Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mandatory Attendance is for Bad Teachers (by anon)

I paid $3,597 for this semester's classes. That money contributes to a variety of things, but most importantly, my teachers' salaries. So when it's the first day of school and I find out that my teacher will be taking roll every day and attendance will be part of our grade, I am pissed!

This isn't because I am a slacker and would rather watch "Rescue Me" on Netflix for hours on end (even though I would.)  It's because my grade should be based on the material I acquire by attending class. If I don't attend, I lose out on that material and therefore, my grade suffers in that way.

Also, as I eluded to in the beginning, I PAY TO BE HERE!!! That should be a good enough reason for me to get my ass out of bed in the morning, but if it's not, well then the teacher is getting paid the same amount for teaching one less student, and shouldn't complain.  It is the teacher's responsiblity to make class interesting, challenging, and necessary to attend because that's how you get a good grade.

So I think the only teachers that take attendance are those that make it too easy to pass without attending, and therefore need to take roll if they're going to expect students to show up. When the teacher goes off just powerpoints (an example of a bad teacher), then posts those powerpoints to D2L, why would anyone bother showing up? Unless of course, it's part of your grade.

I am an adult, please start treating me like one.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Abortion…the whole topic is dumb (by anon)

Like, does anyone have anything better to talk about?  So many people make this out to be such an important issue.  Michelle Bachmann just called it, “the watershed issue of our time.”  Oh please.  Cry me a river.

So what if some people abort their fetuses?  Seriously.  What’s the big deal?  The world economy could slide into a huge recession.  That is a big deal.  Many people would be affected in really bad ways.  There are major protests against dictator-like governments in the Middle East, even civil wars.  Those are big deals.  There are millions of people starving all over the world.  That is a big deal.  The enslavement of North Koreans.  That is a big deal.  The resurgence of terrorism, religious intolerance, increased murder rates, the world’s energy crisis, natural disasters.  Those are big deals.  Whether Jane has an abortion or not…that’s not a big deal, especially when you are not Jane.

The point: there are so many actually important things to talk about and get motivated to do something about than abortion.

When does life begin?  Who cares?  Like we will ever know.  That whole question is so arbitrary that I want to slap someone who finds that it is THEE question of the century.  “But the unborn baby has rights!”  That’s pretty debatable, but the mother certainly has rights.  So side with what we know and let the mother have her rights over her own body.  People wanting to legislate over other people’s bodies like that need to climb back into their holes.

But face it.  Abortion is primarily a political issue hyped up to motivate certain demographics to vote in particular ways.  Republicans love to bring it up to energize their conservative base to vote.  And you know what that means, don’t you?  It means that secretly Republicans never want the abortion issue to be settled in their favor because then they would lose that motivation to get people to vote for them. 

Yep, so we’ll still be hearing about abortion for the next 100 years or so…Oh God, abort me now!!

Argue your ass off!

Has something ever bothered you on campus?  Ever pissed off at your teachers, university policies, politicians, media, the general public, or an "ism"??  If so, write about it and send it to us at The Critically Pissed.  All submissions will be posted as ANONYMOUS.

The only requirement is that each post be a “reasoned” post.  No bald rants.  We want reasoned rants so that your views can try to persuade to agree with you.  And if people don't agree with you, well...they'll probably tell you why in the comments!

The hope is that this kind of “critically pissed” forum can be a venting place for critical thought as well as a possible place to start changing the way people think about things.


- All posts will be anonymous, but you can create a catchy alias if you want :)
- Word limit: greater than 100 words
- Come up with a title for your post (or else we will).
- Leave particular people’s names out of your posts, unless you believe they are really needed.
- Make sure you are giving REASONS for your view.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

American Rights? (by anon)

“Rights.” It appears to me that this word instills are great sense of “defense.” It’s my right! You’re violating my right to free speech! ect. So what happens when this word is used when on the “offense?” I’m speaking more or less but not limited to Obamacare.

Heath care is a service rendered. When did the government get the power to force me to buy something, such as government health insurance? Collective rights, one might say. The collective want government enforced health care so the United States gets government enforced health care. That in and of itself doesn’t make sense. How can it be my right to violate your “rights,” then neither of us has any “real rights.”

All you humanitarians settle down, the answer to your question before you scream it is NO. I would not let a man die simply because he didn’t have health insurance. I do not think any doctor would deny a dying man treatment. But, I do think that that person should pay for that service himself. If someone consciously doesn’t where a seat belt crashes, and is put in a comma. The doctors, I’m sure would save his life. But, as for the bill is concerned that is his responsibility, not mine. He rolled the dice and lost, he will be paying off a debt for a long time. Such is the nasty way of freedom of choice.

