If all goes as planned by the Republicans who control the government, my adopted state of Florida will require an annual survey of the political beliefs of students at faculty at public universities. This survey is not occurring in isolation. Trump recently signed an executive order aimed at enforcing “free inquiry” on campus and complaints about the liberal domination of the academy are now stock conservative talking points.
One challenge with assessing this plan is that the details are unclear—questions remain about whether the survey will be compelled (which would seem to violate the 1st amendment), whether the data will be anonymous, who will use the data and to what end.
One concern is the question of whether the survey will be compulsory. If it is, it would seem to force students and faculty to engage in compelled expression of their political beliefs. This seems likely to provoke legal challenges based on the 1st amendment. There is also the moral concern about compelling people to identify their political beliefs to the state, something that seems to smell a bit of tyranny.
If the survey is not mandatory and there is no punishment or retaliation for not participating (which could, in theory, result in entire schools not completing the survey), then the 1st amendment concerns evaporate, but there is still the moral concern about the state seeking such information about the political beliefs of citizens.
There is also the concern about the goal of the survey, its intended consequences and unintended consequences. On the face of it, the planned survey seems innocuous, even benign. It is supposed to have a board that will pick or develop an “objective, nonpartisan and statistically valid survey.” As stated, this survey “considers the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented and members of the university community feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom.” Objecting to this would seem to be to oppose free inquiry and free expression, which is presumably why this wording was selected. While I certainly support free expression and free inquiry, I think that there are reasonable concerns with this proposed survey.
While one should always be careful when speculating about motives and the “real intentions” behind proposed laws, they can serve as a reasonable guide when trying to sort out the intended consequences of the law. A main driving force behind this proposed law is the Republican House Higher Education & Career Readiness Chairman Cord Byrd.
Byrd advances an appeal to anecdotal evidence to support the need for the survey, alleging some students shared with him their worries about expressing their political views in class due to a fear of having their grades suffer. If such claims are true, then this would a be a problem—a student’s grades should depend entirely on their performance on the coursework. Students do, of course, have the right to report such discrimination and there is a grade appeal process in place at Florida’s public institutions.
I do acknowledge the obvious: there are bad professors and teaching assistants who grade in an unprofessional manner, sometimes based on their own political and moral values. While there are anecdotes that allege professors engage in this practice, there is a lack of statistical evidence that would support the claim that the problem is significant. If this is a broad problem, then more rigorous enforcement of the existing grading policies would be in order—a survey would not seem to address this matter. If the problem is extensive and not adequately handled by the existing system, then another approach would be needed—but evidence would be needed that this is a serious enough problem to warrant such an approach.
Byrd also endeavors to justify the survey by appealing to the claim that students are being indoctrinated at public universities. While this is a common conservative talking point, the evidence for this is lacking. If professors are trying to indoctrinate students, they seem to be very unsuccessful in this task. While students often change their views in college, these changes do not seem to have any liberal bias. While conservative students have spoken of some challenges they faced on campuses, the overall outcome of the experiences are positive and some students have gone from being liberal to conservative. As such, it is reasonable to doubt the notion that universities are engines of liberal indoctrination and hostile to conservative students. Also, this survey seems needless—it is already well known that professors tend to be more liberal than their students, and it is not clear what meaningful new data the proposed survey would provide.
Given Byrd’s reference to fears of indoctrination and grade retaliation, one wonders about the intended consequences of the proposed law. If it is merely to ensure that students are not unfairly graded for their views, then I am fine with that. However, this would hardly seem to address Byrd’s fear of indoctrination. At this point, I can only speculate what the goals are regarding fighting the alleged indoctrination. Will the survey be used to warrant a conservative affirmative action program in which conservatives are hired to balance out the liberals? Will liberals be fired to balance out conservatives? Will there be a system of ideological enforcement put in place to watch professors for attempts to indoctrinate? One suspects that the intent is to weaponize the survey; if it was merely to gather information than there would be no talk of the threat of indoctrination.
If this is the case, then it is worth considering the unintended consequences. While some conservatives might praise this move today because it is a weapon against the liberals, it could provide a tool for examining faculty and students for having the right sort of ideology—something that could be abused by the left in the future.
Mike, surely you are familiar with the concept of “implicit bias.”
Since the hostility of liberals toward conservatives is extremely well documented, does it not seem likely that implicit bias is playing a role in faculty hiring decisions?
