Daily Notes on Literature, Pop Culture & Media, and Academia

Posts Tagged ‘Chronicle of Higher Education’

On Being a Paranoid Graduate Student

Posted by litdaily on April 27, 2011

The Chronicle recently published an article on paranoia and graduate study…>>

Even though the article minimizes the paranoia that students feel (in some way) by putting the burden on the grad student, I think it’s important to realize that “paranoia” is built into the system and is above all, destructive to academic work.  Maybe removing tenure, in other words, god-complexes that feed off graduate student paranoia, the system will place value on graduate student work rather than unproductive judgments that aim to minimize their contribution to higher education.


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Second Tier Universities – If Academia Ranks, Why Shouldn’t Corporate?

Posted by litdaily on January 21, 2011

In The Chronicle of Higher Education, an article titled, “Brown and Cornell are Second Tier” discusses the elite companies’ desire to recruit from the best universities.  Apparently, even Brown and Cornell don’t cut it…>>

Of course, it’s a “culture insanely obsessed with pedigree” and the Chronicle shouldn’t have to look too far away from higher education to make this claim.  If academia rolls with the same ideology, why shouldn’t corporate? Why wouldn’t investment banking firms and top notch consulting companies look for students at Harvard and Yale when our university systems functions entirely the same way.

It’s almost impossible to get a job in academics (at least in the humanities) without attending one of the elite universities. Yes, you may have to sell a liver, a couple of eggs, and donate your body to science in order to make the high tuition rates, but you’ll get a job so that the ten years you spend on your PhD will actually translate into a career.

It’s too easy to critique corporate culture.  It’s about time higher education publications interrogated the underside, the business of, academia.

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Workplace Culture in Academia

Posted by litdaily on January 18, 2011

Earlier this week, The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on faculty members requesting time off after having a baby. Mary Ann Mason reports, in the article, that University of California at Berkeley has instituted family-friendly programs for faculty members who need relief from teaching duties or extensions in time-to-tenure…more>>

This article is certainly hopeful that Berkeley has been and will continue to be a family friendly academic environment. However, the picture it paints is skewed.  Berkeley constitutes very few of the tenure-track professors, graduate students, and adjunct faculty members that flood higher education today. Many new parents in these roles struggle with the demands of academia alongside raising a family without much economic support or professional support. While in the private sector, many companies offer childcare on site (along with larger sums of compensation for labor), academia still sees parenting and a family as detrimental to achieving scholarly success.

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The New Doctoral Rankings

Posted by litdaily on September 30, 2010

The National Research Council has issued its doctoral program rankings, which carry an incredible amount of weight and authority in the lives of prospective and current graduate students.  The rankings can be checked on the Chronicle of Higher Education website…>>

One reviewer of the results, Mark Bauerlein, asserts that there are two problems or “dubious measures of the quality of research” with the rankings: Diversity of the academic environment and faculty output (measuring quantity instead of quality)…more>>

On both counts, Bauerlein seems to be right on the mark.  It’s important to know how diverse departments are, especially if you don’t belong to the dominant group. The rankings, however, only take into account underrepresented, non-Asian groups and females.  This is highly problematic in the humanities where Asians, male and female, are often far and few in-between and lack majority or minority representation. Faculty output, similarly, should be measured differently across departments. In social sciences, the production of work is much different than fields like English where research is drawn from many other fields.

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