Online Learning Human Dimension

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                                                                                                                                                                                           The Faculty Voice
                                                                                                        SHIfTINg from LEfT To rIgHT, p. 2
                                                                                                        THE ArT of mArgo HUmpHrEy, p. 3

                                                                                                       QUANTUm WEIrDNESS CoNfIrmED, p. 4
                                                                                                            IN THE NEWS: moNEy, p. 4
                                                                                                        TroLLEy CArS AND SANDbAgS, p. 5
                                                                                                                book rEvIEW, p. 5
                                                                                                       THE poETry of CLArINDA HArrISS, p. 6
 University of Maryland                   March 2010           Volume 23 Number 3

Online Learning’s                                                                                       Dan Mote & After
Human Dimension
                                                                                                         UMCP President Mote on
                                                                                                      15 February 2010 (a belated
                                                                                                      Valentine’s Day card!): “I
                                                                                                      am writing to inform you
“How can we be comfortable about on-line                                                              that I have submitted my
teaching? The students will cheat, maybe even hire                                                    resignation as President of
                                                                                                      the University of Maryland,
someone to do the work                                                                                College Park, effective Au-
for them,” says one professor.                                                                        gust 31, 2010. I will have
                                                                                                      completed twelve years as
“You can’t teach people                                                                               president at the end of the
                                                                                                      summer, a good time to turn
you don’t even see or you                                                                             over the leadership of this
can’t even shake their                                                                                remarkable university.”
hand! We have to be in the                                                                               Many credit Mote for the university’s aggressive
same room,” says another.                                                                             expansion, rising academic standards, and support for
                                                                                                         The Faculty Voice seeks contributions addressing one
By Helene Cohen, Education, UMCP                  is another compelling reason for the spike          or both of these questions:
                                                  in popularity. This is the ability of the new          (1) What is your assessment of Dan Mote’s twelve
    Some of us are clamoring to participate,      interactive virtual spaces to help students
while others are slamming on the brakes. It                                                           years as President of UMCP? And (2), What qualifica-
                                                  and teachers realize their instructional and        tions should the next President of UMCP have as the “flag
is interesting to watch the wave of techno-       community-building goals in an increas-             holder” to the state’s “flagship university”?

                                                                                                                                                                                     College Park, MD
logical advancements wash over society,

                                                                                                                                                                                      Non-Profit Org.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Permit No. 10
                                                  ingly human-friendly environment.

                                                                                                                                                                                       U.S. Postage
recede, and then surge again. With each new                                                              Send your suggestions to us at facultyvoice@jmail.

                                                      On a practical level, how do online ven-
wave come technologies like email, search         ues impact the human dimension of learn-  
engines, twitter, and online learning, which      ing? They do this by reaching an expanded
some of us adopt and others resist.               group of students, through an expanded
    There are many reasons why faculty

                                                                                                   More Remedial Math?
                                                  array of activities, connecting them with an
members resist online learning in particu-        expanded circle of people, during expanded
lar. Some doubt that quality instruction can      time periods.
occur. Others are put off by some of the              How do we get to know the students that
format’s idiosyncrasies, like time delayed        we teach? We think we know the student
video. Still others are wary of intellectual      who is sitting across from us in a face-to-         • Only one-third of Maryland high school graduates in 2008 completed
dishonesty and wonder how we can be sure          face classroom, but he or she may be smiling        the minimal math and science coursework that allows them to enroll in
that the student on the transcript is the one     and nodding with a mind far away from the           college level STEM courses.
actually doing the work. But underneath it        discussion.
all is the concern that we as universities,                                                           • At highly selective UMCP, in Fall 2009, there were 22 sections of reme-
                                                      In addition, shy or introspective students      dial math, for which almost all students pay an additional special $280
and society as a whole, are losing our hu-        often have a hard time breaking into the
man touch.                                                                                            fee. In addition, there were 33 sections of [college credit] Pre-Calculus
                                                  conversation. This all changes in an online         and College Algebra with Applica-
    We are afraid that teaching and learning      environment:
in a computer-mediated environment will                                                               tions, which are effectively reme-
undermine our ability to truly impact our             • Discussion boards allow hesitant stu-         dial courses for Science, Technol-
students as human beings; that it will inter-     dents to craft responses with which they            ogy, Engineering and Mathematics
fere with the relationships between students-     feel comfortable.                                   (STEM) and business majors.
to-instructor and students-to-students. In            • Private blogging allows an instructor
                                                  to engage in a deep personal dialogue with          • “Maryland’s public schools are
addition, without the human component, we
                                                  individual students.                                teaching mathematics in such a
suspect that online learning will inhibit our
                                                      • Wikis allow students to make contribu-        way that many graduates cannot
students’ ability to absorb, process, retain
                                                  tions to group projects that instructors can        be placed in entry-level college
and apply knowledge.
                                                  then see by clicking on the history button.         math classes.” (Baltimore Sun, 12
    The reality is twofold. First, online                                                             June 2009)
classes are here to stay, and second, contrary        • And the advent of live virtual spaces,
to the assumption that they are de-human-         where we can hear and see each other,
izing, they can actually contribute to the        augments online’s personal dimension. As         By Jerome Dancis, Math UMCP                       remedial algebra or arithmetic. From 1998
human dimension of learning.                      a result, students in online classes often                                                         to 2006, the number of European-American
                                                  feel more visible and known than those in            I’m glad that The Faculty Voice asked         freshmen increased by 15% (from14,473 to
    First, online classes are ubiquitous, of-     traditional classes.                             me to write about math education in Mary-         16,713), but the number who were [at least]
fered by most mainstream institutions, and            Virtual “social networking” is a rela-       land, because a serious situation exists. The     minimally ready for college math decreased
are quickly growing in popularity. As a mat-      tively new concept that has tipped into          data indicate that an increasing number of        by 60 (from 9703 to 9643). During these
ter of fact, over 20% of higher ed students       public consciousness with the popularity of      incoming university students are taking           years, the number of African-American
in the US took at least one online course in      sites like Facebook, MySpace and Linkedin.       remedial courses. For instance, from 1998         freshmen increased by 31% (from 6,103 to
the fall of 2007. (Staying the Course: On-        They are so prevalent that we take them for      to 2006, the number of European-American          7,982), but the number who were [at least]
line Education in the United States, 2008,        granted, but social networking is a powerful     freshmen needing remedial mathematics             minimally ready for college Math increased
Sloan-C)                                          humanizing force upon which online learn-        increased from 4776 to 7069; the number           by only 7% (from 2696 to 2889).
    Online courses, whether hybrid or fully       ing capitalizes.                                 of African-American freshmen needing re-              Note the decline from 1998 to 2006
online, are growing in popularity among               For many novice or reluctant Internet        medial mathematics increased from 3406 to         in the percentages of freshmen who were
both professors and students. The reason          users, social networking seems inferior to       5092. Caveat: These and the following data        “minimally ready for college math”: Eu-
this is true may appear simple at first glance:   real interactions at face-to-face meetings or    counted only those students, who graduated        ropean-American, 67%→58%; African-
There is the anytime/anywhere conve-              picnics. After all, they are “virtual,” mean-    from Maryland high schools in 1998 and            Americans, 44%→36%; Asian-Americans:
nience; the ease of scheduling a meeting          ing “almost” but not quite. However, our         2006, then entered a college in Maryland the      79%→76%; Latinos, 56%→43%. These
without factoring in travel time, money for       students do not experience them as substan-      same year. This analysis is based on data by      percentages reveal that the situation went
gas or frustrating traffic jams; and the grow-    dard. Our students consider social networks      Maryland Higher Education Commission’s            from bad in 1998 to worse in 2006 for all
ing reality that you may need to schedule an      to be true, meaningful social interactions.      (MHEC) Student Outcome and Achieve-               racial/ethnic groups.
online class when campus is closed due to         Online classes extend this phenomenon to         ment Report (SOAR).                                   Unfortunately, these declines were
snow or health issues.                                                                                  A freshman is at least minimally pre-
    Second, while all of this is true, there                             continued on page 2       pared in math if she/he is not required to take                         continued on page 2

