faculty productivity measurements

5/7/2011: In the Austin Statesman, via bojack.org. The UT system compiled a data set on faculty productivity, then squelched it, then fired the guy who told the press they’d squelched it. Jack wonders if the recent SOS audit was motivated by questions from an Oregon legislator. Probably, Oregon HB 3118 (now dead) called for something similar.

There’s no reason to freak out about these efforts to put some data out there. I’m no business management professor, but we faculty are UO’s profit center, not its cost center. We are underpaid, we teach way more than our comparators, and we bring in some pretty decent research funding too. The more people know about what we do the better. Professors make money for the university.

The UO administration, on the other hand – well, there’s a reason they make it so difficult to get public records and basic information about where they are spending tax and tuition money. And don’t get me started on OUS.

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to faculty productivity measurements

  1. Anonymous says:

    No reason to freak out — right. I mean, just look at K-12. Standardized testing and other “outcome assessment” was originally only supposed to be used to understand aggregate patterns, never to evaluate individual teachers. It was supposed to be used to target programs for improvement, never to take resources away. It was to be understood as just one flawed and incomplete piece of information, not used alone to make decisions. That all has worked out spectacularly.

    These kinds of numbers — incomplete and easily misinterpreted — will get wielded like a club by outside opponents of public education (as well as being misused by misguided supporters who want to fix what isn’t broken). It’s already happening in Texas.