December 6, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas — The story so far: Massive open online courses have yet to live up to their potential. But unlocking that potential could already be a pilot at a community college, state university or private institution.
More than 200 scholars from institutions all over the world have gathered here at a conference hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington to hear preliminary results from the MOOC Research Initiative, a grant program founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by Athabasca University in Canada. Grantees, who received between $10,000 and $25,000 to examine how MOOCs can be used to change higher education, will compile their findings in a forthcoming edition of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. read more
December 6, 2013
Full-time lecturers at UNH have launched a bid to form a union with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The AAUP-UNH has been the union for tenure-track faculty at The University of New Hampshire. Lecturers are not currently eligible to join the AAUP-UNH. The group organizing the union is University of New Hampshire Lecturers United AAUP.
“I think it’s tremendous,” Deanna Wood, chapter president of the AAUP-UNH, said.
The average salary of lecturers at UNH is 40 percent lower than the national average, Clark Knowles, lecturer of English, said in a press release. There are 200 lecturers currently at UNH, according to the press release.
The union will bring a sense of fairness to lecturers, who haven’t had protection provided to them by the university, Wood said…read more
By Jeffrey J. Williams
Imagine a diorama in an American Museum of Occupations showing the evolution of the professor. The exhibit starts in the early 1800s with an austere, black-suited man in a minister’s collar, perhaps looking over the shoulder of a student at a rustic desk, with a Greek text open in front of him. In the next scene, from around 1900, he morphs into a pince-nez-wearing gentleman in starched collar and cravat, at a podium delivering a lecture. The professor of 1950 adopts the rumpled bearing of a tweed jacket, pointing with his pipe to a poem or a physics equation on a chalkboard. In the next frame, circa 1990, she wears jeans and is sitting in front of a computer screen.
How would the diorama represent the professor of 2020? (read more)
December 4, 2013 – 9:29pm
Steven Mintz and Michael Patrick Rutter
The educational landscape is shifting under our feet. Georgia Tech’s decision to offer a name-brand master’s degree in computer science at a strikingly low price is only the most dramatic example of the host of innovations that are reshaping higher education.
The next 24 to 36 months are likely to see dramatic shifts in the way that education is delivered and consumed.
Many textbooks will be free and will be supplemented by high quality interactive digital content that will include animations, simulations, online laboratories, serious games, and immersive learning environments.
Inside Higher Ed
December 5, 2013
A decade is an eternity in the ed-tech world. A draft of a report on academic freedom and electronic communications, updated for the first time since 2004, shows the American Association of University Professors is moving to extend its protection of faculty rights to keep up with advances in technology.
The report, currently in draft form, contains thoughts on topics ranging from social media to cloud computing and cybersecurity, recommending a strong model of shared governance to ensure that faculty members are informed about and involved in solving technology issues. The AAUP will spend the next month collecting input and modifying the contents ahead of its formal adoption next year.
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/12/05/academic-freedom-challenged-changing-online-landscape-aaup-report-shows#ixzz2mdBQBpCe
Inside Higher Ed
December 2, 2013
If attacks on tenure are cyclical – and Cathy Trower thinks that they are – the outgoing director of research for the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education at Harvard University became interested in researching faculty careers during another “trough.” That was when she was a Ph.D. candidate in higher education policy, planning and administration at the University of Maryland at College Park, in the mid-1990s.
“Faculty members were such as essential part of academe, and it was actually interesting at the time, looking at the generational influences on the faculty,” she said. “Younger people coming into the academy saw the work a bit differently than older faculty,” and Trower wondered how those different attitudes impacted their careers and lives.
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/12/02/researcher-reflects-studies-faculty-issues#ixzz2mLJkulsC
Inside Higher Ed
A state appellate court in Louisiana has affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a long-running lawsuit brought by four former professors at Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist institution in Pineville, La. The appellate ruling held that the issues in the lawsuit amounted to a religious dispute in which the court could not intervene.
The lawsuit, filed in December 2005 when the four professors were active faculty members, alleged that the college’s president, Joe Aguillard, and other officials had defamed them, precluded their advancement, violated their academic freedom and provisions of the Faculty Handbook, and breached the terms of a settlement agreement that had ended an earlier lawsuit. The professors have all either retired or resigned from Louisiana College since the second lawsuit was filed…read more
By Robin Wilson
Kean University’s president will ask the institution’s board next month to reject two-thirds of the professors up for tenure this year, further antagonizing a faculty that has been at odds with the administration for years.
Kean’s faculty union said this was the first time the president, Dawood Y. Farahi, had recommended that a majority of those seeking tenure—six of nine faculty members—be denied. All but one of those professors had received positive votes from their academic departments, the union said…read more
Danbury — If the plan of the new president of Connecticut’s public college system works, enrollment at the 17 schools will increase by nearly 10 percent over the next few years.
Gregory Gray, who became the leader this past summer of the recently merged 12 community colleges, four state universities and online college, is unfazed by the steady drop in enrollment the schools have experienced over the past several years or the projection that fewer students will be graduating from high school and heading to college…read more
By Peter Schmidt
Nearly 40 of Virginia Tech’s faculty members have signed a letter protesting how the university has distanced itself from an associate professor of English whose public critique of patriotic slogans angered some political conservatives.
The associate professor, Steven G. Salaita, became the target of threats, racist emails, and demands for his firing after the website Salon last summer published his op-ed arguing that public appeals to “support our troops” serve to discourage legitimate criticism of the nation’s military actions while actually doing little to help military personnel or veterans…read more