the academy

Mark Taylor, the chairman of the religion department at Columbia, has written an op-ed piece in the NY Times calling, more or less, for an end to graduate studies as we know them. Citing some well known problems ("It is simply cheaper to provide graduate students with modest stipends and adjuncts with as little as $5,000 a course with no benefits than it is to hire full-time professors"), he suggests what it sounds like is a 'liberal arts Ph.D.', and goes further, calling for an end to both traditional academic departments and the traditional dissertation. The opinion-o-sphere has reacted to his proposals, and Geeky Mom has an overview that links some of the major players.

Me? I think the academy could use a good solid shake up. Abolishing tenure would be a nice start. The down side of that is the possibility of the chilling effect it might have on teaching and/or researching certain unpopular topics, and of course the race to the bottom that would occur in wage levels.

Nikki commented:

A shake up is indeed in order... perhaps we award advanced degrees based on who can be stuck on a stack the longest?  Or I am just getting posts confused :)

on Sun May 3 15:08:04 2009

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