Archive for the 'jobs' Category
Check out this article about the Harvard Business School’s two-year old (so far) scheme to close the gender gap in terms of student grades and participation in class. It’s been a huge success, and it also appears to have increased students’ overall satisfaction with their experience at HBS. (Also, if you don’t already know, you’ll learn about what a “search fund” is. Sounds pretty scammy and potentially a kind of pyramid scheme to me–I’m not really clear as to where our HBS grads are adding any value whatsoever, but you be the judge.)
[HBS '13] had been unwitting guinea pigs in what would have once sounded like a far-fetched feminist fantasy: What if Harvard Business School gave itself a gender makeover, changing its curriculum, rules and social rituals to foster female success?
The country’s premier business training ground was trying to solve a seemingly intractable problem. Year after year, women who had arrived with the same test scores and grades as men fell behind. Attracting and retaining female professors was a losing battle; from 2006 to 2007, a third of the female junior faculty left.
Some students, like Sheryl Sandberg, class of ’95, the Facebook executive and author of “Lean In,” sailed through. Yet many Wall Street-hardened women confided that Harvard was worse than any trading floor, with first-year students divided into sections that took all their classes together and often developed the overheated dynamics of reality shows. Some male students, many with finance backgrounds, commandeered classroom discussions and hazed female students and younger faculty members, and openly ruminated on whom they would “kill, sleep with or marry” (in cruder terms). Alcohol-soaked social events could be worse. Continue Reading »
Kelly J. Baker has a thoughtful and interesting report on her blog about why she’s decided to take a break from academia for the year, and perhaps forever:
In May, I quit my job and moved to Florida. Both decisions might seem big (they were), but they were remarkably easy. My lecturer gig paid little, the teaching load was heavy, and my department was dysfunctional. Leaving behind students, friends, and colleagues was hard. Watching my daughter mourn the loss of her friends was harder.
. . . . . .
After six years on the job market, I found myself burned out. I’ve had conference interviews and campus visits. I’ve been a second choice for tenure track jobs multiple times. I applied for jobs while teaching three and four classes a semester. And I finished my first book, wrote articles and book reviews, received a contract for a new book, edited a journal, organized panels, and experimented with an ebook. The harder I worked, I thought naively, the more likely I was to get a job. Optimism is hard habit to kick.
During this past spring semester, something broke. My tireless drive to research and write dissipated. The latest round of rejections hit harder than previous rounds, and I was tired. Why make myself get up extra early to write if there was no tenure track job for me? Why spend the time researching when I would rather spend time with my daughter? Why kill myself for a job opportunity that would never materialize? I found that I couldn’t do the work I used to love. My motivation stalled.Something broke, and it seemed irreparable. Continue Reading »
How would we do that? Let’s try to learn from those innovators in places like Redmond and Palo Alto, shall we?
- Recognize that “stack ranking”-style review systems for teachers and professors, in which there must be a fixed percentage of high, average, and low achievers, lead only to counterproductive internal competition, not innovation or work of real value.
- Act like innovation matters by reserving time for all teachers and professors to develop creative projects on their own, because as a Google spokesperson says, “the company recognizes people are more productive when they are working on projects that excite them. Google engineers are given a lot of flexibility when choosing projects, and encouraged to pursue company-related interests.”
- Realize the value of human contact by prioritizing and adequately funding face-to-face teaching, because as Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer says, Continue Reading »
Will shattering the Oval Office’s glass ceiling and electing a madam president be an inspiring achievement for this country? Of course. Do we also need madam mayors, madam senators, madam councilwomen, madam sheriffs, madam governors and madam congresswomen all across the nation? You betcha.
. . . . . .
Unfortunately, women running for elected office confront greater barriers than their male counterparts. Their appearance, qualifications — even psychology — are subjected to intense, often crass, scrutiny.
You don’t say! Have you glanced at the archives of The Nation from 2007-08 lately? No? Need a refresher? Look here. And here. And here, where notorious d!ckbag Tom Hayden calls Hillary Clinton a “screech on the blackboard. From First Lady to Lady Macbeth,” and in a very manly rhetorical maneuver, blames his Clinton Derangement Syndrome on his wife’s influence. (She “is inspired by Barack Obama’s transformational appeal,” he wrote.) Clinton didn’t run a primary campaign. No. Hayden claims that it was a “path of destruction.”
