Tuesday, 18 July 2006

More on the Auburn sham course scandal

One more before I head to naptime: Steven Taylor links a post from his Troy colleague Scott Nokes on the Auburn athletics sham course scandal. I found this passage amusing:

The reason the practical limit (on the number of directed readings) is low is that professors generally do not like doing directed readings, since it requires a high commitment of time for no extra pay, and for a single student. It also can mess up a department’s curriculum, but how that works is a little complex, and unimportant for understanding this story. The main point here is that most professors will avoid doing any directed reading if they can.

Spoken like a man who’s never taught in at a college where such extra work was a completely unadvertised expectation of the position. Every semester.

Mind you, I didn’t mind teaching directed readings courses, but I certainly would have preferred doing so under at least the pretense that it was voluntary on my part. To paraphrase a famous phrase, “being an internal candidate means never having to say ‘no’.”

In completely unrelated news, I have received two emails in the last 24 hours containing the phrase “I received an email saying that you are now my advisor.” It would have been nice to get an email saying that I had advisees. It would have been even nicer for my paycheck to start before I started having to do work for my new job.


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[Permalink] 1. Steven Taylor wrote @ Tue, 18 Jul 2006, 4:09 pm CDT:

Out of curiousity: how many did you teach per semester?


I had two students in the fall and one in the spring. Two separate course preps (they were real courses).

Then again, I didn’t have any advisees, so maybe I got the better end of the deal :p


Are you saying that professors at SLU regularly teach in excess of two dozen directed readings per semester?


Um… no, just that the nominal teaching load at a previous institution (not SLU) was effectively one course higher because we were expected to offer directed readings every semester without any compensation or course credit.

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