                                                          An Independent Faculty Newspaper
                                           Edited at College Park by and for all faculty members in the University System of Maryland
2      March 2010                                                                                                                                                        The Faculty Voice

Shifting from Left to Right                                                                                                                            Letter to the
    According to New York Times colum-           ‘go our own way’ has risen sharply.”               are more liberal than other Americans
                                                                                                                                                         I wish to make a comment about
nist David Brooks (5 January 2010), “The            Should we worry about support for               because a higher proportion possess ad-
                                                                                                                                                     the article entitled “Knowing Our
public is not only shifting from left to         higher education, our position in global           vanced educational credentials, exhibit a
                                                                                                                                                     History” on the front page of the
right. Every single idea associated with         math and science, in literature? Should            disparity between their levels of education
                                                                                                                                                     December issue of the Faculty Voice.
the educated class has grown more un-            we all be learning Chinese?                        and income, identify as Jewish, non-reli-
                                                                                                                                                     It is surely of great importance that
popular over the past year.                         A study by Ethan Fosse (Harvard) and            gious, or non-theologically conservative
                                                                                                                                                     all persons associated with the Uni-
    “The educated class believes in glob-        Neil Gross (UBC) indicates that among              Protestant, and express greater tolerance
                                                                                                                                                     versity of Maryland be familiar with
al warming, so public skepticism about           all workers, 14% are “liberal” and 20%             for controversial ideas.
                                                                                                                                                     and “own” the dismal early history
global warming is on the rise. The edu-          “conservative.” But liberals rank above               What about our students? The Higher
                                                                                                                                                     of slavery in the state, its role in the
cated class supports abortion rights, so         conservatives among professors (43%                Education Research Institute at UCLA
                                                                                                                                                     establishment of the university, and
public opinion is shifting against them.         to 9%) and, less out of balance, authors,          surveyed the 2009 freshman class, and
                                                                                                                                                     the many years of discrimination
The educated class supports gun control,         journalists, creative artists, non-academic        the result is 29% liberal and 21.8% con-
                                                                                                                                                     against African-Americans there-
so opposition to gun control is mounting.        social scientists, social workers, and…            servative. The liberal figure is the next to
                                                                                                                                                     after. But beginning in the 1950’s,
    “The story is the same in foreign af-        bartenders.                                        highest recorded since 1976; however, the
                                                                                                                                                     a whole new era of inclusion was
fairs. The educated class is internation-           The conservatives are well ahead                conservative figure has been rising slowly
                                                                                                                                                     finally inaugurated, and by the end of
alist, so isolationist sentiment is now at       among religious workers, building man-             since a 18.9% Bush low point. In only one
                                                                                                                                                     that decade the picture had changed
an all-time high, according to a Pew Re-         agers, non-academic natural scientists,            year did conservatives score higher than
                                                                                                                                                     very substantially. I enrolled in my
search Center survey. The educated class         physicians, dentists, and law enforcement          liberals, 1981.
                                                                                                                                                     first graduate Human Development
believes in multilateral action, so the num-     officers. Why liberal professors? The au-             The report is at http://www.gseis.ucla.
                                                                                                                                                     class in the College of Education at
ber of Americans who believe we should           thors: “Results indicate that professors           edu                                       O      Maryland in 1954, and by that time
                                                                                                                                                     a number of Black students were
                                                                                                                                                     present. In May, 1959, when I was
                                                                                                                                                     awarded the Ph.D. degree, one of
                                                                                                                                                     my classmates was Alex Wiseman,
                                                                                           schedule formal office meetings with us
                                                 ese university held a series of synchronous
Online Learning                                  classes with a similar class at a Japanesebetween sessions. Online virtual meetings
                                                                                                                                                     African American, who was awarded
Continued from page 1                                                                                                                                the Ed.D. degree. My impression is
                                                 university, where they learned about each are different.                                            that Dr. Wiseman was the first Black
learning communities.                            others’ cultures while they practiced the    Because of their ease, we can meet                     student to receive a doctorate at
   As faculty members, we like to talk           language they were learning.              our students informally for a few minutes                 Maryland.* Following the 1950’s,
about the “global community,” but our               • A UMCP literature class met an authorhere and there, anytime they need a quick                 increasing numbers of Black students
students have rarely had the opportunity                                                   answer to a question or reassurance when
                                                 whose book they had just read, in an area of                                                        were present, and Black faculty and
to substantively connect with their peers        Second Life, which is a virtual world.    a project seems daunting. Students can                    staff soon followed.
in other countries. We                                                                                          share their desktops                      I would like to suggest that this
refer to professionals, March 5th release: “Frostburg State University’s Master of Science in Recre- and cursor control so                           remarkable transformation during
authors and research- ation and Parks Management is now offered entirely online, accessible from that faculty members                                the decade of the 1950’s deserves as
ers in class, but our anywhere with a computer and Internet access. It is FSU’s first fully online can effectively demon-                            much attention as the early history,
students have rarely academic program, with the first online cohort beginning in the fall 2010 se- strate how to input data,                         and I feel it was largely missing in
had the opportunity to mester.” — BH                                                                            solve problems or edit               the article appearing in the previous
actually interact with                                                                                          presentations.                       issue of The Faculty Voice.
them. Online line en-                                                                                              Most importantly,
vironments allow these connections to          Online, we are able to ask questions to,    we can see and hear each other, making                                           Jacob D. Goering,
occur easily:                               and glean insights from, a range of relevant   informal connections that contribute to real                                    Emeritus Professor
   • A cohort of education students in Ger- individuals who would otherwise just be        human relationships. And this, of course,
many talked with a Maryland principal and   names to our students.                         is what we faculty members strive to do:                     * The Faculty Voice staff double-
superintendent in a live virtual classroom.    In traditional classes, we see our students facilitate learning in both the intellectual              checked, and indeed Dr. Wiseman
   • An English language class at a Taiwan- once a week and offer them the chance to       and human dimensions.                     O               was the first.

