Monday, December 16, 2013

Blew up in school meeting

During the last meeting before winter break today, I asked faculty for inputs so we can provide more timely feedback to students in our classes.  Some faculty provided very thoughtful suggestions.  But quickly some faculty start pointing fingers to other direction: the learning management system, students don't come to office hours, etc.  When one CS professor demanded more salary and teaching assistant support, I was very upset.

I can't take the attitude that "the prerequisite to improve my work quality is to give me more money", especially we are dealing with education.  There are so many problems that we can solve and help the students, especially the under-served one, but when the first thing faculty think is more money, we quickly going to how to allocate limited financial resources - important discussion, but rarely link to better education to the students.

I discussed with a retired provost a couple of days ago.  His remarks on why he took an early retirement is interesting "I can't stand the politics of the faculty".  I am worried that many of the faculty are falling into that trap: "more money or low quality".  In both education and high-tech, it is proven the mentality does not work.
Quality has to be #1 issue.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Being a professor

I appreciate my job AND career AND calling as a professor.   There are always ups and downs, but there is not many other positions that is secure, pleasant, autonomous, prestigious, engaging, appreciated and well-paid.  Wait, sans the pay part.

Compared to the old days, a university professor is similar to a priest.  The gospel is knowledge and pursue of new knowledge. The professors are supposed to work hard, but on the subject they find worthy and interesting, answering to no one but their peers.

Living the dreams

I used to just nod politely saying "just fine", when people ask me "how are you doing?".  I decided to change that. ...