Friday, April 29, 2011

Thoughts on Huddleston

I just want to start this off by apologizing for my light posting as of late. These past two weeks have probably been my busiest time at UNH and it sucks because there has been some juicy stuff on campus recently, and I'm not talking about the dude I just saw dressed up in a full Ghost Buster costume.

As most of you have probably heard by now the AAUP held a "No confidence" vote on President Huddleston. 202 out of the 420 faculty members who were eligible to vote casted their ballots. There were 129 votes of "no confidence" and 72 votes of "confidence." I am really split over this entire thing. Part of me says, look UNH is about to lose a heck of a lot of money from the little state funding we get, the entire business school fundraiser was a complete and miserable fiasco and this school has absolutely terrible spending habits... all under the watch of President Marky Mark, who was hired with the intentions that he is great at raising money. Usually I tend to side with the faculty, I have has some unbelievably great professors here who changed my life. Others kind of sucked, but on the whole UNH has some great professors.

So, then I look at what the AAUP was complaining about in President Huddleston's speech to the New Hampshire state finance committee.

He said:
"We still too frequently convey information in 50-minute lectures delivered by a ‘sage on the stage' to largely passive recipients in the audience three times a week for 15 weeks a term — as if that schedule were Biblically decreed and as if that were the way that ‘digital natives' actually learn today. Worse, we remain wedded to a credentialing regimen of courses and majors and degrees that mainly reflect ‘seat time,' rather than what students actually learn or need to learn."

I'm not gonna lie, I agree with Huddleston on this. Sure, it probably could have been said better, and it doesn't reflect UNH in the best light, but the he has a pretty decent point. Although, it should be included that because of the moneymaking scheme UNH calls "J-Term" the spring semester is a week shorter.

However, I think the majority of the administration is to blame on for this, which probably includes Huddleston.

"Largely passive recipients in the audience."
(Read: Lazy students who don't give a shit).

 Ha! You can say that again, maybe if our classes, professors and yes, even the administration were more interactive and allowing for more personal freedoms and choices within the registration process students would take more interest in their classes. I don't know about you, but I don't see how I'm ever going to need to be able to name which Beethoven symphony I'm listening to after just 15 seconds. Sorry, but Music 401 was probably the biggest waste of time and money in the history of my short life and student career. But put me in a class where we're discussing the causes and effects of the problems in Libya and I'll be completely tuned in. Others may not be, but I will, because I want to be there. There are classes that I go to everyday that I look forward to them because they are in my field of interest, bullshit gen eds will put anyone to sleep and changing those requirements is the first step in improving student interest.

I mean, I appreciate that I got an "A" and a GPA boost from taking Germs 101, but I already knew that washing your hands or wearing a condom is a good idea. GPA boosters are nice and all, but we aren't learning anything useful, which translates to a waste of time and money. I have a lot more to say on this issue of Huddleston and how it ties to a lot more that is wrong with UNH and the college system as a whole, so I think it might save it and spend some time putting it together for my next TNH column.

Have a nice weekend, party on out there and enjoy the weather!

PS: Friend of the blog "John That" has his new EP streaming here. Check it out! He'll also be at The Knot tonight at 9:30 and I'm planning on being in the crowd. Stop by for some good tunes and I'll buy you a drink buy me a beer.

Stay classy, not UMassy.


  1. I'm so glad you addressed this, especially that specific comment by P-Hudd.

    I've heard too many people get all upset over that part of his speech, because all they see is that he called students 'passive'. Not seeing that he is on the student's side (in my opinion) and that he doesn't want those lectures to become more common, which they will if funding is lost.

    If the state cuts the $30 million or so from UNH funding, then there will be more of the larger boring lectures, that instill and encourage a passive audience.

    Without that state funding, UNH will lose many of the dynamic classes that we have currently, and have no future in developing them at all.

  2. what does it say about our faculty if not even half of our faculty votes for an issue. How can we take anything they teach seriously if they are too lazy themselves

  3. Germs is a fucking joke. and I'm a BMS major.

    If there should be fingers pointed, it should be at NH Senate not UNH