More Remedial Math?                              reason is that the student is not fluent in           ment the rigorously researched report
Continued from page 1                            arithmetic (especially fractions, decimals,           of the National Mathematics Advisory
                                                 and percents) and real Algebra I, which               Panel, which calls for appropriate in-
predicted, by this writer in “Plight of fresh-   includes knowing that 2x + 3x = 5x.). If              struction and instructional time for
                                                 this student takes another math course in             Arithmetic in K-8.[         THE FACULTY VOICE is published by and
man mathematics students may worsen”                                                                                                                for the faculty of the University System of
[Faculty Voice October 2001] and by the          Grade 12, which once again relies heavily             bdscomm/list/mathpanel/report/final-
                                                                                                                                                    Maryland. It is an independent newspaper
mostly UMCP faculty “Petition to Up-             on calculators, for example AP Statistics,            report.pdf]
                                                                                                                                                    dedicated to supplying an open forum to dis-
grade Maryland’s Mathematics Standards”          the student will likely remain on track for               Maryland and 44 other states,
                                                                                                                                                    cuss and debate institutional and intellectual
[2002], which was signed by 50 math and          remedial math in college.                             have adopted the National Council of         matters of common concern to the faculty
engineering college professors. It is on my          It is form versus substance. A required           Teachers of Mathematics’ (NCTM) cur-         and to broadening faculty opportunities to
website at          fourth year of high school math is form. It is        riculum, written with little consultation    participate in the life of our academic com-
subhome/petition_w_sign.htm.                     a distraction from doing really useful things.        with professors of mathematics. This         munity. Circulation: 10,000
     Under the specter of the Maryland’s         Here are five actions that should be taken:           curriculum marginalizes arithmetic
School Assessments (MSAs) and High                                                                     and emphasizes superficial statistics. It    Editor:
                                                        1. Require university applicants to
School Assessments (HSAs), school admin-                                                               floods each grade (K-8) with so many           William J. Hanna
                                                    take the CEEB’s SAT II achievement
istrators have been bending the instructional                                                          topics, that the curriculum is incoherent        (
                                                    tests in Math, English composition,
programs out of shape in order to teach to                                                             and difficult to teach; before any topic     Editorial Board:
                                                    science and history. This would pro-
the state tests. But the math MSAs and                                                                 reaches deep memory, the teacher must          Stephen G. Brush
                                                    vide admission offices with common
HSAs have students relying on calculators.                                                             change topics.                                   (
                                                    objective data on how much applicants
They avoid arithmetic and simple Algebra            learned in high school. This was dis-                  5. Publicly call for the state to          Leigh Ryan
I, such as knowing that 3x + 2x = 5x, which         cussed in my February, 2002 Faculty                implement the recommendations of the             (
is information clearly needed in college.           Voice article, “How we use the SAT                 rigorously researched National Math-            Christine White
This is why I entitled the bottom third of          in admissions sends a message across               ematics Advisory Panel’s 2008 report             (
my homepage: “Stop Maryland’s Pretend                                                                  that teacher licensing tests for all K-8       Peter Wolfe
                                                    the state”.
Algebra and Pretentious Data Analysis                                                                  mathematics teachers should fully ad-            (
                                                        2. The university should cease count-
Exam.”                                                                                                 dress the foundational topics in arithme-      Special Contributor:
                                                    ing pretend Algebra and pretentious                                                                 Roger Lewis
     For those students, who pass a remedial        Data Analysis courses based on the MD              tic (including fractions, decimals, and
course and go on successfully in college, the       HSA on [Some concepts from] Func-                  percents). It would be unfair to require     Managing Editors:
remedial classes were an inconvenience.             tions, Algebra, Probability and Data               Grade 8 students to add fractions, when       Jim Baxter
“But the first, and sometimes last, stops           Analysis (without 3x + 2x = 5x) as one             the state does not require this of middle        (
for many [community college students]               of the two Algebra courses currently               school Math teachers. Massachusetts’s         Arielle Emmett
are remedial math classes. ‘It’s the math           required of applicants.                            new Math content standards for its               (
that’s killing us,’ Dr. McKusik, [the senior            3. Publicly call for the state to use the      elementary school teachers (1-5) are
director of developmental, or remedial,             arithmetic and Algebra I questions on a            higher than Maryland’s Math content          Founding Editor: Alan Pasch
education at the Community College of               college placement math exam as the “No             standards for “highly qualified” middle
Baltimore County] said. More than one in            Child Left Behind” mandated Grade 10               school Math teachers.                        Please submit articles, letters, and proposals to
                                                                                                                                                    the Editor of The Faculty Voice, 0305 Marie
four remedial students works on elementary          math exam. Scoring “advanced” on the
                                                                                                                                                    Mount Hall, University of Maryland, College
and middle school arithmetic. Math is where         exam should mean that the student will              Our children deserve viable instructional
                                                                                                                                                    Park, MD 20742-4451 (Tel:301-405-7317;
students often lose confidence and give up.”        not need remedial arithmetic or Algebra         programs; ones in which graduates trapped
                                                                                                                                                    Email: or to any
The New York Times (2 September 2006)               I, if and when he or she enters college.        by remedial math in college will become a       member of the Editorial Board.
     The current proposal to require a fourth       The cut score for proficient (NCLB              rare exception ― ones which will produce
year of high school math is, alas, too little       passing score) could be set as low as the       many more high school graduates who are         Editor’s Note: The Faculty Voice has established
too late. Why might an eleventh grade               Maryland State Department of Educa-             STEM ready and hence ready to fulfill Presi-    a website. All past issues are available online at
student be on track to remedial arithmetic          tion desires.                                   dent Obama’s and Governor O’Malley’s  
and real Algebra I in college? The common               4. Publicly call for the state to imple-    calls for more STEM college graduates. O
The Faculty Voice                                                                                                                                            March 2010         3

The Art of
    Artist-Professor Margo Humphrey, a member of the Art Department
faculty at UMCP since 1989, has been creating stunning prints for
almost half a century. Indeed, her interest in art began when she was
four years old.
    One commentator: “Margo Humphrey’s bold, expressive use
of color and freedom of form defy the two dimensionality of the
printmaking medium, creating a body of work that is engaging,
exuberant and alive.” (From the introduction to her 2010 exhibition
at the David C. Driskell Center at UMCP.) Her art is infused with her
life: family, fear, joy, and more. Her views on feminism and Africa
are present in many of her work. The African component became
especially strong when she was at Stanford University at the time
William Shockley was asserting his fantasies about eugenics and race.
Another commentator: She “transforms personal experiences into
narratives that speak to the human spirit.” (From Adrienne L. Childs,
Margo Humphrey, 2009.)
    Spirit. A word often mentioned by Humphrey when discussing her
work is “spirituality.” She thinks that one of her strengths as an artist is
the infusion of spirituality into her work.

