Friday, March 4, 2016

A Friday thirsty to last all weekend long

For the Americans in the house, which presidential candidate do you think would be the most disastrous for higher education and why? Discuss.

Dr. Amelia


16 comments:

  1. I consider it a blessing that, with the exception of some "free college" loan/grant discussion by Democrats, higher education really hasn't been much of an issue. There was that Rubio-v-philosphers thing, but otherwise, they're leaving us alone.
    Which is wierd, because attacking us is pretty traditional.

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  2. My feeling is the Cruz would be the worst for education. Trump is just such a fool----he'd never get anything off the ground. Rubio has other priorities (and he's so green he also probably would never get anything off the ground).

    Cruz is the most dangerous candidate in my book. Mean, ultra conservative, anti education (although he, too, has not made that a hot topic in his campaign), slick, experienced enough to do some damage.

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    1. Not from the US, but totally agree about Cruz.

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    2. Well, that's okay, neither is Cruz.

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    3. Holy shit, Anonymous! You win the internet!

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  3. I won't tear into the candidate that doesn't understand why, on earth, unsecured loans like student loans have higher interest rates than secured loans, such as mortgages, and just say Trump. He's so aggressively anti-intellectual it hurts me. He reminds me of the idiots who picked on me in grade school and that I picked on in high school.

    The only GOP candidate I ever liked, and the only GOP candidate that I think valued education and knowledge, was Carly Fiorina. She said some dumb shit about Planned Parenthood, but she seemed to have a genuine appreciation for learning and an understanding of how it was necessary to maintain our nation's competitiveness.

    I was really confident that we'd just have Hillary and I was totally fine with that. But then I saw this:

    http://www.infowars.com/political-science-professor-trump-has-97-99-chance-of-becoming-president/

    It's basically a professor who made what seems to be a pretty accurate election model saying that if Trump wins the nomination, there's a 97% chance of a Trump presidency. Scary thought.

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    1. I don't think I'd spend one moment taking seriously anything posted on infowars.com, or uttered by Alex Jones; I'm annoyed that fivethirtyeight.com's polling forecasts are limited solely to the current primaries without an analysis of head-to-head general election polling, but I guess Nate Silver is busy enough as it is.

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    2. Scott Adams, the Dilbert Cartoonist, has been going on for while about Trump's presidential victory. Once you've got the conspiracy theorists and a cartoonist on your side, everything else is just details.

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  4. Replies
    1. Yeah, I'd say we're screwed in some way no matter what happens. The biggest damage that a president can do is cutting research funding. Republicans and Democrats to that. Beyond that, Obama appointed Arne Duncan, who (based on my limited knowledge) heightened the requirements for accreditation for colleges, which administrators pushed onto the faculty (I know that part all too well).

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    2. There's definitely a vicious cycle whereby the efforts of politicians at various levels to make colleges & universities more accountable actually ends up draining resources from basic instructional activities as institutions hire more administrators to deal with those accountability demands (either by actually trying to improve things, or by spinning/cooking the numbers, or -- probably most common -- a bit of both).

      Remember that the whole "kill the bunnies" fiasco began with an attempt to address an issue of legitimate concern: retention, about which various bodies are increasingly gathering numbers and asking questions. Of course, nobody seems to want to address retention by, say, increasing the number of full-time, decently-compensated, reasonably securely employed faculty in intro courses. For some reason it seems much better to most administrators to buy a software package from some edupreneur, hire another sub-administrator or two to interpret the results, and demand "accountability" for same from the relatively few TT faculty scrambling to hire, train, supervise, etc. the relatively many non-TT faculty doing most of the actual teaching. It's entirely possible for everybody along that long chain of cause and effect (even the edupreneur) to have genuinely good intentions, and for the end result still to be a lot of resources spent on gathering and arguing about numbers, and little if any effect on students' actual experience.

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    3. CC, you hit the nail on the head. For all of the "innovation" and "disruption" we've tried, no one's found anything more cost-effective than increasing the number of full-time, decently-compensated, reasonably securely employed faculty in intro courses. Yet that's the one option that's completely off the table.

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  5. I would like to see Bill Clinton become the First Gentleman or First Husband. What would his title actually be called? It's not just that he would be the first man in that position. It would be more interesting because he used to be the president himself, and also because he would be a cheating husband whose wife would be officially in charge. That would be fun to see, although they would probably just act naturally. It's the idea that is funny.

    I'm not saying it would be a good idea for your country. I'm not American or living in the States.

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    1. I firmly believe that if someone is in a political marriage where neither participant cares about the other, cheating is not morally wrong. Only socially wrong. Strongly encourage Hillary to cheat on Bill.

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  6. "I love the poorly educated" (and they love him right back).
    The real Donald J. Drumpft

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