevalent as they once were. I wonder how many societal problems would be addressed if our youth spent their weekends working on their cars or building bookcases. Silly, huh?

Quote:

If the 20-year enrollment trend illustrated in Figure 1 continues, the demise of the profession will occur near the year 2005. It is therefore hoped the findings and implications presented serve as a catalyst for more discussion on the health and direction of post-secondary industrial arts/technology education programs. With the continued decline in technology educators being prepared and the changing emphasis in program options, the very survival of the profession is at stake.

sugarkang 09-06-2011 04:01 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 224773)

4. Problem: without a degree -- preferably from an elite college -- it is impossible to land a good job at a big corporation. Answer: reintroduce aptitude tests as an allowable part of the employment application process. For the past 40 years or so it has been illegal for employers to administer IQ tests on the grounds of disparate impact. So instead employers use college degrees as a proxy for brains. If you were smart enough to get into Harvard you must have had a high SAT score. Therefore you are smart. That means somebody had to spend $200,000 dollars to prove something that could have been revealed with a $10 test.

You touched on the main problem with the current education model. College degrees amount to nothing more than signaling for employers and there's a much cheaper way to get around this. However, a $10 IQ test wouldn't exactly tell you that much. I'd like the country to move toward your suggestion, but not ultimately end up there.

We could save a lot of money if the government could facilitate, but not control, the creation of college equivalent degrees. We need GEDs for college that have a point score attached.

If these alternate degrees are very well designed, the cost of education would go down significantly. College debt is destroying our children. These kids are graduating with an equivalent of a house mortgage and no job to go to. Only, you can declare bankruptcy and start over with an actual home mortgage; college debt follows you around for life, like herpes.

bkjazfan 09-06-2011 04:12 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
I want to work for Steve Jobs: he employs 12,000 in the U.S. and 300,000 in China. While majoring in electronic engineering make sure your minor is Chinese.

miceelf 09-06-2011 04:13 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bkjazfan (Post 224770)
Awhile back there was one gutsy Los Angeles Unified School District teacher in North Hollywood who said that he gained tenure without be monitored, evaluated, or any other criteria that is used for gaining it - not even for a nanosecond. His claim was never disputed by anyone in authority.

Perusing the article that dealt with this issue from an investigative piece by the L.A. Times where they found tenure is often given to those with no to minimum evaluation by those in administration - "the reviews are so lacking in rigor as to be meaningless, many instructors say."

You are talking about secondary school, right? Cause I wasn't. I was talking about universities. Comparing tenure in school districts to tenure in universities is hard to justfiy. Wasn't this diavlog mainly about universities?

miceelf 09-06-2011 04:16 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 224773)
reintroduce aptitude tests as an allowable part of the employment application process. For the past 40 years or so it has been illegal for employers to administer IQ tests on the grounds of disparate impact.

Which do you want- aptitude tests or IQ tests?

badhatharry 09-06-2011 04:17 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 224776)
You touched on the main problem with the current education model. College degrees amount to nothing more than signaling for employers and there's a much cheaper way to get around this. However, a $10 IQ test wouldn't exactly tell you that much. I'd like the country to move toward your suggestion, but not ultimately end up there.

We could save a lot of money if the government could facilitate, but not control, the creation of college equivalent degrees. We need GEDs for college that have a point score attached.

Universities live off the demand for college graduates. They are not likely to do anything to change the status quo. They are delighted with the situation that requires a four year diploma to get an entry level job as a receptionist. Everyone has bought into the idea that if you have manged to soldier through four years of college you are way better than the guy who didn't. It's the new weeding out process for employment but a ridiculously expensive one.

And then there is the market for advanced degrees...

miceelf 09-06-2011 04:18 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 224775)
The last time I looked they weren't even training industrial arts teachers. Maybe somewhere but the programs are certainly not as prevalent as they once were. I wonder how many societal problems would be addressed if our youth spent their weekends working on their cars or building bookcases. Silly, huh?

Thanks to no child left behind, schools and school administrators get exactly zero credit for teaching industrial arts. In fact, with a tight budget, it's actually in their interest not to devote any resources to such things, given that they will stay open or not based on the amount of time they spend teaching things other than industrial arts.

graz 09-06-2011 04:22 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 224775)
I wonder how many societal problems would be addressed if our youth spent their weekends working on their cars or building bookcases. Silly, huh?

