New piece on NYU Local

The money quote:

My point isn’t that our whole school sucks – I kind of like it here. It’s that NYU, even moreso than a lot of other Universities, is a massive bureaucracy, and massive bureaucracies are by their nature, lumbering, slow-witted beasts. To a certain extent, it doesn’t even matter how good the professors – most of whom I’m sure are very intelligent and spry – are. Our education is suffering from an institutional problem, and the larger the institution is, the longer that sort of thing takes to fix. This is especially true given that universities by their nature are particularly resistant to change – hell, the modern lecture hall is an artifact of the Middle Ages.

You know what would help, though? More administration responsiveness. Let students audit their classes and their departments. Let us be partners in trying to make our education a little more relevant to the modern world. Getting some of these classes into the 21st century might be a bit much to ask, but for now I’d settle for the mid-20th.

I guess I just spoiled the whole piece for you. Read it anyway.

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5 Responses

  1. you forgot this part, which I liked the most:

    “NYU needs to suit my fancy more. I think we should make vague demands on someone in the University, and hope something nice happens.

    In particular, I think it important that NYU use more cliches to describe how it (doesn’t) work. For instance, why is NYU just a “Private University in the Public Service”? Why not a “21st Century Glocal Public-Private Partnership University”? I think these cliches will help bring NYU into the meaningless meme society we live in today.”

    Get off the internet.

  2. I like it here, thanks. Maybe you’d like to write a rebuttal piece?

  3. Actually, you aren’t wrong that I sort of glossed over the conclusion and made it a little buzzword-y. But basically what I’m suggesting is that students need some kind of oversight over how departments plot out curricula. The little evaluation forms you fill out at the end of a semester are nice and all, I guess, but I’d feel better if there was a representative body in each department (not the Student Council, which is completely toothless) that had some actual influence.

    I know that’s still a little vague, but this post was more about identifying the problem than trying to solve it. And this is the sort of thing that would have to be worked out between the administration and students, not some guy on a blog.

  4. Yeah, um, you should, you know… do something with that idea. I mean, at least ask your student council why they aren’t doing anything, and push them towards acting. 80% of life is showing up. You’re still maxing out at 20% living if you just blog. Lord knows you aren’t the only NYU person thinking these things.

  5. What makes you think I’m not interested in doing anything? The idea for this piece only just occurred to me today.

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