The best blogger of all, Michael Berube, is posting again. I missed him a lot and am so glad he's back.
More: I spent some time this afternoon looking at books about the academic world and academic politics. A good deal of what I found was not at all what I expected. Most saliently, there is the whole question of protocol, which makes it just about impossible for non academics to critique what goes on in college and university departments.
It's a complex matter, but in my boneheaded way I will continue to work on this topic even though I have no right to say anything about it, according to the rules. I don't have a Ph.D, I have done little university level teaching, have produced hardly any published work, and so on. Still there is this idea in my head, or ideal, of what higher education means.
If a (tenured!) professor, as she writes, is worrying herself to death over having to teach from a textbook she thinks is no good, something has gone seriously wrong. No professor should ever be under obligation to use materials she finds inferior or even not suited to her. What kind of institution or department makes demands like that on faculty? What's going on here?