Today, in my required additional blog post I will be discussing why professors who agree to be a part of theses committees, as well as those who agree to be a committee chair, should be paid for their time commitments. On top of their already existing course work which they are required to both teach and grade, signing onto a committee is a large amount of work that they often do not get compensated for. Because of this, committee members may view the thesis process as a chore, and choose to ignore their advisee as I have come to experience within my own process. Because of this, paying a professor for their time working on a committee will in-turn provide the professor with an incentive for putting in the hours required to be a proper aid to the student, and will ultimately lead to a more successful thesis in the long run.
Continuing on, tenured professors should not be the only people capable to chair a thesis. Assistant professors who have been working their fingers to the bone are equally as willing to be a chair of a committee, but due to the existence of tenure, cannot. This hurts not only the student who truly wants that teacher to be the leader of their project, but also hinders the work that would then be produce by the student who was forced to change topics.
Our teachers do a significant amount of work in order to help us be successful. The work that they do should be compensated, and they should be able to work a normal 9-5 week without having to reach outside of their availability due strictly out of kindness. We should pay our teachers for their help on theses, and we should recognize them for the work they put in.
One thing that I feel should change within higher education is the fact that each individual who seeks to teach a course must also be a researcher, more common than not, held to a high regard. Although I understand that researchers have a place within academia, I feel that professors and researchers should not be synonymous. In addition, the entire idea of “tenure” is less than beneficial to the university, whereas it would be much more fitting for professors to be nomadic and bounce around from college to college similar to a draft in the athletic field. That way, world renowned scholars will not be the sole reason for a specific university to be known as the “top”, and it would allow for a much more level teaching environment for students to thrive in.
From there, with the removal of tenure, although I understand that it can be considered a “safety net” and offer “job security”, I have never truly understood why educators need to have any form of protection in the first place. Other jobs do not need any form of security, so why is it that the one profession meant to teach the youth of our country face so many trials?
Continuing on, tenure has been shown to be a way for teachers to finally begin working on their passions, wether that be their own book or otherwise, but can only do so after jumping through X amount of hoops. Through doing away with tenure, teaching can once again be seen as another job where people love to be doing what they do without worrying about getting fired for not producing an additional research paper.
After reading “The What, Why & How of Social Media for Higher Education“ article posted to the digitalmarketinginstitute.com website by an unknown author on an unknown date, it is apparent that the new technological innovation that is affecting higher education is social media. As noted by the piece, it seems that higher education faculty of various colleges are using social media to increase student engagement, raise brand awareness, and drive enrollment numbers through the roof. From there, LinkdIn, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram are cited as being the largest contributors to positive responses, which is surprising seeing as Twitter tends to have the most engagement in terms of its users being based in academia. As the author states, “change is constant in digital marketing, but with a great social media strategy, higher education institutions can engage prospects, alumni, and current students on the devices and mediums they use every day.”
Being a Communication student here at Virginia Tech, the first ever engagement I had with a professor was through Twitter. Though a rather one-sided experience, Dr. J.D. Ivory has demonstrated that Twitter is truly the way of the future. Through sharing Communication related memes to simply speaking with varying academic scholars, Dr. Ivory has proven that there is a way for students to be engaged with their studies outside of the classroom in a way that is not necessarily considered to be a “bore”.
Today, I have chosen to talk about the American Communication Journal in my discussion regarding Open Access Journals in the field of communication. The journal was commissioned in 1996 during the Board of Directors of the American Communication Association meeting in Charleston, South Carolina and is edited by Dr. Md Abu Naser of the California State University, Bakersfield. The purpose of this journal is to publish “interdisciplinary scholarship on communication”. From there, the website itself describes its copyright statement as being dedicated to the open exchange of ideas and information, and is freely available to all schools. That being said, they also make a point by stating that any commercial use of the website or articles therein must be previously approved by Dr. Md Abu Naser. They do not say much else regarding their position within the open access movement.
These open access forums serve to only expand the world’s knowledge and involvement in the academic sphere. Through allowing intellectual property without a paywall allows for a much broader scope of thinking, and allows individuals to seek out answers to things that only those who could afford it could learn. The previous type of learning (one that requires a paywall) only shows that the old ways of the most elite in society being the ones to learn and grow intellectually should altogether be done away with, and it is websites like the American Communication Journal that keep that hope alive that one day, everyone can be able to know the answers they seek.