On my post about URI professor Kyle Kusz, who became infamous for connecting Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with “white rage and white supremacy,” Joe Smith comments as follows:
Maybe URI should start with how a professor with his doctorate in kinesiology is now qualified to be a tenure track professor of English (or English and gender studies as URI website states)?
There are almost 700 kinesiology majors (Fall 18) at URI, barely 100 English, and not even a dozen gender studies majors — why is URI moving someone with a doctorate in kinesiology to English (maybe because he wasn’t really teaching, I don’t know, actual kinesiology) and not hiring English professors who are more focused on teaching literacy skills that are career focused (like how to write if you are a scientist or business person as opposed to teaching some obscure/niche topic)?
It’s one of the problems with higher education that teaching has taken second nature to publishing (for publishing sake in many cases like the Sokal Squared hoax shows). I’m sure the professor needs a book chapter to advance his tenure and/or promotion file. Maybe it will be assigned reading for his class (no conflict of interest there).
The main problem is not the counter balance of ideological representation, but that our higher education board (although isn’t URI free from that now?) never holds a discussion on — I don’t know — actual teaching and learning metrics. Like page 3 of URI’s benchmark survey of freshmen and seniors shows, URI is average to below average for effective teaching.
Maybe that’s comforting, Justin. If they are teaching ideological slanted material, it’s clearly not in an effective manner.
I’m afraid I can’t take the proffered comfort because of a sneaking suspicion that the results for effective teaching indicate that the ideological slant makes the supposed content of the courses roll off the table. Whether students recognize that the slant is the problem or learn to take it for granted as simply true is still an open question.