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[–] 0011011000111001 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Why aren't you a professor anymore?

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[–] iwasauniprofessor [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Ok, finishing rolling and now I'm smoking. be back in 2 mins

Alright, I quit for a number of reasons (I said some in my comment in this tread). But the main reason was because of the students. I felt that they were getting a great deal (cost of tuition for them was very low and I was quite good at what I did) but the minority 10-15% was very vocal about their displeasure about the uni and the course. I worked hard 70-90 hours a week in some cases and that was not recognised or respected in any form.

Some of the complaints I had to deal with were as follows:

  • The workload was too difficult (although they never were in the labs)
  • The 20 minute commute from their dorms to the labs was 'too long' (although most of my friends in the industry have at least an hour commute, plus, you know, they could have bought (or rented from the uni) a fucking bike)
  • My criticism of their work (which is what grading consists of) was unfair
  • Could we possibly lower the total hours (lectures and assignments) to less than 50 hours per week (in my opinion you have to do 60+ to be a professional)

I found it difficult to understand their position. I wanted them to excel in the subject because entry into the industry is not easy, they wanted an easy time within university and failed to realise that university life is more difficult than real life. I tried hard to treat them the same as the industry would and not lie to them.

I often thought that a good entry requirement for university was for students to have a minimum requirement of 2 years in part-time work. A lot of the students I taught never experienced the reality of shitty part time work and they were fearless of failure, they were paying for beers with their parents credit card (I know this because I know the bar owner of the student bar they go to when their cards were cancelled by their parents and they told the bartender about this).

They don't seem to recognise the effort put into good courses and complained thinking there would be no consequence, well I guess me leaving is my final lesson to them. Don't complain unless you are certain that the alternative is better than the current situation you are in.

I don't expect massive respect for what I do, the same respect that you give a convenience shop worker or a McDonalds cashier would have sufficed but they never attempted to do that. I don't get paid enough to deal with that bullshit.

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[–] iwasauniprofessor [S] 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Those who can't do, teach.

I used to hate that sentence, but after my experience in the industry I have to admit there is a nugget of truth to that.

Let me explain the difference, if you are a good teacher you will spend 60+ hours a week in order to put out quality courses but the vast majority of people in the industry are pure fucking piss-takers and they do not care about the educational impact of their work. It's a sad situation but it's true, once you're in the system it is very difficult to get those losers out.

I quit mainly due to bureaucracy and the difficulty in trying to change the system. Also, the administration that is passed off onto teachers eat up a huge amount of time which should be spent on improving their courses. The students unfortunately have gotten progressively worse (been teaching for 5 years). They have become unbelievably entitled to what they want out of courses and the university itself, to the point that anyone who is capable of teaching will quit uni because they don't want to listen to little whiny bitches on top of an incredibly demanding job.

Every semester I was 'graded' by my students, I had excellent responses such as 'this has been the best teacher I have ever had' along with 'this teacher was disrespectful to the students and should not be allowed to teach' in the same class. If your teaching score was low then you would be given a warning letter and this would effect your promotion and re-hiring within the university. I would accept any criticism if any qualified teacher would sit in my class and grade my teaching but instead it was relegated to students with a vested interest or a chip on their shoulder to grade my class. 90% of replies were either back slapping or completely vindictive.

I'm done with this shit, let the students get what they paid for, which is fuck all to begin with. They had a great deal at the beginning and they decided to piss on it. They do not know that I have quit and next semester they will have to deal with the consequences of their bitching. I have been in contact with the uni and so far they have had to hire two different professors to replace me. AMAA

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[–] tanukihat 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

How do yall get away with making your own published books "required material" for a course? And then charge $100 for the book?

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[–] iwasauniprofessor [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I never did that although it definitely did cross my mind.

There is a price to pay (that is not in the actual tuition, during class is when you are meant to ask clarifying questions on the material) on the subject matter that has been condensed and organised in such a way that you get a time benefit out of it. What I mean by that is that you would learn faster by the structure of the book.

Also, there is another reason why professors publish books, it's in their contract. In order to get rehired, professors need to have enough 'research points' in order to secure their re-hiring. Sometimes this takes the form of book publishing. Now I am not saying that $100 is a fair price to pay for a book, if I were to publish a book it would be in the $10 - $20 range. Professors do not make a huge amount of money especially if you break it down to the amount of work they do outside the class (we only get paid per teaching hour) so I can understand why some professors may do this.

