Thursday, November 10, 2005

Econ department wants to secede from College

The Faculty Committee announced yesterday that there will be college of letters and science referendum about whether the Econ department should leave and join the college of business.

There will be a couple of discussion sessions in the next month about it.

It sounds pretty crazy to me. The rumor has it that there are deep personal problems between Dean Zimmerman and the Econ department. I am not enough in the loop to know exactly what is going on between them, but something must be bad for them to want to make this leap.

I can't see a good reason for it. Since when is Economics not part of the basic Social Science core of a good education? Why would they want to redefine their discipline as a narrowly career oriented field like business? Do they really believe that their discipline has more in common with marketing and management than with mathematics and chemistry?

This should make for interesting university-wide discussion over the next few months and I hope that we will hear why the econ department is trying to leave. I think my department ought to move too--I hear the pay is much better in the college of business!


Anonymous said...

Salaries for university professors are on the web --
So you shouldn't have to wonder about the pay in the College of Business, you can look it up for yourself. You can also check out the pay of professors at all other UW campuses.

Anonymous said...

"a narrowly career oriented field like business?" Interesting perspective. Since Wisconsin's economy has been in decline for decades -- hence at least some of the pressure to reduce support for the university -- maybe they want to play a more active role in boosting the state economy. Or maybe they are tired of the prejudices they find in COLS.

Lake Winneblogo said...

Maybe someone can explain what exactly a business major is for. Since at least 75% of the kids in COLS will end up in a business somewhere, why aren't they all in the college of business?

You propose some interesting hypotheses for why the department might want to leave. None of those seem to be impossible as a department in COLS, however. (Outside the prejudices, which I suppose means my negative comments towards the college of business).