Category: scholarship

Sociology vs. Criminology

By , June 18, 2010 8:53 am

Generally, the report makes the case that the study of criminal justice requires extensive study of sociology, and that the norms of sociology programs are key. “What the report signals is that sociology is worried about losing intellectual jurisdiction over this very important and popular area,” said Chris Uggen, a criminologist who is chair of sociology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (and who was not on the ASA panel that produced the report).

While not rejecting the idea of separate departments of criminal justice and sociology, the report suggests that colleges and universities hesitate before going down that road, that criminology students in either track need to be required to take core sociology courses, and that a new certification standard set by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences may “erode the social science base of sociology and criminology.”

Leaders of that group view the sociologists’ report as a bit controlling and insulting (one called it “a sour grapes report”) and are preparing a statement of their own to counter the sociologists’ report. The criminal justice professors deride the sociologists’ report as being less about teaching and research and more about cash — in that many college administrators are favoring criminal justice these days, because of the enrollments it provides.

“I think the heart of the matter is that criminal justice is attracting large numbers of students and sociology programs by and large are not,” said Jay Albanese, a professor of criminal justice at Virginia Commonwealth University who has been involved in preparing the response to the sociologists. He said that sociologists have no more right to suggest what the curriculum should be in criminal justice programs than they do in a range of other fields, such as nursing and social work, that also require knowledge of society but that have their own research and teaching methods.

via News: Sociology vs. Criminology – Inside Higher Ed.

University Struggles at the End of the Edu-Deal

By , May 20, 2010 3:03 pm

We should not ask for the university to be destroyed, nor for it to be preserved. We should not ask for anything. We should ask ourselves and each other to take control of these universities, collectively, so that education can begin.

via University Struggles at the End of the Edu-Deal | Mute magazine.

Duncan On Rising Tuition Costs: Students Will ‘Vote With Their Feet’

By , March 31, 2010 9:18 pm

While the White House claims that the president secured a major education reform victory Tuesday by signing into law policy that limits the role of private lenders and increases the funds for Pell Grants, critics contend that it is just an incremental approach. In particular, some education advocates are concerned that skyrocketing tuition costs at higher-education institutions will make any bump in Pell Grants effectively moot.

Asked about these critiques, top aides to the president acknowledged the need for supplemental reforms; though with the jump in grants, they argue, community colleges would be effectively free for many students. But both Education Secretary Arne Duncan and top domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes emphasized in a joint interview with Huffington Post that the ultimate remedy for lowering tuition is to simply make the education system more open and competitive.

“You’re correct, some universities are running up tuition increases far above the rate of inflation,” Duncan said. “But you see other universities doing some really creative things. You see some universities going to three-year programs, basically taking out of their expenses. You see other universities going to no-frills campuses.”

“And so students and parents are very, very smart,” he added. “They're sophisticated. They're going to vote with their feet, they're going to go where they can get a great education but getting the good value along with that. And folks that don't contain cost, I think, frankly are going to lose market share, lose competitive advantage.”

via Duncan On Rising Tuition Costs: Students Will ‘Vote With Their Feet’.

Law school faculties 40% larger than 10 years ago

By , March 12, 2010 9:46 am

The average law school increased its faculty size by 40 percent over the past 10 years, according to a study by The National Jurist to be released in late March.

This increase in staffing accounts for 48 percent of the tuition increase from 1998 to 2008, the study shows. Tuition increased by 74 percent at private schools and a 102 percent at public institutions from 1998 to 2008.

The increase in staffing does not take into account the increase in support staff, which most law school administrators acknowledge has also increased. But no reliable data is available for that.

Law school observers say the dramatic increases are related to two things — an increased need for specialization and the U.S. News & World Report rankings of law schools.

“Law schools tend to believe that their faculty reputation is driven by scholarship and they are very interested in U.S. News,” said William Henderson, a law professor at Indiana University Mauer School of Law. “Lowering your faculty-to-student ratio improves your [U.S. News] ranking and increases time for scholarship.”

Henderson said the typical teaching load has dropped from five courses a few generations ago to three courses today.

“Professors are spending less time in the classroom,” he said. “Now whether that is a smart use of a social resource is another question. It is very expensive to pay for faculty research.”

via Law school faculties 40% larger than 10 years ago | the National Jurist.

Innovating the 21st-Century University: It’s Time!

By , February 28, 2010 12:59 pm

Professors who want to remain relevant will have to abandon the traditional lecture and start listening to and conversing with students — shifting from a broadcast style to an interactive one. In doing so, they can free themselves to be curators of learning — encouraging students to collaborate among themselves and with others outside the university. Professors should encourage students to discover for themselves and to engage in critical thinking instead of simply memorizing the professor’s store of information. Finally, professors need to tailor the style of education to their students' individual learning styles.

The Internet and the new digital platforms for learning are critical to all of this, especially given the high student-faculty ratio in many universities. But most faculty do not have the resources to develop the required courseware. This must be co-innovated globally through new partnerships.

via Innovating the 21st-Century University: It’s Time! EDUCAUSE Review | EDUCAUSE.

