What to add?

My idea for how higher education should change is that higher education needs to come to terms with how it hires and fires personnel. What I mean by this is how it treats its primary mission: education.

Over the year we have heard the story of how faculty are hired, how the tenure process occurs, and the support staff that is involved. What is interesting to me is how the teaching staff becomes more transient, with universities not wanting to commit to the idea of tenure. I have heard stories about the committee processes that make up a tenure committee. Not all of them are good. To string along faculty and not commit to them, the way a faculty member is fully committed to their research or students, is unnecessary.

Is it acceptable to be considered not useful by other people? If you consider someone for the merits of their scholarly work, that is fine. If you just give them a run-around to see what an un-tenured faculty will do, that is unacceptable.

Unfortunately, I do not have a way to solve that issue, other than to treat others with respect. We, as people and as humans, have emotions and morals. This concept of morality and ethics is what should guide us in other behavior with others, not because other say we should but because we ought to do so.

It is the story about how you behave when you think no-one is looking. How do you behave behind closed doors? If we behave in a manner that is not conducive to a positive group dynamic, then what good is academia in promoting educated citizens if the system itself does not believe in the morals and ethics it is expected to uphold?

So, in a way I would not change anything, do anything drastic. Higher education will evolve on its own or become a relic in the face of emerging technologies.

What I do ask is the education should be about people, from the knowledge professors to the students who receive this knowledge. That we treat this process in the manner in which it should be treated, not necessarily in the manner it sometimes is.



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