Skip to comments.Is Gov. Scott at war with academia?
Posted on 11/13/2011 1:10:57 AM PST by Maelstorm
Laying the groundwork to revamp higher education in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott has questioned the value of liberal arts degrees, dissed anthropologists, proposed ending tenure for professors and posted salaries of all state university employees on the Internet.
Scott also recently sent a letter to state university trustee boards pushing for change on campuses. He included excerpts from a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece by Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedder, "Time to Make Professors Teach." Vedder derided much academic research as "obscure" and "trivial," noting there have been 21,000 scholarly articles on Shakespeare since 1980.
"Wouldn't 5,000 have been enough?" Vedder wrote.
Among those who received Scott's letter: Ayden Pierce Maher, a senior at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton who serves as the student representative to the school's trustee board. Maher called the governor "misguided."
"Isn't a university supposed to be a place for emerging minds to ponder new ideas?" said Maher, of Coral Springs, the FAU student body president.
Longtime FAU mathematics professor Fred Hoffman said Scott's actions have left a bad taste with faculty: "We assume he has some kind of ax to grind."
Boris Bastidas, an FAU senior and political science major, said, "It's almost as if the governor is saying some of these areas are a waste of taxpayer money. But it's not right to cut arts, sociology, psychology. It goes against what conservatives are supposed to stand for individual choice and the belief that with hard work you can get a job and succeed."
They all say that Scott, a former health care CEO, is bringing too much of a bottom-line business mentality to a place where the pursuit of knowledge and development of student intellect is supposed to be paramount.
(Excerpt) Read more at sun-sentinel.com ...
But are all of the ideas new?
The only jobs that people who major in subjects like “African American Studies” can get are jobs teaching “African American Studies”. Same with a host of other majors, mostly in the “Liberal Arts” sphere. It seems circularly stupid to me. A waste. Taxpayer dollars pay for this?
I suppose if there were a free market for doctoral students in Shakespeare, we could say let the market sort it out. But there isn’t one. Instead the government subsidizes the hell out of these markets. At the very least, the subsidies could start being pickier about what they subsidize, letting the market for doctorates in Shakespeare sort themselves out, and if the individual people of the country want to be awash in Shakespeare and vote with their money, well they shall get all the Shakespeare they want. In the meantime, things like engineering would be much more to the country’s self interest.
As a one time employee of a state university, I agree with Gov. Scott totally. I would add to his comments that every professor spend each third year actually working in his field to learn what employers needed so that he could impart updated information to his students instead of writing still another book filled with useless, outdated data.
A liberal arts 'education' has got to be one of the more frustrating things one acquires in life.
Four years and now what?
A young person, relatively fresh from the home nest, does not have the tools to deal with frustration. He or she has the vignettes of varied life events, but no experience with those events.
May as well pitch a tent on Wall St.
As well, the 21k papers and articles he mentions likely includes the work of graduate students. Most every grad degree ends with a published thesis and a published article in scholarly journal. While very few of these are “groundbreaking” they all fall in line with many hundreds of years of university tradition. Namely, that you craft a piece showing mastery of your subject for your peers to review before you can graduate.
your self interest have blinded you to what is good for society. Like Accountant are against removing taxes and lawyers are against reduce law suits
If I wee being purely selfish I would want fewer potential competitors edging into my market.
It’s possible to make careers from the so-called useless degrees with dedication and hard work.
What you say is very true....except for the part about the “useless degrees”. Degrees of this sort guarantee NOTHING at all while dedication and hard work will ALWAYS have a benefit.
What’s wrong with assessing what value a college education brings? Aside from massive inflation, I would say very little. What terrifies the Left is losing their cushy lifetime sinecures. They can be expected to fight Scott on it tooth and nail. I’d be surprised if Florida becomes the model for national higher education reform.
Good for you, I assume you are using that specialized university education directly? Anyways what percent of graduates in fine arts end up using that degree to make money excluding working for the Gov't or a university? University meaning mostly subsidized by the Gov't such as employed by a State U
My guess on the above Q is 3%
Agreed. Except that I would add that degrees of ANY sort are no guarantee - not just the so called useless degrees. I went through three business majors when I was looking for someone to help run my business. They were all idiots incapable of actually managing a business. The person who actually got the job done and helps keep my business afloat studied anthropology. She specialized in the creepy a$$ rituals of some tribe in Peru. Dang good manager though. Go figure.
What percentage? Very tiny. Very few people are willing to put in the literally thousands of hours of work it takes. Lazy people think arts require less dedication and hard work than other careers. Those sorts of people usually amount to nothing no matter what degrees they get.
The pity is that a lot of really talented artists never “make it”. Not for lack of skill but for lack of business education. Another argument for cross discipline training.
There is a fundamental market principle being violated by acadumbia, an inverse relationship between quality and price. As the quality of American education plummets the cost necessarily skyrockets. Where’s the left and their “windfall profits mantra”? Oh. I forgot, acadumbia is largely a propaganda arm of the left. Everything that the left gets its tentacles into it corrupts. Good for Governor Scott.
William F. Buckley
On his Facebook his liberral prof buddies all chime in about conservative stupidity and ignorance. I wouldnt send my kid to that school if it were free. All profs from Notre Dame too. the catholics are really putting out some quality priests. (/sarcasm)
Long over due. Higher edecuation has been the direct and indirect beneficiary of too much federal funding. Students are borrowing a fortune in federal loans to pursue worthless degrees. How many medival women studies majors does society need?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.