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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Higher ed news

Hello all!

Great to be back in the blogging world. I picked up two higher-education tips today in Phi Beta Cons, National Review Online's higher-education blog. The first is this item which reports that "Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) quietly has begun an investigation into six years of earmarks won by more than 100 colleges and universities, a sector that has collected billions in federal awards in recent years."

I wonder if UND and NDSU are on the senator's list, given all of the effort they've put into winning federal research grants? Efforts that I entirely support, by the way ... I think college towns are the growth centers for the 21st century in America, and that drawing research dollars is a smart strategy for economic development. As long as the efforts don't include what Coburn describes as "corruption (and) spending mismanagment," that is.

The second item points to this PDF document that claims a) that there is no shortage of engineers in the United States, and b) that reports of China and India's production of engineers have been greatly exaggerated. Interesting reading, if you're interested in curriculum issues facing UND and other schools with engineering programs.


Anonymous ec99 said...

"and that drawing research dollars is a smart strategy for economic development"

Having read your editorials over the years, I am aware that you are a big fan of the university as engine of economic development. However, there is a consequence to this: the deterioration of the university as institute of education, particularly undergraduate education. My son is a student at UND, and, ironically, as his tuition spirals upward to the tune of double-digit percentages each year, the classes he needs are invariably closed. Due to miserable salaries, UND can neither retain faculty, nor replace them. Hence, departments are unable to open new sections to handle enrollment overflow. Perhaps this should be the subject of a future editorial.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous jeep said...

ditto the previous comment! UND once provided a terrific education [and for some, it still does], but the emphasis for faculty has increasingly become research and grants. Teaching [particularly undergraduate teaching]is rarely valued {within the system] or rewarded in comparison to the research, grant side. Faculty who once loved teaching have become jaded, cynical and discouraged and often leave or retire early.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:53 AM  

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