Tag Archives: Colleges and Universities

rePost::Tenure for Prof. Sarah Raymundo: Rep. Walden Bello: “The Real Issue in the Sarah Raymundo Case: Academics versus Yahoos”

Rep. Walden Bello: “The Real Issue in the Sarah Raymundo Case: Academics versus Yahoos”

Read / download this letter in PDF: Walden Bello on Sarah Raymundo

The Real Issue in the Sarah Raymundo Case: Academics versus Yahoos

By Walden Bello*

Should President Emerlinda Roman fail to reverse the decision of Chancellor Sergio Cao to refuse tenure to Ms. Sarah Raymundo of the Sociology Department, this will be the final act of an academic tragedy.

Never has a tenure decision-making process been as flawed as this one. Allow me to cite the crucial points in this sorry affair:

– The majority of the department, by a margin of 7-3, votes to give tenure to Ms. Raymundo.

– The minority subverts this decision by manipulating Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Lorna Paredes into sending the decision back to the majority to justify—a move that was unprecedented. Confusion ensues.

– The College Executive Board (CEB) of the College of Sciences and Philosophy upholds the majority decision to grant tenure by 7-1, with three abstentions.

– The Chancellor disregards this decision of the college’s highest governing body and decides against tenure.

But the blatant irregularity of the process should not obscure the key issue in the Raymundo case. Beyond all the procedural controversies that surrounded the affair was the fundamental substantive question: did Ms. Sarah Raymundo deserve tenure on the basis of her academic record? It was the position of the minority on this issue that was, in effect, legitimized by Chancellor Cao’s decision to refuse tenure.

The minority in the tenured faculty never formally based its opposition to Ms. Raymundo on academic grounds. How could they since Ms. Raymundo had an excellent publications record and superb scores on teaching evaluations, indeed probably the best in the department? Instead, the minority focused on an issue that was marginal if not irrelevant to the tenure process: that Ms. Raymundo allegedly lied about her association with a press conference on two students that had been abducted by the military. In any context, this would be a minor disciplinary matter that would be handled as such. Ms. Raymundo’s guilt or innocence on this matter should have been ascertained in disciplinary proceedings separate from the tenure process. Instead, the minority elevated this alleged infraction, for which Ms. Raymundo’s culpability had not been settled, into their key and only consideration in their recommendation for denial of tenure, arguing that Ms. Raymundo did not deserve it for “ethical” reasons. This might be difficult for people outside the department to believe, but this alleged infraction was the only basis of the minority’s recommendation to deny tenure! Could Chancellor Cao really be serious in dignifying this position?

Why did the minority act the way it did? Let us no longer tiptoe around what was really involved in the Raymundo case, which made the stakes so high. In disregarding Ms. Raymundo’s academic achievements and blocking her tenure for an unproven allegation, the minority was exhibiting a behavior that had long frustrated their other tenured colleagues and the junior faculty. They did not care about academic excellence. Most of them had poor teaching evaluations from students and their publications records were practically non-existent. The last major sociology texts they read, according to some students, probably dated two decades back. Two were in fields that were only marginally related to the discipline of sociology. Only two of them were trusted enough to handle a graduate class by their colleagues. They were not concerned with intellectual exchange, which is the lifeblood of any academic department, and they had reduced departmental life into bureaucratic humdrum. For them, being a member in good standing in the sociology department meant conforming to rules, not intellectual achievement.

Most members of the minority were, in effect, non-performing assets or, to use a kinder term lifted from Jonathan Swift, yahoos. Conscious of the power conferred by tenure, most of them terrorized junior faculty with their demand for conforming to rules, being the cause of a series of departures of bright and motivated young faculty. Not surprisingly, Ms. Raymundo, with her intellectual achievements, was seen as a threat by this anti-academic faction that championed mediocrity–one whose addition to the tenured faculty would have tipped the balance in favor of the pro-academic grouping.

