The Citizenship We're Not Talking About
By David Thiele, Inside Higher Ed
In the welter of conflicting diagnoses and prescriptions for higher education, the need to reform doctoral programs is one thing that almost everybody seems to agree upon. The complaints have become familiar: candidates spend far too long earning the degree. Even wonderfully talented Ph.D.s languish outside the gates of the tenure-track promised land. Those who do manage to slip through the gates often must scramble to develop the undergraduate teaching chops that most doctoral programs don’t provide yet most employers are banking on for student retention.
The basic options for reform have become fairly familiar as well: cut down the number of doctoral programs or the time to degree while increasing the commitment to teach pedagogy. Of course, finding the collective will to enact such changes is another matter. One can hope that “A discursive threshold has been reached,” as Sidonie Smith told Inside Higher Ed, and that doctoral programs will finally be “swept up in the tide of transformation” that has lifted Smith’s spirits.
UT System Regents May Change Campus Carry Rules
By Matthew Watkin, The Texas Tribune
Members of the University of Texas System Board of Regents met Thursday expecting to approve new rules for guns on their 14 campuses. Instead, they raised new worries about the proposed guidelines and signaled intent to try to change them, especially at the flagship UT-Austin.
In a 45-minute discussion, regents became bogged down in debate over issues like trigger guards, bullets in gun chambers, and if and how faculty should be able to ban weapons in their individual offices. Practically every regent seemed to have a unique opinion. A consensus seemed out of reach. Ultimately, the regents delayed a vote on the issue and will take it up again at a future meeting.
'The Slow Professor'
New book argues that professors should actively resist the "culture of speed" in academe.
By Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed
In 2013, the jobs website CareerCast named university professor the No. 1 least stressful job, unleashing a torrent of criticism that only grew after Forbes picked up the ranking. Professors -- those with tenure and without -- said the study ignored the changing dynamics of the university, namely the increasingly administrative nature of academic work, the emerging student-as-customer model, unrealistic research expectations and 24-7 contact with colleagues and students via email. Non-tenure-track professors also pointed out that they in many cases lack all job security.
At the recent Board of Directors meeting and Representative Assembly three former TFA State Presidents who retired within the last year were recognized for their service to TFA and Higher Education in Texas by current State President Michael Coulehan. Between the three of retires, they had a combined total of over 100 years of teaching at the former UTPA campus in Edinburg.
From left to right: Dr. Valerie "Wendy" James-Aldridge, Dr. James-Aldridge, Dr. Kenneth Buckman. Current state President Michael Coulehan is standing behind them.