Monday, January 31, 2005

Trading Places

Here is a proposal to deal with the the overrepresentation of "liberals" in the professoriate, from Craig Koslofsky, assistant professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The liberal dominance of the professoriate must be balanced out - the sooner the better. Training a new cohort of conservative profs will take too long. I propose an immediate solution: "liberal" profs trade jobs with Fortune 500 CEO's and board members.

The only quick way to balance academia is to "harvest" conservatives and Republicans from a similar white-collar field where they are even more grossly over-represented than "liberals" in academia: the corporate leadership of the USA.

Corporate board members and CEO's begin teaching: o.k., they'll have to take a pay cut to about 1/100 of their former salaries and trade the corporate jet for the bus or maybe an old Volvo wagon or a Prius. But they're all "people persons" - real motivators. They'll inspire students in a snap. They may have trouble sealing off their conservative views from their teaching and research, but hey, they're known for their restraint.

Faculty become CEO's: I volunteer! I may have to hire someone to help me spend my money, but that shouldn't be a problem. What if I screw up due to lack of experience? I've got a list
of the excuses in the testimony and statements of Lay, Kozlowski (no relation!), Ebbers, Eisner, etc. handy to claim ignorance of any damage I might do. In the end, there's always the golden parachute. It is a violation of my conscience to earn 200X the wages of a typical employee in my corporation, but it's a sacrifice I'll make - if the CEO's agree to "trading places."

Let's take the offensive on this problem of imbalance... in the boardroom _and_ the classroom.

I think Craig is on to something...and I plan to get my old Toyota ready for the trade up!


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