Friday, September 03, 2010
This won't end well, because it's blindingly idiotic.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, my Texas A&M colleagues up the road in College Station now get the privilege of being evaluated based on their bottom-line "financial value" to the university. Take how much money the professor brings in (including some $ from tuition of the number of students taught), subtract their salary, and there you go. This raises problematic points that should be obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together. First, I guess it sucks to be in the humanities and social sciences - you almost certainly have negative value in this ranking. Congratulations, you leeches who take salary and don't bring in big research funding! Second, it firmly establishes that the service contributions of faculty to the university are worthless in this ranking scheme. Third, it establishes that the only measure of your educational contribution is how many students you teach - purely quantity, so if you teach large intro classes you're somehow valuable, but if you teach smaller upper division courses, you're less valuable. Gee, that's not simplistic at all. Now, the article doesn't actually say how these rankings will be used, but I'm having a hard time imagining ways that this metric is a good idea.
Posted by Douglas Natelson at 11:42 AM