• February 8, 2016

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February 08, 2016, 11:33:15 pm *
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News: Talk online about your experiences as an adjunct, visiting assistant professor, postdoc, or other contract faculty member.
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 on: Today at 11:26:35 pm 
Started by kangaroo - Last post by mystictechgal
I just googled "transfer student GPA" and confirmed that transfer student requirements are listed  under many colleges' "For Transfer Students" section.

Huh. I just followed suit and and primarily found resources explaining how to calculate a basic GPA along with with some disclaimers about different schools using different criteria to decide which classes would transfer and how grades might be interpreted/credits allocated between systems using a +/- system and as obtains to classes taken P/F.

Almost all noted that that the final determination would be made by advisors at the receiving school, which I doubt they do unless a student has already been admitted or, at least, has paid (if necessary) any application fees. I know that many/most schools have expected GPA/board scores listed for their grad programs, but I don't see that helping much in the case of an undergrad attempting to see if they can transfer in from another school as a continuing undergrad--at least not without talking with one of their advisors or paying the application fee. Granted, she could compare her GPA to incoming freshmen arriving directly from HS by looking at the school's entrance requirements, but I'm not seeing how she could compare herself to incoming transfer students by simply googling it.

 on: Today at 11:20:47 pm 
Started by prytania3 - Last post by octoprof
Now, I am going to take my meds and pack for tomorrow's trip. No more actual work will be harmed in the process of this packing or of this driving or hospital visiting or anything else... until at least Saturday.

One day to get it all done:
faculty annual report
faculty professional plan
medical leave paperwork

journal stuff
nominating committee stuff
trouble shoot the 303 exams to make sure they work

grade 303 homework
email 303 about exam details
grade 603 homework
draft 603 project (started)
pack for another trip to H

 on: Today at 11:09:53 pm 
Started by archman - Last post by usukprof
From the article:
At least one board member seemed unnerved by vitriol faculty members directed at the board during the meeting. Trustee Robert Wyatt said he wants faculty to show more respect for the trustees in the future.
"You will respect me! I demand it! "

Well, to give them credit, these board members have now given SCF a reputation that extends beyond the Florida borders.  That's some kind of accomplishment, I guess.  - DvF

Wyatt seems to not understand that respect is earned, and that his behavior is not worthy of respect.

 on: Today at 11:06:51 pm 
Started by octoprof - Last post by ptarmigan
Why, when the syllabus says "Read Poem Y and Poem Z and the preface to the collection of poetry," is there always at least one person who reads Poem X?  (It's always the same Poem X, and it always happens with this specific set of readings.)  The syllabus said nothing about Poem X.  I never mentioned Poem X in class.  Why does everybody have this weird compulsion to read Poem X?

I wouldn't mind it if they didn't insist on writing their responses about Poem X INSTEAD OF the preface, which is way more important.

Shot in the dark here, but did they write about Poem X in high school?

Or did somebody do so, somewhere on the Internetz?

Probably not, since 1) Poem X is not particularly well-known; and 2) these are super-short, "write down your thoughts and questions about the reading on an index card" responses, not formal papers, and they seem to be authentically the students' work.  I think, more likely, they're just flummoxed by the fact that Poem X appears right before Poems Y and Z in the anthology, and some aspect of "read the second and third poems by this author, but not the first one" does not compute.

They don't know what "preface" means and are reading it to mean "previous" or "preceding." This assumes that X, Y, Z is the order in which the poems appear in the anthology.

 on: Today at 11:02:16 pm 
Started by spork - Last post by usukprof
It doesn't seem fair to dismiss a student out of hand because of the reputation of their college, still, it may be fair to ask them reasonable questions about their experiences at Wheaton.

Fair or not, we do it all the time.  I wouldn't consider a UofPee grad, and the top several elites probably wouldn't consider one of my grads.  Even in my STEM field the job market is very tight (and I'm thankful that those of my PhD grads that wanted have landed decent jobs in academia).  There is simply no reason for me to not move on to candidates that are less risky.

That said, you don't want to get into discrimination on the basis of religion. Would you dismiss a student because they went to King Abdullah University or Ben-Gurion University of the Negev?

One of my outstanding former grad students was on a fellowship from one of the elites in Saudi Arabia and is now faculty there.  That is a bit backward, but I woudn't see this as a problem, in my discipline, although it would probably eliminate them from women's studies.

