I had a short twitter ‘discussion’ with Matt Mayer of the Buckeye Institute earlier this week regarding Kasich’s plan to force college professors to teach more classes and spend less time doing research.

Matt seems to think professors who were hired specifically for their research abilities, who are often funded by grants from private industry and who bring notoriety and a great deal of funding and revenue to their Universities, ought to be spending more time teaching Chemistry 101 instead of working on research with their grad students.

Here’s a short list of reasons why this is a really bad idea:

  1. It will make tuition more expensive, as forcing federally and industry funded researchers to give up their grants to spend more time teaching will reduce University revenue. Ohio University, for example, brought in “$8.2 million in income from its research technologies in fiscal year 2010 … from licenses for health and medical advances for growth hormone and thyroid disorders.” And Case Western in Cleveland brings in over twice that much every year.
  2. It will deprive students of the single biggest educational advantage of attending a large research university – the opportunity to learn research in the labs of people actually doing cutting edge research.
  3. It will drive the best professors out of public institutions and into private institutions, where they will continue to balance research and teaching, but they will make more money and teach more well-off students.
  4. It will make Ohio Universities less attractive to top STEM graduate students, who are exactly the type of young adults we want to attract.
  5. It will diminish the research profile of our major universities, which is important because all of those famous venture capital playgrounds like Silicon Valley and Research Triangle always sprout up around hubs of major University research (Stanford/Berkeley, Duke/UNC, etc.)

We expect this professors-are-just-overpaid-union-thugs kind of thinking from the mind of John Kasich, whose anti-labor goggles seem to block him from seeing the bigger picture.

But I really do expect a little more from Matt Mayer. If anything, I’d expect Matt to be pushing for legislation to help get more private funding for research at our state universities and to help increase the licensing revenue it generates.

  • Beca117

    Isn’t having students in the research lab teaching?  They’re teaching how to conduct research.  Aren’t the creating a hypothesis?  Control variables and the such to determine if their hypothesis is really correct….

  • Anonymous

    The dumbing down of Ohio continues apace.  What next, displays of cavemen riding dinosaurs at Ohio State?

    Of far greater importance right now, however, is getting rid of pink driver’s licenses.  Can’t have King John feeling less than manly!

  • buckeyekelly

    You are SPOT on (and so is Joseph).

    Even if we only think of learning in the traditional lecture-be-lectured-to format, research still has its place.

    A move like this will severely jeopardize federal AND private funding for higher education in Ohio. Kasich’s worried about a brain drain? Forget it, the brains will never come here if we pitch research for even the Socratic method. How do we get into the “Top 20?” Training grants, NIH grants, private grants, number of publications, number of mentored students who published. None of that is accessible WITHOUT RESEARCH.

    Additionally, how many people, for example, choose to be treated at the James or the Ross Heart Hospital at OSU because of the opportunities to be included in a clinical trial or ? How many people choose OSU East because of the cutting edge surgical research being done? Remove research from academic medical centers and you will remove revenue.

    Short sighted doesn’t BEGIN to describe nonsense like this.

  • publichealthgirl

      This is a terrible move.  I am a phd candidate starting next year.  The only reason I am able to go to school is because I am fully funded through a research grant.  I have too many student loans from undergrad to be able to afford further education otherwise.  Where do these idiots think the funding for graduate education comes from?  It doesn’t come from sports revenue, it comes directly from research funding.  Less professors doing research = less students receiving funding.  Kasich and his followers never actually bother to think anything through.   

  • teacher

    I talked to a Prof. and reseacher at OSU and he said that the increased teaching time ruling had been changed, at least at OSU. 

  • teacher

    I talked to a Prof. and reseacher at OSU and he said that the increased teaching time ruling had been changed, at least at OSU. 

  • leeseh

    I agree.  The reason I go to the James is because the Dr. that I go to is a nationally renowned expert and conducts clinical trials (expect to go one one shortly, by the way). 

  • Ajama34

     Since Mayer was a uni professor.  It’s interesting, his name doesn’t come up in the state employee database on his website….

  • dlw

    Maybe Kasich thinks that all professors have his cushy guest lecturer deal???

    Isn’t research, published papers, etc. part of national rankings? Say what you will about the current ranking system, the majority of students don’t really come to OSU for the Buckeyes (they’re just an excellent bonus). Especially the grad students.

    Bottom line: what an a*#.

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