Adviser loses job over research-vs-teaching arguments

April 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Interesting — this issue of whether tuition and other university resources are being spent on research rather than teaching, is becoming more heated and (of course) more political.  This piece makes it sound like it’s a conservative issue, e.g., that professors are highly-paid to do research of dubious value.

Mr. O’Donnell, a former executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, had made no secret of his skepticism about the work being done in universities. In 2008, he wrote a paper for a conservative think tank questioning the value of much of the research conducted in universities. He also worked for three years for Jeff Sandefer, a business educator and major donor to Rick Perry, Texas’ governor. Both Mr. Sandefer and the governor, a Republican, have been pressuring universities to focus more on teaching and less on research.

On Monday, Mr. O’Donnell wrote a letter to Wallace L. Hall Jr., a Texas regent, in which he said that, as part of his job with the regents, he asked university and system officials for data “that would inform task forces how student dollars and taxpayer money were being spent.” He said the university system refused to release the data, which he said would have shown that a growing amount of public money is going toward professors and administrators who do little teaching.

via Controversial Adviser to U. of Texas Regents Says He’s Been Fired – Administration – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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