OSTP to Launch Public Forum to Discuss Options for Improving Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research

By , December 11, 2009 5:19 pm

On Thursday, Dec. 10, OSTP will launch a public consultation on Public Access Policy. The Administration is seeking public input on access to publicly-funded research results, such as those that appear in academic and scholarly journal articles. Currently, the National Institutes of Health require that research funded by its grants be made available to the public online at no charge within 12 months of publication. The Administration is seeking views as to whether this policy should be extended to other science agencies and, if so, how it should be implemented.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President and the White House Open Government Initiative is launching a “Public Access Policy Forum” to invite public participation in thinking through what the Federal government’s policy should be with regard to public access to published federally-funded research results. To that end, OSTP will conduct an interactive, online discussion beginning Thursday, December 10. We will focus on three major areas of interest:

* Implementation (Dec. 10 to 20): Which Federal agencies are good candidates to adopt Public Access policies? What variables (field of science, proportion of research funded by public or private entities, etc.) should affect how public access is implemented at various agencies, including the maximum length of time between publication and public release?

* Features and Technology (Dec. 21 to Dec 31): In what format should the data be submitted in order to make it easy to search and retrieve information, and to make it easy for others to link to it? Are there existing digital standards for archiving and interoperability to maximize public benefit? How are these anticipated to change.

* Management (Jan. 1 to Jan. 7): What are the best mechanisms to ensure compliance? What would be the best metrics of success? What are the best examples of usability in the private sector (both domestic and international)? Should those who access papers be given the opportunity to comment or provide feedback?

via OSTP to Launch Public Forum to Discuss Options for Improving Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research « OSTP Blog.

OpenJurist | Making the laws of the land accessible to the people of the land.

By , November 23, 2009 11:15 am

OpenJurist’s mission is to provide access to published court opinions without charge. Our collection includes approximately 647,000 opinions from the United States Supreme Court published in the United States Reports, and from the lower federal courts, particularly the United States Courts of Appeals, as published in the First, Second and Third series of Federal Reporter.

via OpenJurist | Making the laws of the land accessible to the people of the land..

Learning to share

By , November 15, 2009 10:13 pm

Free, immediate and permanently available research results for all – that’s what the open-access campaigners want. Unsurprisingly, the subscription publishers disagree. Zoe Corbyn weighs up the ramifications for journals, while Matthew Reisz asks how books will fare

Stephen Hicks, a reader in health and social care at the University of Salford, has just uploaded nine of his journal articles to his university’s online open-access repository of institutional papers, and has another ten in the pipeline. Doing so had not crossed his mind before, and it won’t be compulsory until January 2010 (last month, Salford mandated so-called “self-archiving”, becoming the 100th organisation worldwide to do so). But he was turned on to the idea after hearing Martin Hall, Salford’s vice-chancellor and an open-access advocate, speak.

Hicks didn’t make his decision for altruistic reasons or because Hall said it could increase his citations and impact. Rather, he chose to make the papers available because he receives a barrage of requests from other academics for access. Directing them to the repository seemed a logical way to save time and make his life easier. Uploading is straightforward, Hicks says, estimating that it takes about ten minutes per paper. He simply fills in an online form with the details of the peer-reviewed article and sends it, along with the final accepted version, to the repository. Staff there pick up the ball, working out whether the copyright policy of the journal that originally published the paper will allow it to be uploaded. “You don’t have to worry about copyright because the repository staff do that,” Hicks notes, while expressing disappointment that some of his articles haven’t gone online because the journals do not grant permission.

via Times Higher Education – Learning to share.

Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

By , November 15, 2009 9:07 pm

Volume 7:1 – Symposium: What Criminal Law and Procedure Can Learn From Criminology

Guest Editor(s): David A. Harris and Joshua Dressler

Symposium: What Criminal Law and Procedure Can Learn From Criminology

David A. Harris, What Criminal Law and Procedure Can Learn from Criminology, 7 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 1 (2009).

Richard A. Leo and Jon B. Gould, Studying Wrongful Convictions: Learning From Social Science, 7 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 7 (2009).

Eric J. Miller, Putting the Practice Into Theory, 7 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 31 (2009).

Erik Luna, Criminal Justice and the Public Imagination, 7 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 71 (2009).

David A. Harris, How Accountability-Based Policing Can Reinforce—Or Replace—The Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule, 7 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 149 (2009).

via Moritz College of Law – Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law (Issues).

The Latest File-Sharing Piracy: Academic Journals

By , October 30, 2009 7:37 pm
Ethical Dilemma: File Sharing or Illegal Downl...
Image by Pesky Library via Flickr

Illicit file sharing isn’t just for kids these days. Once mainly used for downloading pirated music, sites have sprung up on the Internet that allow free swapping of academic journals (think Napster’s younger dweeby brother).

A new study, published in the Internet Journal of Medical Informatics, looks at a site aimed specifically at medical professionals and students and finds that thousands of people were obtaining non-open-access materials free of charge. The article says that in a six-month period of watching the unnamed site, nearly 5,500 articles were exchanged, costing journals about $700,000 in that time, or about $1.4-million a year.

The site had 127,626 registered users, who during the study period put in requests for 6,587 journals. There was an 83 percent success rate in finding the article.

via The Wired Campus – The Latest File-Sharing Piracy: Academic Journals – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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