Colorado Conference Leaders Featured in IHE and CHE
Two of our own were featured in higher education’s two most popular news sources last week. Don Eron, a non-tenure-track professor of writing at CU-Boulder and member of the National AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, was interviewed by Inside Higher Education regarding Committee A’s new statement on “The Freedom to Teach.” According to the AAUP statement:
The freedom to teach includes the right of the faculty to select the materials, determine the approach to the subject, make the assignments, and assess student academic performance in teaching activities for which faculty members are individually responsible, without having their decisions subject to the veto of a department chair, dean, or other administrative officer.
Don suggests that individual vs. collective responsibility for course design is “probably the central academic freedom issue” confronting adjunct instructors—particularly for those teaching core courses, which are more likely to be subject to administrative calls for standardization across sections. Don also suggests that:
Of course, there should be an agreement among faculty on common goals, guidelines, and requirements for these courses, but when these guidelines and requirements encroach upon the realm of pedagogy or curriculum, academic freedom is abridged. That does not augur well for the quality of instruction in these courses, or, for that matter, the future of the professoriate.
Meanwhile, Conference Co-President Jonathan Rees of Colorado State University-Pueblo continues to insightfully and entertainingly watchdog the MOOC movement and its celebrated “Superprofessors” with an essay (re-posted from his terrific blog) for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae site, entitled “I’m Not a Real Professor, I Just Play One on The Internet.” You have to read the whole thing to understand the image below. It’s well worth it.