                                                                                       The Red Bed (above)
                                                                                       Humphrey talks about the death of her grandfather, and the feeling that his spirit
                                                                                       lingered. She spent several weeks sleeping in his bed after his demise. The flames
                                                                                       are the glowing exaltation she experienced throughout the house.

                                                                                          Humphrey has taught at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of
                                                                                       Texas, San Antonio; The San Francisco Art Institute; and The School of the Art Institute
                                                                                       of Chicago.
                                                                                          She taught satellite courses for the University of the South Pacific at Suva, Fiji. She
                                                                                       has been a Visiting Professor at Yaba Technological Institute of Fine Art, Ekoi Island,
                                                                                       Nigeria; the University of Benin,Nigeria; The Margaret Trowell School of Fine Art,
                                                                                       Kampala, Uganda; and The National Gallery of Art, Fine Art School, Harare, Zimbabwe.
                                                                                       And she has lectured widely, including at the Art Institute of Chicago.
                                                                                          Humphrey’s works are included in many important national and international
                                                                                       permanent collections, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, The
                                                                                       National Gallery of Art, The Bradford Galleries in London, The Museum of Modern Art
                                                                                       in Rio De Janeiro, and The National Gallery of Art in Lagos.
                                                                                          Some of her works are on-line, e.g., at
                                                                                       artg.html. Her work was featured in an exhibition earlier this year at the David C.
                                                                                       Driskell Center, UMCP.
Lady Luck                                                                                 The Faculty Voice is delighted – and honored – to share some of Humphrey’s work
This print is in many ways inspired by Humphrey’s immediate family. In it              with our readers (viewers!). — BH                                                         O
appear the lucky lady, spirit birds, the energy of the family so powerful that
some of it is released through the chimney, the infinity of the stars, and the
club figure in the sun representing luck.                                              With Only the Gods (below)
                                                                                       Especially relevant in these times of Haitian tragedy, there are gods at both ends
                                                                                       of the boat. Alas, the quest for a new life is often intercepted by designated pro-
                                                                                       tectors of US land. The Haitian people have for many years been drifting, tossed
                                                                                       in churning waters on an uncertain journey, and yet they are filled with hope and
                                                                                       infused with spirituality.

The Last Bar-B-Que
This work drew its inspiration from Humphrey’s visit to Fiji. There is, of course, a
link to Da Vinci’s Last Supper, but with a recognition of the independence, power,
and perspective of Black people. Note, for instance, the presence of women at
the table, the typical foods, the palm fronds, the birds, the pyramid, and the dove
of peace.
4      March 2010                                                                                                                                                          The Faculty Voice

Quantum Weirdness Confirmed
                    (Subject to future revision!)                                                       In The News: Money
    Is the past really past, or can it be af-     tion which forces it to be one or the other.              ► NET COST OF UNIVERSITY EDUCATION: A report in the Washington Post
fected by something we do in the present?         This argument should be familiar (even if             (10 February 2010) indicates for in-state students at UMCP, the total cost of attendance
Carroll Alley, UMCP professor of physics,         not acceptable) to those who have studied             is $21,163, and after subtracting the average grant, the net cost for
had to take this question seriously because       Schrödinger’s “cat paradox.”2                         grant recipients is $13,628. Of course, a student has
of an experiment his group performed in               The concept of “backward causation”               to receive a grant; at UMCP, 57% of the students
the early 1980s.                                  (the present influencing the past) has been           receive some stipend. Despite that high figure,
    About 50 years ago, the famous Danish         in the news again in connection with the              UMCP is quite a bargain, comparing the cost/net
physicist Niels Bohr described a thought          catastrophic failure of the Large Hadron              figures with American U., Georgetown U.,
experiment in which a beam of light is sent       Collider in Switzerland, when it was first            George Washington U., and Howard U.
through a device that can be set to make it       turned on in 2008. According to two theo-             Only Virginia is a better deal, with the net
behave either as particles or as waves.           retical physicists, this could be a result of         in-state cost at $11,776 for students
    Princeton physicist John Wheeler, in          the future influencing the present.                   receiving grants. But there’s a catch in
a lecture at UMCP in 1979, described in               Holger Bech Nielsen in Denmark and                Virginia: only 37% of the students
detail how Bohr’s suggestion might be             Masao Ninomiya in Japan “suggested that               are helped financially.
carried out, using a beam so weak that only       the hypothesized “Higgs boson” [thought
one photon is in the apparatus at a time. He      to be responsible for the existence of mass],             ►TUITION UP, FAMILY
called it the “delayed choice experiment,”        which physicists hope to produce in the col-          INCOME DOWN: During the period
because we don’t set the particle/wave            lider, might be so abhorrent to nature that           1980-2009, the average tuition for
toggle until after the beam has already           its creation would ripple backward through            higher education has increased about 121%. But the median family income has only
entered the device. According to Wheeler,         time and stop the collider before it could            increased about 18%. So the pain of paying for higher education has dramatically
we can thereby affect the past history of the     make one, like a time traveler who goes               increased over the past quarter century. What are the implications for the education
beam, which may have been emitted by a            back in time to kill his grandfather.”                of the current and future college-age generations?
star billions of years ago.                           As we have learned from the history of
    Alley and another UMCP physicist              quantum mechanics and relativity, a new                   ►ADMITTING AND CHARGING: UMCP’s undergraduate “admit rate” is
who was in the audience, William Wickes,          idea has to be really crazy to have a chance          42% – that is, fewer than half of the applicants are admitted. Some comparisons
realized that they already had the equip-         of being right.                                       include UCLA, 22%, Michigan, 50%, and UNC, 32%. We charge out of state students
ment, left over from other projects, to do                                             — SGB            $33,365; UCLA’s figure is $33,504, Michigan’s $36,163, and UNC, $23,514. Should
                                                     ___                                                we feel good about the 42%? Would education on the College Park campus be of
this experiment. A graduate student, Oleg
Jakubowicz, worked on it for his thesis and           1
                                                        John Lisa Bromberg, “New Instruments
                                                                                                        higher quality if the admit rate were lower? Would diversity increase if the admit rate
was co-author of the published reports.           and the Meaning of Quantum Mechanics,”                were higher? About the $33,365: Would we get better students if we lowered the out
    Alley’s group successfully performed          Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, vol.      of state cost? (Figures from Education Life, The New York Times, the University of
the delayed-choice experiment and ob-             38 (2008), pp. 325-352.                               Maryland web site.) And a note on how the world has changed in one lifetime. When
tained the result predicted by Wheeler; this          2
                                                        Erwin Schrödinger, co-founder of quantum        the Editor of this publication entered UCLA, he paid $32 a semester. Now a year
result was later confirmed by physicists in       mechanics, proposed this thought experiment:          at UCLA is $23,762 for those in-state (and the requirements for being in-state have
Germany and France.                               a cat is placed in a chamber with a radioactive       stiffened). Well, during that time we got color television, the internet, jet airplanes,
                                                  sample and a Geiger counter connected to an           telephones without cords, e-books, a visit by Richard Nixon to China, and even an
    In an interview with historian Joan
                                                  electrical device that will (since radioactivity is   opera about that visit, so there have been other changes.
Bromberg, who tells the story of the de-          a random process) kill the cat with 50% prob-
layed choice experiment in a recent article,1     ability in a certain time interval. At the end of         ► HIGHER ED FISCAL CRISIS FOR THE WEALTHY: That’s the title of an
Alley said: “I don’t think what you deter-        this interval, before the chamber is opened the       article by Peter Phillips (Sonoma State U) published in The Daily Censored (22
mine now really determines what went on           cat is neither dead nor alive. When we open           November 2009). Below are two of the paragraphs. Any arguments?
in the past. I think the past determines the      the chamber we force the cat to be either dead
                                                                                                            “Police are arresting and attacking student protesters on University of California
future. But how do you comprehend, how            or alive: our observation creates the reality
                                                  of what was only potential. Schrödinger pro-          (UC) campuses again. ‘Why did he beat me I wasn’t doing anything,’ screamed a
do you grasp experiments like the delayed
                                                  posed the paradox to show that the standard           young Cal Berkeley women student over KPFA radio. … Students are protesting the
                                                  Bohr-Heisenberg interpretation of quantum             32% increase in tuition imposed by the UC regents in a time of severe state deficits.
    One way to avoid the paradox, ac-
                                                  mechanics, which gives this result, is absurd.        The Board of Regents claims that they have no choice. Students will now have to
cording to Wheeler and other physicists,
                                                  The success of the delayed choice experiment          pay over $10,000 in tuition annually for a public university education that was free
is simply to assert that nothing, past or         suggests that the cat paradox is probably crazy       only a few decades ago. …
present, really exists until it has been ob-      enough to be right.                                       “Our current budget crisis in California and the rest of the country has been
served. The light from the distant star has           3
                                                        Quoted by Dennis Overbye, “The Collider,        artificially created by cutting taxes on the wealthiest people and corporations. The
the potential to be either waves or particles;    the Particle and a Theory about Fate,” New York       corporate elites in the US, the top 1% who own close to half the wealth, are the
that potential is realized by our observa-        Times, October 13, 2009, pp. D1, D3.            O
                                                                                                        beneficiaries of massive tax cuts over the past few decades. While at the same time
                                                                                                        working people are paying more through increased sales and use taxes and higher
                                                                                                        public college tuition. …
                                                                                                            “The students who are protesting tuition increases know they are being ripped

