Yum, Tasty Seed Corn: Where will we find the teachers?
“The Snowbird Report and the NSF-ED report both make the point that the working environment may not be able to sustain quality: Lab and computing facilities are not being upgraded or expanded to meet the demand; salaries and graduate student stipends are unattractive; faculties have not grown; heavy time commitments to large classes and counseling destroy the intellectual atmosphere and deprive graduate students of proper supervision…On the other hand, there is in Congress sentiment that ‘all the universities must do is raise faculty salaries,’ and the problem will go away.”
No, that’s not from a follow-up to the below article. It’s a quote from Peter Denning’s 1981 Letter to the ACM, “Eating our Seed Corn.” Eric Roberts warned last year that we were going to end up in the same place as we were in the early 80′s (when Peter wrote the above words) and in the early 2000′s (during the dot-com boom). According to US News and World Report, we’re getting there — the flow of students, in a time of cutbacks at Universities, is going to hinder our ability to meet demand, and the relentless draw of industry with its higher salaries is going to make it harder to find faculty.
At some institutions, the computer science program faces a shortage of qualified computer science faculty to meet student demand, notes Gwen Walton, a professor of computer science at Florida Southern College. Walton, who spent more than 20 years working in the industry, says schools cannot compete with the salaries many professionals command in the job market.
“Computer science is one of the few fields where you can start with a very high-paying salary with only a [bachelor's degree],” Walton says. “You don’t go into [teaching computer science] for the pay.”