Posts Tagged ‘academia’

Teaching and Research

February 2nd, 2010 No comments

Three kinds of teaching and research involve
1. Theory
2. Information

3. Practice

By Theory I mean ideas and analytic methods. By Information I mean the discovery of new facts and the dissemination of known ones. By Practice I mean application of Theory and Information to particular problems.

What universities are mostly about is Theory, in teaching and research. We also do quite a bit with Information, because sorting out what information matters involves a lot of Theory. We are not good at Practice, and should not try to do much of it, because that is what goes on in the world beyond, and we are not the best at it. We do some consulting, to be sure, and we teach our students some practical skills, but only incidentally. If you want to learn Practice or do it, you ought to be out in the action, not in the Ivory Tower.

Categories: academia Tags: , ,

Discrimination-helps-the-“victim” argument

January 22nd, 2010 1 comment

An interesting WSJ example of where the Discrimination-helps-the-“victim” argument actually might be valid. This might be worth modelling.

A more worrisome issue arises when men take advantage of their relative scarcity by making life miserable for would-be girlfriends. Why settle down when you are a guy and the supply of eligible women appears to be unlimited? The female students hate such a situation, which is one reason admissions offices end up accepting male applicants who are less academically qualified than their female counterparts. Their goal is to avoid the dreaded 60/40 gender imbalance on campus that everyone agrees is a threshold not to be crossed. Those gender preferences, which colleges rarely discuss, have become common among private, four-year colleges (and recently caught the attention of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which has launched a probe into admissions discrimination against women).

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