Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Links ...

  1. Richard Vedder in The Chronicle: A tale of 40 professors at the Texas A&M University:

    The 20 high paid professors made on average over $200,000 each, and with fringe benefits it cost $5,004,400 annually to compensate them for their services. They taught collectively 125 students last year, or roughly $40,000 per student; since a typical student takes perhaps 10 courses a year, the average cost of educating a student exclusively with this group of professors would be about $400,000, exclusive of any other costs beyond faculty salaries.

    To finance this extraordinary expenditure, let us look at the other 20 professors in our sample. They made almost precisely one-fourth as much on average, or just over $50,000 a year. With fringe benefits, it cost $1,250,697 to pay them. Yet these professors collectively taught 13,667 students (three taught over 1,000 students, and all the others at least 200), at an average instructor cost per student of under $100. It cost 400 times as much per student to educate the small number studying with the highly paid researchers as with the teachers with large classes. 80 percent of A&M's resources devoted to the 40 sampled professors went to the high paid researchers who taught less than one percent of the students.

  2. John Scalzi at Whatever: What I think about Atlas Shrugged:

    ... it’s a totally ridiculous book which can be summed up as Sociopathic idealized nerds collapse society because they don’t get enough hugs. (This is, incidentally, where you can start your popcorn munching.) Indeed, the enduring popularity of Atlas Shrugged lies in the fact that it is nerd revenge porn — if you’re an nerd of an engineering-ish stripe who remembers all too well being slammed into your locker by a bunch of football dickheads, then the idea that people like you could make all those dickheads suffer by “going Galt” has a direct line to the pleasure centers of your brain. I’ll show you! the nerds imagine themselves crying. I’ll show you all! And then they disappear into a crevasse that Google Maps will not show because the Google people are our kind of people, and a year later they come out and everyone who was ever mean to them will have starved. Then these nerds can begin again, presumably with the help of robots, because any child in the post-Atlas Shrugged world who can’t figure out how to run a smelter within ten minutes of being pushed through the birth canal will be left out for the coyotes. Which if nothing else solves the problem of day care.