My family was over at my parents house for dinner last night (my Father's Birthday was last week, so if you are in Neckers, wish him a happy one). My Mother told me that she was reading the blog and thought the comments I have been getting from professors was unusual.
Her comment was that it seems that I write about something that a professors has never seen at SIU, some immediately reject it, because they haven't experienced it themselves. I guess that behavior is pretty illogical. You guys know that just because you haven't seen it, doesn't make it untrue?
Since our society has fractured into segments, it is interesting to look at the difference between the radical ends of the spectrum. On one side you have the "born again" crowd, they need no data to believe in things (you could even say that the less data the better). On the other hand, you have professors, who need all the data from their own experiments to be in front of them, to believe in anything. Then you have all the rest of us, somewhere in the middle.
I can tell you that having a President who is a prototypical "born again" isn't working very well. He doesn't care about data, he just believes and acts. I'm fairly sure I wouldn't want most professors to run anything either, they need way more data to act then you can practically accumulate in a reasonable time frame.
I wonder as SIU has slid down in performance, the hiring practices is bring in more of these radical unbelievers? Kind of the way that the Bay Area accumulates Asperger kids? Kind of like the way that "born again" churches find the people who need that form of reenforcement?
There are several stories floating around of departments purposely hiring professors who have much worse resumes, because they "will fit in better." Surely, the hiring of someone with one paper, instead of the candidate with 15 papers and a NSF grant is a sign of madness and failure. If you are in SIU management, it might be time to look into your hiring practices and figure out if you are going to fail because of that one little detail?
Your comments are welcome, unless you are the fellow that is going to research management pressure on grades, that guy is only welcome back after doing his homework.