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tv   Q A  CSPAN  September 26, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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a thaw week on "q&a" --, we discuss the latest book, "the faculty lounges," a critique of tenure and its negative impact on college costs. >> naomi schaefer riley, on page 11 of the preface you say that it's a con game made to suit the interests of the tenured faculty who would prefer to write obscure tones rather than teach broad introductory class system freshman. what is the con game? >> it occurred to me in researching the book that the professors have very different interests than the students and parents in higher education. what gets rewarded if you are professor its publication and
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more publication. it is actually, it's not your imagination in case you have read and academic books lately, it is supposed to be obscure, because you as an academic have to basically blaze new trails. you have to always be saying something new. last year there were 100 new academic works published on shakespeare. i loved shakespeare and study shakespeare in college, but i have to wonder whether a it is worth a professor's time to be riding new kind of theoretical twists on shakespeare as opposed to teaching abroad introductory class on hamlet. >> where did this start, the need to publish? >> it started with the progressives in the 1920's. there was the idea of a research university, which came over from germany and planted itself on our shores in the early 20th century. it was really two things. one of them was with scientific research, especially in the
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physical and biological sciences if people were really blazing new trails. there was a lot of new ground broken. the whole idea was nobody really could judge the quality of the work unless you were really truly familiar with sort of new complex scientific system that was being employed. i think i get that on some level. but what happened was the standards for the physical sciences then shifted into the social scientists -- sciences and the amenities. suddenly those professors had to suddenly always be saying something new and would be judged by people inside their field. there was another progressive idea which was they were supposed to form the experts in society. public intellectuals. they were supposed to be adding to society's store of knowledge. again, i think this is one resulted you see of this today is professors kind of stand apart and we are not supposed
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to in the broader society really? it is that they are doing when they are engaged in their research. >> the title of your book is "the faculty lounges and other reasons why you will not a college education you paid for." why is this book necessary now and how did you get the idea? the entire education right now, we are having a crisis of confidence. if you look at the surveys. americans love higher education generally. one pollster said it's like mom and apple pie. i think right now the costs have gone to the point where people are really questioning higher education's value. and so, in my opinion this is actually a very good time to look at where we have come. not as a college education is not worth it, but we do need to build more accountability into the system. for students and parents paying those tuition bills, really need to have a good sense of what
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kind of an undergraduate education they are getting. >> how many schools out there in the u.s. have four-year degrees? >> 5000 or 6000 accredited colleges. it is hard to write a broad book that covers what all of them are doing, because they are engaged in many different kinds of activities. if some of them consider themselves more vocational and some consider themselves liberal arts. some want to be research universities. but there are some things that they seem to have in common. one of them is this wanting to research. i was surprised to find that ,ven at community colleges i and in teaching colleges, the drive to publish is always rewarded at the schools. >> with kind of home did you grow up pimpiin? >> an academic one.
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massachusetts. my sister has a phd. i'm the last in my family without one. my parents had ph.d.'s. i grew up with a deep sense that higher education can be extraordinarily worthwhile and it can change your character and your life and your career and everything. that's if it's done right. what i worry about is that many of the faculty -- and it's not just the faculty individually making decisions, but the incentives that are put in place in the system, i think, or what's undermine the underground with education. >> where did you get your degree? >> from harvard, in english and government. >> was it worth the money? >> you like to ask my parents because it was their money. i think it was. but i had an advantage. i had parents who were insiders
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and were able to advise me about what kind of class is to take and which professors were actually interested in teaching. i knew what to look for. i really think so few people have that going into college. their parents are just thinking this is the next logical step, i want junior to be a member of the middle class, or the upper- middle-class and i want them to have a good job and want them to get something out of college educationally, so let's send him here because that is what u.s. news world and world report says. >> where did your parents teach? >> my father teaches at holy cross in worcester, massachusetts. my mother taught at a number different colleges before founding her own think tank in western that tells the city and what it does wrong. he does not work any more. >> what do they think of this? >> the subtitle of the book could of been "confessions of an ungrateful child." he takes some of the criticism
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of the book very seriously, i think. i think he feels as if being at a small liberal arts college, some of the criticisms are not as applicable. in a great deal of ways, a small liberal arts colleges are not really representative of what most americans experience in higher education. i always emphasized to him that the most important thing i've learned in researching the book was that for every additional hour a professor spends in the classroom, he or she will get paid less. that was true not only at the big state universities, but a small liberal arts colleges. >> let's go back on that statistic. what are you really saying? if you are a teacher in the classroom, the more you spend in there, the less you make? >> basically, any time spent in the classroom is time not spent writing. depending on how you divide your time, that will determine what level you will reach.
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>> who are they writing for? >> each other. i don't know when the last time you picked up's and academic publications, but even harvard university press, an increase of lees said that the average circulation of one of their academic publications was 250 books. when you consider that a lot of those books are actually desperate to automatically buy libraries and that is harvard university press. when you think about all the smaller university press is out there that are having circulation even smaller than that -- by the way, the expense of those books we dig academic librarians complain about this to me, with students complain as well. somebody wrote a paper recently where they said that the academic publication industry was driven by the producers and consumers. i think that says it all. >> was this book your idea or
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the publishers idea? >> it was my idea. >> now owned by rolling in and littlefield -- rowan and middlefield. >> yes. >> how does someone get tenure and what it? >> when you go to university you could be offered a tenure-track position. about maybe 40%-depressants out of academic positions are that. if you are on the tenure track, when you arrived at the university, they start the clock. the clock goes for about seven years. at some university it is london. at the university michigan it has been likened to 10 years. the after show why the university should keep you on prominently, during that time. most universities claimed three
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things matter. what matters is the publication record, you're teaching record, and your service to the university. serving on a variety of committees. they call this the three legged stool of academia. during that time, which by the way coincides with a lot of other things going on in your life. people of pointed out that initially it between 30 and 40 when women may be have children and have a family. this is when the most intense part of your career is going on, it's kind of an all or nothing. so at the end of that clock, a committee, usually basically your own department members, will look at your records and set up or down. >> your fellow professors. >> most of them in your own discipline. it's not like a professor from another department who does not know you. these are the people you ever basically been with every day for the last seven or eight years will be sitting in secret judgment of you? decide whether or not you get to
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stay or leave. >> secrets judgment. >> yes, the proceedings are not made public. there was recently an interesting piece by a man named daniel about how he could not get tenure at the university of chicago number of years ago. his wife actually contributed to the piece about how it feels to sort of be just in this way by the people you thought or closest to you and who you had worked with collegial the and then they go into a back room and decide about your future. tenuret happens at that then vote is you get to either stay on promptly or you get out. you get out by the falling academic year. there's no in-between. it's not like we will give you another couple years and see if your publication record improves or why don't you just stay on part-time or temporary. it is you are done. >> what's the percentage of
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investors that get tenure on the tenure track -- the percentage of professors? >> if your on the tenure track, that means they have a tenured position available at some point in the future. if some universities have started to cut down on the number of tenure tracks, that is when somebody retires they will say okay that's going to now be an adjunct position, which we will get to in a minute. getting turned down for tenure is a very, king. i think a lot of people feel like they've been led john caon. once you have been turned down for tenure at one university, it is hard to start over at a new university. >> do they give you any warning during the seven years that you are not doing well? >> some universities give you updates along the way. again, it is a very personality- driven process. some schools grade you based on
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your collegiality, which is to see how well you play with others, which is kind of insulting to professional, i think. but they will give you some sense in terms of how big your stack of publications is, how they think you are doing relative to other candidates. from what i've read, a lot of people find it to be a surprise if they don't get tenure. >> is there an appeal process? >> some schools have them. not a lot ofs transparency in the process. i think that should bother more people than it does, particularly at universities. some schools do have this kind of back alley way of finding your way into may be the president's office or the provost's office and saying you want to be reconsidered if and maybe then provost will suggest a department and reconsider. some schools have more formalized procedures.
