Re: hittin' the road

Marcy Bauman (marcyb@UMD.UMICH.EDU)
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 17:25:43 -0400

On Thu, 26 Sep 1996, Michael J. Salvo wrote:

> i like your proposal, steve, and i'm very much in favor of gene's
> re-locating the academy in *understandable* and relevent praxis. can we use
> this attack as an opportunity to discuss what tenure could be (should and
> ought to be?) rather than fighting for a flawed system -- and taking the
> sides of unproductive faculty we don't respect -- or throwing it all out and
> taking the show on the road?

I think that part of the problem here is that the institution is
largely run by people who have a great deal invested in it staying as it
is, or who at least don't care enough to do much about it. Example: I
spoke with one of the brightest & best full professors on our campus.
This guy has won teaching award after teaching award, he's using the Web
for research in _very_ interesting ways, and every time I've been in his
company he's asked really thought-provoking questions. I wanted him to
work with me on distance ed stuff, and he wasn't interested. His
reasoning? In five years, when the technology _really_ gets good, he'll
be 60. He doesn't want to invest himself there.

I want to be clear that I have high respect for this man, and I
don't think he's a Luddite or a dinosaur in any sense. He just has
different priorities than me.

My point is that most of the people in universities who are
taking the long view of universities are relatively powerless. That
makes change very difficult (notice I didn't say impossible, though).


Marcy Bauman
Writing Program
University of Michigan-Dearborn
4901 Evergreen Rd.
Dearborn, MI 48128

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