Friday, August 29, 2008

Final Followup On Principled Paul. Snowballs in Charge.

In the aftermath of the Principled Paul posting, someone wrote, "Paul is living proof that those who can't do, consult." Someone else wrote, "Well, Paul's an asshole and I hope his consulting money chokes him."

First, of all, why the animus against someone who consults? Paul used to be full-time faculty, so he must have the academic chops; that he went on to consult full time for a while has no bearing on his ability to teach well. That he obviously has made a lot of money doing so is likewise irrelevant. Consulting has no a priori relationship to the ability to be an effective university instructor, and faculty who believe that it does are themselves suspect: perhaps not good enough to be hired as consultants themselves. [And no, I've never been a consultant].

Second, Paul was deemed a desirable faculty member to teach whatever the course was--perhaps he was even the best qualified--who knows? That he quit doesn't negate that. It simply seems to say that he was unwilling to allow that kind of aggressive snowflake behavior in his section; he had no problem with the student going into another section and made no move to blackball the student outside of his section.

The issue was forced not by Paul so much as by 1) the snowflake student, who behaved in a grossly inappropriate way, and then had to run to the Administration AND Mommy to get them to make it all better [instead of dropping Paul's section and adding a different one--where, one hopes, he would have been smart enough to leave off with the 'f-bombs']; or by 2) the Administration, which couldn't follow the most basic of academic rules at any institution I've every encountered: students who disrupt a class may be asked to leave and / or drop it. So why didn't the assorted deans and chairs simply tell the student that this sort of behavior isn't acceptable, and he needs to find another section of the course.

Finally, Mommy needs to butt out and stop brokering her kid's life; no wonder he's such a jerk, if she's the one calling the dean to say that she thinks he MIGHT apologize. Snowflake city, and the snowballs are all in charge.