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Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids---and What We Can Do About It Paperback – August 2, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The criticism, however, comes with a very broad brush. I would not, e.g., do away with tenure, because tenure is a form of compensation and salaries would probably be higher without it, so the efficiencies sought might not be recouped. I agree with the authors that tenure is largely unnecessary for protecting academic freedom; meanwhile, the contingent faculty's academic freedom is not being protected in that manner, since they're not on the tenure track. Tenure, however, helps protect faculty from their colleagues. For example, when I was deaning I once had a department chair try to force a senior colleague into early retirement. Why? Because he graded too rigorously and was (the chair claimed) hurting the feelings of his students. When two of us (another dean and I) looked at examples we were heartened to learn that the senior faculty member in question was grading accurately, fairly and in a helpful (i.e. an honest) manner. The department wanted somebody more soft, more politically correct, more touchy/feely. The presence of tenure also protects disciplines from corporatist deans and senior administrators. In the current, commercialized university (which I deplore along with the authors) there are many administrators who would quickly dissolve Classics departments, e.g.Read more ›
I am a retired college teacher. Most of my fellow teachers also wished that their students were in college for intellectual development per se; however, we taught those who walked into our classes. Many students whom I taught not only wanted a bachelor's degree mainly as a credential for employment; they were also working close to a forty hour week to pay for both tuition and room and board, even at a state college. I have heard from my days at Cornell that Professor Andrew Hacker, who taught there, was a legendary teacher, making introductory courses in political science come alive.Read more ›
So.... to HIGHER EDUCATION. I cannot find a false word or statment in the book. [It's rare for me to agree with much of anything.] Regarding the dumbing down of the curriculum; the careerism of so-called academic stars; the absurdities of the tenure process -- this book is on the mark. My gripes center on the often unexamined trend towards interdisciplinary studies. Nothing inherently dubious about looking at problems from many perspectives (e.g., neuroscience), but to expect undergraduates,who haven't read any Shakespeare, aside from high school assignments of Hamlet and Julius Caesar, to evaluate the concept of "leadership" from, say, the political, psychological, and ethical perspectives. Well, as they say, give me a break.
The tone of the book -- which ranges from acerbic to occasionally cynical, does not disturb me. But I do think it may gloss [ab bit] over those rare but real faculty members whose old-fashioned commitment to rigor remains a vestige. As for dumping the business school, my most recent employer just completed a new B-school building which rivals any Hyatt hotel in its grossly sumptuous features. And once that pile opens, there's no closing it.
Though I would not expect Presidents and Deans to grasp the reality captured in this book, one can always hope that such a wise and reflective text will reach a wide audience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some of the authors' assertions I have read elsewhere (e.g., the amount of money colleges and universities waste on sports, levels of debt carried by students), but these authors... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kelly
Author does have a great point. Why do our colleges require math such as college algebra toward a degree, such as liberal arts, psychology, sociology, public services, human... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book itself is a fine enough read; however, pages 85-117 are missing and have been replaced with the text of what appears to be a book on baseball. Not particularly helpful.Published 13 months ago by Kristin
About myself, I've attended 11 different colleges and universities, earning a total of three degrees with another on the way. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mr. Math Expert
As a parent of a child who's embarking on the college selection process, I find that this book has been a huge help. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Charles
Interesting book. Raised many good questions on issues that I hadn't thought about much. Probably should be read by anyone about to go to college or anyone having children going... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Cory Krueger
This book confirms my very own suspicions about what is wrong with today's higher education system. It is a must read for anyone who has ever wondered why college tuition is so... Read morePublished 17 months ago by JL Velazquez
Easy to deal with. Exactly as hoped for. Great read.Published 21 months ago by Thomas J. Fitzgerald