What are those unscrupulous fellas down at Baylor University up to this year? (If you recall, Historiann had quite a few things to say about the Tenure Massacre there last year, the gendered dimentions thereof, and the resulting $hitcanning of former Baylor president John Lilley, despite his having tried to walk some of his bad decisions back.) Well, they’re at it again, this time trying to fix their U.S. News and World Report rankings by paying admitted Freshmen to re-take their S.A.T.s so that Baylor could report higher average scores. Officially, the university denies this, and says that the Mulligan tests are to make sure that students will be eligible for more financial aid.
Yeah, right. The people in charge at Baylor appear to be total dirtbags. (And that’s more polite than the term I have in mind right now, actually.) The Baylor adminstration’s bad faith was crystal-clear in its treatment of their faculty last year. I get it that Baylor is ambitious–they want more productive and higher-profile faculty, and stronger students–but their attempts to up their game seem more like gaming the system. Firing a bunch of faculty and paying students for better test scores are stupid and short-sighted cheats. What a terrific example to set for their students: win at any cost, dump on the faculty, and go for the bucks!
Try to keep your stick on the ice, Baylor. You’ve got a lot of things going for you–build on your strengths, set a decent example for your students, and don’t be dirtbags. How hard can that be?
UPDATED BELOW: Baylor is now abandoning its bucks-for-bonus points scam, reports Inside Higher Ed today: “Lori Fogleman, a spokeswoman, said in an interview Thursday night that the university ‘goofed’ by offering the cash incentives. ‘We have heard the criticism,’ she said. ‘It just had the appearance of impropriety. It raised unnecessary questions.’” Baylor has an interesting habit of walking these dumb decisions back pretty rapidly–how about just not making dumb decisions in the first place, gang?