Tag Archives: Faculty

The Achievement Gap: A Discussion

If Andy Ribner ’14 were an Academy Award-nominated picture, he would be An Education starring Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard, all lush colors and mature teenage sensuality:

Come talk with Professors Long, Rayack, Shusterman, and Stemler about their research and how it relates to the achievement gap and education reform!

Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Place: PAC 001
Facebook: “Hey everyone! Please invite your friends!”

Mattabesset String Collective @ MuHo

Peeps back-on-campus, MuHo back-in-action. From Nora Dumont ’13 writes in about an event starring four faculty celebrities:

Faculty/staff string band, the Mattabesset String Collective, is making another musical appearance. They will be playing on the first floor of Music House.

The Mattabesset String Collective includes Rebecca McCallum, cataloging librarian; Marc Eisner, the Henry Merritt Wriston Chair in Public Policy, professor of government; Gil Skillman, chair and professor of economics; and Kevin Wiliarty, academic computing manager for the social sciences. The show is tomorrow night.

Date: Tomorrow, November 28
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Place: MuHo
Cost: $0


So, I should totally be prepping for this TA session I’m supposed to give. Or do homework. Or clean my room. Or find a job. Or chug steroids and lift mad weights. But it’s raining, I’m hungry, and I’m too lazy to get up and leave the computer.

Obviously, the obvious solution is to blog.

And because the greatest academic achievement of any 20-22 yr old college academic-wannabe is to be what the kids these days call “meta-” (click here for details), this evening I’ve decided to follow through on Zach’s blog listing series to present to you fine Wesleyan folks a list of blogs maintained by professors of the Government Department. (I’ll do other departments next time – hello Tenured Rad-Rad!)

In case you didn’t know, Political Science blogs are alll the rage these days! (Or all the rage among hopelessly geeky people, like me. YEAHH)

In other words, screw you abroad kids! SCREW YOU AND YOUR HAPPINESS (i miss denmark so mucchh). Check out the blogs after da jump.

Speak Your Piece — 4/9/11

Latest and greatest, from Annie Choi ’14:

This week’s show features a reading at Russell House by Amy Bloom ’75, Wesleyan University’s Writer-in-Residence. The reading took place last month, on March 2nd.  She reads the story By-and-By from her newest collection of short stories titled Where the God of Love Hangs Out.


Alvin Lucier Shout-Out in NYT Radiolab Feature

“I am sitting in a WNYC studio, different from the one you are in now.

A New York Times feature this week profiles Radiolab, the acclaimed experimental philosophy- and science-themed WNYC radio show hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. The show incorporates strikingly rich, layered soundscapes “to communicate big ideas.” Turns out Wes’ own beloved experimental music maestro Alvin Lucier had a part in inspiring the show’s sonic backdrop:

During my visit, Abumrad listened to a minute-long edit of this passage with Howard and Wheeler. “Do you know Alvin Lucier’s ‘Music on a Long Thin Wire’?” he asked Howard when it ended. “I’ll play it for you.” He had an idea for the sound — not a sound effect, and not music, but a “musical gesture” — to play against the dialogue. “The sound’s going to be going bruup bruup bruup,” he told Howard, advising him to take the pigeon’s point of view. “It’s moving — fhewm, fhewm — through bands, some are thick, some are thin. You know? That’s the part where it’s gonna feel very visual.” [ . . . ]

I asked Abumrad what a traditional radio producer would make of his meticulously constructed bruup bruup fhewm fhewm. “They would say it’s insane,” he said. Early on, he had to deal with “radio people” who thought he was wasting time on “artsy-fartsy namby-pampy” technical distractions. “But do you want to know why ‘Radiolab’ has worked beyond public radio?” he asked. “Because it sounds like life. You watch TV, and someone has labored over the feel. Look at ‘Mad Men’ or ‘The Sopranos’: the mood, the pacing, the richness of it, comes from those fine, quote-unquote technical choices.”

The Other Side: Working for Wes

We’re very focused on students here at Wesleying (“Real students, real student life at Wesleyan University”) but we can’t forget about our professors.  If my mother’s correct when she says, “Remember, you’re in school to get an education,” then professors should be the most important people here to us.

If you’ve ever read Tenured Radical, you can’t help but to feel for them, however.  Today, she asserted, “after almost two decades in which we have repeatedly been promised that Zenith (ed. note. Zenith is actually Wesleyan.  Tenured Radical avoids actually saying Wesleyan most of the time.) will do something about a compensation rate that lags far behind our peer institutions, one can’t help but feel that they have thrown in the towel without admitting that they have done so.”

