And you thought the Duck/Beaver rivalry was nasty?

9/2/2011: Thanks to Margaret Soltan for the link:

Chapel Hill – The chairman of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at UNC has resigned from the department’s top post amid a university investigation into academic irregularities, possibly involving two former football players. …

McAdoo, who was kicked off the team for academic misconduct, was found to have plagiarized large portions of a paper on Swahili culture assigned to him by Nyang’oro.

The university was embarrassed this summer after learning that the university’s student honor court had not discovered McAdoo’s plagiarism. The offense was discovered after N.C. State fans ran McAdoo’s paper through an online plagiarism checker.

"The Fall of the Faculty"

9/2/2011: is a much talked about book by Benjamin Ginsberg at Johns Hopkins on the growing power of administrators. He has a long summary in the Washington Monthly:

Between 1975 and 2005, total spending by American higher educational
institutions, stated in constant dollars, tripled, to more than $325
billion per year. Over the same period, the faculty-to-student ratio has
remained fairly constant, at approximately fifteen or sixteen students
per instructor. One thing that has changed, dramatically, is the
administrator-per-student ratio. In 1975, colleges employed one
administrator for every eighty-four students and one professional
staffer—admissions officers, information technology specialists, and the
like—for every fifty students. By 2005, the administrator-to-student
ratio had dropped to one administrator for every sixty-eight students
while the ratio of professional staffers had dropped to one for every
twenty-one students.  …

Before they employed an army of professional staffers, administrators
were forced to rely on the cooperation of the faculty to carry out tasks
ranging from admissions to planning. An administration that lost the
confidence of the faculty might find itself unable to function. Today,
ranks of staffers form a bulwark of administrative power in the
contemporary university. These administrative staffers do not work for
or, in many cases, even share information with the faculty. They help
make the administration, in the language of political science,
“relatively autonomous,” marginalizing the faculty.

some important advice

8/20/2011: From Yahoo sports:

Lyles, even while denying he intentionally guided Seastrunk to Eugene or funneled any money his way, admitted he helped Seastrunk’s grandmother become his legal guardian so she could sign his letter of intent to Oregon over his mother’s protests. 

The result: Seastrunk never appeared happy and Oregon faces serious scrutiny from the NCAA over a player who turned out to be entirely expendable. Maybe everyone should have just listened to momma in the first place.

Always. But why is Coach Kelly quoted as saying

“I wish him the best, told him we’ll assist him in any manner possible, and he can be released to any school he wants to.”

Because under NCAA rules, our “student athletes” are slaves. They can’t keep what they earn – can’t even sell their autographs – and they sure as hell can’t transfer to another school that will be better for their careers without their current coach’s owner’s permission. (Unless they sit out for a year.) Apparently Seastrunk had to use his sick grandmother as an excuse to get the right to transfer.

College athletics is broken and the people who are making their living off it need to change it.

we want more children

8/9/2011: From Insidehighered.com. PLoS ONE link here.

Nearly half of female faculty members in top science departments wish
they’d had more children, but didn’t because of their careers, while
about a quarter of their male counterparts feel the same way, according
to a new study.

This is a large but not commonly considered part of the sacrifices involved in an academic career. The solution is obvious: Count every kid as a publication and add it to the parents’ H-indices.

How long until professors are obsolete?

8/8/2011: From economist Alex Tabarrok:

…I pointed out that the market was moving towards superstar teachers, who teach hundreds at a time or even thousands online. Today, we have the Khan Academy, a huge increase in online education, electronic textbooks and peer grading systems and highly successful superstar teachers with Michael Sandel and his popular course Justice, serving as example number one. One
of the last remaining items holding back online education is a credible
system to credential and compare student achievement across
universities. …

recruiting service rules ignored

7/16/2010: As part of it’s efforts to prevent “street agents” from sneaking off with any of the NCAA’s money the NCAA slapped a bunch of anti-competitive rules on recruiting services last year: Steve Andress of KEZI explains:

NCAA Bylaw 13.14.3 lays out the rules for contracting a recruiting service. The service must meet seven distinct requirements, in order for college football programs to subscribe to them. Here is the exact wording, amended January 1st, 2010, and why Lyles’ service was lacking, in particular, in the first three requirements.

An institution may subscribe to a recruiting or scouting service involving prospective student-athletes, provided the institution does not purchase more than one annual subscription to a particular service and the service:


(a) Is made available to all institutions desiring to subscribe and at the same fee rate for all subscribers;

Public records show Lyles’ incoice to Cal for the ‘2010 National Package’ at $5,000, with an almost identical invoice to Oregon at $25,000. The invoices came a year apart, but other than the fee, the packages are identical.

(b) Publicly identifies all applicable rates;

Lyles’ Complete Scouting Services website listed no fees back in March. One day after Yahoo’s initial story broke, one fee popped up – $25,000 for a national recruiting package.

(c) Disseminates information (e.g., reports, profiles) about prospective student-athletes at least four times per calendar year;

Public records requests show Oregon received no such documents from Lyles, until a year after the initial $25,000 payment, and that information was largely of old recruits and useless.

 There’s more in his story – the upshot is it Kelly’s claim he didn’t know that he was buying players with the $50,000 he promised Lyles looks preposterous. And on the NCAA’s scale of unforgiveable crimes, lying to the men that are trying to hold this cartel together is the top, even above the crime of paying your just debts to a guy who helped bring you a few players and is now working in a bakery for $8 an hour.