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a lot of them, it is hard to discern. >> professors don't have a transparent process, but if you listen to what comes out of a professor of over the years, they are demanding all the time of openness. >> the professoriate is not among the most self-respect of bodies in the country and there's not much examination of what goes on. want to talk about bioethics, government ethics, but there's not a lot of talk about what goes on in the academy and the ethics of that. a lack of transparency in the tenure process is one of the biggest problems that i see. >> if you are to point out the person you know that hates this book the most, who would it be? >> let's see. i think the head of the american association of university professors was asked to comment on my books a few weeks ago.
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i think he said that left him speechless. i think that he was very angry and particularly i economist most professors disagree with in that book is my argument about tenure's connection to academic freedom. that is sort of the first thing that comes out of professors mouth when you say why do you need tenure? automatically they will say, respect to academic freedom. in the first chapter i talk about what is academic freedom and why does it need protecting. one of the arguments that i make is about the rise of a vocational education. tenure was originally the idea that professors should be able to be protected when they go out on a limb and say something controversial about their discipline. i say okay, well maybe on the margins you can see how this would be important in the case of a couple of humanities
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professors and maybe a couple cutting edge science of physical science professors. professors of business administration. then i also spoke about some of the new disciplines like securities studies. there are basically professors of cooking , professors of nutritional studies, who have tenure now. someone at pay pass aep will say we need someone to have tenure in securities studies so that they can talk about immigration, even though it's controversial. and someone in additional studies needs to be able to say something controversial about obesity. this could go on indefinitely. there's no limit to the number of controversial things that need protection. in my opinion, i think that the down -- bounds of academic freedom have been pushed too far. >> you wrote the american people
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themselves article irresponsible for what she sees as the oppressive atmosphere on campus. you are referring to a woman named bernstein. what are you talking about parent? why are the american people responsible? >> she is a vice-president at the ford foundation. i went to hear her speak at a conference on academic freedom in new york a couple years ago. the ford foundation gives so much money to higher education that the audience was enthralled to hear elizabeth bernstein talk. she began to list the prospects she saw in the american academy to academic freedom. she listed conservative religious groups, listed anti- abortion groups, listed republicans. it went on and on. but at the end of she said one of the biggest problems that she saw were cable news network's like fox that were telling the american people about professors like the man at
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columbia who wished upon america 1 million mogadishus, or telling people that the out reaches r. for the problem was not the american public was interested in the outrageos. you think that university professors and people interested in higher education want transparency. you think that would be one of their buzz words. but they look at transparency as now the little people are now looking over my shoulder. and that those people cannot understand the scholarship i am engaged in. >> you say that the sugar daddy of modern liberalism is complaining that innovations like 24-hour news networks, and so on.
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is that what they are, in loveall foundation? liberal foundation? >> yes, sure, the ford foundation is very liberal. they will not give you $100,000 at a college to promote dialogue on your campus about race, sexual orientation, all these things. the answers are already clear for ford. the problem with race is that minorities are oppressed and are still oppressed to this day and are still suffering from the legacies of slavery. sexual orientations, it's just a matter of choice. they are not dialogs. they are just sort of one-sided propaganda campaigns. >> where do you come from all the political scale?
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>> on the right. >> how did you get there? >> i came by it honestly. i think my parents would both qualify themselves as conservatives. although i think that i have thought about it enough. i used to work for wall street journal editorial page. i largely agree with that philosophy of free markets, economically. but i'm also something of a social conservative. >> your father teaches at holy cross. the implication is that there are not conservatives in academia. >> there are not. one of the things that people like to say about tenure -- and i interviewed a lot of conservatives who defended tenure because they said i would lose my job tomorrow if i did not have tenure -- but the idea that tenure has really protected dissent on campus is one that we have had enough experience with to examine a
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little more carefully. for example, when barack obama was running in the last election, for the american professors gave eight times as much money to him master john mccain. obviously, john mccain lost and was not quite by that margin. it is not just politically that dissent is not protected. i talk to people who were familiar with arguments in physics departments. they said if you come out with the wrong view of a theory, you will be pushed out. it is not an environment that tolerates dissent of any sort very well. there was a story recently about a professor at ohio university who actually got tenure. he had been a journalist before. he got tenure and then wrote a piece for the chronicle about who was resolved to act from now on, now that he has tenure.
