Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Faculty Shuffle

  • The Ponderer wonders why there aren't more faculty shuffles. On the contrary I can easily see how such moves aren't so common. Sure the superstars can pick where they go, but for a school to hire an established, proven, quality professor presents a number of obstacles. Assuming tenured, the hiring school has to convince a department and administration to make a big commitment. But more than that, the school has to come to grips with itself. I think most departments have an inferiority complex and suffer from the complex "if this person wants to come here, they must not be stellar." With a beginning person, they see it as a gamble and there's not a clear sense of how good a new person is. But for an established person, it's so hard to rate them appropriately that you get some strange stuff. Recently, someone in my field did a mid-career shuffle, but they're the exception. They're easily subpar in the field, but have an uncanny ability to project a sense of "expertness" to those outside it. Very discouraging, but what can you do?
  • I'm not too clear on this whole Facebook etiquette thing. Can someone enlighten me...Recently I've had a few friends from back in high school try to "friend" me. I dutifully say "sure," expecting to get some message to the effect of "hey, what's up?" However, no such message comes. After all this time, they find me listed on Facebook, and just want to add my entry to their ever-growing list of friends? It seems almost rude. Am I the one who's supposed to send the message?
  • Regarding sports, I'm quite happy that Roger Clemons is being dragged through the mud. I've disliked him for a long, long time, but especially after his wussy behavior with Piazza a while back. On another note, I wonder what percentage of the audience for PTI watches American Idol?
  • Nina Totenburg interviews Scalia and corrects him about an Oregon case on which he ruled. Not sure which segment I heard, but here's a link.
    And then The Daily Show the other day showed a clip of him on 60 Minutes totally dismissing the Gore-v-Bush case in 2000. What an ass.
  • Doug and the Ponderer discuss cheating. I was recently amazed to hear about a number of professors at my school who simply ignore cheating. Beyond simply abdicating what is part of their job, they make things harder for me by essentially encouraging the practice of cheating.
  • When this presidential race started, I was delighted we had a good female and a good African American candidate in the mix. I didn't have a strong preference, though I wasn't so thrilled with having yet another political dynasty (Bush/Clinton). But Clinton has really turned me off. Fine, she can go after Obama and fight hard and maybe a bit dirty. But to say nice things about McCain in her effort to question Obama! I'm referring to her comments about her perception that only she and McCain have proven their ability to be president. And now her support of the cessation of the gas tax? Come on! The NYT has a nice editorial pointing out how silly that is.


Kea said...

No, that side of the Facebook etiquette is Cool! After all, you haven't been in touch with them all that time, and they haven't with you, so there is an implicit understanding that neither of you really want to now ... but one day when you do, the link to their info will be right there! And if you really want to write them a message ... feel free. They have given you permission by accepting you as a friend.

Angry said...

Thanks Kea. Strange, but I suppose that provides some explanation of their desire to maintian such a tenuous link.

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I think Facebook is an excellent way to keep in touch with friends from school, high school, that for any reason you stopped seeing.