Wednesday, April 19, 2017

College surprised to learn women are not men

Harvey Mudd went out of its way to bring in considerably more female and diversity students. Guess what happened?
Harvey Mudd eight years ago revised its core curriculum, cutting it back from four semesters of courses to three and allowing for more elective classes. It was a measure that faculty and administrators believed would reduce student workload and stresses, and they were frustrated to learn it was not successful after many months of planning, Klawe said.

Some faculty members, meanwhile, told the interviewers that students were not prepared for their classes, and that they’d observed deterioration in the quality of students accepted to Harvey Mudd over the years. They described students as wed to their phones and not committed to the sciences....

While leadership there has recruited more women — to the point where they comprise nearly 50 percent of the student body — gains in the numbers of Hispanic and black students were sluggish until recent years, Klawe said. As a college recognized for its sciences, Harvey Mudd competes with institutions like Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both with higher profiles.

With this diversity comes growing pains, and practices that benefited what was the traditional Harvey Mudd student still linger, but are being identified.
It's rather impressive how people keep managing to be surprised by the inevitable.

Some faculty spent Monday afternoon in a training learning more about sensitivity toward minority groups and women.

Right. Because science is all about sensitivity.

23 comments:

Connie Anonny said...

On a related note, some feelgood FB post about how old people are the more productive workers, etc. and that retirement is not necessarily the end of it all opens up many worm-filled tins. It made me think negatively instead of positively, thus:

The old White guys responsible for wealth generation and productivity are now the only ones responsible for growth and productivity.

Young people are urging their elders to be like the Agave plant and keep living until they bloom and die...because the young people can't maintain civilization.

And if the Harvey Mudds and exclusive liberal arts colleges keep playing the diversity game, we'll see how well it goes for Idiocracy, Inc.

dc.sunsets said...

College degrees became the de facto Union Card of white collar jobs as soon as the SCOTUS outlawed pre-employment IQ tests.

Higher Ed is just one more 20th century institution that became entirely divorced from its ostensible purpose. It, along with many such institutions, is visibly committing sepuku under the guidance of its managers and baleful, perverse incentives.

manuel hernandez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
manuel hernandez said...

So the faculty didn't want to release the criticism of the student body to avoid hurt feelings.....that is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. This is supposed to be an elite college, not a Barney and Friends episode!

One observation I am having about all of this is, this is an unintended consequence of all of these children labor laws. True, it's one thing to force a ten year old boy to work in a coal mine, or make a ten year old girl to work at a garment sweatshop. Unfortunately, it has also created a generation of kidults who are nowhere near ready for a productive adult life. When a college known for its high standards has to cut down on semesters and has to offer more electives, and the students still gripe and moan, then that's a sign something catastrophic is happening.

David The Good said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David The Good said...


Mudd...

Bob Loblaw said...

It seems like schools that engage in this sort of stupidity are going to have a hard time competing with those that don't. Mudd used to be a great school, but it never had the stature of a Stanford or an MIT, and this isn't going to help.

Ron said...

@manuel hernandez

But if youth could work, then they would have to pay taxes. and if they have to pay taxes they will become very pissed off at how much is taken, and if they are pissed off from the tax rape then they wont vote democrat, and if they don't vote democrat then it will be impossible to set them against their parents, and if they aren't set against their parents then their parents wont feel the need to react by voting for fake conservatives, and if their parents wont vote for fake conservatives and the youth wont vote for fake liberals, then how in the world will the united states maintain it's control of the vile peasants????!

Ron said...

@manuel hernandez

Also if they have better things to do with their life, like start exciting new business ventures with adults and peers who take them seriously, then they won't be interested in buying drugs or alcohol to take off the stress of doing nothing useful with their lives except for sitting in classes being droned to by pedophiles and man hating sluts. And if they won't buy drugs and alcohol, then the artifical price for alcohol will drop to what it should actually be (pennies), and the CIA won't be able to sell imported heroin which will also put the DEA out of business

::shaking fist at maneul:: You commie bastard!

Mr.MantraMan said...

They need to double down, I don't think they really mean any of this diversity shtick.

Midnight Avenue J said...

David, every single time I've heard/hear the name "Harvey Mudd College" all I can think of is Harcourt Fenton Mudd.

Every time! And I'm not old enough for the first run of TOS, but used to watch it with mom when it would re-run on WPIX 11 on late weekend nights

Nate73 said...

Anybody have a link to the whole report? I want to see what the professors' comments were that provoked them.

DeploraBard said...

Sensitivity and specificity

DeploraBard said...

Sensitivity and specificity

Stephen Ward said...

Congrats to Harvey Mudd for diversifying its student body. What they missed, clearly, is that the faculty is still old white men, who cannot identify with this new student body and so cause them undue stress.

Once the faculty is diversified as well, all these problems will go away.





























/sarc

Carl Philipp said...

"In a required, basic course for engineering majors, women performed poorly until the college tweaked how it was taught, bringing in a hands-on component in which students built mini robots that could function underwater. The same mathematics concepts were being taught, but in a way that would appeal and allow women to thrive, Klawe said."

Let's take time away from learning mathematical concepts at the chalkboard to play with toys. This will harm neither the college's reputation nor the quality of education.

Aeoli Pera said...

Harvey Mudd is traditionally over-represented in Putnam exam finalists, rivaling MIT and Harvard, the reduction of which will be a good way to measure its decline.

Aeoli Pera said...

College degrees became the de facto Union Card of white collar jobs as soon as the SCOTUS outlawed pre-employment IQ tests.

Brilliant explanation.

Carl Philipp said...

Harvey Mudd also traditionally scores very high on return-on-investment metrics, often coming in first among tech schools. Due to being a small, undergrad-exclusive tech school with, previously, a selected elite student body.

David The Good said...

@Midnight Avenue J

Same here. My grandmother recorded TOS episodes on beta tapes. We'd eat frozen mango slices and excellent macaroni and cheese and watch them together. Mudd was one of her favorite characters. It fits all too well in this instance.

Bob Loblaw said...

College degrees became the de facto Union Card of white collar jobs as soon as the SCOTUS outlawed pre-employment IQ tests.

Yep. The system will never be, can never be fixed unless Griggs v Duke Power is reversed. But it's not like universities mind - they're making boatloads of money.

Dexter said...

I went to Mudd back in the 1980s. Even then, before they went nuts with the "admit more women" policy, there were too many clearly unqualified women and minorities at the school. (The women they did admit were ugly as sin, so perhaps that's better now they're admitting lots more women.)

As for "students expressed distress over their assignments, some reporting they fretted their showers were too lengthy because they needed more time to work, or they dreaded the prospect of getting sick, because they’d fall behind" -- well, back in the day, everyone worked super-hard hard and everyone knew they were supposed to be working super-hard. It was simply expected. That's what you signed up for when you accepted admission. It was said that Mudd students didn't protest the Vietnam War in the 1960s because they were too damn busy.

Another aspect of "workload" is that back in the 1980s, Mudd actively tried to weed out people who couldn't (or wouldn't) work hard, and weren't committed to science. None of this "go take more electives" stuff. Sophomore year p-chem and diffeq got were hurdles that a lot of people didn't clear. I don't remember them caring a lot about everyone's stress and mental health when they got the dreaded "re-do" on their p-chem homework.

mojohn said...

Ya gotta wonder about a university named after a Star Trek villain. No, wait, that was Harcourt Fenton Mudd.

Post a Comment

NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS.