Ron Lipsman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, writes about politics, culture, education, science and sports at http://ronlipsman.com. Though formally retired, he continues to teach part-time.
Much has been written about the declining number of tenure/tenure-track faculty (TTF) when considered as a percentage of the total instructional faculty on the nation’s campuses. That percentage was likely more than 75% several decades ago; it is now in the neighborhood of 30%. (It depends upon whether one computes the percentage based on bodies […]Read More
The grades I just issued in my post-calculus, differential equations course – a sophomore math offering taken mostly by engineering students—followed the usual bell-shaped curve, roughly 10% A’s, 20% B’s, 40% C’s, 20% D’s and 10% F’s. The complaints came more from the D students than from the Fs.Read More
By Ron Lipsman The essays that appear on this site are often critical of academic faculty. The criticism is frequently legitimate, as faculty are oftentimes complicit in the formulation and execution of academic policies that should garner disapproval. Alas, faculty are too often found at the forefront of efforts to: install speech constraints on the […]Read More
Easy question. Administrators do. Odd as it may sound today, faculties have long assumed the right and duty to set the campus agenda–to establish admission standards, control research and curriculum, run visiting speaker programs, and set the academic and professional criteria on which promotions, prizes and appointments are based. Historically, the faculty actually did control […]Read More
Professors with tenure have lifetime appointments that can only be revoked after some egregious transgression, summarized by such formal labels as moral turpitude, gross negligence or dereliction of duty. In effect, the only tenured professors who get the sack are those who have robbed a bank, raped a co-ed or pistol-whipped a colleague. Why would […]Read More
It is no secret that what passes for an education at most of the nation’s colleges and universities is suspiciously akin to indoctrination. An asterisk: With the exception of a few areas–specifically, climate and the environment, certain fields within biology and medicine, history of science and the interaction between science and public policy–the rot that […]Read More