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Artistic academies, libraries, institutions?[edit]

Will we include artistic academies? The great libraries of the world (British and ..of Congress)? I think the article is so underdeveloped because Academia is such an ambiguous phrase - instituitons, people(?), books? --OldakQuill 11:36, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Please note that this is a schizophrenically divided article.[edit]

I would like to note that this article is an uneasy pair with Academy. IMO it is very difficult to make any reasonable cut between what facts belong with one article, and which ones with the other. Can I suggest that they be merged, with the one being a redirect to the other?

I have no opinion on which should redirect to which. -- Cimon

I think the current separation is fine, with this article discussin contemporary academia and the Academy article on Plato's Academy. The Academy article should probably have a disambiguation note pointing to this page up at the top, rather than just at the bottom. "Academia" never refers to Plato's Academy, so this page doesn't need disambiguation. -- Rbellin 21:29, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

What about

  • historical development -- ie University classrooms - 13 of them recently excavated in Alexandria, Egypt - perhaps related to the Library in Alexandria.
  • relationship to teaching clerics -- as at Oxford and Cambridge.
  • Land grant act in the US - funding state universities
  • John Barth's Giles Goat-boy where the entire world is a university

Ancheta Wis 21:55, 30 May 2004 (UTC) - or would it be better simply to leave all the historical view out. Certainly politics and fundraising are more fundamental to Academia than the statement of past history. I know of professors in prestigious departments of famous universities who are expected to find their own way for funding their department.Ancheta Wis 21:55, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm of two minds about this. The history of the university is scattered around Wikipedia -- there's some discussion in the University article and a good article I just now found on the medieval university. This article should link those, but probably not reduplicate their entire contents (although it's indisputably relevant here). It seems like the University article might be the best place for this. -- Rbellin 22:47, 30 May 2004 (UTC)


This article now has significant overlap with the one on academic publishing. Doesn't the "history of the academic journal" belong there, not here? -- Rbellin 18:41, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I would say mostly yes. A quick summary of the history of academic journals would be appropriate in academia though. I also think a much better summary of the information in academic publishing would be appropriate here in academia, with a link to academic publishing just like it is now. - Taxman 17:59, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)

Academic regalia[edit]

Would be a cool topic for a paragraph here, and could deserve its own article. If anyone knows something about this, put it in! Isomorphic 01:35, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)

FAC status[edit]

This article currently has one objection lobbied against it at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates. That objection is: the article starts by saying that sociologists list four basic types of academia; the article seems to only list three, missing out "academic societies". Could something be mentioned about these?


Also, the section on "Practice and Theory" lists some criticisms of academics being Ivory Tower-types; this could do with some rebuttal from the academic-POV for neutrality.

What do you think of the balance point I added? I know it is wordy, but I couldn't think of a better way to say it that maintained the accuracy and spirit of what I was getting at.

Also, there's no discussion of academic conferences and workshops.".

There is now a start, but it needs work. I don't have much personal experience with them.

You guys have worked on this article so much - can you please address these objections so it can become a featured article? →Raul654 06:51, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)

Those where great criticisms and the article is and will be much better for them. I think they have been largely answered, but see also my comment above on publishing. That is the article's greatest weakness now I think. - Taxman 17:59, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)

Liberal Arts[edit]

This isn't good history: The Roman Catholic Church revolutionized their own system of educating young men at universities with the introduction of a standard core curriculum: there was nothing rovolutionary about medieval education; universities gathered round professors and were in fact often at odds with the Church.

After the ban on the Roman Catholic Church in England, the national Church of England seized control of the universities at Cambridge and Oxford. Just not true. Wetman 10:08, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Well, you're going to have to provide some evidence to back that up. Everything I have known supports that the church largely controlled scholasticism, or were at least the largest producers of it. And by the way, don't remove that much material without a heads up on the talk page. - Taxman 12:56, Jun 19, 2004 (UTC)

This is the text I replaced. Anything genuinely historical here that should go back? Wetman 03:41, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The Roman Catholic Church revolutionized their own system of educating young men at universities with the introduction of a standard core curriculum that would be the same at each institution. They called it the seven liberal arts. The first three were called the trivium: grammar (reading and writing), rhetoric (literature and complicated forms of writing), logic (philosophy). The other four were electives called the quadrivium: arithmetic (number theory), geometry (number relations), music, and astronomy. Another subject was considered the eighth and highest form of liberal art: theology (study of God).
After the ban on the Roman Catholic Church in England, the national Church of England seized control of the universities at Cambridge and Oxford. They continued the practice of teaching the liberal arts curriculum introduced by Catholicism at these institutions, as well as in new schools begun by various Protestant denominations throughout Europe.