I share some concern about this, but your argument depends on hypotheticals – what might happen. For example, if the survey is mandatory, it might go to the courts? What is the threat there? That it will go to the courts? That’s not a harm.
You criticise that Byrd is basing this on anecdotal evidence. Surely when what you have is anecdotal evidence, the first step is to investigate, which in this means getting statisically useful evidence, which is what this proposal would do?
You say it “could provide a tool for examining faculty and students for having the right sort of ideology”. I’d like you to consider the tool already being introduced to faculty hiring and promotion to guarantee that faculty will be dutifully left-intersectionalist: the mandatory diversity statement.
By all means, let’s have a blog post comparing possible effects of this proposed survey with requirements for a loyalty oath when applying for a job.
Michael LaBossiere says
That is compelled speech as well and should be illegal at a public university. However, the law seems clear on private businesses-they can presumably force employees to sign such things or accept the freedom to be fired.
When I was a grad student at Ohio State, they tried to force the faculty into a mea culpa confession of their sins against what is now called PC. After a logical analysis of the demand and application of various theoretical models of ethics, the department refused. Which was the right thing to do.
When I was first hired, I vaguely recall having to sign something saying I was not a communist.
I am fine with a voluntary and rigorous survey that determines if students have been unfairly treated by faculty because of their political views; students have the right to be graded fairly. But, that is very different from what this survey is aimed at.
I have, of course, seen the YouTube videos purporting to be of various wacky professors who exist to torment conservatives. I’ve not heard anything about significant, systematic oppression of conservative students by liberal faculty. But, as minorities and feminists have long argued, oppression is often hidden by the long silence of the victims, systematic cover-ups by the powerful, and fear of retaliation on the part of victims. So, perhaps, there are silenced and powerless conservatives, suffering from the cruel oppression of the liberal overlords of the academy. Since I am morally opposed to oppression, I would certainly be on their side against unfair mistreatment because of their political identity.
It is good to see conservatives concerned about the possibility of a silenced, oppressed and mistreated group-one can only infer that this concern will extend to all such groups soon. I look forward to the Republicans passing laws for surveying Muslims, migrants, the working poor and transgender people in public institutions to ensure that they are not being oppressed.
I cannot express enough how astonishingly cute it is that y’all come back here post after post and take Mike at his word that he is an honest, on the level, unbiased, truth-seeking philosopher. I so much want to pinch y’alls cheeks! God bless.
To the extent that you are concerned about any government involvement, I agree with you. Any time the government steps in to regulate our behavior, the outcome is rarely what it is intended to do.
But I do agree with CoffeeTime – your arguments are based on hypotheticals, bordering on a “slippery slope”. You really like to jump to conclusions …
“if the Republicans who control the government have their way …”
That’s a pretty paranoid statement on many levels, and there is nothing in the executive order signed by Trump that even remotely alludes to that kind of survey.
There is a HUGE difference between this executive order and Title IX, not the least of which being that Title IX is a federal law that is being used as a weapon in many cases, which has lead to the destruction of many careers.
There was an opinion piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal which I’ll link – but these articles tend to get blocked for anyone who doesn’t have a subscription so I’ll copy/paste or paraphrase some of the high points. The piece was co-authored by Colleen Sheehan, a professor of Political Science and co-director of the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good at Villanova University, and Matthew Wilson, a professor of religion and literature.
They report that like many colleges in the US, Villanova has launched an effort to monitor its faculty for signs of bias in the classroom. There have been new “Diversity and Inclusion” questions added to the teaching evaluations. Students are asked heavily politicized questions such as whether the instructor has demonstrated “cultural awareness” or created an “environment free of bias based on individual differences or social identities.”
“in short, say the authors, students are being asked to rate professors according to their perceived agreement with progressive political opinion on bias and identity. Students are also invited to “comment on the instructor’s sensitivity to the diversity of the students in the class.” Professors are rated on their “sensitivity” to a student’s “biological sex, disability, gender identity, national origin, political viewpoint, race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc.” The “etc.” in particular seems like an ominous catchall, as if the sole principle of sound teaching has become “that no student shall be offended.”
The authors go on to state the obvious – something that has been of great concern to me and to many of my colleagues – and our institution doesn’t even include these extra questions.
