[FoRK] [IP] Re: U.S. colleges retool programming classes - Yahoo! News

Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> on Wed May 30 00:02:02 PDT 2007

----- Forwarded message from David Farber <dave at farber.net> -----

From: David Farber <dave at farber.net>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2007 17:09:53 -0400
To: ip at v2.listbox.com
Subject: [IP] Re:  U.S. colleges retool programming classes - Yahoo! News
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.752.2)
Reply-To: dave at farber.net

Dave, you'll need to withhold my ID on this one - I hold several
high-rank positions at the university but don't have tenure.


>I have found (having worked as a regular joe employee at several
>universities) the faculty in general not interested in teaching at  

I'm a top research school you all know, and have heard from everyone
right up to the deans that teaching is not important, so long as you're
not in the lower X% nobody will notice. Tenure is about one thing,
research. And that since tenured faculty get such abysmal ratings, even
showing up awake will get you out of the lower X% so don't worry about
it. This applied to all research schools as far as I can tell.

This pisses me off.

Teaching statements are not read on potential faculty CVs. Teaching is
considered a burden at best. Research is god. Undergrads are treated
almost as well as the illegal aliens that take out our trash. You can do
2 things to guarantee a denial of tenure - teaching, and doing service
(the academia-speak for running conferences, speaking, or improving the

If you value your kids undergraduate and masters education in any way,
DO NOT allow them under any circumstances to attend a "research" school,
their education will be complete crap (another academic term). This
reverses for PhD programs of course, where you learn to do research.

Sadly, I'm not saying anything that is not well known to anyone who
looks. In fact it's a badge of PRIDE. There is hope at least, this
information seems to be getting more attention, and the research schools
are reacting.

As for a student's prospects in CS/EE or anything else that's being sent
to Asia, America is in real trouble, and retooling a class or two will
not bring back the vibrant culture of innovation that we once had. Life
is just too easy to motivate children to work hard enough to be great.
90% of the undergrads here seem to be considering only one career
regardless of major - Investment Banking. They all think they can get
rich without any hard work and retire in 5 years for some reason.

Maybe because their education was complete crap?

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