From my own research (table after the bump), Wesleyan doesn’t do too poorly among NESCAC schools (I didn’t actually look at all liberal arts colleges).  Only our two Little Three buddies pay [full] professors more.  For associate professors, five out of the ten other schools pay more and one matches us.  For assistant professors, we are beat again by five out of the ten other schools (are we intentionally aiming at the middle here?).  Out of curiosity, I compared the salaries to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Teaching rankings for our category, but didn’t get much of a correlation out of it.

Either way, the Tenured Radical does paint a pretty dire picture of what it’s like to work for Wesleyan:

WestCo Open Mic, Feat. All-Wes-Faculty Band

Wesleying receives word of special guests at tonight’s weekly Westco open mic. Remember that time they got Roth?

At tonight’s open mic, sponsored by the good people of Music House, The Mattabesset String Collective, a string band made up completely of Wes Faculty Members, will perform. They will perform around 9:15. The lineup of MSC is Barry Chernoff on guitar, Marc Eisner (pictured, right) on mandolin, Rebecca McCallum on fiddle, Gil Skillman on dobro, and Kevin Wiliarty on bass.

  • Date: Tonight
  • Time: 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Place: Westco Cafe
  • Professor Lim: “Why Racial-Profiling is like Affirmative Action”

    In a column for the Faster Times news and opinion site, Assistant Professor of Government Elvin Lim comments on arguments for and against race-based screening and pat-down procedures at airports around the country.

    Specifically, Lim makes the compelling case that to oppose racial profiling for security purposes on the basis of racial equality while favoring race-based affirmative action policy is intellectually inconsistent at best, and he concludes:

    Profiling on the basis of race, among other characteristics, such as behavior, is likely to become a de facto, if not a de jure, policy in our nation’s airports in the years to come. It is going to inconvenience some innocent people simply because, among other factors, their skin was colored a particular way just as, and the hope is, it will save a lot more innocent people a lot of hassle if everyone were treated equally at airports. If Americans accept this trade-off to be worth it, then perhaps we should also accept the analogous trade off: that as affirmative action on the basis of race, among other characteristics, such as gender, has become law and policy in employment and college admissions, the policy is going to make things harder for some equally qualified people, but it is going to make things easier for a bunch of people who would otherwise have had to endure many obstacles to employment and admission to college.

    It’s a compelling and thoughtful and effectively non-partisan piece of political commentary, and it seems especially pertinent in the wake of recent related debate at Wesleyan. Read the whole piece at Faster Times here, or at Professor Lim’s blog here.

    Tip via shoutbox.

    There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

    . . . except when there’s a professor involved, apparently. In what is surely one of the best all-campus emails I’ve received all semester, Dean Mike Whaley announces a new program:

    In order to promote informal faculty-student interaction outside the classroom, I am pleased to announce the Daniel Family Commons Free Lunch Program.  We have provided each faculty member with vouchers that enable them to take small groups of students to lunch at the Daniel Family Commons in the Usdan Center.  My office is making these same vouchers available directly to you!  Each voucher covers the cost of lunch for a faculty member and up to three students, and vouchers will be good for the remainder of the current academic year.

    Please consider inviting your favorite faculty member to lunch, and stop by my office (220 North College) to pick up a voucher.

    As a wide-eyed prefrosh reading about schools like Wesleyan (and in guidebooks like Jordan Goldman ’04‘s awesome Students’ Guide to Colleges), I was always charmed by stories of professors having small groups of students over for dinner, and other interactions well outside the sharp high school student/teacher divide. At Wes, while professors frequently are approachable and sociable and more than willing to continue academic discussions after class, that scenario has never quite come true for me.

    Suffice to say, the program outlined above seems like a fantastic push in that direction. And you’ll even get to subvert the meal plan in the process.

    But will professors actively make use of the vouchers? Or will Wes students take the initiative and finally invite that insane Philosophy prof out to lunch at Usdan? (It’s the third floor, remember—mad classy.) I hope so. Provide some thoughts in the comments.

    Mountain Climbing in the Alps – a Talk by Peter Mark

    Mega into mountain climbing? Fan of flabbergasting nature photos? Ardent about the Alps? Curiosity piqued by peaks? Come hear professor Peter Mark talk about his many mountaineering adventures in the European Alps while viewing a slideshow of undoubtedly epic pictures. Wednesday, September 29th, 9 PM, at Outhouse, 132 High Street.

    P.S. This would also not be a bad way to fill that hour of unbearable anticipation we all suffer through before the biweekly outing club meeting (this Wednesday at 1o PM).

    • Date: Wednesday, September 29
    • Time: 9 PM
    • Place: Outhouse, 132 High Street