“Lucretia” and I had fully intended to work through our long-promised (or is it that threatened?) and now thrice-postponed seminar on the philosophical roots of leftist snobbishness and condescension, but we got diverted—strange that this keeps happening—by some notable campus news stories from last week. Naturally there were several stories of colleges disgracing themselves, capitulating to the student mob in the usual cowardly fashion (Haverford, Smith), but one university (yay Chicago!) showing how to tell the whiny mob to stuff it. So we ended up talking shop about the whole scene.

But wait—there’s more! The financial unsustainability of higher education is starting to show up in significant layoffs at last: employment is higher education institutions is down more than 10 percent since COVID hit, taking total college employment to a level not seen since before the housing crisis of 2008. Several universities are now starting to shrink core tenured core faculty positions, and closing down some liberal arts departments. But before you say “good riddance,” we note that the politicized departments of “gender studies” and such aren’t on the chopping block, and that we risk cutting down the tall trees and leaving the zoo animals unaffected.

We round off the episode with a visit to the local gun store, some fond recollections of Walter Williams, and some of the usual bickering over whisky and stemware preferences, which caused me to debut the first in a series of campaign-style attack ads directed at “Lucretia.” Time to drink up!

Meanwhile, here’s last night’s sunset out here on the Left Coast that unspooled as we were recording this week’s episode. (And yes, I did swap out the exit music for this week’s episode, because it fit in an obscure way with the originally intended topic. You’ll just have to suffer with it.)

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There are 7 comments.

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  1. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    I didn’t realize there was a difference in red wine glasses and white wine glasses, though I was aware that red wine isn’t chilled, and the glass can be grasped anywhere, while the white wine glass is supposed to be grasped by the stem.

    I also didn’t know what you referred to regarding 4/4 teaching load and had to look that up.

    I’m generally of the opinion that at public universities, if you’re not in STEM, you should be doing a 4/4 teaching load. I say generally. A history professor probably has a good case for doing research, but an English professor?

    My brother is a professor in marketing (business). While he has moved into administration (associate Dean) he has done his own academic research and submitted papers to acheive tenure. He continued his research track and will probably apply for full professor before retiring.

    But business schools are essentially trade schools, and I have seen no indication that real world businesses actually use academic journals to inform their way of doing business. If anything, they do their own research and take their own risks based on that research.

    I’d get rid of the whole tenure track infrastructure in public universities. I’d have state legislatures mandate it as a condition of continued funding.

    • #1
  2. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    A history professor probably has a good case for doing research, but an English professor?

    This whole post is excellent but I really love this. Obviously, this is a complete waste of resources right now.

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    My brother is a professor in marketing (business).

    I would think this would be a really cool job because there are so many things to research and so many ways to do it. 

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    But business schools are essentially trade schools,

    I bet they could cut their curriculum by 30% and the kids would be just as smart.

    • #2
  3. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    A history professor probably has a good case for doing research, but an English professor?

    This whole post is excellent but I really love this. Obviously, this is a complete waste of resources right now.

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    My brother is a professor in marketing (business).

    I would think this would be a really cool job because there are so many things to research and so many ways to do it.

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    But business schools are essentially trade schools,

    I bet they could cut their curriculum by 30% and the kids would be just as smart.

    Does anybody actually learn anything in college?

    The secret of having a smart graduating class is: recruiting a smart freshman class four years earlier.

    • #3
  4. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Taras (View Comment):
    Does anybody actually learn anything in college?

    There needs to be a big public discussion about what percent of it is actual human capital development and what percent of it is something else. 

    • #4
  5. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher
    @HankRhody

    This podcast: “Oh yeah? I can be intentionally vaguer than you!”

    • #5
  6. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    This is brutal.

     

     

    • #6
  7. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    This is brutal.

     

     

    In just over 5 minutes, John Stossel explains how Federal student loan subsidies encourage wealthy universities to raise their tuition rates and waste taxpayers’ money.

    • #7