It's an unfortunate situation that students will be out of pocket paying for tuition and books, but either way you would be paying for it. If you didn't pay for the books, it would be built into your tuition. Universities usually have their own publishing houses that take a massive percentage of the price of the book. So if the book is $100 then the professor may only get $20 of that sale.

I don't agree with it, but I do acknowledge that the time spent creating that material is worth money. In the States it is a bit more horrendous because of the insanity of your tuition prices.

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[–] kneo24 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

What were you a professor of?

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[–] iwasauniprofessor [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

fuck it, if you can guess it I'll acknowledge it (and also delete the account :D)

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[–] iwasauniprofessor [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Can't say, it's too specific. I'll say it's in software engineering but that's as close as I'll get. AMAA

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[–] Datawych 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

...is your middle name 'Savage'?

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[–] Stavon 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Are professors usually still active in actual science or only in teaching it?

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[–] iwasauniprofessor [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Having a smoke. Brb

Ok, well it depends on the university. Generally universities will have policies on how many research papers professors will have to put out during their contract. The reason for this is that they get grants from the government based on their publishing history. Now the problem with this is that the US has a style where you teach and publish at the same time, this is insanely difficult with the burden of teaching and correcting courses, which results in shitty research papers that go nowhere. The EU has a different approach where you can either be a lecturer or a researcher within a university (either straight teaching 'lecturer' or pure research 'researcher'). This is a much better approach because research is time consuming to put it nicely.

In general people who teach in university are active in their area of research either by contract stipulation or simply because it's something that they would do without being paid.

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[–] ape147 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Crickets!

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[–] iwasauniprofessor [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

creek creek motherfucker

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[–] Empire_of_the_mind 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

What would you tell your niece or nephew about University and education?

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[–] iwasauniprofessor [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Third level education is a necessary evil, you learn a lot more than just your subject.

University is not for everybody, you may not like to sit in front of a screen or a book for a long period of time, if you have the discipline to do that then it's a good place to cut your teeth. You learn how to live with people, pay the bills, work a second job and learn delayed gratification. You have to turn down social nights in order to get your assignment done. The majority of students (including myself) are not that way inclined, it's a paradigm shift that takes place incrementally over a number of years. I believe that this is the real value of university, once you come out of it you have the confidence to work hard, despite rough times and eventually achieve results.

University is for students who do not have the motivation or discipline to educate themselves (this is a large portion of the population). If you have zeroed in on what you want to do at a young age, AND have the discipline and motivation an apprenticeship or learning online is better than university learning.

You do not need a high priced university to learn the above. I have worked alongside private colleges that run into $160,000 for their four year tuition and I question whether or not they really get the benefit of that money. I won't get into my subject here but it deals with programming and you could take that amount of money, buy yourself a high end computer and learn everything you need to know online. The only question is are you motivated to do it.

The last thing I'll say is that some university's have good business contacts, that may be part of the fee but fuck me it better be worth it.

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[–] seeking_virtue 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Please contrast the value of certifications versus value of academia.

I.e. High level compTIA holder versus BS information systems grad

How are international certifications viewed in academic circles?

Why do colleges offer seemingly useless studies like Chicano studies, or Ebonics etc.

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[–] iwasauniprofessor [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Hi and thanks for the question.

I'll contrast them professionally first and then personally.

Professional certifications are not recognised in most universities mainly because you have to have a level higher than the students that you are grading. So you need to have a masters if you grade degree students, you need to have a doctorate if you are grading masters students.

Personally I don't know enough about certs vs. degrees, I would imagine that it's pretty specific to the field that you are working in. Degrees in any case basically tell your employer that you are determined enough to work towards a goal for four years, certificates do not display the same commitment. International certifications would be viewed the same as certificates. Unfortunately you have to have the correct papers to get into academia, it's basically a 'boys club', do the same shit we went through in order to be recognised. I was at a disadvantage at uni because I didn't have a doctorate only a masters and that capped me at a certain pay even though the courses that I taught were insanely lucrative for the uni.

I'm sure that uni's are offering these courses simply because the money is cheap (student loans are easy to get) and they wanted more students, but they couldn't have the barriers so high. They made a decision (because other uni's also made that decision) to let in any fucktard with a wad of cash. Don't think of uni's as bastions of education, they are a business first and foremost, if your grant money is gone so is your job. It doesn't matter how good a teacher you are or how important your department is to society. At one stage uni's were pushing education but right now they are business, squeezing out professors (many professors are still on the 'adjunct' track... this means they have no real contract and teach the longest hours) and honing in on 'popular' courses.

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