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Administrative Staffing 1987-2011, A Statistical Profile by Institution, Part 1: Alabama (Part 1)

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

The federal data that will be presented in this series of posts was analyzed by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NCIR) in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research. The NECIR story on the data and its implications, written by Jon Marcus, who is currently an editor at the Hechinger Report, is available at: http://necir.org/2014/02/06/new-analysis-shows-problematic-boom-in-higher-ed-administrators/.

NECIR is one of a number of foundation-supported nonprofits that produce journalism in collaboration with other media, in this case the Boston NPR station and the Huffington Post, where this story also ran.

The data is being re-posted here with the permission of Jon Marcus.

I believe that it is worth presenting the data state by state because, in its totality, the material is so extensive as to be overwhelming. I also hope that presenting it state by state may encourage some further use of it by our chapters and conferences…

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In Illinois, a Spotlight Is Put on Administrative Bloat

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

The Illinois State Senate’s Democratic Caucus has released a report on administrative bloat in the state’s colleges and universities. Although much of the focus is on executive compensation and expensive perks, there are many acknowledgements that the issues with executive compensation are indicative of proportionately high compensation throughout the administrative hierarchies of our institutions and of unchecked hiring of administrative support staff.

What is notable about this report is that, although Illinois has chronically underfunded its public pension system, it has maintained fairly high state support for public colleges and universities, especially when compared to other states in the Midwest. So, although it makes sense that legislators in Illinois should be especially cognizant of frivolous uses of tax revenues, it does not really make sense that other state governments that have dramatically reduced support for public higher education should be almost uniformly ignoring the issue of administrative bloat. The explanation…

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The Impact of the Trans Pacific Partnership on Higher Education

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

So how will the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, impact higher education? The truth is that the details of the trade deal have been shrouded in such secrecy that we simply don’t know.

But if you would like to get some idea of what might be involved, you should take a look at a series of reports prepared by the European University Association (EUA) on the central issues for higher education related to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, agreement.

The main issues related to higher education involve such things as (1) market access to higher- and adult-education providers, (2) mutual recognition of professional qualifications, (3) public procurement, (4) E-commerce and data protection, (5) protection of intellectual-property rights, and (6) investor-state dispute resolution.

The issues related to the TTIP agreement would seem a starting point for assessing the complexities involved in the TPP agreement.

The four EUA reports…

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An Interesting Series of Articles on Australian Higher Education

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

The Conversation is an Australian website that seeks to synthesize academic and journalistic inquiry in order to provide very thoughtful commentary of Australian and international issues. Its mission statement includes the following principles: to inform public debate with knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical and supported by evidence; to unlock the knowledge of researchers and academics to provide the public with clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems; to create an open site for people around the world to share best practices and collaborate on developing smart, sustainable solutions; to provide a fact-based and editorially independent forum, free of commercial or political bias; and to support and to foster academic freedom to conduct research, teach, write and publish.

With the current Australian government committed to the deregulation of higher education fees, the editors of The Conversation are taking a taking a fresh look at the place of universities in Australia through a new series titled “What Are…

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Teaching Is Either a Profession or It’s Not

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

In a recent post to her blog, Diane Ravitch has reported on the ongoing effort to unionize the teachers in Detroit’s charter schools. At five of those schools, the AFT has held successful unionization campaigns.

But when they attempted to organize the teachers at the seven University Prep Schools managed by Detroit 90/90, the school operators contested the validity of even holding a vote on unionization by arguing that the teachers that it employs—in particular, those produced by Teach for America—are “not actually professionals.”

The teachers’ unions have been making precisely that argument ever since the charter school movement began relying on Teach for America to meet most of its staffing needs, but rather than trying to make the case that their teachers are qualified, the charter school operators have instead emphatically attributed just about every instance of low academic performance to the inadequacies of professional teachers. In other words…

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MOOCs 4.0: Clearing the Way for Huckster 4.0?

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

I just read an article on the Huffington Post blog titled “MOOC 4.0: The Next Revolution in Learning and Leadership.” The article is written by Otto Scharmer. Here is his Wikipedia biography, which has apparently been taken largely from his own website:

Claus Otto Scharmer (born 1961) is an American economist, Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the founding chair of the Presencing Institute. Scharmer chairs the MIT IDEAS program and helps groups of diverse stakeholders from business, government, and civil society to innovate at the level of the whole system. He co-founded the Global Wellbeing and Gross National Happiness (GNH) Lab, which links innovators from Bhutan, Brazil, Europe, and the United States in order to innovate beyond GDP. He has worked with governments in Africa, Asia, and Europe and has delivered award-winning leadership and innovation programs for companies, including DaimlerEileen Fisher,

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Climate-Change Skepticism and the Economic Impact of Climate-Change Research

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

This week, University World News includes two items on climate-change research.

The first is a summary of a news article that appeared in Science:

“The Australian government’s controversial move to host a think tank headed by noted global warming sceptic Bjørn Lomborg has unraveled-–for now. But Australia’s education minister has vowed to find a new home for the centre at a willing institution, writes Leigh Dayton for Science.

“Last month, the University of Western Australia, or UWA, in Perth announced plans to set up an Australian Consensus Centre, chaired by Lomborg, that would conduct policy research on overseas aid, Australian prosperity, agriculture and regional issues. UWA announced that the federal government would contribute roughly one-third of the Australian Consensus Centre’s operating costs. The rest of the budget would come from corporate sponsors and government grants.

“Scientists were outraged, especially when UWA revealed on 20 April that the government…

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CU Scholar: An Open-Source Repository of Scholarship

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

A recent, relatively short article by Joshua Bolkan published in Campus Technology broadly describes a new initiative at the University of Colorado at Boulder:

“The University of Colorado Boulder has gone public with its recent adoption of an open access policy.

“As a result of the new policy, the university will have ‘nonexclusive, worldwide license to the scholarly work of its faculty including published journal articles and conference proceedings,’ according to information released by the school.

“The aim of the policy is to enable global access to research findings to speed scientific discovery, improve educational experiences, enable innovation and stimulate the economy.

“The new policy, similar to those in place at Harvard and the University of California, allows faculty to maintain ownership of their work and makes it available for free via CU Scholar. Users can search by topic, author or sponsoring department or sign up to receive…

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Excellent Universities Begin with Excellent Faculty

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

The following article was published originally on the website of the AAUP chapter at the University of Akron, though it appears that the university will soon have a new name—and the article concerns that “rebranding.” The article is reprinted here with the permission of the chapter leadership.


On Friday, May 15, President Scarborough unveiled the new re branding campaign at the City Club of Cleveland. If you haven’t already, we invite you to listen to his remarks here and to view the press briefing here.

In his speech, President Scarborough talked about the need for the university to re brand to improve its image and reposition itself for new markets. He repeatedly mentioned “achieving excellence,” and spoke specifically about “shoring up our teaching mission.” Because these are important issues that affect faculty, we at the Akron-AAUP would like to respond.

No one knows whether the “re-branding” as “Ohio’s…

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Sometimes It Takes the Persistence of Sisyphus to Get Collective Bargaining Rights

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

In June 2004, the full-time faculty at Point Park University voted overwhelmingly to join the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, or CWA Local 38061, making it the first Guild local to represent faculty at a major university.

This week, the National Labor Relations Board issued this ruling, rejecting the university administration’s arguments on why it should not be required to recognize the collective bargaining unit.

And it seems unlikely that this ruling will be the end of the litigation.




Case  06-RC-012276






On February 25, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued an Order remanding this proceeding to the Regional Director for further appropriate action consistent with Pacific Lutheran University, including reopening the record, if necessary. Thereafter, on…

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