Some Hard Stats about University Teaching

Thinking about becoming a university professor?  Read Kevin Birmingham’s “The Great Shame of Our Profession” before making definite plans. A 2014 congressional report suggests that 89 percent of adjuncts work at more than one institution; 13 percent work at four or more. The need for several appointments becomes obvious when we realize how little any one of them pays…. According to the 2014 congressional report, adjuncts’ median pay per course is $2,700. An annual report by the American Association of University Professors indicated that last year “the average part-time faculty member earned $16,718” from a single employer. Other studies have … Continue reading Some Hard Stats about University Teaching

Dang! Shut Out

I was disappointed that my alma mater and employer, UT at San Antonio, didn’t make the Texas Top 30 list, but then I followed up on the College Choice and found that UTSA didn’t make their Top 50 list either.  Maybe this has something to do with it. Continue reading Dang! Shut Out

Calculus as a Microagression

Yesterday I was cautioned by the recounting of an event that occurred in our College of Business.  It seems that a lecturer was explaining a concept that required either averaging or the area under a curve, and resorted to writing an integral on the board, by way of illustration.  This was NOT a demonstration of technique, nor an explanation of how to perform calculations required in the course, rather just background.  However, one student–correctly recalling that calculus was not a prerequisite–took umbrage; he wrote a letter of complaint to the Dean!  Holy hellfire sh!t! Just last week I spent 10 … Continue reading Calculus as a Microagression

Busting the myth of Genius

Truer words were never said: The cult of genius tends to undervalue hard work and the productive persistence that psychologists nowadays like to call “grit”—not to mention creativity, perspective and taste, without which all those other virtues may be wasted on pointless projects. I purely wish my students weren’t intimidated by the myth. Tip from Gary Jones. Continue reading Busting the myth of Genius