The pro-academic grouping within the senior faculty, in contrast, saw Ms. Raymundo as an indispensable asset to the department, as one who could contribute to the revival of intellectual exchange and innovation in the department. This grouping, which was composed of Profs. Laura Samson, Filomin Gutierrez, Gerry Lanuza, Josephine Dionisio, and myself, saw the battle over Ms. Raymundo’s tenure as having implications beyond her. We saw ourselves as fighting not only for the future of a brilliant young colleague but for the future of the department itself.

The majority’s will was thwarted by an irregular decisionmaking process that was capped by Chancellor Cao’s copout. But this painful story would not be complete without calling attention to the role of some members of the tenured faculty who had endorsed the original majority decision but abstained in succeeding decisions. Academics well known for their contributions to Philippine sociology, they proved to be ethically supine, unable to display the courage to stand up for their convictions. Unwilling to antagonize the minority, they retreated from endorsing Ms. Raymundo and tried to project themselves as being ”above the fray.” They threw Ms. Raymundo to the dogs, and they will forever have that on their conscience.

The Sarah Raymundo case is reaching its final stages. Will President Roman reverse a terrible miscarriage of justice and reassert UP’s commitment to academic excellence? Or will she, like Chancellor Cao, render the final act in yielding the sociology department to the reign of the yahoos?

*Walden Bello, PhD, now serves as a congressman for the party-list Akbayan! The author of 15 books and numerous papers and articles on international political economy and other topics, he was a member of the tenured faculty of the Sociology Department from 1997 until May of this year. An editor of the Review of International Political Economy, he won the Gawad Chancellor Award for Best Book in 2000 and was named the Outstanding Public Scholar of the International Studies Association’s Political Economy Section in its 2008 Convention in San Francisco.

via Tenure for Prof. Sarah Raymundo: Rep. Walden Bello: “The Real Issue in the Sarah Raymundo Case: Academics versus Yahoos”.

Bakit naisip ko bigla dito yung song na Little People you tube sa baba:

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Little Person by Jon Brion

I’m just a little person.
One person in a sea.
Of many little people.
Who are not aware of me.
I do my little job.
And live my little life.
Eat my little meals.
Miss my little kid and wife.
And somewhere maybe someday.
Maybe somewhere far away.
I’ll find a second little person.
Who will look at me and say.
I know you.
You’re the one I’ve waited for.
Let’s have some fun.
Life is precious.
Every minute.
And more precious with you in it.
So let’s have some fun.
We’ll take a road trip.
Way out West.
You’re the one.
I like the best.
I’m glad I found you.
Like hanging round you.
You’re the one.
I like the best.
Somewhere maybe someday.
Maybe somewhere far away.
Somewhere maybe someday.
Maybe somewhere far away.
Somewhere maybe someday.
Maybe somewhere far away.
I’ll meet a second little person.
And we’ll go out and play.

rePost::Philip Guo – Understanding and dealing with overbearing Asian parents

I’ve always wondered how overbearing Filipino Parents are compared to other Asian American Parents. Care to enlighten me? Interesting read!!!

When your parents were growing up, the only people who lived somewhat comfortable lives were either corrupt government bureaucrats or the well-educated elite who went to top-ranked colleges. Chances are, your parents didn’t have insider connections to government bureaucrats, because otherwise they would’ve been living a comfortable life back in their home country and wouldn’t have wanted to get out of there. That means, in their eyes, there was only one path that could lead to a comfortable life in the future: Doing well in school and getting admitted to an elite top-ranked university. This isn’t just idle speculation, either. Your parents actually saw what happened to their classmates who got bad grades and were unable to get into a good college — they are now ass-poor, living in unhealthy wretched conditions.

Seriously, this is no joke. When your home society doesn’t provide any opportunities for personal advancement, the only way to make a decent living is to play by the rules of the establishment. And when the establishment relies purely on grades, standardized test scores, and college reputation for assigning jobs, then no wonder your parents are so obsessed with those things! They don’t realize that in America, the C-average students who went to community college can actually live a decent life rather than rotting away in sewage-ridden slums. No matter how many times you tell them that you won’t be homeless even if you don’t attend a top-ranked college, they will never genuinely believe it; their traumatic childhood experiences left a far more powerful impression than your words ever will.

via Philip Guo – Understanding and dealing with overbearing Asian parents.

