30 August 2015

T minus one day to UTRGV

Tomorrow is the start of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. And I’m nervous.

Last night I learned that The Texas Higher Education Coordinating board didn’t approve a bunch of courses that was planned to be offered as part of the required core curriculum. And this has meant that one and a half thousand students are getting screwed.

There is a list of the non-approved classes. There’s is no explanation or justification as far as I’ve been able to see. What is completely weird is that a class titled “PHIL 1300 Critical Thinking” was not approved for the core, which has as one of it’s requirements that students learn...

Critical thinking.

A class named critical thinking does not meet the requirements for critical thinking? Okay, colour me completely baffled.

Rex Peebles, the board’s assistant commissioner for academic quality and workforce, is quoted as saying:

“It’s really not uncommon at all that submit courses get denied. In a lot of ways there’s nothing kind of unusual that is going on here with UTRGV.”

Except, of course, that it’s happening just days before the opening of a new university, when practically nothing is ready and everything is straining under the load and breaking fast. It is not just business as usual.

I’m not sure it’s a good sign that I’m learning about this through my social media. This seems like the sort of thing that faculty might want to know.

Similarly, I learned that UTRGV is getting a research vessel; the Ridley. I’m excited about this, and I think there could be some good research opportunities for our department and for me. I am still annoyed that I learned about it through social media and not from anyone in my institution.

And today’s editorial today in The Monitor reprinted the untrue statement that UTRGV is the first new university this century. Sigh.

Hat tip to Janet Stemwedel.

External links

About 1,500 UTRGV students displaced from core courses

Texas High Ed Board vs. Logic
Courses not approved for the UTRGV core
Floating classroom passes from Aggies to Vaqueros

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