José Emilio Pacheco
                                                                                                        off.” Source:
                                                                                                           ► OPPORTUNITY ADRIFT is the title of a report by The Education Trust issued
                                                                                                        in 2010. Here are some highlights:
    Emeritus Professor José Emilio Pacheco (Spanish and Portuguese, UMCP), an interna-                     “Public flagship universities provide excellence to students who cannot afford
tionally respected poet, novelist, and short-story writer has been awarded the prestigious              high-quality private institutions. Yet many of these universities direct aid to wealthy
Premio Cervantes Prize for 2009. It is the highest literary honor in the Spanish-speaking               students who will attend college without it. Meantime, many high-achieving minority
                          world. Congratulations! This is a wonderful honor – but not                   and poor students wind up in lesser institutions or do not attend college at all. In fact,
                          Pacheco’s first.                                                              some low-income students who literally cannot afford to attend college without a
                              Pacheco and his wife, the noted writer Christina Pacheco, and             grant must find a way to finance the equivalent of 70 percent of their family’s annual
                          two daughters live in Mexico City – where he was born. Pacheco                income. Some flagships are stepping up to the challenge and focusing on access and
                          was a Distinguished University Professor at UMCP for more                     success.”
                          than 20 years. Here’s a small portion of his poem, Contraelegía                  “In recent years, [the] shift from aiding low income students was even more pro-
                          (original in Spanish):                                                        nounced than the shift from either state or federal sources. And while the effect of
                                                                                                        that shift has abated somewhat in the past three years, these universities continue to
                                       And yet I love this perpetual change                             pour hundreds of millions of dollars every year into wooing students who have no
                                       this change second by second                                     financial need who will attend college regardless of whether they receive aid.
                                       Because without it what we call life                                “Several flagship universities have recognized the need to increase the access and
                                       would be of stone.                                               success of low-income and minority students and are making concerted efforts to
                               And here is a small part of End of the Century (also original            improve. In particular, 12 of the flagships highlighted in this report are part of systems
                           in Spanish):                                                                 participating in the Access to Success Initiative (A2S). In fall 2007, the leaders of
                                                                                                        nearly two dozen public higher education systems — all members of the National
                                       The bloodshed cries out for vengeance.                           Association of System Heads — came together to form A2S. With support from
                                       And revenge cannot generate                                      The Education Trust, the chief executives of the 24 systems have agreed to pursue
                                       but more bloodshed.                                        O     aggressive goals aimed at improving student success and cutting in half by 2015 the
                                                                                                        gaps in college-going and completion that separate low income and minority students
                                                                                                        from their peers. These leaders recognize that increasing quality, attainment, and
                                                                                                        equity on their campuses is essential to the well-being of their states and our nation.
                                                                                                        By voluntarily addressing these challenges, these leaders are setting an example of

Rankings (Again!??)                                                                                     transparency, accountability, and responsibility for the higher education community.”
                                                                                                        One of the twelve institutions is the University of Maryland, College Park.To access
                                                                                                        the report, go to
    Kiplinger has published the “100 Best Values in Public Colleges, 2009-2010,” and the                   ► NEEDED: A NATIONAL STRATEGY. Paul Courant, James Duderstadt, and
University of Maryland ranks 8th. Top-ranked is UNC; Virginia comes in 3rd; other ranked                Edie Goldenberg, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education (8 January 2010),
Maryland public institutions include St. Mary’s (37), Salisbury (59), UMBC (93), and Tow-               comment:
son (97). Now the question that arises: does this really tell us anything about the educational            “The declining priority that states have given to public higher education makes
experience of undergraduates? Is College Park a better value than St. Mary’s, or UMBC a                 sense for them but is a disaster for the nation. The growing mismatch between state
better value than Towson? Perhaps there’s some equivalence to the decision of awarding a                priorities and national needs suggests that it’s time once again to realign responsibili-
student a B- rather than a C+. Isn’t that somewhat magical? As for the universities, how long
is their ranking valid – say, given the dramatic change that has just taken place in California,                                                                        continued on next page
certainly impacting the eight ranked California institutions?                                 O
The Faculty Voice                                                                                                                                                                   March 2010           5