“Professors will now have a powerful incentive to avoid discussion of anything that might be deemed offensive or insensitive to the various social identities and political viewpoints listed (or not listed, by grace of that “etc.”).
A biology professor may avoid teaching about sexual dimorphism for fear of being labeled “insensitive” to “gender identity.” Professors of political philosophy, history or literature may avoid introducing the texts of John C. Calhoun, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass or Flannery O’Connor, for fear their sometimes racially charged language may be interpreted as “insensitivity.”
They go on – and this has been at the heart of many conversations I’ve had with colleagues –
“The larger implications are even more disturbing. The new evaluations will allow a professor’s professional performance to be recast as a human resources or even a legal problem. Think about it: You can’t fire a professor for being conservative, but you certainly can fire him for creating a “hostile work environment.” At a minimum, all charges of insensitivity, injustice and bigotry will become part of the faculty’s permanent record. How long will it be before professors cease to challenge their students for fear of losing their careers and livelihoods?”
I have seen first hand – over the last ten or fifteen years – that universities are no longer driven by ideas, concepts, philosophies and challenges designed to yank students from their comfort zones. Rather, they are increasingly being driven by the HR department. So if a professor challenges a student and the student feels uncomfortable, the professor can be excoriated – perhaps not fired for ideas, but fired (as the article says) for “creating a hostile environment”. And that environment is deemed hostile by the self-described victims.
I recently posted an anecdote about a very popular, highly regarded (and nationally renowned) music professor at a local college who was forced into early retirement because of his selection of a particular piece for their chorus to sing. The piece was about slavery, and the lyrics spoke of working in fields, picking cotton – it was a “spiritual”. A young African American student was offended and made uncomfortable by the lyrics, and that was that.
The truth of the matter was that the choice was made by this professor to honor his own mentor, who was retiring that year. His mentor, an African American, had written this piece based on the direct recollections of his own ancestors – and his purpose was to honor the people who came before him and raise awareness for those who came after – but never mind that.
The authors continue –
” As professors dedicated to liberal education, we consider it essential to challenge our students to subject their ideas as well as the predominant opinions of our time to critical examination—however difficult and uncomfortable this may be…This cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of fear-imposed silence. We professors—and our students—must be free to think and question and debate. Surely respecting diversity must also allow for diversity of thought.”
Michael, the way you reduce this problem to “stock talking points” is offensive and insulting to me – not only based on my political ideas, but as one who has been involved in academia for 20 + years. If you cannot see this problem, you are part of it.
You have a wild imagination, and jump right on that sled headed down the “slippery slope”, no matter how much you will decry the argument’s validity when used by your hated Republicans and Conservatives.
This bias, which has been going on for decades, is a big surprise to you – just as the idea of “racism” being a bad thing was a big surprise to racists and KKK members – because your own comfort zone is protected by it, you simply don’t see the problem. You took a big leap from “Bias? What bias?” to “complaints about the liberal domination of the academy are now stock conservative talking points.” . And by reducing the issue to talking points, well, there’s no critical thought necessary.
In case I’m wrong about the subscription requirement, or in case you or a friend has a subscription to the WSJ, here’s the link.
Michael LaBossiere says
On the one hand, it is reasonable to expect us faculty to grade fairly and to act professionally in the classroom (not calling female students “honey” for example). It is also reasonable to expect faculty to not engage in racist, sexist, etc. behavior when on the job.
On the other hand, as you noted, this can go from being a requirement for professionalism to an imposed ideology that is weaponized against faculty.
“…it is reasonable to expect…”
Sadly, “reason” doesn’t really enter into this debate, as much as we might like it to.
Coincidentally, today I was at a faculty meeting where we did a kind of “brainstorming” exercise – coming up with a few words for the stated “mission statement” and “vision” for our college. We broke up into small groups of four or five to talk about this.
My group, like all the others, started by thinking of key words and phrases – trying to come up with a new way of talking about critical thinking and creative problem-solving. It was all very forward-looking and self-congratulatory. And, to be honest, I really believe that that is what our school is about – at least in terms of “design-thinking” and creative problem-solving when it comes to design, aesthetic, and technological problems. I am very proud of the way we teach design in our various departments, and merge that with strong technical underpinnings – we have high placement numbers and industry recruiters return to us every year looking for more.
But in the middle of this brainstorming session, one of my colleagues made a statement about the EPA, saying something like,
“I can’t believe the EPA just said today that air pollution isn’t a problem anymore – that doesn’t represent a health hazard like it used to, so they have stopped regulating it”.