Problems with recent addition of Purported decline section[edit]

The material has some potential merit, but currently has many problems. I propose removing it until some of these have been remedied:

  • Heavy US centricity. If the decline is just in the US is it really that important to overall academia? If just the US, then this belongs somewhere other than this article, if it is more widespread, then discussion of the greater problem is necessary.
  • Lots of weasel words - some believe, etc.
  • A complete lack of reference to actual sources. Currently the section reads like an essay, an example of what wikipedia is not. Wikipedia is a secondary source. Addition of actual notable sources holding the POV noted would fix this problem, and the one above.

I will remove the addition later today and move it here to the talk page if it is not fixed. - Taxman 12:01, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)

I think it might be best to leave it in a little longer and see what happens. Not everything can get fixed overnight, and this section points to a real issue in a lot of current discussions of academia. I think the major problem is the lack of sources -- this section really needs references and citations to some of the ever-growing literature on this subject. Maybe someone can begin to fix that if the section stays for a while; I can take a look through some books by Stanley Aronowitz and Cary Nelson for good citations later. -- Rbellin 14:36, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Nice work on that especially for NPOV and citing sources - Taxman 16:32, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks -- but I think it still needs a lot of work. Once we get a better summary of the issues, I'd love to spawn a separate full-fledged article on the corporatization of the university; there's a lot of material out there from the last couple of decades, but summarizing it is no simple task. There's some relevant material in Wikipedia articles on graduate students and academic publishing as well (probably elsewhere too). -- Rbellin 16:53, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Order of subsections[edit]

I just read through the article again and found it to read like a jumble of unrelated chunks. Can we reorder and reorganize the outline structure so it fits together better? My vote is for something like this:

  • Intro
  • Structure
    • Qualifications
    • Conferences (or fold this into Societies)
  • History
    • Ancient
    • Early (retitle "Medieval")
      • (all its subsections remain intact)
    • Modern (retitle 18th + 19th Century)
    • Economic changes
  • Publishing
  • Dress
  • Practice & theory (or delete; this section doesn't seem to add much)
  • See also, external links, references as usual

Any comments on this? I'll wait at least a few days before changing the article, but others are welcome to be bolder and do it now. -- Rbellin 15:52, 21 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Please don't retitle Early to Medieval -they are not the same and the section in this article is not limited to the Medieval period. Practice and theory should be earlier and expanded -somewhere we need to fit in town versus gown issues, commercial versus pure research, etc. You seem to have missed Societies in your structure. It is currently in its position as the bridge between early and modern structures. This article is in need of several other expansions -our discussion of modern universities covers only the U.S. and only till the early 1800's. And even then no mention of land grant colleges, practical colleges -teaching colleges, mining schools, etc., admission of women. Rmhermen 23:09, Aug 26, 2004 (UTC)
I've reordered things and introduced new sections for the conflicts you mentioned (town/gown, research/commerce). I don't get your point about the "Early" section not referring solely to the middle ages (since it begins with a reference to Medieval university and refers exclusively to medieval dates), but I retained the title "early" so that it can be expanded later on to include whatever else is necessary. Comments and changes are always welcome, of course.-- Rbellin 15:26, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Text for removal[edit]

There are some snippets in this article that seem to me to merit removal. From "Economic Changes", some pure unattributed opinion:

Cynical observers remark that the low levels of pay and respect given to liberal arts Ph.D.s (and even moreso to secondary and elementary teachers) are testament to the fact that our society no longer values disciplines such as philosophy, literature, and other humanities and may represent an even more pervasive decline in American society, education, and values not limited merely to academia.
The poor academic job market is considered to be one of the early 21st-century's three most prominent spark factors, along with healthcare and housing costs.

And from "History of academic journals", a completely false historical generalization:

For over 2,000 years following the founding of Plato's Academy, research was, for the most part, communicated orally. Little, if any, research was published: publishing was expensive, and academics typically just circulated papers, letters, or notes of their work-in-process among a small group of their peers.

Can these be fixed (factually corrected and better attributed), or should they just be scrapped as I suspect?

I have some doubts about the appropriateness of including here exaggerated claims about the demise of traditional publishing attributed to Andrew Odlyzko (apparently from papers like [1] and [2]), as well. As far as I'm aware Odlyzko and these publications are not widely cited nor widely discussed in the academy as a whole, and his articles seem to discuss academic publishing in mathematics (his own field) almost exclusively. Can someone improve that section with better citations and possibly also move it to a more appropriate article like academic publishing? -- Rbellin 22:45, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I've gone ahead with these two deletions, since there's been no comment. If anyone is interested in saving this text, please feel free to reintroduce these themes in the article with some citations to sources. -- Rbellin 07:47, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I would have to agree with their removal until more factually stated and supported with references. - Taxman 18:28, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

Lack of References[edit]

In compiling my list of articles with references problems, I noticed that ironically, this article has none! That means it no longer meets the current Featured article criteria. I'm sure there are some good references about academia in general and especially some of the specific sections. Please help by citing the sources used for this article and by finding other good references for it. Thank you - Taxman 15:46, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)

Add a Section on Non-European Academia in History?[edit]

China had academies of learning from the axial age (Warring States) onwards. Didn't the ancient and medieval Arab world have institutions of higher learning as well? Is this the right article to insert such matter? Perhaps there are some qualities of the ancestral European university that distinguishes it from those of the Arabs and the Chinese. Other groups, such as the Mayans and their remarkable scientific and literary skills, also must have had some setting of learning, but does it count as an "academic institution"? As a sinologist I should try to research and add anything that may prove relevant for China. For the Arabs or anyone else, we will need someone more qualified.

