Thursday, September 02, 2010

Bogus. Plain and simple.

Texas A&M has reached a new low in determining the value of its faculty. Literally.

The university is formulating an accountability system in which a faculty member's value (and there is a clear double meaning to that term) will be based on his/her salary, how much external grant money he/she has brought in and how many dollars are generated from his/her teaching.

That's bogus.

Here's why: Faculty member A teaches in the equivalent of a School of Journalism, where research often is based on scholarly papers not grants. Faculty member B teaches in the equivalent of the School of Medicine, where large grants form the basis of research projects.

Which faculty member is more important to the university?

Do you see how this system unfairly favors academic units where million-dollar grants are the norm? Those grants involve financial income to the university and a national respect that comes with being a pre-eminent research institution. But if your department doesn't contribute in that way....

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