This was followed by a statement on the order of,
“Yeah, and now we’re being told that the Liberal education we are trying to provide isn’t liberal after all. Where does that come from?”
And this led to 3/4 of us spitting out the words “Trump” and “Republicans” and “Fascism” while rolling their eyes in agreement (solidarity?) before returning to the business at hand. Can you guess who represented the silent 1/4?
Later, of course, I looked up articles about the EPA and at least read both sides of the story – in keeping with the academic goals of “critical thought”, and learned that the thinking of the EPA is about removing sanctions from companies who have become compliant with regulations, partially in order to simply reward them for their compliance, but also to enable them to further invest in technologies that will help them to continue to reduce their emissions. I learned that the debate is about the removal of an Obama-era “Once you’re in, you’re in” list of offenders, and a discussion of whether or not secondary benefits should count in assessing damages. At the very least there is a fair amount of logical thought behind the decision, and an issue that can be robustly debated on its merits. But why bother to consider any of that, when you can get tacit agreement from just saying “Trump – wink, wink”?
But that’s beside the point.
The point is that the adherence to un-researched “talking points” (to use your words) has become the accepted norm. Actual research, questioning of the accepted ideology, or the presentation of facts that contradict the “The EPA (under Trump and the Republicans) is saying air-pollution isn’t harmful” complete and utter mis-statement of the entire situation is not only unwelcome, but met with abject hostility.
And “hostility” is the right word. I was silent during this exchange, knowing that my thoughts would be labeled as “Republican”, “Conservative”, or worse, “Trumpian”. I also knew (and knew from experience), that to speak my mind – in exactly the way in which these teams were describing our ideals would lead to whispers, finger-pointing, and shunning, at the very best. A colleague once said to me in hushed tones,
“You’re not wrong, of course, but do you really want to give them this kind of ammunition?”
I do have a handful of colleagues who, for the most part, are relatively new – “pre-tenure” or “tenure track” . Of these, there are some who are politically outspoken – joining the “We Hate Trump” voices, repeating left-wing talking points as reported in the Huffington Post and Slate, with neither nod nor acknowledgement to an intelligent opposing point of view. But the few who are self-described “center-right” or “libertarian” speak in hushed tones or not at all. I will never forget the time that one, after the 2016 elections and a very emotional one-sided faculty meeting, closed his office door behind us and whispered, “I’m kinda glad that Trump got elected – at least we’ll see what he will do. With Hillary, we knew that the corruption would just continue”.
This is America. The “Land of the Free”. The one place on God’s Green Earth that we are supposed to be able to speak our minds – and yet on college campuses, where challenging ideas are supposed to flourish, those who do not fall in lock-step to the prevailing Liberal ideology fear for their jobs, feel they must remain silent, or at least choose their friends very carefully before whispering snippets of individual thought furtively, with darting eyes, and behind closed doors.
Michael, I will say this to you. In my life, I have expressed my thoughts about abortion, for example. You know me well enough to know that my point of view, while perhaps controversial, is well-researched and well thought out. I have been chastised, shamed, and shunned by women – close friends, in fact, who tell me that I have “no right to an opinion” on the matter, because I am male.
I have posted previously on the reason I no longer use Facebook – because I commented on a post by an African American man who feared for his life during a routine encounter with the police. The police were polite, even apologetic to this man, explaining that they needed to ask him a few questions because his description (height, weight, clothing – not simply skin color) matched that of an assailant who had committed a crime a block away. My comment was simply that this encounter was exactly as it should be, and that this kind of experience occurred far more often than the ones that go bad, that get far, far, more publicity. I suggested that this man feared for his life not because the police gave him any reason to, but because of the national narrative that told him to – and that if we all were to consider actual national statistics, we would think a lot differently of the police.
My comments were flamed with great passion, intense hatred, and a string of name-calling, epithets, accusations, and even death wishes. I was told that as an “old white guy” I had no right to weigh in on this issue, that I was part of the problem, and on and on and on. It took one day, and I deleted all of my comments, all of my posts, and my account.
