See Thru Edu is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Thomas K. Lindsay, Ph.D., Editor in Chief and Director, Center for Higher Education, Texas Public Policy Foundation

The Great Conservative Mistake

  Few people knew more about the antebellum South than the late-Eugene Genovese.  Over a 50-year career, he read thousands of newspapers, pamphlets, sermons, government documents, letters, and books, always setting basic erudition at the root of every other academic virtue.  His renowned corpus, from Roll Jordan Roll to The Mind of the Master Class […]

The Scandal of Poor College Learning: The ACTA Measure

(Must-see video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-ma3-PKjTs&feature=youtu.be.) There are many ways to measure productivity in higher education, including faculty teaching loads, Federal research dollar awards, and the knowledge and skills of recent graduates.  The latter yardstick was the focus of  the much-discussed and much-admired Academically Adrift, whose subtitle flatly announced the problem: Limited Learning on College Campuses.  (Amid the […]

The Productivity Hurdle

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education this week takes up the continuing issue of faculty productivity, especially as it bears upon research/teaching equations.  The central character is Lawence Martin, who runs an academic data organization named Academic Analytics that offers universities programs to document the labor faculty perform.  Here’s Martin’s central offer: “If […]

Wasteful Productivity

When humanities departments at research universities report the productivity of their faculty members, they point first not to the number of undergraduates enrolled in their classes, not to the amount of knowledge and level of skills those students attain, not to the external funding professors garner.  No, they tally publications.  Productivity is measured by books […]

The Excellence Problem

As reformers and watchdog groups press colleges and universities for more rigor in and out of the classroom and stronger learning outcomes, they should keep in mind all the forces conspiring against those circumstances.  I don’t mean the drawbacks of any bureaucracy as it grows and grows, but the specific parties and their interests.  The […]