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basically he said, i am done, i am not going to talk about anymore, i am not going to stand up any more. it was like somebody who had been beaten down. that purpose we were talking about the 7-10-year process wherein you are with these people every day and trying so hard to please them because you walk back job for life, i think what it just promotes its atmosphere in which everyone keeps their head down and their mouths shut. >> have you ever run into anyone who is conservative in the college atmosphere and who keeps their head down on their politics until they get tenure? >> i guess i sort of hear these stories a proper fully -- apocryphally. my professor tells people to first get tenure and then to hoist the jolly roger, that is
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his advice to professors. >> he's a conservative at harvard. >> i have probably come to a similar tally. yes, but it is a real person, i think, who can control themselves for that long and then suddenly at the age of 40 basically wake up and starts speaking their mind. if you can do it, if you can sneak under the radar for that long, full people into thinking this is somebody who will really get along well with the liberal atmosphere of the university and then all of a sudden wake up and say i have tenure and i will out myself to everyone, good for you. but i don't know how many of us can keep to ourselves for that long or once we have, really want to offend all the people we have befriended. >> you went to harvard and you are conservative and there are not conservatives teaching at harvard. but they did not change your mind. >> no.
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harvey was talking about political conservatives. i took a number of a political class is at harvard. i majored in english and government. i took a government crisis with harvey mansfield, peter berkowitz, and a couple other professors who would classify themselves as conservatives. what i really liked about the professors i had was that they left politics at the door. i took classes on chaucer and shakespeare and plato. even mansfield, a well-known conservative outside the classroom, we did not sit around discussing republicans talking points or something like that. in fact, i remember his last sort of popular book was on manliness. i took a graduate seminar with him. i think it was my senior year. a number of let's just call the
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radical feminists showed up. i think they wanted to disrupt the class and get their views heard and protest the idea that we would even have such a class. mansfield sits down and he's a very mild-mannered man. he just sort of start talking about plato and courage. i think those women were sort of like where are we going from here, i thought we were going to talk about gloria steinem or that we would talk about some sexist things that we could start harassing. my point is that so many of the professors that i had, i appreciated the fact that their politics or not part of the curriculum. >> you say that in 1994 that there was -- they cannot restrict the age that you had to retire. we have to retire in this country of 65. it was originally passed in
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1980's. schools got to 94, was in des? >> has exacerbated the tenure problem. many people say to me why get rid of tenure, why not just to institute mandatory retirement? what you have on campus now is a lot of aging baby boomer professors who are not really doing their jobs very well. they're just kind of waiting until their 401k gets big enough they feel comfortable retiring. if every time the market takes a hit, they say if i will stick it out one more year. it is a problem. i certainly see how mandatory retirement could solve that in some sense. but i am very reluctant to go that way. i have had some great professors who were 70 years old. mansfield is well over 70 now. many of my professors that i had assigned rollover 65. they had experience teaching and
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if they happened to be good teachers after that. why should be arbitrarily kick them out just because some people at that age decides they're not going to do their job anymore? >> if i have tenure at a school, does it really mean they could not fire makes? >> is technically not supposed to mean that. but i have to say i have talked to so many administrators who have said it is almost never worth it to fight that battle. we mentioned quartered kill a moment ago. -- we mentioned ward churchill. the week the book was published, the colorado state supreme court decided to hear his case. this is a man who six years after he was fired is still fighting this battle. you're the president of colorado university, brown, who by the way has since stepped down. brown must wake up every
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morning and say this man will not give up. it costs the university so much money to get rid of these people. even when they have a great case. churchill, plagiarism, shoddy scholarship, there was so much wrong. yet it will continue going through the course. the lesson that i have gotten, if you look at inside higher ed commodities industry newsletters, they periodically have advice on how administrators can gently pushed these people out. one of them i was shocked to read was how an administrator can say to professor when it's time to go, " you could still teach one class, ok?" one guy wrote in and said they had tried this at his school, so they had hired a new young professor, a dynamic professor to take the place of an aging professor that everybody agreed was incompetent. then they had a fight over who was going to teach this one