So Michael, as a Liberal, I will tell you that you have no idea as to the extent of this problem, the reach of Liberal bias, and the acceptance of blatant, abject hostility toward conservative thought. Wait – it’s not just conservative thought – it is any thought that challenges, or opposes, or even fails to simply fall in line with the ingrained, rote, repetitive mantra of the left. “Government has the answers”. “Profit is Bad”. “Republicans are evil”. “Trump should be impeached”. “The problems of this world can be solved by Democrats and Government, and are, for the most part, caused by Trump”. Speak out against this, or even with a voice of reason urging calm and understanding, and one is forever marked.
So I ask this simple question – “If I am not allowed an opinion on abortion because I am not a woman, and I am not allowed an opinion on racism because I am not black, just where do you get off thinking you can weigh in on liberal bias and anti-conservative hostility on college campuses, if you are not a conservative who has direct experience of it?
But I digress. It isn’t as simple as professors acting professionally, grading fairly, and not being sexists. It’s about the attitude – the belief that it is impossible for a conservative professor to not follow his “nature” and eventually expose, and perhaps even act on his innate sexism or racism. Some people think that blacks are genetically inferior to whites, some believe (does anyone remember “Jimmy the Greek”) that they have an extra bone in their ankle that makes them run faster. I have actually encountered people who believe (or grew up being taught) that Jews have horns. It is not a stretch to realize that quite a large number of Liberals actually believe that Republicans and Conservatives are innately evil, and are genetically predisposed to racism, sexism, pedophilia, xenophobia, and the oppression of the poor.
College campuses are increasingly becoming the equivalent of “Sanctuary Cities”, safe-spaces for the left to find comfort in their ideology, free from fear that they will meet even the most bland, innocuous challenge from anyone who might disagree with or even question them. And God help anyone who does that – they will be marched unceremoniously right up to HR.
And rather than being driven by challenging thought, by intellectual merit, by achievement – a college “education” has become an entitlement – an entitlement to indoctrination. And if the government can hand out money and scholarships and loan forgiveness based on an adherence to Liberal ideology, why is it suddenly a surprise that they might hold back grant funding based on the lack of support or even acceptance of conservative ideology?
But it’s not even that complex. As I said in an earlier post, it is about the First Amendment, which is a constitutionally protected right of all Americans, and the sworn commitment of the President of the United States and every member of our legislative branch to protect, defend, and uphold that Constitution.
What is going on on college campuses today is appalling. It is oppression at its worst. “Political Correctness” is 21st century McCarthyism – “Are you now, or have you ever been a racist? No? Well what about this yearbook picture from 30 years ago?”
Institutes (formerly) of higher learning have become the “Protectors of the Politically Correct”, following the guiding principles of “safety” and “comfort” over “challenge” and “critical thought”.
There is a substantial increase in support of Socialism among this country’s youth, and a concomitant criticism, excoriation, and demonization of Capitalism, Free Enterprise, Free Market Economics and competition – rising to the level of blame offered by the National Socialist Party of the 1930’s. Those who have actually followed the “American Dream”, who have risen from poverty to amass great wealth through innovation, invention, and great ideas are now spat at, looked at with disdain, told “You Didn’t Do That Yourself”, and told unceremoniously that despite the products they produce that improve or even save lives, despite the thousands of people their companies employ, despite the billions, even trillions, of dollars their efforts contribute to wages, salaries, commissions, sales, and even taxes – that they are the enemies of America.
Several common enemies have been identified – not only Capitalism, but Carbon – and all those who produce it and all those who use it. And who is uniquely positioned to save us from these scourges that would take your money and give it to the rich, who would see our cities drowned under the rising tides of the oceans? Why, the Government, of course. They have shown that they will take money from the rich, and give it to the poor – in feel-good Robin Hood fashion while eliminating incentive and hamstringing those who would actually invest that money toward real progress, real innovation. And all the while, we are told that they are not interested in progress or innovation or in changing the world – they only want to exploit us, take our money, enrich themselves, and sit back and laugh at us while enjoying their brandy and cigars, and their Trump-And-Republican-Enabled failure to pay their “Fair Share”. Those fucking bastards.
And along with this, as it has been throughout the entire history of mankind, we see Antisemitism emerge from its exile since WWII. We don’t have to speak about the Antisemitism in the Middle East, about the open, stated hatred of Jews among Islamists in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and as far south as Sudan, and even Somalia. That kind of Jew-hatred is historic, obvious, expected. But what about Russia? Britain? France? The United States of America?
