Thus it ever was
Post #962 • February 27, 2007, 3:35 PM • 30 Comments
Irving Sandler, A Sweeper-Up After Artists:
In the process of pursuing a Ph.D. I grew to hate the system of graduate education, which struck me as the last bastion of medieval authoritarianism in the Western world. ... Take my own case. In the school of education at NYU, a graduate student is required to submit a full dissertation outline that generally takes him or her a year to coplete. An anonymous profesor is supposed to read it, evaluate it, and make suggestions to the student. No one fails, but a lukewarm recommedndation to proceed is a sign to the student to quit. I received a halfhearted approval. The professor's comments were so irrelevant and asinine that it was clear to me that my outline had not really been read—scanned perhaps, but not read. Furious, I stormed into the dean's office and demanded that he read my outline and evaluate the outside reader's comments. A few days later, I received a letter from the dean upgrading my evaluation. I would not let the matter rest and again accosted the dean. I told him that I could meet with him because I was a faculty member, and a distinguished one at that, but what of a lowly graduate student who had spent a year working on an outline only to have some irresponsible creep toss it off? What about that? The dean mumbled some apology. When I was on the board of the College Art Association, I tried to raise the issue of academic fascism, but my fat-cat associates would not listen.