Dear Minister Robichaud:
We in the academic community of New Brunswick are deeply concerned about recent announcements and actions by the provincial government regarding forest policy in the province. Specifically, we believe there has been a lack of proper consultation and transparent consideration of scientific evidence regarding: (i) the proposed Strategy for Crown Lands Forest Management that seeks to increase wood supply by approximately 20% for softwoods; and (ii) the JDI agreement (contract) that commits the province to provide JDI with specific wood supply quantities over the next 25 years. Continue reading
Don’t usually like numbers all that much, but today 97(% voter turn-out) and 90(% strike vote) are sounding very, very good.
Replacing academic faculty with woefully underpaid contingent labour is so yesterday: “Essay-Grading Software Offers Professors a Break.” John Markoff. New York Times (April 4, 2013): “The software uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers, freeing professors for other tasks.” Such as taking on additional course sections, I’m guessing.
There is a petition: Professionals Against Machine Scoring Of Student Essays In High-Stakes Assessment:
Computers cannot “read.” They cannot measure the essentials of effective written communication: accuracy, reasoning, adequacy of evidence, good sense, ethical stance, convincing argument, meaningful organization, clarity, and veracity, among others.
It’s kinda cute that in order to sign the petition, one has to verify that one is human. Like robots are going to sign this one.
Distressed student receives failing grade. Robot grader is empathetic.
“If it’s such a great idea to teach introductory science courses without labs, then why aren’t they doing it at Harvard?” (“Efficiency and Academic Freedom Clash in a Fight at CUNY,” Dan Berrett, The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 25, 2013).
the government’s explanation of their new budget. While I cannot argue with some of their “select number of new investments,” two of them — the first two — sound like boondoggles: “$16 million in 2013-14 as part of a five-year, $80-million investment in innovation in order to jump start the economy”and “the establishment of the new Energy Institute.” And I would love to know how much of the funding for these “new investments” will go toward nursing homes, health initiatives and early-child education, and how much to the Energy
Hub Institute. How about investment in our innovative youth and support for the excellent research in our universities? But no:
No increase in funding to public universities, the New Brunswick Community College and the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick with the expectation that they continue to seek operational efficiencies, and that any tuition increases will be capped at $150.
This was in the section entitled “Finding efficiencies through continuous improvement and performance excellence,” I assume un-ironically.
And why can’t we do it all? Because “New Brunswick will continue to have the lowest general corporate income tax rate in Atlantic Canada.” Ah well, I hear the government plane is up for sale. Maybe our students can pool together their oppressive student loans and fly out of here to somewhere with no extradition treaty.