The University of Massachusetts system has attracted a lot of attention on this blog lately — whoring after bone marrow, whoring after Adderall, upsetting the neighbors, adding – at a time of low employment for new lawyers, and in a state with plenty of law schools – an unimpressive new law school…
Some of these things are typical university events (the drugs; annoying the neighbors) some are weird (the marrow) and some are bafflingly self-destructive (the law school). When you put them all together, they suggest a system adrift.
A reader, Jeremy, sends UD this article from today’s Boston Globe about the “oversubscribed classes and faculty shortage” on the Amherst campus. They’ve gone seriously adjunct and way-seriously online. “Only half of UMass Amherst students graduate in four years, and 66 percent do so in six years.” We know that the online course completion rate is much lower than the in-class, so these numbers will almost certainly rise. A sociology professor summarizes: “The expectation has cheapened.’’
Students are sitting in dorm rooms teaching themselves by watching movies with their professors in them.
Eventually the state of Massachusetts will see the light. It will shut down the physical U Mass campus and put the whole thing online.