I do however see no problem in giving this service or right to children. Children are omitted from the argument simply because they are children. Do you not pay for education once you’re an adult? Why, yes you do. If Obamacare was rendered to only children I would have absolutely no argument against it.

I understand that when the status quo is being changed, rights are sometimes broken or changed. It was once man’s right to own another man. Although, I don’t think you truly can relate slavery to government enforced health care. Regardless of whether the change is better or worse there still is a change. Rights are, well, rights are they not. So the real question is how long before the next right is broken or altered? The answer I think is that none of us really have any rights. Since rights are not this sacred undeniable defense/right, but something to be vexed and twisted to whatever the collective wants.

1) Rights protect citizens and should not be taken away by ANYONE.

2) If rights are violated and the law/people find out then the violator is punished according to the law.

3) If the law makers violate a citizens right and the law/people know it, and the law makers go unpunished then the right was not a real right. Because Point 1 and 2.

If individualists unite to fight collectivism, doesn’t that make them a collectivist…

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My favorite professor **said with major snark!** (by anon)

Dear Professor,

     I understand that we live in a world of fascinating technology, and this technology can help with all sorts of things like research and socializing but according to you, it helps a lot with teaching ourselves the material, which in the long run does us good.  You even graciously allowed us to pay a total of $37.00 for a database system that is not compatable with most computers, and which we can access for FREE through the library.  You also had us pay for an amazing online text book, when there is a text book rental on campus once again for FREE.  On top of it, you were one of the AUTHORS of the book through the rental. Does this mean you dont believe the information you helped create?  So now I wasted all of this extra money for an inadequate database, and on a professor who doesnt teach. So now, im left with a shitty database a big hole in my wallet, and the amazing professor who didnt think any of this through.  Did I mention I have not LEARNED anything yet? I love professor's who dont teach with all of my heart. I really do.

your patient kind loving student

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Who's "assassinating" what? Use words correctly! (by anon)

Police call shooting an "assassination attempt"

Assassination attempt

Wait a damn minute here. Where did these people go to school. This was not an assassination attempt. Someone just shot at these dudes and missed.  For example, Biggie and Tu Pac were not assassinated. These two dudes, unfortunately, got shot and died. The murderer has not been apprehended, not the assassin has not been apprehended.  JFK got assassinated. Lincoln got assassinated. It would be incorrect to say that Jack Ruby assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald but correct to say that the Oswald assassinated JFK, regardless of your position on the assassination. Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald.

Here is a short headline from a Canadian paper about a mafia leader whacked:

The patriarch of Montreal's most notorious Mafia family — Nicolo (Nick) Rizzuto — has been killed in his home in a slaying that caps months of escalating attacks against the embattled crime clan. 

They got it right. It would be incorrect to write that Nick, may the deities have mercy on him, was assassinated.  This dude, like Biggie, Pac, and Oswald was shot and killed. Period.

Lets limit the word "assassination" to prominent public figures. Because it would sound weird for us to start saying that John assassinated his wife, or the wife and her boyfriend assassinated her husband, or, on a honeymoon cruise, Mike assassinated his wife by pushing her off the boat. Try this one on for size OJ "assassinated" Nicole and Ron Goldman.

My advice - lets sick with the word murder or attempted murder in the case of the State Journal. It still works well. Imagine a headline, Casey Anthony is on trial for allegedly assassinating her daughter.

My final point here is that we all should learn to use words correctly.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What did you say?? Professors with foreign accents (by anon)

I would first just like to say that I'm not one of those "Speak English or go home!" kind of people. The issue I'm having in classes though is i can't understand some of my professors. Three of my six teachers are Immigrants and have some sort of accent. And its not the kind of small entertaining accent that people on TV have, there really thick and hard to understand. There have been many times in those classes were The Professor has asked a question or addressed another student and they have to repeat themselves two or three times because the whole class asks, "what are you saying?" I think if you have a job were you spend your day speaking to English speaking students and you have a thick accent, you should be required to take some form of speech program to lessen the thickness of your speech.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Geneds are a waste of time (by anon)

I believe general education is stupid for a few reasons. First of all they are forced on us like we are still in high school. I thought college was about being able to take the classes you want and not about dreading learning about social problems in Asia or the psycology of the .  Another reason i think geneds are a waste of time is because since nobody wants to take them nobody is going to pay attention more than enough to get their desired grade. Is it even worth it to force us into these classes which are designed to make us more worldly and intelligent individuals if we arent going to remeber a thing a week after the final?!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alien abduction would not happen now (by anon)

I watched this movie last weekend that initially freaked the shit out of me, and then I came to my senses.  The Fourth Kind is about some supposedly real happenings in Nome, Alaska.  Milla Jovovich is the lead actress in the movie, but before the actual film begins, Milla as Milla says that these events are real and that they may be disturbing.  She goes on to say that some “real” footage taken of these events and therapy sessions will be played alongside the reenactment pieces.  Such filmography is supposed to demonstrate the nonfictional character of the movie.  Thus, we are told that we will see the real people about which the film is about along with the actors and actresses playing those people in the film.

Right after I saw the movie, I must admit that I was a little uncomfortable because if what the movie was saying is true, then I’ve got some serious reorientating of my mind to do!  Then two things happened, which dispelled any unease.  First thing, while the credits were rolling, I did the whole google thing to get more info.  Very quickly, I realized the whole movie was a staged event.  The people who were supposed to be the “real” people were themselves actors and actresses.  Everything was quite convincing, but it was a sham.  To that end, the movie reminded me of Blairwitch.

Ok, but secondly, I started to think about the whole abduction thing.  The way these abduction accounts go is that aliens take you into their spaceships, do all these weird tests on you that almost always verge on the perverted (anal probes, sex part explorations, blah blah), then return you with your memory “almost” wiped clean.  Normally, it is at this point that I tune people out because that is all SO “out there” that I would need some really damn good reason to even entertain the possibility.  I don’t say it is impossible (because I do not have that kind of absolute knowledge), but I’m not going to believe some nutjob who says he’s been abducted just because he says it.  Call me crazy, but I need more – something a little more objective.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s supposed there really are aliens and that they have really done abductions.  As far as alien accounts go, many believe that aliens were around since the pyramids, and even earlier.  Ok, so here are my points for why alien abduction would not happen now.

1.     If aliens exist and have visited the earth many times since ~2000-3000 BC, they must have vastly superior technology and knowledge than our own.
2.     If they wanted to study humans, they would more likely take some humans and grow themselves a colony to test and experiment on.  They would have the know-how to do so, the means to do so, and it would be much simpler to do than conducting repeated abductions.
3.     When some humans experiment on mice and rabbits, that is exactly what they do.  They grow their own crops of animals.
4.     Such practice allows for better experiments since the environmental conditions surrounding the subjects of study are more controlled.
5.     Thus, there might have been a few alien abductions and kidnappings, but that would have ended long ago when the aliens developed their own crop of humans.
Don’t get me wrong.  I think the thought of alien abduction actually happening is crazy.  But in case I am mistaken and it did happen, there would be no reason why aliens would need to abduct people nowadays.  I’d venture that they would have some pretty good crops of humans spanning back centuries ago.  In fact, I think I’ll go watch the movie The Island again.  They made some good crops of humans there.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

REA$ON is at it again (by CCM)

I just received this email below, which was sent to many media outlets as well as Paul Ryan (R - US Congress) and Ron Johnson (R - US Senator).  My reply follows (and yes, I replied to all). 


Hello media outlets, professors, organization leaders, politicians and other interested parties.

Attached is an informational press release concerning a movie showing that will presented at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Wednesday and Thursday, October 5th and 6th, 2010. The fore mentioned movie is "Iranium: The Movie." This showing is hosted by REA$ON: Objectivist Thought in Whitewater. Objectivism is the philosophy founded by Ayn Rand, author of he best-selling novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. The philosophy of Objectivism promotes an ethical rational egoism rather than the more universally accepted theory of altruism. Please read the attached press release. Also attached is a poster and an informational handout.

I encourage teachers to handout the informational handout and I am more than welcome to join a class to introduce the movie and to print the poster to hang up in your office etc. I encourage  Organizations to handout the informational handout and once again I am more than welcome to join a meeting to introduce the movie.

For more information on the event, contact me at If you are interested in an official flyer also contact the previous email. For more information on Ayn Rand's Philosophy on Objectivism, visit

Jonathan Bomberg
President and Founder of Rea$on (Objectivist Thought in Whitewater)

My response:

Dear Jonathan,

I apologize for replying in this manner, but I am wondering why you find this movie appropriate for me (or you) to promote in my classes?  I also wonder why I should take Rand's philosophy seriously.