Independent, not “conservative” thought is being repressed at universities in this country. One does not have to be “Republican” or “Conservative” to challenge leftist ideology, but if the challenge is brought forth, the labels follow – as do the finger-pointing, the hatred, and the hunt for reasons (loopholes) to fire. As in the example at the start of this rant – it’s not even some intellectual position, some ideology with real philosophical underpinnings that is being challenged – it’s nothing more that “groupthink”, a liberal tribalism that just (wink, wink) accuses the right based on, well, “You know what I mean”. And (almost) everyone just follows suit. Those who don’t, of course, whisper together in their offices.
Add to that the McCarthy-esque blackballing of anyone who dares speak their mind on matters of race, or who has a regrettable juvenile incident that is discovered by some “researcher”,
And add to that the vast collection of personal data through nationalized, computerized health care … and the actual and potential for misuse of that data for political ends …
And add to that the vast collection of personal data through the national fear of firearms … and the actual and potential for the misuse of that data for political ends …
And add to that the increasing amount of government control of the economy through single-payer healthcare, Medicare/Medicaid, strict banking regulations, and the blatant misuse of the IRS as a weapon against political enemies …
We have the makings of a new, and far more fearful, dictatorship right here in the cradle of freedom. And the infiltration of our college campuses is a major strategic goal – one that is very close to being accomplished.
“Can you guess who represented the silent 1/4?”
One question. If one of the silent 1/4 had spoken up to support, or even challenge, what quite obviously was group think on the part of the other 3/4 ( because I take it no one in that majority was offering anything close to specifics…as you later confirmed), would you or do you think any of the rest of that 1/4 would have spoken up to defend, not necessarily their position but at the very least their responsibility to what used to be a liberal ideal, that person’s responsibility?
And this goes on at an institution you defend as not being quite so bad in these regards.
Well, the scenario was that we had broken up into groups of four – so the 1/4 was just me.
I had no information on the particular topic at the time, so I was not in a position to challenge the thinking on it – even though I was sure the full story wasn’t “The Republicans Are In Favor of Air Pollution”.
Having read several articles on the topic now, I am better informed and I understand both sides of the debate, which is more than I can say for my esteemed colleagues. I suppose I could circle back and revisit the conversation, but I suppose I could also leave it alone and work on something that has no possibility of causing me direct harm.
It was an inappropriate comment for the situation, and the assumption of agreement was hostile and put me in a very uncomfortable position, which is the way life is on campus these days.
“And this goes on at an institution you defend as not being quite so bad in these regards.”
Yes, this is true. In terms of what we do professionally, i.e., “design-thinking” and creative problem-solving in the areas of visual, tactile, UX/UI, environmental and engineering design, I think the ability to think critically is at a very high level here. Sadly, that process all goes out the window when it comes to this political derangement syndrome, and the ideological power-structures on campus.
And even so, as a technical institute, I think that this sort of “group-think” isn’t nearly as bad as I have seen at other institutions – like Villanova, for example. So far, we don’t have “diversity” or “comfort” questions on our student evaluations – although applicants for faculty positions are required to include a “diversity statement” along with their resume and other support materials.
DH, Thought about your situation when reading this.
RTWT as they say
Slightly off topic, perhaps, but an article in WSJ today does showcase one of my personal suspicions about why there is so much pointless hairpulling going on in modern, especially American, colleges: the work is much less and matters much less than back in my day, so students and some faculty who are inclined to self-aggrandisation have more opportunity to indulge their egos.
Perhaps faculty will argue that their hours have not decreased, but they spend much more time on administration that they once spent being productive. That could well be so.
“College Wouldn’t Cost So Much If Students and Faculty Worked Harder”
Also published in WSJ, but this version is not paywalled:
Michael LaBossiere says
Some schools do have very light teaching loads, such as 2 (or less) classes a semester (with TA support). At FAMU, most faculty teach 4 classes a semester; I’ve taught as many as 6. I have no TAs and my class sizes have ranged from 35-150. So, while WTP thinks I am worthless, at least I am putting in a lot of worthless hours for my stolen paycheck.
Michael LaBossiere says
And I am expected to do research, serve on committees and such. As you might guess, I do not think much of the “star” faculty who teach only one or two classes (with TA support). Also, it is not like they are public publishing machines bringing the light to the people.
That said, I am fine with the folks who do put in the hard research hours doing foundational work–they can actually earn their class releases.