So argues English professor Mark Baurelein in a new study published by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. In today’s Pope Center Clarion Call, I comment on the study.
Bauerlein finds that more colleges and universities have jumped on the research bandwagon over the last several decades, and also that the volume of published research that is necessary for tenure has been rising. All that outpouring of scholarly work, however, is of little benefit (at least in the field of literary criticism, which is the subject of Bauerlein’s investigation; I suspect we would find the same thing in many other disciplines) since books and articles are so rarely read or even cited. The costs, however, are substantial — the explicit cost of paying professors about a third of their salary to do that work, and the implicit cost of diverting time and effort away from other educational efforts that would be of more use to students.