The Nutty Professor and the "Institutional Fit" Professor

Dove sono finiti i professori un po' pazzi? In un articolo divertente Robert Klose si lamenta del fatto che siano scomparsi. E dopo un colorito elenco di esempi della sua gioventù, cerca di dare una spiegazione: "But I miss these people. Or better said, I lament not having colleagues like them in my teaching environment. Where have the outlandish characters gone? My sense is that the nature of the university beast has changed and has had a leveling effect on the spectrum of personalities. As higher education has striven to define itself as a business ('Students are our customers!' chirps a perky poster), there is less tolerance for professors who might — heaven forbid — embarrass the institution and drive the paying public away. The result has been a more rigid screening of applicants for conformity, or, in the lingo of current hiring practices, 'institutional fit.' This is a catch-all phrase that colleges and universities use to trump all other qualifications and acquire the person they had their eye on all along. In other words, a brilliant eccentric who can simultaneously write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other while captivating his students has less institutional fit than a bland monotone who sticks to the text and is grateful to the administration for giving him a job. insidehighered.

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