Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

The Decline of Teaching Loads


In a recent post at his CCAP blog, Rich Vedder comments on the continuing decline of teaching loads for college professors. That means higher costs for students and taxpayers to bear, but the justification offered is inevitably that the educational experience will be improved if professors have more time for research. That argument would be questionable even if the resulting research were really significant intellectually (if a prof has a good idea for research, let him find funding for it through private channels), but that is rarely the case. Most faculty research is of scant interest even to other specialists and does nothing for the undergraduate students. In fact, since professors often tend to turn their courses into seminars on whatever they’re currently working on, encouraging more research may actually be harmful to undergrads.


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