Wednesday 15 May 2002

Enforcing academic standards at U Blog

AKMA notes that:

a sizable proportion of the U Blog faculty are exiles from the sacred precincts of physical-world academia, and so far as I know, Jeff Ward and I are the only active practitioners on the roll. This is not an accident, and indeed has provoked in me certain musings about my own vocation (if the online friends whom I so respect and in whose electronic presence I bask are themselves not quite at home in the institutional academy, what am I doing there?).

A good question and one that I shall be raising at the next faculty meeting. I have it in mind to suggest that only those with no direct connections to “physical-world academia” (or no formal qualifications in the subjects they have been engaged to teach and research) should be eligible to hold tenured full professorships. Although, regrettably, this will mean that both AKMA and Jeff Ward will be forced to accept non-tenure-track assistant-professorships, we cannot allow personal feelings to undermine the high academic standards of the University of Blogaria.

An easy way out of this dilemma would be for Jeff to relinquish his Chair in Rhetoric in order to take up the currently vacant John Szarkowski Chair in the History of Photography. AKMA might be interested in becoming Procter & Gamble Foundation Professor of Dish Care Technology.

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I hope that even though I will be returning to the Tower in just a few short months, my Simpson Chair in Desultory Conjecture will remain safe since I'll be entering the new (to me) and most impractical 'discipline' of creative writing. It certainly won't put me in line for any lucrative academic positions!

Posted by steve on 15 May 2002 (Comment Permalink)

A proposal of Solomonic wisdom, Prof. Delacour--although I may demur at an appointment in home economics. I'll ruminate wbout where outside my professionally-designated competence I should lodge.

Posted by AKMA on 16 May 2002 (Comment Permalink)

What about those of us whose chosen field is unrepresented at Blog U.? My powers of imagination fail me when I try to envision commutative algebra popping up in a round-table discussion of Radio (or whatever).

Posted by Graham on 16 May 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Ah, but Blog U. is the everlasting gobstopper of Universities. Pretty much whatever you can dream up (other than Being In Charge of The Sheepdip, about which I am still bitter) may indeed play a key role in the future education of the Youth Of Blogaria!

Posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on 18 May 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Though I have no idea what commutative algebra is, I have no doubt that among the Radio user base you'd find enough interested parties to populate a round table. And, as Stavros points out, endowed chairs seem to be available for pretty much anything you can dream up.

Posted by Jonathon Delacour on 19 May 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Steve, don't be so sure that an MFA won't land you an honest job. Though when I went to Iowa many years ago, I was following a passion, when I got out someone insistet on hiring me & I needed to eat, so I've been doing something akin to regular teaching for more than 20 years now. If you had told me back in grad school that someone would pay me money to teach Dante & Homer & the Bible to unsuspecting freshpersons, I would not have believed you, though I would have bought you a drink.

Posted by Joseph on 25 May 2002 (Comment Permalink)

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2007 Jonathon Delacour