Who was the editor who published that sack of $hit? Hmm? Continue Reading »
Geoffrey Miller, a psychology professor, has been censured by the University of New Mexico, two months after he sent out a fat-shaming Twitter post that caused an angry Internet uproar.
It may have taken Miller less than a minute to write out this message and hit the “Tweet” button: “Dear obese Ph.D. applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth.” But the consequences of that tweet will last much longer.
According to a university memo released on Tuesday, Miller — who has tenure at the University of New Mexico and was a visiting professor at New York University this summer — will be required to:
- Not serve on any committee involving the admission of graduate students to the psychology department for the duration of his time as a faculty member at the university.
- Work with the faculty co-advisers of the psychology department’s diversity organization to develop a plan for sensitivity training on obesity (for himself to undergo, said a university spokeswoman). The plan must be approved by a co-adviser or by the chair of the department.
- Be assigned a faculty mentor for three years with whom he will meet on a regular basis to discuss potential problems.
- Have his work monitored by the chair of the department.
- Apologize to the department and his colleagues for his behavior.
Miller did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Continue Reading »
Some of you may have read about the recent call from the American Historical Association to Ph.D.-granting universities to permit their recently credentialed historians to leave their dissertations off-line for six years in order to give the junior scholar time to revise the dissertation for publication. The AHA’s reasoning?
History has been and remains a book-based discipline, and the requirement that dissertations be published online poses a tangible threat to the interests and careers of junior scholars in particular. Many universities award tenure only to those junior faculty who have published a monograph within six years of receiving the PhD. With the online publication of dissertations, historians will find it increasingly difficult to persuade publishers to make the considerable capital investments necessary to the production of scholarly monographs.
I read through the AHA statement, the New York Times article on the subject, and a blog post by Berkeley biologist and open access advocate Michael Eisen (courtesy of Comradde PhysioProffe). I agree entirely with Eisen. The AHA position is wrongheaded, although I’ve got some different reasons to disagree with the call to embargo disseratations than Eisen has. Let me explain: Continue Reading »
I’ve got a friend who is struggling this summer with her university press publisher’s demand that she cut 20,000 words from her 142,000 word book. She’s doing interesting work pulling together the relevant strands of scholarship from many different fields, and as most of you humanists can probably guess, this means that her footnotes are pretty crunchy and dense. She added a great deal more to her first draft of the manuscript to respond to the suggestions and concerns of the press reviewers, and now the press itself is demanding that she cut-cut-cut, and she’s understandably frustrated.
As a first-time author, she feels obligated to demonstrate quite clearly her scholarly debt to others, so her footnotes and bibliography comprise 36,000 of the total. At this point, she has already cut 12,000 words from the manuscript and doesn’t think she can go further without undermining her contribution to the existing literature. Continue Reading »
Reza Aslan defends himself against charges of “bias” in his new book on Fox News by pointing out that he is a prominent scholar who writes about many religions. Slate says that “this may just be the single most cringe-worthy, embarrassing interview on Fox News:”
Fox News anchor Lauren Green had religious scholar Reza Aslan on her FoxNews.com show Friday to talk about Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, his book that has been stirring up some online controversy recently. And right off the bat, Green gets to what is important: “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” Aslan seemed a little flabbergasted: “Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim.”*
But Green just wouldn’t let it go: “It still begs the question though, why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?” Aslan then starts talking to Green slowly, as if she were a child: “Because it’s my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living, actually.” But Green insisted, accusing him of failing to “disclose” that he’s a Muslim and at one point asking him about a stupefying claim on whether a Muslim writing a book on Jesus isn’t sort of like a Democrat writing a book on former president Ronald Reagan. Continue Reading »
Does this read like a Coursera or Udacity press realease to you, too?
Whether for good or ill, MOOCs augur a disruption of the relationships among students, colleges and trade schools, and the credentials those schools offer — a relationship that has stabilized higher education for at least a century. Yet if done right — a big if, as recent events at San Jose State and Colorado State universities have shown — they may help address the quality and cost of higher education.
What’s the nature of the disruption?
For the moment, providers of MOOCs make their courses available to anyone. There is no admissions process. As in a video game, anyone can start, but you have to master levels that can include very difficult work. For the 10 percent who get to the end, the learning is real.
What about that experiment to offer dramatically reduced tuition for MOOCwork courses at Baa Ram U.? It’s even more hilarious than you can guess: Continue Reading »