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classic as the professor said he promised i could stay. so the compromise they would eat teach a section of the class. -- each would teach this section. there's no mention in the article about now half the students in the class are going to get someone utterly incompetent. to me, it demonstrated? -- demonstrated that tenure had nothing to do with the students. the teaching is the last thing on the administrators and faculty is mined. faculties' mind. >> describe the difference between state schools and other schools? the difference is in unions and tenure and cost? >> the tenure system is not much different. people go back and forth between public and private universities
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and they largely & system. about seven years. if there are some different rules about what is protected speech and different kinds of sensitive academic freedom. with public schools, the courts are more involved because it is taxpayer funded. so the tenure system is not much different. unions are certainly somewhat different. so what happened was in 1990 by peter was a ruling by the supreme court but said its private universities did not want to recognize faculty unions, they did not after. yeshiva university. the case said that faculty was like management, so they need not be recognized as a unit. public university campuses, unionization is one of the fastest-growing areas of
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organized labor right now in the country. you have a situation where the unions have recognized the manufacturing base is shrinking and the private union base is shrinking. so public-sector white-collar jobs are where the growth will happen. you saw some of this. people were little surprise during the fight about wisconsin a few months ago, to hear that there actually were unions of professors at the university of wisconsin. unions are generally something we think of asking for people who are in jobs where they can really be exploited, where maybe people are not as educated. and yet it is really growing in higher education. so that is one big difference. i think you are seeing the effects of that. unions at the bargaining table will mean less distinctions in terms of merit pay. pay will be based more on your level of security.
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a lot of professors and administrators will say unions have been a force for mediocrity on public university campuses. -- pay will be based more on your level of seniority. >> i will have to have a ph.d. to get tenure? >> yes. >> how many years does that take? >> used to be five, six, seven years. now the median time for a ph.d. in english is 11 years. >> 11 years for just a ph.d.? do you teach what you are going through that at the school? >> you do. but it's not because you are working on your ph.d. part-time that it takes 11 years. in fact, kay was a piece in harvard magazine a few months ago where louis speculated wide was taking so long for people to get a ph.d. in humanities was there finding a new twist on people have been written on thousands of times that you
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finally find a topic and then you realized that somebody else has already written that five years ago in some obscure journal and you have to start from scratch. >> characterized, as many people make that our professors. >> not a lot. this is -- a full professor -- >> bull professor means you are at the top of your game. >> yes, you have tenure and you cannot be promoted any more. by the time you are full professor, let's say you are in 40's late 4-d's maybe -- may be pure you could be making $60,000 a up to $80,000, depending on the university. the salaries of professors do not outraged me. i don't think that's the problem. >> i wanted to go on and -- they have tenure and they are full
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professors and they make $70,000, how much actual teaching do bafta dthey have to? >> let's start with public universities. you have tenure. at a research university, you could be teaching probably as little as two glasses per semester. >> three hours per week each? >> yes. >> six hours in the classroom per week. >> yes. when happens if a better research university is the assumption that you will be spending approximately half your time doing research. if you have three if you ask a state legislator how much are you subsidizing research at your state university? and they say it's not very much and a lot of the money's coming, the answer is a lot, because you are paper -- or the people all salary to only be teaching half the time. >> to get the most amount of money of all the universities for research? -- who gets the most?
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>> about 100 universities in america make up part of a club called the american association of universities. the only way you get into that prestigious club is by having -- by getting a lot of federal grant money. a couple schools recently got kicked out of it. syracuse decided that it was about to get kicked out, but left voluntarily. university of nebraska for does left as well. what was interesting to me about the syracuse case is they were actually getting some private money for some of the research, but that does not count for the aau. you have to be getting federal money. this has to be public government funds, that is where the disease is. we're trying to figure run out to reduce the cost of public education, but they are thinking how can we get more out of federal dollars? >> can they make money outside the classroom, outside the
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university when they are tenured professors making $70,000 per year and teaching two classes per semester? >> shore. -- sure. >> who holds them accountable before research? >> i have full professorship and ntt two clauses but i really find myself capable of making lots of money over here and i don't want to do research for this school. can i blowoff that school? >> it would be hard to blow off the school. what usually happens with real research grants is that the application has to come from a university. you are applying as part of a university program. it's hard for single present to go off on his own and say i want to get research from the national -- funding from the national science foundation for myself. but it would be a difference story if you have like a drug company.
