Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shooting people over lack of tenure

I will admit that I am a little shocked over the fact that a professor, Amy Bishop, decided to shot several of her fellow teachers in Alabama. And over tenure, to boot.

I am not shocked that another shooting has happened at a college. Shootings at universities, colleges, and high schools, just seem to be part of our modern life. I am not sure whether to blame the easy availability of guns, the lack of medication (or theraphy), or our society's overwhelming exposure to violence (video games and movies) for most of it.

But tenure? Ok, this worries me. Sort of.

I live in Colorado, a state that has abandoned the concept of funding for higher education.

(I jest---we are either 49th or 50th in higher education funding depending upon who you ask. That is not an abandonment of college funding; this is merely voters, tax payers, and politicans deciding that anyone standing outside of Starbucks with a tin can is capable of paying for their own education.)

Now I am not too worried about the campus where I go to school. I have heard several professors joke about the possibility of their checks shrinking. I figure as long as they can joke about having to sell pencils to the passerbys on Colfax that none of them are going to go postal.

Besides, we do not have any importance tied to our campus. Auraria Campus may serve forty percent of the college population of Colorado; but let's be honest, we are not known for anything else.

And most of the professors are adjunct professors, part timers, as far as I can determine.

It is the other colleges in Colorado that I worry about. But not too much. C'mon, can you think of any college that anyone would want the respect that goes along with being tenured at them?

And it was the respect that Amy Bishop wanted if I am reading the news reports correctly. Then again, she did shoot her own brother...decide for yourself what that might mean.

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