Rutgers Faculty Opposes Use of “Big Data” in Academic and Employment Decisions: Resolution Raises Concerns over Mistakes and Narrowing Scholarship

ACADEME BLOG

Use of a proprietary database that purports to show the publications, citations, books and grants awarded to a professor provides far too limited a perspective on faculty achievement and creates the potential for career-ending errors, according to David M. Hughes, professor of anthropology and president of the faculty union AAUP-AFT at Rutgers. The same data applied to academic disciplines could lead to poor decisions on programs available to students and should not be used, according to a resolution approved by the faculty of Arts and Sciences Monday, December 14.

Hughes and the rest of the School of Arts and Sciences faculty voted to approve a resolution and is calling on Rutgers management to exclude the use of data provider Academic Analytics “legally, explicitly, and comprehensively across the Rutgers system.” Rutgers has been using the database since May 2013, paying $492,500 over four years for the service.

Under the terms of…

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