Wow, what this man exposes! No wonder our Universities and Colleges are so expensive. And no wonder Governor Perry’s recent recommendation that State institutions spend more on teaching and less on research caused such an uproar.
Professor X pulls down a six-figure salary, plus 25 percent in fringe benefits. He teaches two 15-week courses per semester – for a total of 30 weeks per year – and has 22 weeks off.
He says he “works 60 hours a week.” Maybe so, but many of these hours are extraneous to his teaching and focus on outside matters that he wishes to pursue.
With tenure, he has no accountability to students, administrators, or the public. He can confess, with impunity, that his teaching is beyond reproach.
With tenure, he cannot be forced into retirement at any age, but even in retirement, his benefits will be bountiful.
Is there any wonder why college teaching is one of the most coveted positions in the world?
Now here is the sad part: the above prototype is real. There are countless professors like Professor X. I have discovered a great many of them in my five decades of working in higher education.
To be sure, there are thousands of excellent, conscientious, hard-working professors out there, but the educational system enables indolence and abuse, with impunity.
Now here is the key question: How many professors at our colleges and universities are like Professor X?
I don’t know.
But I can also tell you that regents, chancellors, presidents, faculty, students, parents, and the public don’t know either – at least not yet. Awareness is limited to the respective trenches of compartmentalized universities. The history faculty knows who the slackers are in the history department, but not in the physics department. Nor do regents or presidents know who the slackers are because there is no overall accountability.
And naturally, the status quo defenders want to keep it that way.
As I mentioned at the outset, there are charges and countercharges, both sides seeming to be right at the time to the confused public. There is only one way to resolve this conflict: regents must require thorough examination of compartmental trenches in the university and report the results to the subsidizing students and taxpayers. That is beginning to happen in Texas, with predictable howls of indignation from university faculty, administrators, and the alumni elites.