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this is where some of the controversy has happened recently. where you have professors who have reached their own private agreement out of this. biotech companies or drug companies. they are making money and it's possible that their research is in some way coming in to construct we did conflict with their job, because the private companies obviously have a particular ideas about the domain that they are in and who owns this information. and now back to the transplant the question, the university is for ideas and everything is out in the open and we are all supposed to be informed on what's going on in these labs. wherecently as story th students have turned in a paper on biotech or computer coding.
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the student felt like he could not complete the assignment without some of violating his contract with this outside company because he was working for the company. there are a lot of conflicts of interests going on. >> what is an adjunct professor? >> an adjunct professor is a temporary position appeared there are adjuncts who could be teaching 25 years in the same place, but there contract renewal general happens on a year-to-year or even a semester to semester basis. they don't get tenure and they are not on the tenure track. they will never, appear -- never come up for tenure. >> but don't have to have a ph.d.? >> padonia after, but many of them do. adam professors actually do a lot of the teaching -- the bulk of the teaching. >> in all the schools? >> not all the schools, but in
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large universities senior tenure professors who opt out of life in the classroom for the most part except for a ride with seminars or our level undergraduates seminars. graduates seminarsr or upper level undergraduate seminars. >> what about their pay? >> berdi disturbing. it has been compared to the salaries of migrant workers. if they don't know whether they will have a job at all only weeks before the semester begins. >> how much? >> at cal state fullerton there was a professor getting paid maybe $1,000 per month or $1,200 a month.
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>> there was one getting the $549 a month. >> yes. >> is gasps over 14 weeks -- is that over 14 weeks? three hours per week. >> yes. >> at 42 hours? >> that's right. you have to consider not just the teaching, but they are also responsible for the grading of papers and things like that, so there are definitely activities outside the classroom. if one woman i spoke with said she could have 200 kids in a class and if they would assign me one graduate student who would be with me a few hours a week. what do you do pick with that-- what do you do with that? a friend of mine teach is that a large university in pennsylvania and she's been told by her department to stop assigning papers altogether if or exams that involve essays.
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everything should just be multiple choice now. >> why? >> because it takes to zero much work. they don't have the labor available, they say, in order to grade papers. if successful multiple choice. -- takes too much work. >> what percent of people that our adjunct professors in the classroom? >> 60%. >> what about in a place like harper that is private? >> it is not a private-public thing. it has a lot to do with the size of the university and to what extent they expect the senior people to be doing research and not teaching. i'm not sure what the percentage is at harvard. >> what does your dad teach? >> political science. he teaches six courses per year. 3 in the fall and three in the spring. >> why is it at holy cross, which is a jesuits cool, why does he gets three. at harvard he might only only have one. >> because harvard is a research
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university. >> all across is not. let's all across is considered a liberal arts college. -- holy cross is not. it is considered a liberal arts college. >> what did you do at the wall street journal? >> i edited culture columns and religion columns and i wrote about higher education. >> how did you get that job? >> i worked at other magazines. i think i worked at commentary magazine. i in turn at the journal right out of college. i wrote another book prior to joining the journal, which was about religious colleges in america. called "god on the quad." i had visited of emory law school and another school called patrick henry. -- visited ave maria and patrick
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kennedy. here is ave maria? and arbor, michigan. they were tracking ticks who did not -- they were attracting kids who wanted to not just stay in the ghetto, but wanted to bring their ideas to the world of public law and a number field. >> how long were you there at commentary? >> two years. upon editingrge the letters section.
