By the Numbers

Week 3, 2012 Fall Semester:

  • Number of courses: Six
  • Number of credit hours: 16
    • 3 four-credit courses
    • 1 two-credit course
    • 2 one-credit courses
  • Number of students: 210 (students enrolled in multiple courses are counted twice)
  • Percentage of students who responded to FAQs:
    • LA245 F1: 35%
    • LA245 H1: 34%
    • LA349: 56%
    • SM123: 82%
    • SM223: 58%
    • SM453: 58%
  • Percentage of students in each course with no idea of what the previous entries refer to: 100% less each course’s FAQ response %

Which proves, for the 18th consecutive semester, that you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it read the syllabus from cover to cover.

An SMG Moment

Returning to my office after class I passed six students arrayed at one end of the 6th floor atrium corridor.   They were dressed in suits, ties, skirts, jackets–business clothes, projecting nervous energy.  One was hunched over a computer screen.  One sat staring into space. Four stood apart, facing in different directions, gesturing, talking to the empty air.  “The 3rd quarter numbers . . . ” “The company’s supply chain . . .” ” . . . test marketing focus groups . . .”  None looked at me or broke concentration as they practiced their portions of the team’s presentation.  If they made a mistake they backed up, repeating the flubbed words.  None was listening to the others’ remarks.  I considered asking about their project, making a joke to lighten the tension, anything to acknowledge their rehearsal.  I didn’t.  I walked by, nodding unseen.  A tableau that was repeated in team rooms, empty classrooms, and random unpopulated corners of 595 Comm Ave all day.

Poor Strategic Thinking

Who Owns Student Created Intellectual Property? addresses issues raised by the University of Missouri’s claim on 25% ownership and two-thirds of the profits on an iPhone app named NearBuy, created by four U Missouri students and downloaded 250,000 times.  The University backed off from these claims, revising its IP policy

to state that it will not claim an ownership interest in inventions created for school contests, by extracurricular clubs, or as the result of an individual’s initiative. However, if a student invention was created under a professor’s supervision or with the use of school resources or grant money, then the school can assert the same ownership right as it does for faculty inventions.

Think about this policy.  The University taxes its most entrepreneurial students, the ones with demonstrated ability to create products, businesses, jobs, and wealth.  After forced sharing of an early successful venture, what are the chances these students will return in 20 years to endow a chair, construct a new laboratory, or fund scholarships?