We Get What We Pay For

How many times have you heard that? I know it isn’t true, from having listened to social scientists who study the phenomena. However, people perceive that when they pay a hefty price, they are getting something of value.

When we have tenure requirements that are based entirely on publications, faculty reasonably feels that their main job is research. That might be acceptable in an R1, but it’s not so great in an SLAC.

Why should profs accept an additional committee assignment if the work isn’t valued in any significant way by the university? I think many of them won’t. And I think I agree with them.

If the university wants good teachers, it should pay attention to teaching. At the very least tenure requirements should mention something about “acceptable class load and teaching assignments” and what it means to be a successful teacher. I know lots of folks would complain about that, but I think it would help both the administrators and the faculty remember that teaching is a big part of the position.

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