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i became familiar with the intricacies of the base on domestic and foreign politics. i became more familiar with the way magazines work and how they get produced. >> going back to this book, who thought of the title? >> it was me. >> where did you get the interest? was it at the journal when you started? what triggered the idea that you said they will probably publish this book? >> i tried to sell to other publishes, but nobody else got it. it was about two years ago that i started the process. i've been covering higher education a long time. what was the driving force behind a book was this sense that i had this advantage that other people did not. i kind of understood what was going on behind the scenes in registration both because of my background, because of my own family, but also because of the
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reporting by dawn on higher education. what happens when a student walks onto campus today, you are an 18-year-old walking onto the campus and someone hands you a guide to this extent says pick anything, that what you like. -- a guide this thick. and 18-year-old does not know what they don't know. pretending that they will be able to craft for themselves a brilliant education when many of our general education courses have been dropped, a core curriculum. people like to talk about the extent people who are wrapped up an idea of a core curriculum just what the great books of western civilization and -- i want a core curriculum because i people need some basic foundation. the education of an 18-year-old
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-- that an 18-year-old woodcraft for itself would be french literature on wednesday and at the end of four years, can you really say what this broad education you were supposed to have turned into? professors are doing thus, too, because professors want to spend their time researching their own narrow celtics. it would also been purposely happy to teach a class on their narrow subject. what these kids really need is a broad introduction to your subject. >> you say there are no jobs for tenured professors out there, but you say that your sister has a ph.d.. >> she does. >> is teaching? >> she teaches at a place called new england conservatory where they do not offer tenure. >> did she do that on purpose?
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>> i don't think so. she would and per capita except a tenured position. -- she would have been perfectly happy. craig huey britain that higher education is so broken right now that it's time to change the pitching mound and assistance to the bases. >> you have written that the higher education is so broken right now that it's time to change the pitching mound and the distance to the bases. >> there are a couple ways people try to measure the quality of higher education. they say we are the envy of the world and people come here for college from all over the world. really it is generally graduate students coming here for hard science glasses. it's not all of american higher education that is the envy of the world.
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d science classes. college right now with the ticket to the middle class, so people want to get into college. i don't begrudge people that. i don't say you should find another way. because right now we don't have much in nueva of another way. we don't have a lot of apprenticeships. and college has become the catchall for every different kind of career if you want to pursue. i think we could do better. there was a story a few weeks ago amid a couple months ago about the founder of paypal named peter, who offered kids $100,000 if they would drop out of college and go to work in silicon valley or create their own kind of start. a lot of these kids already had
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credentials in a sense that they were already working for ibm in age of 13 or something like that, so they would not have trouble getting a job. but the point he was trying to make was there is a price for this and you could spend four years and this amount of money on something, but you better understand what the value of it is. for some people it does not have much value. for some people, you can get a job out there without it. but the other question is, can't please find a way for measuring someone qualifications for jobs without just using a college degree? we need to think more creatively about that. >> who in your professional life has taught the best about tenure? who was the most convincing that it's the thing to do, that's right? >> legacy. -- let's see.
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interesting question. i guess there are a number of conservative professors that talk about it. john silver, i don't think that he's in favor of getting rid of tenure, but i think that he feels it's been in need of serious reform. -- john silber. he thinks that we do need to keep tenure. i think tenure has protected some very smart people who have said some defending things that needed to be said. i understand my argument grows them under the bus, sort of. i interviewed a former assistant secretary of education who now works on education reform issues. ummed up that saving the
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jobs of 400 conservatives is not worth saving the jobs of 400 liberals. he says with attrition is so out of balance now that the idea that we will keep this system because of a few conservative professors out there [unintelligible] . >> what is the cherry award? >> its a teaching award. you get maybe $200,000 for being basically the best professor in america. a couple years ago when i was at the journal i did a story about the three finalists. it's given out by baylor university. you can nominate you, students can nominate you, other professors can nominate you. the committee eventually judges the finalists and decides who will win the award based on their ability to convey information to students. >> ken starr is the president of
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baylor university now. it's located in waco, texas. you wrote about the three contestants. roger rosenblatt and two other gentlemen. mr. edward berger. >> he was the eventual winner. >> and another from the university of arkansas. i went to see west and berger in person. west is not dry, but he sort of is telling a story. he has been telling the story about american history many years. there are not a lot of shenanigans going on in his classroom. an audience of 200 people and the only visual aids that used were some slides of historical photographs. everyone was still sitting there listening to him because he knew how to tell a story. there was a lot of information being conveyed.
