Comments on: The university as job laboratory Fri, 31 Jul 2015 03:37:49 +0000 hourly 1 By: Joniryder Tue, 14 Feb 2012 22:21:21 +0000 As if being a law student wasn’t hard enough! Well here’s a tip that may help you sleep a little better: use JD Match to help you connect with employers. I work with JD Match and they provide a free online service that uses a proprietary matching algorithm to match students with firms and firms with students. It works for you while your busy doing…well all the millions of other things you have to do.

By: RichardUT Mon, 13 Feb 2012 22:26:15 +0000 Readers might find interesting the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) initiative at The University of Texas at Austin, the mission of which is to educate “citizen-scholars”–individuals who creatively utilize their intellectual capital as a lever for social good.  /ie/

Intellectual Entrepreneurship is a philosophy and vision of education viewing academics as “innovators” and “agents of change.” It focuses on creating cross-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaborations designed to produce intellectual advancements with a capacity to provide real solutions to society’s problems and needs. Intellectual Entrepreneurship is academic engagement for the purpose of changing lives.

Intellectual Entrepreneurship moves the mission of institutions of higher learning from “advancing the frontiers of knowledge” and “preparing tomorrow’s leaders” to also “serving as engines of economic and social development.” In the process, the role of faculty member and student evolves from that of “intellectual provocateur” to becoming what might be called an “intellectual entrepreneur.” Intellectual Entrepreneurship includes a readiness to seek out opportunities, undertake the responsibility associated with each and tolerate the uncertainty that comes with initiating genuine innovation.

Intellectual Entrepreneurship changes the model and metaphor of higher education from one of “apprenticeship-certification-entitlemen t” to one of “discovery-ownership-accountability.”

Intellectual Entrepreneurship is premised on the belief that intellect is not limited to the academy and entrepreneurship is not restricted to or synonymous with business. Entrepreneurship is a process of cultural innovation. While the creation of material wealth is one expression of entrepreneurship, at a more profound level entrepreneurship is an attitude for engaging the world. Intellectual entrepreneurs, both inside and outside universities, take risks and seize opportunities, discover and create knowledge, innovate, collaborate and solve problems in any number of social realms: corporate, non-profit, government, and education.

Intellectual entrepreneurs understand that genuine collaboration between universities and the public is tantamount to more than increased “access” to the academy’s intellectual assets. It is more than
“knowledge transfer”–the exportation of neatly wrapped solutions rolling off the campus conveyer belt. Collaboration demands mutual humility and respect, joint ownership of learning and co-creation of an unimagined potential for innovation–qualities that move universities well beyond the typical elitist sense of “service.” Knowledge, after all, involves the integration of theory, practice and production.

By: OneOfTheSheep Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:26:53 +0000 @txgadfly,

My choice to leave a particular course of study was mine to make. I do not regret that choice. Given the same circumstances, I would do it again. One door closes, another opens. One keeps moving forward.

“You sound much too very certain about competence and trades and technical knowledge.” Well, that’s what I know that I would share. Competence is a bell curve. Why would anyone presume otherwise? I’ve done some dumb things and learned a lot from them. Most, but not all, advance along the curve over the years.

In the field of consulting engineering I have held every position from draftsman/blueprint operator to Project Manager. Being repeatedly “last out” and “first called”on my way up confirmed my services as valuable.

I then started an unrelated business, ran it for twelve years, sold it for a fair profit, and semi-retired at age 48. Fifteen years later the purchaser was still successful and happy with it.

Playing “Devil’s Advocate” with academia is not to be dismissive of all who traveled that path. But those who traveled it untouched by the experience I see as fair game.

I do question the veracity of any institution utterly dependent on taxpayer support and student dollars so arrogant as to demand from students and taxpayers more years and more money than necessary to convey a desired and marketable skill. With 20-20 hindsight I might even question their morality, since graduates without practical experience today find few open doors.

You confuse arrogance with confidence. Some confuse greed with ambition. In each case, similar properties; but one “bad”, the other “good”. I tell no one they cannot think. Some spring forth to demonstrate same. To “slur” is to disparage. One cannot disparage that which is intelligent. What, specifically, have I unjustly disparaged?

By: txgadfly Mon, 13 Feb 2012 02:24:08 +0000 @oneofthesheep:

You are one of the most arrogant preachers I have encountered. You seem to be under the impression you have been speaking with burning bushes somewhere or another, but you have not. Your defensiveness about not finishing your degree program has led you to dismiss the experiences of others. This is an error. And if you truly can think critically you will see my point.

You sound much too very certain about competence and trades and technical knowledge. If you do indeed have these competencies then you should certainly know there are others who are “competent”. You do not have the knowledge to tell others that they cannot think because they do not agree with you. You are old enough to know better. So am I.

In general, personal slurs and other ad hominem remarks do not help intelligent discussion. And yes, this is one.

By: OneOfTheSheep Sun, 12 Feb 2012 20:25:27 +0000 @txgadfly, spall78…

I shall try to explain my “point” another way. The effectiveness of the present process and priorities of the American public education “establishment” is poor when compared to other developed societies. Most “critical thinkers” agree this to be accepted, documented fact.

It is, to quote Shakespeare, “much ado about nothing”. It is more the filling of a pail, and not the lighting of a fire. It is “efficient”, in that there is lots of things being done. It is NOT “effective” when, over the years, desired results are not being achieved or the gap narrowing. Each of you are apparently satisfied, because you advocate continuing with the “status quo”. So much for “critical thinking”.

