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The Faculty Lounges: and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For
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The Faculty Lounges: and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  11 reviews
College tuition has risen four times faster than the rate of inflation in the past two decades. While faculties like to blame the rising costs on fancy athletic buildings and bloated administrations, professors are hardly getting the short end of the stick. Spending on instruction has increased 22 percent over the past decade at private research universities. Parents and t ...more
Hardcover, 195 pages
Published June 16th 2011 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published May 24th 2011)
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Michael Connolly
History of Academic Freedom
Academic freedom is a solution in search of a problem. There have been few examples of professors who got into trouble for holding unpopular views. Riley mentions two of them. 1894, Wisconsin State Superintendent of Education charged Richard T. Ely of the University of Wisconsin at Madison with teaching and supporting alien and revolutionary doctrines, because he wrote an article in The Nation in favor of organized labor. Ely was acquitted. In 1900, Jane Stanford, the
...more
Shelly
Riley's book attacks tenure as an unnecessary and misused construct which has contributed significantly to the decline in American universities. From my perspective as a staff person at a university she is correct. She touches too briefly, I feel, on things that I've seen: the predominance of "groupthink" on campuses, the way getting tenure results in a decline both in teaching efforts (of our 10 tenured, full professors only 1 ever bothers to even open his teaching evaluation reports) but also ...more
Richard Grebenc
Aug 07, 2013 Richard Grebenc rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All persons in, or looking to get into, higher education
Recommended to Richard by: An article written by the author
The main thread running throughout the book is that tenure is bad for everyone who is not tenured (other faculty [particularly adjuncts], students, and administrators). According to the author, tenure allows faculty who attain it to keep the job for life, with little chance of being fired regardless of performance in or out of the classroom. Also, she says, such persons tend to prefer research to teaching (she decries much of research as having little value due to its narrow focus or obscure top ...more
Anthony
An interesting look at tenure and it's effect on college teaching. The author does a good job of exposing how colleges are no longer delivering a great broad-based education, and how many of the classes are taught by low-paid adjuncts.

She only touches on some of the other costs of college beyond tenure, though - she mentions the high cost of things like government regulation and liability concerns, but that's a huge part of rising costs. And she mentions things like fancy dining halls and dorms
...more
Julie
I read this quickly. But the basic idea seems to be that graduate students and adjuncts are mostly teaching the undergraduates. It appears that no one is teaching these graduate student 'teachers', actually, (except in schools of education i assume) and thus this teaching work is subsequently done on an ad hoc department by department basis. The sense I got, rather was that the grad students and adjunct to a lesser extent is not taught how to be teaching really at all denied as they are the perk ...more
Elizabeth
The arguments here can be easily refuted, as they relied on circumstantial evidence when convenient. And where are the faculty lounges? This was just a gimmicky title for a book with a gimmicky argument; this read like a book that was just written to make money. It should really be called "Naomi Schaefer Riley's Case Against Tenure." Some of her ideas were certainly valid, but the overall approach was a turn-off for me.
Becky
Meh. She makes good points clearly, but her points weren't particularly new or surprising. She also locates Grove City College in Ohio rather than PA, where it really is, so it makes me wonder if there are other fact-checking issues.
Susan
An excellent tale of how university administrators are ruining college education. Could also be titled: why I refuse to teach at a college or university ever again.
Dan
Pretty good in covering the tenure part of the problem. It also touches on many other components of why colleges are so screwed up today.
Pito Salas
Very interesting look behind the higher education system, tenure, unions, politics and more.
Steve Gross
Why tenure stinks.
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