FIRST POINT.  Iranium was produced by the Clarion Fund in NYC, which has strong Zionist overtones.  The film itself leaves out much of the history of US-Iran relations that is important for understanding the current state of affairs between the two countries.  The film also ignores that many Iranian reformists under President Mohammad Khatami reached out to the US after 9/11.  While Iranium does not say that the US should take military action against Iran so that we beat them to a hypothetical punch, it is the overwhelming feeling provoked by the end of the movie.  My suggestion is that the movie Showdown with Iran is a much better film that is produced by PBS Frontline, contains a better historical sketch, and includes apt cautions about the dangers of military action.  The aim is balance, especially with such an important, powder keg issue.

SECOND POINT.  Rand's philosophy tells me that I should take a resolutely "selfish" view of the world.  "Selfishness" for Rand does not mean crude hedonism (which makes me question why there is a dollar-sign in "Rea$on").  Rather she means rational egoism as you say.  But that egoism radically neglects social responsibility in favor of individual survival.  The capitalist is heralded over all else no matter who might suffer because of his/her efforts; the producer is all that matters and should be exalted above all else.  Rand's philosophy smells of social darwinism, a philosophy we should not take seriously after we have learned about the philosophical, historical, social, and economic complexities surrounding the current state of our country.  Rand's philosophy has major problems it cannot overcome.

So I ask, why should I promote this movie in particular to my class, and why should I promote your student organization in particular to my class?


Chris Calvert-Minor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Philosophy & Religious Studies
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Teachers are worth shit (by anon)

I don’t know if you watched Obama’s job speech the other night.  It was pretty good, even to my (now) skeptical ears.  He was clear, poignant, and directive – and in all the right ways (for a change).  But one of the most striking moments of the debate (striking, not surprising) was when Obama stated that more financial backing needs to go to teachers and the vast majority of Republicans remained absolutely silent.  No applause.  The Democrats applauded.  Republicans applauded other things in Obama’s speech – but notably not for teachers.

The sad truth: conservative America (i.e., most of America) does not value public teachers.

This truth has become more and more evident since last spring when the Walker administration began their antics to kill collective bargaining for most public employees (including teachers).  While there were huge protests at the capitol, many Wisconsin people thought (and still think) that teachers have it way too good and that they need to be knocked down a few pegs.  I heard people on call-in radio shows slam teachers for being too whiny, too greedy, too dumb, too liberal, and not as important as they think they are.  You might think that all that means is that people want teachers to be on the same financial page as everybody else.  But in conservative America, if you are a teacher (and in particular a college professor) you are thought of as a piece of liberal crap who is out of touch with reality, unable to do real work for a living, snooty, and a legitimate enemy of the state because you make your students think for themselves and question assumed beliefs.  For God’s sake, Michelle Bachmann wants to abolish the Department of Education.  I even heard someone yesterday say (in person) that she is homeschooling her kids because she does not trust the public school system to educate her children “right.”

Since last spring, including the other night, that kind of broad negative sentiment towards teachers has remained strong.

Ironically, even UW-Whitewater itself perpetuates a negative sentiment towards teaching.  For some reason, research is much more highly valued than teaching at UWW.  Of course everyone says that teaching is of highest priority, but if you look at the rewards and promotion process, a different picture emerges.  The tenure process, while a complex beast, is more heavily weighted towards the right kind of research than the right kind of teaching.  As long as one reaches at an adequate benchmark for teaching, that category is checked.  Yet research is looked at much more closely.  There are also for more grants and fellowships available for faculty to do research than for faculty to pursue teaching excellence.

So I cannot help but have the feeling that the value of teachers is going down.  And this saddens me because I find teachers to be one of the most important jobs in America right now.  Now, more than ever, we need good teachers to rise up and educate our people in right knowing, skills, and values.  If we don’t, who will?  Our country is not thinking well as it is quite plain to see from our media, politicians, and general crap for TV.  Without good teachers, our country will die from a lack of innovation, collaboration, cooperation, and ability to adapt.

For some reason, many Americans not only miss that fact, but they believe just the opposite.  They believe that defending and helping teachers are not worth it.

So I say in defiance: public teaching is one of the most valuable jobs in America.  They are the backbone of education.  And the more we help their cause, the better this country will be.

[Sidenote: I am well aware that there are many bad teachers who are still in the public school system.  Thus, in tandem with my remarks above, there needs to be measures for the continual training of public teachers (college professors too!), a rewards systems to encourage good teaching, and a more effective mechanism to remove bad teachers.]