Yes, especially the part where you assume automobile ownership. To say nothing of the tools, materials and money required to build bookshelves in homes that haven't any books.

bkjazfan 09-06-2011 04:27 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 224779)
You are talking about secondary school, right? Cause I wasn't. I was talking about universities. Comparing tenure in school districts to tenure in universities is hard to justfiy. Wasn't this diavlog mainly about universities?

I wasn't responding to anything you said and if I hit the reply button on your post I apologize. I have limited knowledge or experience in higher education but did go to high school.

miceelf 09-06-2011 04:31 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bkjazfan (Post 224786)
I wasn't responding to anything you said and if I hit the reply button on your post I apologize. I have limited knowledge or experience in higher education but did go to high school.

Without quotes, I have trouble following who said what to who. So it may have been my bad.

bkjazfan 09-06-2011 04:34 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 224788)
Without quotes, I have trouble following who said what to who. So it may have been my bad.

No problem.

sugarkang 09-06-2011 04:56 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 224781)
Universities live off the demand for college graduates. They are not likely to do anything to change the status quo. They are delighted with the situation that requires a four year diploma to get an entry level job as a receptionist. Everyone has bought into the idea that if you have manged to soldier through four years of college you are way better than the guy who didn't. It's the new weeding out process for employment but a ridiculously expensive one.

And then there is the market for advanced degrees...

Right. Which is why the creation of equivalents tests would have to be facilitated by the government. But before we get to my idea of college equivalency tests, the market for this sort of thing needs to be created. The only way I see that happening is if you create the tests that employers actually find useful.

You must create the demand side first.

If employers use it, people will start studying for it. Once a testing regime is in place, you can start doing equivalency for college degrees or even by subject. Nobody actually cares that you went to Harvard. This wouldn't dismantle the university system, but it would make actual education a lot cheaper and force universities to evolve.

whburgess 09-06-2011 05:36 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 224781)
Everyone has bought into the idea that if you have manged to soldier through four years of college you are way better than the guy who didn't. It's the new weeding out process for employment but a ridiculously expensive one.
...

This is a good point. But I don't blame people for buying into this idea. It may not be the best approach in all cases, but as an employer, I would certainly respect someone who showed the discipline and initiative to attend and finish college more then someone who didn't. And I'm a person who dropped out of college after getting my 2 year AA.

Which brings me to SugarKangs IQ test idea. I've been an employer. While a certain level of aptitude is necessary, after that IQ is much less important then conscientiousness regarding quality and productivity, ability get along with others, reliability, and initiative.

sugarkang 09-06-2011 05:52 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 224799)
Which brings me to SugarKangs IQ test idea. I've been an employer. While a certain level of aptitude is necessary, after that IQ is much less important then conscientiousness regarding quality and productivity, ability get along with others, reliability, and initiative.

You've named some important shortcomings of testing, but a college degree doesn't help in those matters, either. Being a good employee might best be determined by previous employment. Still, you won't know until the guy works for you for a while.

Sulla the Dictator 09-06-2011 05:56 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 224793)
Right. Which is why the creation of equivalents tests would have to be facilitated by the government. But before we get to my idea of college equivalency tests, the market for this sort of thing needs to be created. The only way I see that happening is if you create the tests that employers actually find useful.

You must create the demand side first.

If employers use it, people will start studying for it. Once a testing regime is in place, you can start doing equivalency for college degrees or even by subject. Nobody actually cares that you went to Harvard. This wouldn't dismantle the university system, but it would make actual education a lot cheaper and force universities to evolve.

You'd have to reverse Griggs v. Duke Power in order to do it.

badhatharry 09-06-2011 06:11 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 224799)
This is a good point. But I don't blame people for buying into this idea. It may not be the best approach in all cases, but as an employer, I would certainly respect someone who showed the discipline and initiative to attend and finish college more then someone who didn't. And I'm a person who dropped out of college after getting my 2 year AA.

But this is only because it's become the norm. It puts the average American, who would otherwise be uninterested in higher education in the position of having to go to college and take on huge loans just to get a low level job. This makes no sense economically. I'm not saying this has got to change!
I'm just saying that the thing has evolved to the point of absurdity.

badhatharry 09-06-2011 06:12 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 224810)
You've named some important shortcomings of testing, but a college degree doesn't help in those matters, either. Being a good employee might best be determined by previous employment. Still, you won't know until the guy works for you for a while.

