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I Have Seen The Future

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Like Rob, I’m heading off to the American Political Science Association Annual Conference for the weekend, and while I’m thinking about my professional obligations as a social scientist and educator, let me point out this newsflash from the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The Texas A&M University System is moving ahead with a controversial method of evaluating how much professors are worth, based on their salaries, how much research money they bring in, and how much money they generate from teaching, The Bryan-College Station Eagle reports.

Under the proposal, officials will add the money generated by each professor and subtract that amount from his or her salary to get a bottom-line value for each, according to the article.

Frank Ashley, vice chancellor for academic affairs for the 11-campus system, said the public wanted accountability. “It’s something that we’re really not used to in higher education: for someone questioning whether we’re working hard, whether our students are learning. That accountability is going to be with us from now on.”

Peter Hugill, who heads the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors, blamed a conservative think tank with ties to Gov. Rick Perry for coming up with an idea that he said is simplistic and relies on “a silly measure” of accountability.

The Bryan-College Station Eagle has the original report. Hat tip to Nick Xenos, who brought this story to my attention.

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