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Some Republicans are sick and shameless! (by anon)

Yes, almost all politicians are insanely dumb, adolescent, and greedy to the core, but this little news item takes the cake.
It appears that some Pima County, Arizona Republicans are fundraising by raffling off a handgun.  While in my mind that is sick enough, this particular handgun is the same kind of handgun that Jared Loughner used to kill six people and shoot Gabrielle Giffords in the head!  In Arizona!!  Only eight months ago!!!  The gun is a Glock.  The only difference between the gun being raffled and the gun Loughner used is that the raffled gun is a Glock 23, and Loughner’s gun was a Glock 19.  One is just a little bit bigger than the other.  With the raffled gun comes a grip, a case, and three 12-round magazines.  Oh, and it’s preloaded – you know, so you can start shooting immediately!

Am I crazy??  Are they crazy??  First, why would anyone think that raffling off a gun is a good thing?  I guess some Republicans started spouting off “It’s a constitutional right” when they were questioned about this.  But that is pure bullshit.  Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean that it is a good thing to do by any measure.  I can put a mouse in a microwave, nuke it, and watch it blow up, but that is damn cruel.  But I CAN do it.  Some people need to grow up in really big ways.
The obvious second questions is how can those Republicans be so insensitive about the Arizona shooting?  I don’t care if they have had gun raffles in the past.  I don’t care if they are great fundraisers.  Sometimes moral sensibilities transcend money.  This is certainly that time, and those Republicans failed.  They represent a great moral low point on any scale.  Those Republicans lack moral character and should be run out of office.
But NO!!  You know what happened?  They sold those damn raffle tickets so fast that they put up another gun to raffle off.  Even after INTERNATIONAL criticism that their raffle is morally repugnant, they thought it would be best to capitalize on the demand and put up a rifle so that more numnuts could get their grubby constitutional hands on more firepower.  That’s what you can an A-class response. ugh
What a great country we live!  What’s worse is that WE THE PEOPLE elect these assholes.  The Republican constituents who voted these assholes into office are currently holding the mantle of America’s moral low.  Pima County Republicans can rot!!
Here are some links to stories about this:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Money. Is it worth it? (by anon)

Most of us love money. We dream of the day that we either win the lottery or take up a high paying job, and we fantasize about having everything we desire from a private island to a spectacular car, an extravagant house to hoards of designer clothes, and of course everything in between.

Is it in our nature to want money, to collect possessions, and live a life filled with as much luxury as possible? Are we humans wired to dedicate our life to acquiring things, above and beyond our basic needs? Is there something more we should be looking for in life? When we have everything we need (food, water, clothing, shelter, a loving community of friends and family), why do we seem to think we need more? As long as we’re healthy, safe, and have people around us to love and share life with, shouldn’t we be able to enjoy life without the desire for capital gain or a bunch of unnecessary shit that makes us look cool, feel better about ourselves, or just keep us entertained?

Everyone seems to be upset in America – the rich aren’t rich enough, and the poor aren’t exactly getting less poor. So why wouldn’t the rich want to put their money towards things that could make society work better as a whole, while living a practical life for themselves, with a modest home, modest possessions, and a modest, less extravagant lifestyle overall?

Why don’t the richest people care to put their money towards things like research for new technology so we can have cleaner energy, advanced medical care, a better waste collection system, better transportation means, better food, a better environment, and better infrastructure overall? Basically, why do people who have a lot of money think they need to use it to buy material possessions for themselves instead of use it to support and benefit their community? And no, I don’t want to hear that rich people buying tons of shit actually helps the economy because “that money eventually trickles down the stream to the less wealthy”. We all know that in a capitalistic society, the workers sell their labor in order to get by, while the corporate leaders take advantage and make profit from that labor. So any money that gets spent by the rich on things like yachts and vacation homes ends up going to some other corporate leader in the end anyway, while the workers themselves, despite at least having jobs, still only earn a tiny fraction of what they actually produce. Thus, the corporate leaders get richer while the workers continue to lose money on their own labor, and when their paychecks come, they pay a bunch of taxes, and when they finally decide to spend money, they barely afford what they need, and if they’re lucky, they can still spend money on a bunch of crap they don’t need (while most of what they spend still goes back to a corporate leader who makes a majority of the profit, while workers are paid unfairly to make the crap in the first place, and the cycle just goes on).

