Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wither USD?


  1. This is so depressing and, sadly, EXACTLY where USD is heading (have we listened to the whispering dispersed amongst the multiplying committees, so dispersed that there is nothing anyone can actually hear)? WHY have discipline specific core requirements, it is quizzically suggested? WHY have any discipline specific talk, rather than this silly and amorphous "learning outcomes" speak? WHY not have Ethics, or Statistics or anything else taught by professional ethicists or mathematicians, when just about anyone can do it! In short, WHY have departments at all?.

    Some folks benefit from this crap. Others do not. The humanities does not. Speaking from my own disciplinary point of view, philosophy has been gradually ghettoized for some time. No space. No money. No cushy classrooms in Founders or Camino (where we typically teach). I have an office with an outdated and dysfunctional heating system, with wretched members of the ARRT committee trailing in and out of the appended (and notoriously dubbed) "Crypt" in order to perform one of the most essential tasks of the College (you, know, hire, reappoint, tenure and promote faculty?). USD's administration has not only tolerated this, it has directly or indirectly promoted it, as it spends money on brain-breaking athletics, on gourmet student dining food-halls, on flat-screen TVs and pool tables for students, on bookstores selling franchise crap, while promoting bad libraries. Do not think, folks, that the argument that these new additions are present only because USD got MONEY or grants. The fact is, we are in debt because of the student center, and SOLES building, etc. USD decided to go into DEBT for these flashy gadgets.

    The logic is distressingly clear: Do not invest in certain programs. Do not give them resources or space. Watch the wretched faculty work harder and harder with limited resources. Have them teach in crappy rooms, so students don't even want to attend. Watch the enrollments go down. THEN invest is different programs, throw money at them. Give them new offices, and classrooms. Watch the enrollments go up! Take away REQUIREMENTS that students should care about the humanities. VOILA! USD is coming quite merrily along.

    1. Absolutely right! The problem is that we've been so flattened by the details of this "process" that we haven't been able to reflect on the direction in which this program is taking us! Reflect, folks! Reflect!