Bring back apprenticeship!

whburgess 09-06-2011 07:26 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 224824)
But this is only because it's become the norm. It puts the average American, who would otherwise be uninterested in higher education in the position of having to go to college and take on huge loans just to get a low level job. This makes no sense economically. I'm not saying this has got to change!
I'm just saying that the thing has evolved to the point of absurdity.

I understand what you are saying. When you have a choice between someone who has shown initiative by completing college, and someone who hasn't, the common sense move is to favor the one who has completed college. This only reinforces the competitive advantage and incentive in going to college. A sort of vicious cycle.

sugarkang 09-06-2011 07:29 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 224812)
You'd have to reverse Griggs v. Duke Power in order to do it.

Sorry, I wasn't clear about rejecting the IQ test. I don't support IQ testing for employment. I only want an alternative to costly college diplomas.

sugarkang 09-06-2011 07:31 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 224825)
Bring back apprenticeship!

Maybe you could be more specific with what you'd like to see.

ohreally 09-06-2011 08:18 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by osmium (Post 224767)
I am an adjunct prof, teaching mostly transport phenomena. For my first year of teaching, if you worked out the math I probably made far, far below minimum wage at that job.

That's another thing that drives me nuts: filling college campuses with less-than-worthless admins and passing on the cost to adjuncts, who end up being treated like slave labor, with shitty pay, no benefits, etc. And it's gotten considerably worse in recent years. Utterly disgraceful.

BornAgainDemocrat 09-06-2011 08:23 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 224780)
Which do you want- aptitude tests or IQ tests?

Well, if there is a difference, aptitude -- in fact deep six IQ, horrible word. So you make a good point. thanks,

badhatharry 09-06-2011 08:44 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 224858)
Maybe you could be more specific with what you'd like to see.

I'd like to see more on the job training in exchange, of course, for lower pay. That's what the unions used to do and maybe they still do. Union apprenticeships used to be a joint effort between the employers and the union. Apprentices went to school, say, one day a week and worked the other four.

There were basic aptitude tests to get into the program but no actual skills besides general education were required.

sugarkang 09-06-2011 09:04 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 224867)
I'd like to see more on the job training in exchange, of course, for lower pay. That's what the unions used to do and maybe they still do. Union apprenticeships used to be a joint effort between the employers and the union. Apprentices went to school, say, one day a week and worked the other four.

There were basic aptitude tests to get into the program but no actual skills besides general education were required.


That sounds like a good idea, but I don't know what would be involved. I know there are some community colleges that form programs with local businesses to do that sort of thing. I like this a lot. Structural unemployment is and will continue to be a big problem as our society moves away from manual, unskilled labor.

If the government can get out of the business of creating government jobs and get in the business of making it easier for private businesses to form, then that's a good thing.

badhatharry 09-06-2011 10:03 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 224869)
That sounds like a good idea, but I don't know what would be involved. I know there are some community colleges that form programs with local businesses to do that sort of thing. I like this a lot. Structural unemployment is and will continue to be a big problem as our society moves away from manual, unskilled labor.

If the government can get out of the business of creating government jobs and get in the business of making it easier for private businesses to form, then that's a good thing.

Is there anything to say that the structural unemployment we are experiencing today is any worse than any other time when the means of production underwent a change? I suppose that we have a global economy and all kinds of third world countries happy to make our stuff makes this time unique. But haven't we always found a way to adapt?
Is there a reason to think we won't dig ourselves out of this?

sugarkang 09-06-2011 10:24 PM

Re: The Faculty (Benjamin Ginsberg & Naomi Schaefer Riley)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 224878)
Is there anything to say that the structural unemployment we are experiencing today is any worse than any other time when the means of production underwent a change?

It's possible that this time is different. It's always been the case that uneducated, unskilled people could trade their labor for a decent standard of living. We might be nearing the point where being unskilled is the equivalent of being unemployable. I don't think it's likely, though.

Quote:

I suppose that we have a global economy and all kinds of third world countries happy to make our stuff makes this time unique. But haven't we always found a way to adapt? Is there a reason to think we won't dig ourselves out of this?
Maybe we need to be clear on what you mean by adapt or dig ourselves out. I think our problems are psychological, not material. I mean, historically speaking, things that I consider to be "tough times" would be something like the Irish Potato Famine. A million people died because one single, solitary crop failed. We had a huge tomato failure a few months back and people were like, "Meh."


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