Death of the Academy...I am sorry to post this on the top end of Andy's post, but people were complaining about our topics lately, so now you have this little rant and Andy's great post on the good work of Rick Warren...So make sure you read through his...Plus, it sounds like Jake is going to be posting soon on some interesting stuff...So anonymous, get off our back!
Ok, So this week I have been thinking a lot about getting my PhD. I have been saying I wanted to do this for the past several years. Now that I am actually "on pace" for it, I am really starting to second guess it. Here are some reasons why...
Higher Education is slowly dying. At the undergraduate level, it is quickly becoming the new High School. For those who go through the years required to earn doctorates, they are increasingly rewarded with less full-time tenure-track positions, and more "contract faculty" positions. Part of this has to do with the Bush administration not caring about education (from elementary through post-secondary). However, ranking reports and other forms of public outcry that make colleges and university bow to marketing over mission. Creating academic cultures is less desired, because people that have not experienced education are not having a lot to contribute to the discussion. This shows up in the push towards professional degrees (nursing, social work, etc.) being more acceptable than trypical liberal arts degrees (biology, history, sociology, etc.) Liberal Arts colleges are in this trend. Following business models of organization, which will push marketing over mission every time. So all this to say, that the environment is not conducive to making 5 more years of education seem nearly as appealing. Note, I am not necessarily picking on Huntington, however, many of the things I am saying are true for them as well. However, the trend is nationwide and in all types of institutions. I guess, my question for those of you who are considering being professors, what do you think about these issues.
On a personal note, I also, have started to feel like I want to be "doing something" now. I want to be working with people and have time to be apart of a community and enjoy people and life. I don't know if having every waking hour to do the next project or talking about my thesis is beneficial to anyone. Don't get me wrong, I strangely enjoy this, but I also feel I am being less than productive in things that matter. Especially, if I am not sure I want to do the PhD and jump into the competition of a Job market of dyiing field...Seems crazy...
Any other thoughts on the academy and what trends are encouraging or discouraging for those of us continuing in the field?
Now read Andy's post, which is better than this one...I promise!