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Putting a Price on Professors

November 12, 2010

On our heads? Per pound?

A reader sent in the following article with the comment that is was worrisome:

Putting a Price on Professors: A battle in Texas over whether academic value can be measured in dollars and cents,” Stephanie Simon and Stephanie Banchero, The Wall Street Journal (22 Oct./10).

Read it, and the responses, and judge for yourself. My own take is that the situation described in the article is an endgame of the insidious “performance management” mentality we see around us. Certainly we should be accountable; the question is accountable to whom or what? I am satisfied to be held accountable by my students, my peers, my discipline, and wider academic and university values. As indeed I and my colleagues already are.

But it is not from any of these groups that these new “metrics” are coming.


One Comment
  1. Jula Hughes permalink
    November 12, 2010 1:35 pm

    One of the beautiful things this kind of accounting reveals, however, is that universities struggling with underfunding must invest in their Arts programming if they want to survive the governmental starvation diet.

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