Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baylor Sacked by Its Own Faculty

Baylor Faculty Members Condemn SAT Retaking - In response to yesterday's post by As Good As News, Baylor's Faculty Senate passed a resolution criticizing the school's practice of paying freshmen to retake the SATs. "This practice is academically dishonest and should be discontinued", read the faculty motion.

Dr. Phillip Ballinger, Director of Admissions at the University of Washington, served on a panel studying use and misuse of the SATs for a national admissions counseling organization. Ballinger's reaction to the Baylor SAT scheme: "..people removed their brains and went to Mars."

Sounds like fighting words to As Good As News. Sensing an opportunity to turn a typically overheated academic spat into a shooting war that might become the Bunker Hill, or at least the Boston Massacre, of Texas secession, we arranged a second exclusive interview with John Barry, Baylor's Vice President of BS, who brought along Reagan Ramsower, Baylor's Dean of Dollars.

AGAN - Dr. Ramsower, you approved the plan as win-win, higher SATs for the school, more aid for the students. Why couldn't you just give out more aid - period. How does raising SAT scores for students who are already in college help the student? How does it do anything other than help Baylor game the US News rankings?

D$ - Gaming the rankings helps everyone in the Baylor community. More high school seniors apply and attend. Alumni give more. The whole campus just feels better about itself.

AGAN - OK, but won't US News and other college rankers just take steps to put Baylor back on an equal footing with other schools - for example, insist on SATs taken before high school graduation for any data used in college rankings? Isn't there some chance that somebody will get pissed and just throw Baylor out of the rankings?

VPBS - Calm down son, no one is throwin Baylor out of anything. We are followin all the rules, maybe we just got a little chalk on our cleats on this one. If the rules change, we'll go along. We can play some defense and just keep lookin for another opportunity for the Bears to push one across the goal line.

AGAN -What do you think of the resolution by Baylor's own Faculty Senate branding the SAT scheme "academically dishonest"?

D$ - We prefer "financial aid plan" to "SAT scheme". Waco is part of the USA, at least for the moment, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even those Trotskyite whiners in the Faculty Senate.

AGAN - What about Dr. Ballinger's comment, did you remove your brains and go to Mars? The fallout from the publicity on this thing has to outweigh any benefit Baylor got from sliding up a few notches in the US News rankings? And what do you mean "for the moment"?

D? - It's easy for Ballinger to talk, he works at a state school. Those guys don't understand what it takes to keep a 14,000 student university afloat without standing on the taxpayers' shoulders.

VPBS - Nothin is backfirin here. Our core constituency, thats alumni with check books, appreciate good old Baptist ingenuity when they see it. This whole thing will be forgotten by the time you post.

AGAN - And "for the moment"?

D$ - Huh?

AGAN - You said Waco was part of the USA "for the moment".

D$ - No I didn't.
VPBS - (glaring maniacally at D$) We need a little break now.

AGAN - Messrs. Barry and Ramsower never returned from the little break and we have been unable to reestablish contact. Stay tuned.

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