The most well-off people are the most stupid and backwards, and none of them know how to solve anything, because they rely on money to solve all of their personal problems, while they leave the rest of the world’s problems untouched. Then they all run in circles worrying about what personal, tangible assets they have and how to retain them, when all they need is right in front of them, and has been all the time, yet it is cluttered and overcast by objects that hold no true significance. Money destroys spirit, nature, good character, beauty, love, and everything else that’s good in this world. Lives are lost all of the time over money.

So next time you hear someone (or yourself) griping about money, or how this country’s economy is fucked and our president won’t do anything to help us, remember it’s that human desire for money that brought us here in the first place, and there are people out there with the means to help bring society to a better place. Unfortunately, those who have the means don’t care because their life is set, and they’d rather have the money for themselves and those who happen to be in their direct line of descent than actually use the money to make the world better. And they think spending their money on possessions somehow does help society. No one who makes a large amount of money really cares enough about the rest of the world to even start thinking about how do anything to make it better, so all they do is think about what to buy and how to make more money (and make it look like they’re trying to help the world) instead of ways to truly improve life around them. Money is pointless and it controls people. We can’t be free until we stop living for money. From now on, let’s try to make our main objective be something other than money (what’s that thing they talk about in the Bible? Oh yeah, Love), and we should see how much better life gets.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Is tenure worth it? (by anon)

I’m genuinely torn as to whether tenure is worth it for a university as a whole.  Now it is the case that many schools are beginning to do away with tenure, but UW-Whitewater retains it, as do all the other UW schools.  It seems that tenure can be a blessing and a curse for a school.

The tenure process works like this for those not in the know.  You work your butt of doing teaching, research, and service for the school.  Your teaching is evaluated primarily by student evaluations.  So to all you students out there who don’t think student evaluations matter, damn you’re wrong!  We do have peer reviews, but the bulk of evaluation comes from the students.  For better or for worse, that’s what it is.  Research is evaluated by how many publications you get.  UWW is fairly light on the research requirement, but research is research and it can be quite hard to publish.  Service is primarily evaluated by how many committees you serve on and at what level (university, college, dept).  I’m oversimplifying all this, yet hopefully you get the point.  Thus, if you meet certain requirements in teaching, research, and service for the first six years you are here, you get promoted to Associate Professor.  One reaches the holy grail of “tenure.”  With it comes a modest pay increase and the allure of more job security.  The standard line of thought is that once you make tenure, your job is guaranteed.  One can then go up for Full Professor after three or so more years, but that is up to the professor.  There is no penalty for staying at the level of Associate Professor.  Thus, one need not have to produce at the level one did to make Associate.

Tenure can certainly be a blessing for individual professors for the reasons stated above and for others.  More pay and more job security are great things!!  No one can be sour over that.  But here is another oft-cited perk: academic freedom.  While one may feel constrained as an Assistant Professor to produce those bits of research one feels would be good for making tenure, one can branch out as an Associate Prof.  One can write the four-year long book project or start working in a completely different sub-field than the one you were hired.  In short, you have the freedom to pursue academic interests that might not have gotten you tenure, but are productive nonetheless.  Personally, that sounds really nice.  I’m much more of the journal-type of person, but writing a book sounds tempting given the time and lack of worry.  I could even use that book hopefully to make Full Professor.  Such research activities can feed into one’s teaching; it makes one sharper.  In addition, once tenured, one can try novel teaching techniques or teaching projects.  One can take teaching gambles one might not have done otherwise while making tenure all in the hopes of improving the education of one’s students.  Thus, tenure can really foster great education on many fronts.

Yet tenure can be a curse to the university.  You see, there are some professors who make tenure and then try to coast the rest of the way to retirement without producing any more research and without caring as much about their teaching.  Receiving tenure becomes almost like early retirement.  Such a mindset might not set in right away for a newly minted Associate Professor, but I think you all know who those professors are who have kind of checked out on really caring about quality education and you’re left wondering why they are retained by the university.  The answer: tenure.  While it is true that tenure is not absolute job security, it does make it quite burdensome to go through the process of removing dead weight.  So the problem becomes that receiving tenure extinguishes the fire under some of our professors to be productive, and then their students are the ones who get shafted out of the best education they can receive.  In a way then, tenure can work against great education.

Is tenure could or bad for a university?  I’m wrestling with it right now.  To offset the negatives, maybe it would be best to move to a more corporate model where one is evaluated every year regardless of how long one has been with the company, though more leniency seems to be granted the longer one is there.  I don’t know.  Where would academic freedom be in that model?  Is academic freedom worth the price of the possible negatives with tenure?

I’m sorry this is not an argument.  It is my present dilemma.