What if the student went there because of family pressure, or because they wanted a clean drug-free environment?

That is certainly a real possibility, and is a shame for them.  But we've got plenty of outstanding candidates from institutions without dicey intervention from fundamentalists.

 on: Today at 10:51:25 pm 
Started by embitteredhistorian - Last post by usukprof
That was an amusing diversion...

 on: Today at 10:49:37 pm 
Started by spork - Last post by cmeagher7
It doesn't seem fair to dismiss a student out of hand because of the reputation of their college, still, it may be fair to ask them reasonable questions about their experiences at Wheaton.

That said, you don't want to get into discrimination on the basis of religion. Would you dismiss a student because they went to King Abdullah University or Ben-Gurion University of the Negev?

What if the student went there because of family pressure, or because they wanted a clean drug-free environment?

 on: Today at 10:45:51 pm 
Started by spork - Last post by usukprof
Which is why I would toss an application from a student from one of these places.  If the faculty is this dogmatic and closed-minded, I couldn't trust that a student would be a suitable academic candidate.

That's an incredibly narrow-minded and shortsighted reaction. I would never want to work at Wheaton, and they would never want to hire me, but you've got to approach the problem like the scientist or scholar you claim to be. Have you ever worked with students from Wheaton or other evangelical or religious colleges? Instead of basing your reaction on stereotypes and your imagination of what the students must be like, you've got to gather some data. What experiences have your colleagues had? Are Wheaton grads any good in the seminar room or in the laboratory?

What if you received a solid application from a Wheaton grad with good test scores, a compelling research proposal, and an NSF grant? Are you going to toss the application because of an opaque theological dispute at the applicant's alma mater? We really don't want to instiute a religious test alongside the GRE as a gateway to grad school.

First of all, let's assume it is a fresh grad, so there wouldn't be NSF grants of an established researcher.  The problem is, after the stunt Wheaton pulled, I don't consider them a legitimate university.  I'd similarly reject a candidate from Oral Roberts or Liberty.  While I understand that there are reasonable people there (both faculty and students), I have no way of assessing whether or not a candidate falls into this pool, and I'm not going to attempt to assess this in an interview, and obviously not get into anything approaching a religious discussion (since I'm not in a department of religion).

I could care less whether a person has deep faith, and am close to many that do.  But, for example, I couldn't consider someone with a biology degree from Liberty seriously, given the the department chair teaches creation studies; remember their advertisement for a candidate that had to be a creationist?  So where do I draw the line?  Astronomy, cosmology, and thermodynamics (including then mechanical and chemical engineering due to the 3rd Law) are right out .  History, philosophy (including complex systems and the philosophy of science), and many of the social sciences are dicey as well.  My STEM discipline might be OK, but how can I trust the education tainted by dogma?  And my discipline frequently interacts with some of the ones that are right out.

By "one of these places" do you mean evangelical colleges in general?  Colleges with a particular denominational affiliation?  Any college that requires faculty to sign a statement of faith? 

By one of these places, I mean one that has demonstrated that fundamentalist religious doctrine trumps the open discourse and exchange of ideas necessary for academic freedom and a proper education, as Wheaton has done.   I'm not going to comment on the use of the word "evangelical" as I'm not qualified to judge its nuances, and I certainly would have no problem with an ELCA Lutheran.  I have no problem with religious institutions that have an affiliation with religious groups that wouldn't insist on conservative doctrine dictating the curriculum and discourse; among these would be ELCA Lutheran, Episcopal, and UCC.  I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones with which I'm most familiar.  I would be deeply suspicious of any institution that required a statement of faith to be signed, particularly if very restrictive.

 on: Today at 10:41:34 pm 
Started by sprout - Last post by paxphd
I got a similar call today, from the same person who I worked with to finance our original mortgage (only a few months ago, actually).  We calculated that even with the associated closing costs (very low), the lower interest rate means that within less than a year on a 30 yr mortgage we will be in a better position than we are now.  I'm pretty sure we are going to go for it.

 on: Today at 10:34:24 pm 
Started by mountainguy - Last post by drbrt
Wow, that was the most thoughtful use of student evaluations I have ever seen. I will be stealing that from you.

Seriously, I know you get off on being the departmental Grand Visier, but could you stop scheming with your snake staff all over my teaching schedule?

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