Monthly Archives: January 2012

Maybe we’re not that different from our students

In an interesting essay (“The Admiring Ignorant”) William Bradley frames student behavior optimistically by reflecting on his less-than-perfect career as a student.

It might make you feel a little better about your view from the front of the room.


A program in need of assessment

According to ESPN (“Texas Longhorns approve Mack Brown’s contract extension“) UT regents extended head football coach Mack Brown’s contract through the end of the 2020 season with Brown keeping his current $5.2 million salary with annual $100,000 raises.

This comes after an 8-5 season (4-5 in conference).

If the state is committed to success-based funding I’d suggest they start with the state’s premier football program.

UT Arlington enrollment hits 33,439

Growing schools have revenue they can use for investments that help them improve and grow. UTA is making the most of their opportunity.

UT Arlington enrollment is soaring, but why? – Dallas Business Journal.


Students Gone Wild

The New York Times has a story (“How Big-Time Sports Ate College Life“) about how much student time can be consumed by college athletics at some campuses.   I spent ten years at a school where some of this happened during basketball season (the University of Kansas) and I know this happens. However, I also saw students hurt their grades by spending too much time doing lots of other things sponsored by the university. SFA doesn’t have anything that approaches the kind of sports-related fanaticism described in the article but that does not keep our students from finding other major distractions.

There are too many real issues (like the spending mentioned only briefly in the article) to spend time blaming athletics for its ability to distract students. Every generation and every campus has its own sets of diversions. I never camped out for sports tickets. I did camp out for Bruce Springsteen (and other concert) tickets. College life often involves doing too much of something and athletics is only one of the distractions the campus provides.

Texas State Upgraded to Emerging Research Status

The state’s political leaders have decided that we should pretend to improve more of our schools even as we underfund all of them.

Texas State Upgraded to Emerging Research Status


Mischaracterizing the ills of higher education

Michael McClendon, a professor of public policy, defended higher education in Texas in in the Houston Chronicle (“No benefit in mischaracterizing ills of higher education – Houston Chronicle“). It’s nice to see the Chronicle publishing an informed opinion about the subject.


Title Win Would Give LSU Coach $5.9-Million Salary Bump – Players – The Chronicle of Higher Education

A LSU win on Monday night would raise Head Coach Les Miles’ salary $980,000 a year for the next six years (“Title Win Would Give LSU Coach $5.9-Million Salary Bump – Players“).

Meanwhile, Louisiana schools are losing faculty and programs.

Also, NCAA now allows paying player $2,000 a year in the name of fairness to athletes who are “exploited” while coaches and others get rich. Maybe we need to pay some coaches less, go back to not paying college athletes, and relieve the financial burden on the students who are stuck with the fees that pay for most of this.


According to the Chronicle of Higher Education (“E-Textbooks Saved Many Students Only $1 – Wired Campus”) those e-textbooks don’t always save students money and many users are unhappy with them.