You apparently don’t yet comprehend that leaving the existing system in the hands of the existing people and continuing to throw money their way is NOT the road to a better America.

By: Nullcorp Sun, 12 Feb 2012 17:14:45 +0000 Hopefully UNC isn’t using those tuition increases to fund unjustified raises for their administrative team.

Phil DiStefano, chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder, helped himself to a $49,000 raise last year, increasing his salary from $340,000 per year to $389,000.

The CU website states that “The average 2010 Colorado Law student graduated with $66,554 in law school loan debt.” Other sources give an average of $18,000 to $68,000 in average combined student+parent debt for CU graduates.

The CU Board of Regents has stated publicly that they feel “misled” about their support of the tuition increases that paid for these administrative raises, and there’s at least one petition going around whose aim is to roll back the top nine raises, all of which gave a minimum of $10,000 per year to administrators who already made $200,000 per year.

How many years would you have to work to make that kind of money? And should students be saddled with years of debt in order to help the rich get richer? The university won’t function as a “job lab” unless graduates can get out of school debt-free and take entrepreneurial risks. That’s not what’s happening. Instead, they’re graduating with a mountain of debt and have to hire themselves out for indentured servitude.

By: spall78 Sun, 12 Feb 2012 07:02:22 +0000 @OneOfTheSheep

The college I went to made me take a logic course from the philosophy department, even though it had nothing to do with my major. Now I can identify when someone is stretching my comments into a straw man.

I didn’t state, or even imply, “learning is effective only in a formal academic environment”. It would be safe to assume that no one, in the history of the world, has tried to make that arguement. It’s a straw man. An individual can learn formal logic on their own, just like they could teach themselves CAD.

The process of performing research, comprehending text, filtering out bad information and translating the effort into lasting knowledge is tremendously complex. It is my suggestion that coming closer to mastering this process- the distillation of information to knowledge- is more important than conveying job specific skills.

By: txgadfly Sun, 12 Feb 2012 03:41:16 +0000 While some people are obviously “geniuses” others have to learn from others. That is where “universities” and “colleges” came from. They are places about learning and thinking, or should be. But they are not factories that can produce thinking, intelligent people like radios.

If you presume that you can manufacture intelligent thinkers with a bureaucracy, you will always be disappointed. But it is a fact that intelligent people enjoy talking to one another. They are not “eagles” who perch on some mountain peak. Put them together, in whatever place, and they will talk. And most of the genius of Gates and Jobs came from their taste in other people, not from their own “vision”. They knew good ideas when they heard them, and enjoyed those ideas too.

Freedom and tolerance are more important to innovation than any other quality. Good taste in ideas helps too. But none of these come from assembly lines. Being processed by schools is significantly different from becoming educated. But sometimes being around schools can make it easier to become educated.

By: OneOfTheSheep Sat, 11 Feb 2012 19:09:22 +0000 @spall78,

In today’s world, it costs a LOT to go to college for most students. I left college unwilling to put in the time and effort I deemed superfluous to an architecture major to learn a foreign language.

I don’t see “higher education” as so divorced from “higher, more complex technical capability”. “Critical thinking” is a much more broad concept than you seem to comprehend, given YOUR “higher education”.

I didn’t attend university because I loved the learning experience. I didn’t want to become a “professional student” like many. I just wanted the piece of paper that has become the “ticket” almost mandatory to “get in the door” to a prospective employer. Courses I deemed relevant could have been completed easily in a two year program, but such was not one of the available choices.

Yes, “most people change professions a few times over their “career”, but most don’t go back to college to get another degree. Their “additional skills” are usually picked up “on the job” by observation, experimentation, or “thinking outside the box” and often are not offered as a “course” in formal education (most of which is hopelessly out of date). The primary advantage of one’s first degree has less to do with later success in other fields than you imply.

The idea that one who has not conformed to a specific collegiate “course of study” cannot think critically presumes facts not in evidence. Think Gates, Jobs, etc. The truly gifted do not typically accept the unreasonable constraints of academia or the military.

At age 71, I am much more usefully informed and motivated to eat intelligently and maintain necessary physical fitness than I was when younger. Yes, I did my own research…if I relied on information I would have been spoon fed in college in the sixties, how much of that would remain relevant today?

The idea that learning is effective only in a formal academic environment, and that individuals who choose another path are forever flawed and “one-dimensional” is so prejudicial and demeaning as to be insulting. There is no course that will transform the average turkey into an Eagle. An educated idiot is still an idiot.

What is “nice” is to be (or become) supremely COMPETENT in all that one chooses to do; to pursue excellence with sufficient success that “management” is ever aware that shifting or retraining such an employee is always in their best interest(s). As the saying goes, “Eagles don’t flock…you have to find them one at a time.”

By: brotherkenny4 Sat, 11 Feb 2012 18:51:46 +0000 “We can no longer afford to have our greatest thinkers enjoy the “life of the mind” in isolation.” What a silly statement. It assumes that there is this great reserve of genius that we can tap into if we can just get these folks to consider the rest of the world. Like they are sitting there with great ideas in their heads, the importance of which they really don’t understand, and that they are just oblivious to the travails of the average person. Utter nonsense. Most inventive people know that the game is rigged in favor of monied interests. Invent and it will be stolen. So what’s the motivation? Darn those crazy scientists. You have to be crazy to be a scientist. They must be crazy.