Thursday, January 12, 2006

Economics only waits for Provost

The Advance-Titan reports on the Economics move. Here we learn that COBA has approved the move and everyone waits for the final negotiations and a signature from Lane Earns.

Although I am clearly in the minority on this, I don't really see any good coming from this for the college. Zimmerman and the nasty, bitter economists will be happy, but it doesn't serve the mission of the university well.

I propose that we remove economics electives from the general education requirement. We should accept the economists self-definition as preparatory for a business degree, and not one of the liberal arts. There are no other courses from other colleges in the general education requirements. Why should economics get a special status when they leave COLS? They can take all the business classes they want as electives, but we shouldn't be encouraging students to leave our college for core courses.


babblemur said...


I'm assuming that you aren't in the Economics Department, am I right?

Lake Winneblogo said...

I'm still not going to tell you who I am!!

Janine said...

Sorry, you'll have to make that arguement in a different way because I'm just not getting it.

To me, I hear you saying that you don't want to play nice anymore because the economics department doesn't want to be your friend.

That may have simplified it a lot, however, that is what it sounds like. Why can't the different colleges work together to provide a well-rounded education for the student? What is all the fighting really about?


Anonymous said...

As a journalism student who plans to take econ next semester to fulfill a journalism requirement, I want those credits to count towards my liberal arts requirement for my degree. So, I'm with you.

Anonymous said...

Janine, I wish I could tell you why some people -- like Winneblogo -- feel such animosity to other colleges. You would think all professors would respect the efforts of other professors, but that just ain't so. It does seem a bit childish doesn't it?

Lake Winneblogo said...

I believe in the liberal arts as the core of a college education. College students should learn to read, write, and think.

For me, a major like business is a practical skill that, while important, is secondary to the basic goal of becoming a well-rounded, critical-thinking individual.

The fact that economics has chosen, for prosaic reasons, to define itself as a work-related field, rather than one applicable to all well-educated people, bothers me.

The economy clearly needs people with the skills that are produced by the college of business. If students spend all their time concentrating on the everyday mechanisms of the business world, they miss out on the great splendor of the world in which we live.

College is a once in a life time opportunity to break outside your comfort zone and think deeply about how our lives have come to be and how others experience their own lives. If you spend your time thinking only about accounting ledgers, you may never leave the shallow world of material acquisition and smug ignorance.

Janine said...

Lake Winnelogo --

Is still don't understand why there is such animosity towards the other colleges? I understand totally what you are saying above and agree wholeheartedly. However, that doesn't explain to me why this comment: "They can take all the business classes they want as electives, but we shouldn't be encouraging students to leave our college for core courses."

I never leave UW-O when I take Econ. classes, or English classes, or BA classes. So, please explain what you are talking about.


Lake Winneblogo said...

There are a lot of funding issues that come with economics leaving.

I am worried that COLS will take an financial hit if classes are transfered outside of our college. For example, Nursing pays COLS to put up extra seats in classes that they want taught. Could it happen that we would be forced to pay for seats if there are a surge of students who want economics?

Zimmerman has insisted that this will be neutral in terms of funding, but who knows how that will work out.

Janine said...

Ahhh! Great explanation. I didn't know that beforehand. Sometimes when us students read the articles in the newspaper, we don't always understand the financial ramifications and it just becomes an article about the infighting in the administration/profs. I could see a problem with the move.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. The best you can come up with is the hypothetical that COBA MIGHT charge COLS for an econ course the way COLS DOES charge nursing for courses? Give it a rest.

Lake Winneblogo said...

The funding issues aren't really important to me--I just made a suggestion as to how it might have negative financial impacts on COLS.

The real issue is how economics wants to define itself. They seem to think of themselves as a practical school now.

Perhaps they should move over to Fox Valley Technical College, where they can help prepare students very directly for a career as an economist.