                                   Reading Minds
                                AETL Book Review Column
                                                                                          Trolley Cars and Sandbags
                                                                                          By Ralph Bennett,                                                                       that the circuitous route
     Reading Minds is edited by members of the Academy for Excellence in Teaching and     Prof. Emeritus, School of                                                               fails to meet threshold
     Learning (AETL), a community of faculty scholars at UMCP committed to fostering      Architecture, Planning and                                                              requirements for transit
     a culture of excellence in teaching and learning ( AETL     Preservation, UMCP                                                                      performance.
     welcomes book reviews from faculty members. Send your review to                                                                                               The Maryland Transit
                                                                                              The University of Maryland will
                                                                                                                                                                                  Administration maintains
                                                                                          be widely recognized as a national
Roger von Oech, A Whack on the                                                                                                                                                    its belief that the Cam-
                                                                                          model for a Green University. In
Side of the Head: How You Can                                                                                                                                                     pus Drive/Stamp Union
                                                                                          ten years time the University will
be More Creative, 25th Anniver-                                                                                                                                                   alignment is the best.
                                                                                          have made substantial progress
sary Edition Revised. Boston:                                                                                                                                                     Simple understanding
                                                                                          towards addressing energy issues.
Business Plus, 2008                                                                                                                                                               of passengers and their
                                                                                          It will have slashed energy use,
                                                                                                                                                                                  destinations affirms this.
Reviewed by Susan White,                                                                  expanded green spaces, dramati-
                                                                                                                                                                                  Remedies for the science
Finance Dept., UMCP*                                                                      cally reduced its carbon footprint,
                                                                                                                                for Federal planning and construc-                campus are available in-
                                                                                          and built and retrofitted buildings
                                                                                                                                tion money. And detailed design is      cluding local isolation and shield-
    Roger von Oech’s book cel-                                                            to strict environmental standards.
                                                                                                                                well underway.                          ing, low-interference propulsion
ebrated its 25th anniversary with                                                         The University will complement
                                                                                                                                    Sadly, similar progress cannot      systems, and sub-track location
a revised edition that includes                                                           these concrete actions with its
                                                                                                                                be reported for that part of the line   of the power wires.
additional suggestions for be-                                                            teaching, research, and develop-
coming more creative. It has                                                              ment efforts in energy science        which passes through our campus.            The University’s public posi-
inspired me to try out new ideas.                                                         and policy, smart growth, envi-       The Maryland Transit Administra-        tions on sustainability, resource
I teach finance, and score high                                                           ronmental mapping, sustainable        tion prefers and common sense           conservation and carbon emissions
on aptitude tests that say I should                                                       agriculture, and other fields.        supports an alignment which             sound great, but its continuing de-
be working with numbers and                                                                       — University of Maryland      passes in front of Cole, the Stamp      lay of the Purple Line poses a real
not people. In fact, being too                                                                    Climate Action Plan, 2008     Union and crosses Route 1 north         threat, not only to the University’s
creative with numbers in finance                                                                                                of the Dairy. Citing concerns           stated high intentions, but to this
                                               Then the “artist” takes over. You
is frowned upon—think Enron                                                                  Two years ago, I wrote on          about vibration and electromag-         important regional facility as well,
                                               take the pieces of your idea and
and WorldCom, where excessive                                                             these pages about the University’s    netic interference on the adjacent      since delay jeopardizes the entire
                                               rearrange and play with them
creativity landed people in jail.                                                         apparent delaying tactics in sup-     science campus (before, it was          Purple Line and its place in the
                                               until you have your idea. Next
Though I’ve been trained to be                                                            porting and planning for the          safety), the University is insist-      funding process.
                                               the “judge” evaluates the idea and
logical and rely on numbers, I                                                            Purple Line (“Red Herrings and        ing on a winding southern route             A Committee of the University
                                               its risks, and makes a decision.
wanted to learn more about effec-                                                         the Purple Line”, 2008). Since that   around Architecture, Preinkert,         Senate has been asked to evalu-
                                               Finally the “warrior” implements
tive creative thinking. Von Oech                                                          time, the State has shown remark-     LeFrak and the Chapel and down          ate the Campus’s environmental
                                               the idea, having the courage to
says that if you think creatively,                                                        able leadership in re-starting the    to Rossborough.                         decision-making process after the
                                               do what is necessary to make the
then you must allow for the possi-                                                        project after years of delay.             But this route has not yet been     Wooded Hillock debacle. Locat-
                                               idea happen. His tips include:
bility that the right answer could                                                           Light rail on a route which        fully studied. A recent determina-      ing the Purple Line deserves the
be illogical; that’s definitely not                • “Put a Lion in Your Heart”           brings it through the campus has      tion to preserve Preinkert has add-     same attention. Please contact
a finance concept.                             – find out what gives you the              been designated as the Locally        ed a reported $80 million tunnel to     your Campus Senator and your
    The corporation has been the               courage to act on your ideas               Preferred Alternative by Gov.         the route. How the 750 daily bus        elected officials and encourage
most successful form of busi-                      • “Get Rid of Excuses” – fol-          O’Malley and endorsed by the          movements will be moved from            them to ask that the University live
ness organization (with success                low the example of Spanish                 Council of Governments and            their present location at the Union     up to its obligations to the Univer-
defined as the most revenue-gen-               explorer Cortez who burned                 Prince George’s and Montgomery        to a required new transit facility at   sitycommunity, the region and its
erating form of business), and one             his ships to eliminate the non-            Counties – all milestones neces-      Preinkert and Campus Drives is          own commitments to sustainable
reason is specialization. There are            creative option of returning to            sary to make the project eligible     not clear. And it is also possible      development.                      O
finance specialists, operational               Spain.
specialists, marketing specialists,                • “Flex Your Risk Muscle”
etc. While organization leaders                – take at least one risk a week,

