Since there are some who are near and dear to us at In The Middle who teach at the University of Toledo, my heart has just sunk. I thank Margaret Soltan for, at the very least, deconstructing the university president's speech. It just got weirder and weirder.
Thanks for putting this up, JJC (and my apologies to my co-bloggers for my long absence: I've been in grading jail, and will soon enter 'writing my kzoo paper' jail, and then reenter grading jail, which will end when my plane lands in Kzoo: perhaps I should have done something other than read and read and read during my Spring break...)I imagine there's been a lot of attempts to educate President Jacobs about what occurs in a writing-intensive classroom. And I imagine that he's not heard a word of it: imagine students becoming better writers and better thinkers by hunkering down with a computer and, then, at some point, receiving the guidance of college seniors. It's preposterous! As for the prophylactic against solipsism, first, Jacobs should read Husserl, who at least understands that the best prophylactic is not objective assessment but rather community...in this case, a community of minds, someplace very much like a college. As it stands, "The most important part of this system is the CLA, the College Learning Assessment, which measures student learning outcomes in critical thinking and written communication across all academic disciplines"...sounds to me less like a guidance of students than a CYA (cover your ass) of the institution itself. Critical thinking my foot!The advantage of President Jacobs' plan might be in its being a visible symptom of the sickness caused by this country's underfunding of higher education. States can continue to starve public colleges and universities, and presidents can imagine new models to preserve their institutions in some form, but the results just aren't going to be pretty. An analogy: we can admire the fortitude of lifeboaters reduced to anthropophagy by their predicament, but we'd do better just to give them some food.Back to jail....
I read! I signed! And I enjoyed!This does make me very sad.
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