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it was not reading of notes and just staring down like this. he really was engaging with the audience, to see if people were a way, are you listening? berger was much more dynamic, and jumping around a little more. but there were not a lot of fireworks. he really -- he did a speech at parents' weekend at williamsport. it was parents and students. he is a maths teacher. . the best professor to in america is a math professor. -- this struck me. you really have to engage people. what the people have taken a class because of the requirement. he is teaching kids who are not necessarily interested in the subject and is making them interested. >> he said the best teacher in america. who judges the cherry awards?
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>> and other faculty. i'd think they bring in some other people from outside the university. >> at baylor. >> the the where guests $200,000 and a half to come and teach for one semester at baylor. the reason i highlighted this was when people are talking about why we judge professors by their publications and not by teaching, the first response is you cannot really measure teaching, teaching its objectives, you know good teaching when you see it. i don't think that's true. i think that is a total cop out. these are professors, there are ways of measuring. everything from the lecture style to braiding. -- grading. when someone gives you back a paper just going to be a great job, or is it all marked up? are they engaging in the process
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with you or are they just going through the motions? >> how old are your children? >> two and four. >> you think they will go to college? >> if you pick and choose very wisely, it is possible to get a decent college education, but you have to be really careful. it begins with the process of choosing a college. i cannot tell you the number of people that they're going to visit colleges as a high-school junior in the middle of summer. what are you doing there in the middle of the summer, there's no teaching going on at. go and sit in on classes and wait. don't just sit in on the crisis that is a you can visit this upper level constitutional law center. you will not get there until you
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are a senior, if then. go and visit an introductory class in a subject that you are interested in. >> did you do that before going? >> no. i spent my freshman year at middlebury. my parents gave me three choices spoke colleges? they knew that they would be pre places where i would get a good college education. harvard was not among them. it is in the middle of vermont, middlebury. i sort of social felt it was not right for me and also felt that the students were not as engaged as i found them to be at harvard. >> where did you meet your husband jason? >> the wall street journal. we live in new rochelle. he still works at the journal. he's an editorial board member. >> do you have another book in mind already? when did you finish this?
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>> the book came out in june. >> when did you finish? >> i finished it last fall. >> you are on your way to connect? >> yes, on a different topic. it's about interstate marriage. >> is back with your situation is? >> not quite. my husband is of no faith. -- interfaith marriage. >> when do you plan to have this one completed? >> its due in june, university press. that's if the editors are listening. june. >> is the next book bigger than this one? >> i think it will be. the next book is i got funding to a national survey on interfaith marriage and spent about four months doing traveling to do interviews with people across the country. so this is sort across kind of a summary of a lot of things i had learned about higher education
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over the last number of years as a reporter. >> the name of the book is "the faculty lounges and other reasons why you will not get a college education paid for." naomi schaefer riley. thank you. >> thank you. call[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> 4-d day copy of this program, call the number on your screen. -- a dvd copy. for free transcript or to give us your comments about the program, visit us at the web site. it's also available as a c-span podcast. but >> c-span networks, could provide coverage of politics,
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public affairs, a nonfiction books, and american history. look for congress to continue federal spending? in november, including the funding or recent natural disasters. keep tabs on the deposition committee as a funnel it a plan to lower the debt, and follow the president attended as they continue to campaign across the country. it's all available for you on television, radio, online, and on social media sites. if search, what, and share our programs any time at the c-span video library. and we are on the road with our c-span digital bus and local content vehicles, of bringing our resources to local communities and chilling events around the country. it's washington your way. if the c-span networks, created by cable, provided as a public service. >> coming up, we will take your questions and comments from twitter and facebook on "" washington journal." and later, training of security forces in afghanistan. forces in afghanistan.


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