Pull the Log out of your own eye
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 8:36 PM [+]
The following is an excerpt from VDH's blog, for the next time you hear a college professor decrying the evils of WalMart's employment practices. Also, I think his prediction is intriguing and quite viable.
One can collate all the various reasons that have embarrassed the current university—the politically correct curriculum, the relaxation of standards, the political imbalance, the intolerance for diversity of thought, etc. But the one charge that proves the most lethal is this same hypocrisy, or the notion that well-paid tenured professors, with life-time assurances of employment of being on the job only 30 weeks a year, and usually accountable for only 6-12 hours of teaching a week on campus, harangue cash-strapped, working students with sizable loans, about the unfairness of society.
I have never quite encountered an intrinsically less fair institution than the university, at least in liberal terms of egalitarianism and respect for the underclass. A full professor may damn Wal-Mart, but Wal-Mart would never get away with the two-tier system that the university is built upon: the PhD part-timer has no job security, sometimes no benefits, no privileges, and earns usually about 25% of the compensation that is paid to the full professor to teach the identical class.
When one factors in the use of graduate assistants not merely to TA courses, but to teach them in their entirety, then you can appreciate the level of exploitation that the university is built on. And add to the notion that tuition has climbed higher than the annual rate of inflation, and the picture is complete of an institution that is entirely immune from public scrutiny.
I have a modest prediction—just as the bloggers, talk-radio, and cable news began to make irrelevant the grandees at the New York Times and the likes of Dan Rather at CBS, so too online colleges, web-based data archives, and junior colleges are starting to question the notion that one pays $40-50 thousand a year for university training—and often gets biased professors, part-timers and TAs, and a curriculum imbued with popular culture and politically-driven therapeutic courses. Learning and the university are not any longer synonymous, and the divide is ever widening.
The university system is the quintessential caste/good old boy/moneyfornothingchicksforfree system on earth. Tenure is the foodstamps of education. Don't get me started....