Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The End of the University as We Know It?

Op-ed piece from The New York Times by Mark C Taylor, Chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University, published on 26th April, proposes a complete restructuring of higher education to make learning more agile, adaptive and imaginative.

Some of the language and ideas are obviously aimed at a US audience, and refers to HE in that country, but ideas 1 2 and 3 below are certainly interesting, particularly in the light of curriculum reviews we are beginning to undertake in this University. I'm not going to comment on 6!

He proposes 6 steps:
  1. Restructure the curriculum so that teaching and scholarship become cross disciplinary and cross cultural
  2. Abolish permanent departments and develop problem-focused programmes
  3. Increase collaboration between institutions
  4. Transform the traditional dissertation
  5. Expand the range of professional options for graduate students
  6. Impose mandatory retirement and abolish tenure
He concludes with repeating what he has said to students: “Do not do what I do; rather, take whatever I have to offer and do with it what I could never imagine doing and then come back and tell me about it.”

2 comments:

Fleur said...

We can certainly say that we are working on collaboration between institutions, in different faculties and with the use of externally focused projects. Point 1 & 2 are very interesting for the Enable project - is this a route that Staffordshire University might want to take in the future? Would be interesting to get feedback from them about it :)

Jack Reylan said...

Columbia's financial engineering graduates are just programmers pretending to be quants just like their industrial engineers are mostly actuaries.
No other academic department is more responsible for the destruction of both the American banking and automobile industries. Those Trotskyites never believed in American economics and just faked it. You don't see them saying enything how Japan collapsed form all their good advice and you don't see them admonishing their fellow reds in China for bad quality.

Columbia Civil Engineering is controlled by the mafia, which is why all the famous professors whose surnames started with S up and left. Engineering is the only Columbia library that does not check id so mafia contractors can go without a trace.

Ivy League universities are not good at getting students jobs, only grants to be commie nutty organizers. No business ever trusts such left wing graduates who don't believe in capitalism and become crooks because they are taught the only way business makes money is crooked so they seek to avenge their unemployability through their own crookedness. The universities consider real jobs and competition beneath them, so they want their little sissies to live off grants, even in the hard sciences or business. How many of their engineering professors have Professional Engineering certification? Almost none! They love foreign students because they slave up and don't expect professors to actually work for the tuition, like American students do. No middle class parent should consider sending their kids there, because these schools will destroy your entire family. The only schools that understand middle-class values are for