                                                                                          Students And Gender
need to know something about                   tackle a problem outside your
all of the functional areas, the               area of expertise. I’ve mastered
employees in the functional areas              that one; book reviews, and books
can be experts only in their more              about creativity are certainly
focused area.                                  outside my area of expertise.
    Von Oech contends that being                   • “Use Your Shield” – un-                 At the national level, based                                               22%-25%; and among Latino/a
too specialized can inhibit the                derstand both that change is in-           on the 2000 census, 19.3% of fe-      In Maryland, based                      Marylanders, the ratio is 18%-
imagination. He urges people                   evitable and people resist change.         males did not have a high school                                              22%.
                                               Your creative ideas may be re-
                                                                                                                                upon 2006-2008
to see what crazy ideas they can                                                          (or equivalent) degree; for males,                                                Richard Whitmire, writing in
come up with. They might fail                  ceived negatively, and you may             the figure was 19.9%. That’s          Census data, about                      The Chronicle of Higher Educa-
temporarily, but that failure could            need to think of ways to deflect           not a dramatic difference, and        40% of males 25 years                   tion (12 February 2010), shows
take them closer to a larger suc-              criticism.                                 yet according to a Washington                                                 that the gender/education prob-
cess. He defines the absence of                    Author von Oech is president           Post report (14 December 2009),       of age and older have                   lems arise in the 9th grade, where
creativity as not taking action on             of Creative Think, a consulting            women apply to college in greater     a four year college                     many more boys than girls must
the many ideas we have. In other               firm that conducts creativity              numbers than do men, and men                                                  repeat the grade – and that leads
words, impractical ideas can lead              seminars with major companies.                                                   degree compared with
                                                                                          have a higher rate of acceptance                                              to a higher rate of male dropouts.
to practical, creative ideas.                  He has a Ph.D. from Stanford               than women.                           37% of females.                         He writes: “Boys are getting
    Von Oech suggests that a                   University in the history of ideas,           According to a January 2010                                                clobbered by school reforms that
creator takes on four roles: ex-               a creative Ph.D. program he                Education Week article, nearly        data sources indicate that UMCP         push higher-level academic skills,
plorer, artist, judge and warrior.             designed.                                  58% of bachelor’s degrees and         and NC State are the only two           especially advanced literacy skills,
As “explorer” you research the                     *The author is a Distinguished         62% of associate’s degrees now        campuses among Kiplinger’s top          into the lowest grades. They fall
materials to build your ideas.                 Tyser Teaching Fellow.           O         go to women. Could it be, re-         14 that admitted more men than          behind quickly, get passed through
                                                                                          searchers will try to answer, that    women. At Kiplinger’s top-ranked        middle school, and then hit a
                                                                                          “after decades of progress toward     UNC, 41% of the students are            wall in ninth grade as they enter
                                                                                          sexual equity, female students        male – not mentioned to suggest         high-stakes territory. Even if the
                                                                                          have become so plentiful in higher    a causal link.                          boys recover, their senior-year
In The News: Money                                                                        education that institutions have         In Maryland based upon 2006-         GPA’s will never match those of
Continued from opposite page                                                              entered a new era of discrimina-      2008 Census d,ata, about 40% of         the girls.”
ties between the state and the nation for higher education and provide                    tion against them”? The Post          males 25 years of age and older             Note that one of the country’s
adequate resources to sustain American leadership.”                                       article reports that at UMCP          have a four year college degree         leading experts on Black males’
    Perhaps Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, is pushing in the right                  and UMBC (apparently the only         compared with 37% of females.           and females’ educational success-
direction by trying to move student loans into the Federal Government                     Maryland System campuses stud-        (This reflects past application         es is UMBC President Freeman A.
rather than have them channeled through banks and other private entities.                 ied), women have been admitted        and admission patterns.) Among          Hrabowski III. Another expert is
If the change to direct lending were made, the added money available                      at a lower rate than men. Other       Blacks, the male-female ratio is        Sharon Fries-Britt at UMCP. O
for students would be in the billions.
    The Federal Government’s stimulus funds have clearly helped. Note
a report in the State Higher Education Finance Report, just released:
“State and local governments’ financial commitments to higher edu-
cation have increased substantially over the past several decades. …                                        Advocate! Inform! Kvetch!
[to] $88.7 billion by 2008. A recession beginning in 2008 dramatically
reduced state revenue and ended the growth in state and local support                           The Faculty Voice, published quarterly, has openings for members of its Editorial Board.
achieved between 2004 and 2008. In response, the American Recovery                              Participation is an opportunity to advocate, inform, praise, and complain! The requirements
and Reinvestment Act approved February 17, 2009 provided funding to                                                 are those of all (we hope) faculty members: curiosity, literacy, energy, and
stabilize state support for education among other interventions to achieve                                          an interest in higher education. The payoff for Board members include the
economic recovery. With the approval of the Secretary of Education,                                                 possibility of improving higher education in Maryland. The faculty
funds allocated to the states by Congress could be used to supplement                                               member (or equivalent) who wants to focus her or his bright light on the
state and local funding for education in 2009, 2010, and 2011.”                                                     Maryland System of Higher Education and/or its constituent campuses
    Maryland’s FTE increase in the 2004-2009 period is greater than any
                                                                                                                    should contact Editor Bill Hanna at
other state, and so the pressures for funding are comparatively great. (Full
report is at O
6     March 2010                                                                                                                                        The Faculty Voice

Where Are We Going?                                                                                 POET-PROFESSOR CLARINDA HARRISS
    “Over the past five years, Washington has tried to reform Social Security,
immigration, health care and energy policy. All of these efforts have either failed                                        Clarinda Harriss is a professor of English at Tow-
or are close to failure — thousands of people working millions of hours and in                                             son University, where she teaches poetry, poetic
all likelihood producing nothing. … Republicans refuse to accept tax increases.                                            structure, and editing. Her “Editing the Litmag
Democrats reject spending cuts. They’ve put the country on a highway to a fiscal                                           I and II” culminates in the publication of Grub
crisis, and there are no exit ramps.” (David Brooks, New York Times, 29 January                                            Street, the university’s award-winning literature
2010)                                                                                                                      and arts magazine. Off-campus, she edits and
    “So if health reform fails, you can forget about any serious effort to rein in rising
                                                                                                                           directs BrickHouse Books, Inc., Maryland’s oldest
Medicare costs. And even if it succeeds, many politicians will have learned a hard
                                                                                                                           literary press. In addition to publishing many col-
lesson: you don’t get any credit for doing the fiscally responsible thing. It’s better,
for the sake of your career, to just pretend that you’re fiscally responsible — that                                       lections of poetry and short fiction by nation-
is, to be a deficit peacock. So we’re paralyzed in the face of mass unemployment                                           ally-known writers, BHB has also brought out
and out-of-control health care costs.” (Paul Krugman, New York Times, 29 January                                           several books by former prison inmates; Harriss
2010)                                                                                                                      has worked with prison writers for decades. Her
    And it’s clear that faculty members at prestigious universities are not exempt                                         own most recently-published poetry collec-
from the consequences of our country’s direction.                                                                          tions, all from Half Moon Editions (Atlanta), are
    If our furloughs were not convincing, then Google articles about the University                                        Mortmain, Dirty Blue Voice, and Air Travel. She is
of California at Berkeley and UCLA. What are we Marylanders doing to get our                                               currently working with poet Moira Egan on an
country on track? Hoping? Praying?                                                                                         anthology of erotic sonnets.

