Yesterday’s post on how colleges are failing Generation Y explored the collapse of our education system. There were so many good comments from that post, I incorporated several into today’s post which explores some ideas on how to re-build:
1. Get rid of most tenured full-time professors.
This is already the reality. The New York Times reports that in 1960, 75 percent of college instructors were full-time tenured or on the tenure-track. Today, a mere 27 percent are.
Talented faculty employed purely on a per-course or yearly contract basis don’t receive any benefits, earn a third or less of their tenured colleagues, and are “treated as second-class citizens on most campuses,” the Times aruges.
Originally wait-listed for acceptance at UW-Madison, I remember very clearly the night I finally received my large envelope from the school, with the Badger-red “Yes!” emboldened on the back flap. I was in.
And while the University of Wisconsin may have had doubts about letting a neighboring born-and-bred Illinois resident into their borders, I quickly forgave their hesitation, becoming a dedicated student to the school and its culture. I garnered a 4.0 GPA or darn-near close to it every semester, religiously “studied” at the Terrace, partied at State Street bars, and worked as the school’s top student fundraiser at the UW Foundation.
A few weeks ago, I met a twenty-something pursuing an advanced degree in Political Science to become a professor, although he had no real-world experience in politics. I listened to Mr. Poli Sci and then I said, “How can you possibly teach something you haven’t experienced?”
Mr. Poli Sci became quite defensive at this point claiming he had objectivity (!) since he wasn’t personally involved. I tried to think of one successful person in politics that attempted to stand on both sides of the fence. Politics is about having an opinion. It’s the very definition of passion.
In talking to Mr.