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eLink8:Great Talk About: The Passion and Perseverance Behind a Start-up

got this from Hacker News

It’s a talk a Stanford dropout gave, I really enjoyed it, I just didn’t relish the wierd looks I got from my officemates whenever I laughed out loud!

the talk is here:

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rePost: : Stumbling and Mumbling: Returns to good universities

Median household income and GDP per capita lev...
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I graduated from UP (University of the Philippines). In the Philippines there is really no comparison with other universities here in my country (although a few friends would definitely disagree, this is my blog so bugger off).  I’d have to say that one of the major reasons that UP is different is the diversity you have when your tuition fee is worth not even half a Play Station Portable and only a handful of your science programs are not the centers of excellence of your country(Electrical Engineering program in UP is the center of excellence for EE in Phils., It’s really disheartening that a few departments have the swagger but not the chops to be the best at least in the Here and be respected elsewhere). from my own experiences a UP diploma is good enough for a middle to upper middle income household if you start from scratch, and in a lot of ways helps open doors for you. I’ve always wondered about the people who refuse to study what they really want to study in lieu of studying something because that is the course that they got into in UP. It’s probably because of this, I think that either the median income of most professions in the Philippines really fall within a narrow field and this makes where you graduate almost as important as what was your course when you graduate. Well what do I know??

Returns to good universities

New research confirms what we’ve long suspected but not quantified – that it does matter what university you attend.

This paper shows that there are significant differences in graduate earnings, depending upon the quality of university. For example, if a university has an RAE score one standard deviation above-average, its graduates earn, on average, 4% more than the average graduate. And a graduate of a top quartile university earns 10-16% more (depending on which measure of quality is used*) than a graduate of a bottom quartile institution.

These differences control for students’ A level scores and other things, and so try to correct for the fact that better universities attract better applicants.

There seems to have been a rise in these returns over time, which suggests that as university numbers have expanded, so too has the premium upon attending a better one.

via Stumbling and Mumbling: Returns to good universities.

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Cato Unbound » Blog Archive » Down with the Four-Year College Degree!

Cato Institute
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I’m digging through unpublished/drafts in the blog and I found this. Its march already and students are starting to deal with finals and afterwards graduations, and finally the drudgery of work for most other people!  Thought provoking!

Finally, consider the hundreds of thousands of students who go to college just because they have had it pounded into their heads since childhood that the good jobs require a BA The wage premium that shows up in regression equations may or may not apply to them. In Real Education, I offer an extended example involving a hypothetical young man graduating from high school who is at the 70th percentile in intellectual ability–smart enough to get a BA in today’s world–but just average in intrapersonal and interpersonal ability. He is at the 95th percentile in the visual-spatial and small motor skills useful in becoming a top electrician. He is trying to decide whether to go to college, major in business, and try to become a business executive, or instead become an electrician.

Cato Unbound » Blog Archive » Down with the Four-Year College Degree!.

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Chris Blattman’s Blog: Is college the new high school?

Higher Education
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Forgive me for the old they don’t make em like they used to rirades but they actually don’t.

Is college the new high school?

A liberal arts English professor writing in Inside Higher Ed:

After too many years at this job (I am in my mid-40s), I have grown to question higher education in ways that cannot be rectified by a new syllabus, or a sabbatical, or, heaven forbid, a conference roundtable. No, my troubles with this treasured profession are both broad and deep, and they begin with a fervent belief that most of today’s college students, especially those that come to college straight from high school, are unnecessarily coddled. Professors and administrators seek to “nurture” and “engage” and they are doing so at the expense of teaching. The result: a discernable and precipitous decline in the quality of college students. More of them come to campus with dreadful study habits. Too few of them read for pleasure. Too many drink and smoke excessively. They are terribly ill-prepared for four years of hard work, and most dangerously, they do not think that college should be arduous. Instead they perceive college as an overnight recreation center in which they exercise, eat, and in between playing extracurricular sports, they carry books around. If a professor is lucky, the books are being skimmed hours before class.

Via MR.

Chris Blattman’s Blog: Is college the new high school?.

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