Kirwan On Sports                                                                            2600 Block, October 6, 2008
   In December, Maryland’s Chancellor William E. (Brit) Kirwan joined with SMU
President Gerald Turner to write an op ed in the Washington Post (19 December               In the block where I’d lived, a baby’s born
2009) on college football. Here are a few small takeouts: “The real crisis facing col-      and killed. He’s found in a garbage can behind
lege athletics is the sustainability of its business model, which is on a path toward       St. John’s, whose brick and iron cloister winds
meltdown. … Despite the influx of significant revenue, including cash from bowl             to the alley. Its privacy was utter, and well known.
games, television contracts and ticket sales, nearly all programs are heavily subsi-
                                                                                            My parents and I, beyond the table where we dined,
dized by the universities through student fees, allocations from general funds and
even state appropriations.”                                                                 could see Old (Homeless) George, who drank and mourned
   Okay, transparency: good! A crucial question is the impact of revenue sports on          for F. D. R. When beaten, robbed, he warned
academic quality. If there were no revenue sports at Maryland’s public universities,        us Place ain’t safe. And this was forty-nine.
would those universities get less money for academics from the legislature (because         I grew to be a smart-ass kid who used
legislators are in love with their teams)? Would a majority of our students prefer to
                                                                                            to hide and seek and smoke in St. John’s dark,
subsidize their teams or have a cut in their fees? Without our pre-professional teams,
would good students head to Florida or California sports powerhouses? Perhaps if            the one girl in a pack of boys. For a lark
such questions could be raised – and even answered, university decisionmakers               they tore off my shirt to check (they said) “the view.”
could make informed decisions. Chancellor Kirwan and President Turner co-chair              Soon we moved away. My P’s complained of noise.
the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Maybe that commission can               And I re-learned to like the salty smell of boys.
push reluctant campus presidents to start asking.
   Late news: A New York Times editorial (12 February 2010) begins: “College
presidents who dream of building powerhouse sports teams should read the new
report on the basketball program at Binghamton University. Based on an investiga-
tion overseen by Judith Kaye, New York State’s former chief judge, it shows how                              Victim Statement
a runaway sports program can poison campus life, make a mockery of academic
values and leave the administration’s reputation in ruins.”                                                  If the bike thief Christmas morning
                                                                                                             If the burglar who took only a shower

Contingent Teachers
                                                                                                             If the tomato-gobbling garden vandals
                                                                                                             If the guy who dropped
    Where are we heading? Should we worry? Cary Nelson of AAUP comments in                                       face-down in vomited wine
The Chronicle Review (11 December 2009). “An immense challenge, in particular,
is posed by higher education’s near-catastrophic overreliance on unprotected con-                            had knocked at my door and told me
tingent teachers. I take issue with most of the solutions so far designed to deal with                              I’m hungry I’m dirty I’m bored
this problem, and I offer alternatives. The trend toward institutions that divide their
                                                                                                                    I’ve been ignored by Santa
faculty members into a low-paid teaching corps and a higher-paid research faculty
may be the most insidious one we face. Granting job security to both groups does not                                Claus for forty years I’d dying
in itself eliminate the cultural divide of that two-tier system. Yet without action, all                       of cancer and my aorta’s blown
classes of contingent teachers—graduate-student employees, part-time faculty mem-
bers, full-time faculty members off the tenure track—face diminished or nonexistent                          I’d have said Welcome take eat
academic freedom.” And, one might add, participation in one’s campus community
                                                                                                                        this is my house your wishes
is severely limited by the marginalization. Nelson’s article is at http://chronicle.
com/article/The-AAUP-A-View-From-the-Top/49301/                                                                  are about to come shiny true
                                                                                                                 I’ll make like I love you
                                                                                                                 for as long as it takes you
For-Profit Higher Education
    A generation ago, for-profit colleges were hardly a part of the higher education
                                                                                                             Wait. This is perjury. I’m a person
scene. But now, they are approaching 10% of the total higher education enrollment in                                like her, like him, I’m a human
the USA. About half of these for-profits offer associate, bachelor’s, and/or professional                           whose third word was No
degrees. The University of Phoenix is the enrollment leader with nearly half-a-million                              whose fourth word was Bad
students and 200 campuses, including some outside the country. Perhaps a majority                                   whose fifth word was Mine.
of the for-profit courses are on-line. One for-profit begins an advertisement this way:
“There’s a movement afoot in this country. A student-led revolution. A rallying cry
for change in an otherwise unchanged educational system. People who want a degree
will no longer let tradition stand in their way. Moms who want to be students. Workers
who want more advanced degrees for more opportunities. Everyone with talent who             Soul Food (One of a series of Odd Sonnets—15-liners)
wants to develop it deserves a chance to develop it.” ( advertisement in
the Washington Post) What are the implications of the for-profit rise for “old-tim-         Mr. Bartram, heart of the Farmers’ Market
ers” such as UMBC, Towson, Frostburg, and the other institutions in the Maryland            at Abel Avenue and Union Memorial,
system? Will we all be on-line some day, perhaps paid by student enrollment? [For           is gone. Lost his leg. Lost his crop.
more about on-line education, see Helene Cohen’s article in this FV issue.]                 Lost his farm. All lost and gone.
                                                                                            Gone the ham hocks, sausage, slab bacon,
What Good Is A College Education?                                                           smoked turkey wings, black-rinded cheese.
                                                                                            (He could slice out a pound of that cheese
    We know that a college education provides employers with certifications, and            to the nth of an ounce, the swinging scale
employees’ starting incomes are clearly higher. But what substantive gains take             a mere formality, a kind of brag.) Gone
place during the four or more years in college. Jay Matthews asks this question in a
Washington Post column (25 January 2010): “Many colleges shrink from even trying            the fuzzy gleaming fruits, tomatoes, okra.
to measure the value they are providing students. When the Bush administration sug-
gested calculating college outcomes in some way, the nation’s op-ed pages quickly           We rant, and rightly, about the wicked
filled with college presidents begging to be spared that hideous indignity. There are       health care system, insurance, et cetera,
some interesting tests, such as the Collegiate Learning Assessment, being developed         yet we mourn him in a way we would like
to measure how much analytical skill students acquire in four years. So far, most
colleges are treating them like tuition freezes, hoping they will go away.” Of course,      to be mourned but probably won’t be--
professors know that they have imparted knowledge, wisdom, and analytical skills;           Where, where is the good food we loved?
and if we know, there’s no need to measure the changes!?                           O