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CAS faculty meet today at 2PM for “Metrics, Humanities, and Social Science”

Last updated on 02/27/2018

Dear Humanities and Social Science faculty,

Please join your colleagues Scott DeLancey (Linguistics), Spike Gildea (Linguistics), Volya Kapatsinski (Linguistics), Leah Middlebrook (Comparative Literature), Lanie Millar (Romance Languages), and Lynn Stephen (Anthropology) for a discussion of metrics for measuring our departmental research quality and the quality of our graduate programs. The panel will briefly summarize work done in some of our departments to identify what we value in our own work, ways to measure how well we achieve goals we value, and how we might take leadership in moving comparator institutions towards identifying and measuring their goals in comparable ways.

Tuesday, February 27 2:00-3:30 pm Gerlinger Lounge

Thanks to Lanie, Leah, Lynn, Scott, Spike, and Volya for their willingness to lead a timely discussion as we all consider how to create meaningful and useful metrics for our departments and disciplines.

Karen Ford and Phil Scher


  1. Dog 02/26/2018

    For the Dean, I know who lurk and judge on this blog – you can even reply to my question below with the Screen name


    Is the purpose and current fervor for “metrics”

    a) to identify “good” faculty – those that are above some metric

    b) to identify “not so good” faculty – those are below some metric

    c) to use metrics to argue that department X is metrically better than department Y and therefore deserves more resources

    Note; I don’t expect any answer to this

    • cdsinclair 02/27/2018

      I hesitate to speak for administration here, but I think they would answer along the lines of:

      d) to identify units where a small infusion of resources will make a significant increase in departmental quality/stature/etc.

      Presumably any improvement will be measured by the same metrics, so design your metrics accordingly!

      • Dog 02/27/2018

        how do you get d) from metrics
        and what does “small infusion” mean? One additionally faculty line? What does “significant increase” mean?

        One faculty line in some department = one Nobel Laureate in
        that department? One mega grant for that Department? What?

  2. No. 02/26/2018

    as we all consider how to create meaningful and useful metrics for our departments and disciplines.

    “how to” presupposes so much. This must have been very painful for Karen to write.

  3. Centralization for the win! 02/27/2018

    I am really getting on board with this new top down structure here at the UO. They are clearly really on their game. I don’t know how anyone ever got by without this visionary leadership. I feel like we are all caught up with 1990 on the mgt front. The Pres and BOT should be really proud of the talent and forward thinking their team represents. What I really think we need is more check lists. I mean metrics to tell us what is important about our jobs and then well written instruction books and training classes.

    • Dog 02/27/2018

      The Party thanks you

    • uomatters Post author | 02/27/2018

      It’s great to hear this sort of enthusiasm, Comrade. You will be required to maintain it, and your production level, for the duration of the 5-year plan.

      • honest Uncle Bernie 02/27/2018

        Comrade Bill. 5 year plan. So Soviet! See my post nearby about modern capitalist method. We are all good liberals here.

      • Old Gray Mare 02/27/2018

        I’m sorry. That was a Russian bot.

        • v. lenin, junior 02/28/2018

          if you pretend to be excellent scholars and researchers we, the administrators, will pretend to reward you accordingly.

    • honest Uncle Bernie 02/27/2018

      Hey, how about let’s go way back. I mean 19th century. Maybe 18th. I’m talking about time and motion studies. If it worked for widget factories, why not the modern university?

  4. honest Uncle Bernie 02/27/2018

    Yes, metrics. So much better than back in the old benighted days. Lionel Trilling, F.R. Leavis, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, J.M. Keynes, Leo Strauss, Milton Friedman, many others, all consigned to deserved oblivion. When the humanities and social sciences were bereft of influence and stature. Now, with metrics, their loftiness is acknowledged by one and all, inside the academy and out.

    This is progress, my friends!

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