The Relevance of Academia[edit]

The content of the article says that "In fact it is often seen that many academic developments turn out only much later to have great practical results." As an academician myself, as well as for the good of the content of this article, I would like to see some examples cited of this. whoistheroach 14:44, 15 Dec 2005

Representation of Plato[edit]

I really, really like this article; I can see why it was a featured article. This a relatively minor point, but I thought it might be utilitarian to insert an image of Plato aside from the one culled from the painting of The Academy of Athens. The picture is not an accurate representation of the man; anyone who knows their art history will know that's actually Leonardo da Vinci, who served as the model for that particular representation of Plato. (Michelangelo and other renaissance artists, consequently, are also seen in the painting, standing in for their ancient counterparts). Anyone who can find a suitable image (such as the famous greek bust of Plato), feel free to replace it. Otherwise, leave it be. Kaelus 13:04, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Good point! Why not mention Raphael's portrait of Leonardo as Plato in the context of the Renaissance revival of the idea of "Academy"? --Wetman 16:27, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Criticisms of Academia?[edit]

Why is there no section in this article of criticisms or critiques about academia? For example, as a university student, I often hear of people referring to academics as being disconnected from the rest of the world because they are "stuck in their Ivory Tower," and that specialization in academic disciplines has become overspecialization in that many academics cannot even effectively communicate with contemporaries in somewhat related fields because they can't speak the same language, etc. The critiques brought up in the article are not too easy to spot, and they are scattered around, as the article is very long. Is it even worth it to add a new section like this? If one is added, how should it be organized, especially considering many of the critiques have their own articles? Should I just try something and see what happens? -- Doubleg 05:26, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

"Ivory tower" and "town and gown" are both discussed in the article. Rmhermen 06:32, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Those aren't particularly informative criticisms. Terms like "Ivory Tower" are perjorative, whereas "anti-intellectualism" serves to deflect criticism of academia by labelling the critics with a perjorative term. The article could be improved with some thoughtful criticism of academia - overly Westernized, overly politicized, a lightning rod for emotional power needs, academics too narrowed on their own area of study, unaware of its own prejudices while criticizing those of others, over-theororizing (e.g., reading in of sexism, racism, etc. well beyond the context of what is being criticized), at times hostile and/or arrogant, intolerant while preaching tolerance... these criticisms all need to be understood without being passed off as "anti-intellectual." Granted, these are to some extent criticisms of academics rather than academia itself, or maybe certain academics, or trends among academics, or even human ego in general; but since they influence the products of academia,I still think they're relevant. Oh, and my favourite - "wordy." (talk) 19:46, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Discussion of criticisms would be useful. Do you have any sources in mind?Gimme danger (talk) 20:55, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I hate the implicit attitude found on some talk pages that if a person has criticisms, they should find sources to support those criticisms. It should be considered valuable for people to engage in discussion even if they don't have sources or don't have the time or ability to find such sources. Granted, their criticisms might not enter the article, but it's also possible someone could come along, read the criticism, and as a result edit in a more balanced fashion. I get a feeling people have a chip on their shoulder, disguised with careful phrasings like the one Gimme danger has used above. (talk) 00:47, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

academic conferences/workshops[edit]

As far as I know, many conferences/workshops DO NOT distribute accepted papers in advance. Attendees only get copies (either printed copies or digital ones) just before the conference/workshop starts, or one day earlier. The main objective of conferences/workshops is interaction instead of criticism on the accepted papers. --Eng2007 20:38, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Default from "Scholarship"[edit]

I apologize if this is not the appropriate place for this comment, but since there seems to be considerable discussion here, and none where I posted my first remark on this subject, I'll post here and invite commentary. Under the present Wiki structure, the word "scholar" defaults to this page. I wonder why this page is redirected at all. The conflation of scholarship with academia strikes me as a wholly unjustified procedure. There have been many scholars in history who were not affiliated, or only very loosely affiliated, with academic institutions. Ben Jonson was among the leading classical scholars of his age but had only a tenuous relationship with Oxford University. In the 21st century, one of the most famous and influential of all literary scholars is the late polymath Kenneth Burke, who never held a permanent position in a university and produced much of his work while employed outside the university. I happen to be an academician, but I strongly object to this redirection and suggest that it is incumbent on us to develop a historically informed definition of "scholarship" that recognizes the reality and the possibility that it is sometimes entirely or significantly independent of academic institutions. Finally, I can't help but noticing the irony that wikipedia is a scholarly resource produced by a mixture of professional and amateur scholars, some of whom have little or no academic credentials. By perpetuating the false stereotype that only academicians do scholarship, we are diminishing variety and significance of what constitutes scholarship. It is not the same thing as professionalization.--BenJonson 03:46, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

As I said at Talk:Scholar: Rather than the abstract idea that we need to clarify our "definition" or stop "conflating" two potentially separable words, can you explain what information a reader might seek at scholar or scholarship that cannot be provided in the article on academia? Again, Wikipedia is not a dictionary; it is reasonable to consolidate related topics into one article and discuss differences within the article. -- Rbellin|Talk 15:05, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

      • Wikipedia could redirect the page for Processor to the page for Computer because a processor is a computer. The word scholar is not mentioned on the academia page. The most direct link for Scholar should be directed to Scholasticism where it should be articled to explain its use in modern_language and links to Academia should be posted there along with any other highly appropriate links. I thought definite pages were protected from editing. Also this: Academia#Commerce_and_scholarship is horrific because it is the only reference to the word scholar and the entry is one sentence where all the other headings have large paragraphs. I couldn't have imagined scholar redirecting to this page. I am not questioning the intentions.

I am citing this reference and read the first line it is the best argument for an article of any kind - Encyclopedia.

ThisMunkey (talk) 02:54, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

    • Also on another article on this talk page dated 2004 RBellin you say that the page for Academia and the page for Academic should remain seperate although they are pretty much the same. Again scholar and scholasticism are a whole subject independant of academia although each are scholarly and academic also. There are some beautiful pictures on the page for the colour red and it goes into great detail. That article is "supported by the WikiProject" and is "rated as top importance". I thought the modern academy was born of stuff like the art and science of the word scholar or the letter pi. The article for red (for instance), is just pure information.

ThisMunkey (talk) 16:26, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Academics vs scientists[edit]

I am considering merger of Category:Academics and Category:Scientists, or at least their stub categories ({{Scientist-stub}} and {{academic-bio-stub}}. Comments? -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:38, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Terrible idea - while most scientists are academics not all academics (by a long stretch) are scientists. Philosophers, literary critics, scholars of religion, may all be academics but they certainly aren't scientists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

This conflating of "scientist" and the broader term "academic" seems to be the result of a translation error. In many European languages "academic" suggests a member of a national academy, while "science" has cognates in European languages which have a broader meaning than in English. This causes all sorts of confusion for non-native speakers of English. The article on "science" touches upon this difference in scope.Toroboro (talk) 18:24, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

wrong links[edit]

i corrected the germen, french, danish, spanish and italian links because they refer to the institution and not the group of people, but it can be assumed that the other links are wrong as well. by the way, in other countries the term akademia covers people with akademic degree regardless if they are teaching or doing research. Sundar1 16:37, 29 October 2007 (UTC)


There is nothing encyclopediac in this article/sentence: I don't know enough to add even one more line but this one is suitable for its own article so I know there is more than one sentence in it.
ThisMunkey (talk) 07:08, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


Why are there zero (0) pictures in this article? I mean couldn't there be a photo of someone in academic dress, or a painting of Plato or something here to make the article more visually appealing for those of us who didn't go to Yale? The Hoi Polloi need to be saved from boredom. (talk) 20:17, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I say2 U[edit]

Academics are by definition either profit-making or fool-making of themselves or both after all, anyway to the benefit of academia. Otherwise just leave academia, goddamned academics! Destroy shamelessness, shall we? --KYPark (talk) 09:18, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Essay on political views[edit]

This new section seemed undue, being sourced for the most part to one article about the US. It appears to have been written like a personal essay. The main article is about academia all over the world and using one reference to make a WP:POINT seems completely WP:UNDUE and quite unencyclopedic. Mathsci (talk) 11:06, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

It cites 4 different sources. This article certainly already mentions local academia and their specific behavior. We could add a subsection header called "US" and I could add research from other nations.Miradre (talk) 11:39, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
I have substantially improved the text and added many new sources.Miradre (talk) 15:58, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
The essay is a hopeless POV-pushing exercise and entirely unencyclopedic. The first source is written by a conservative commentator, an extended opinion piece and, according to one reviewer, an unremitting diatribe. One review of that source states the following.[3] "Most college teachers have read research papers that are little more than compilations of the most extreme examples the student can find to support an opinion the student was determined to 'prove.' The devil can quote Scripture, and a fervent researcher can support a thesis." That is exactly what Miradre has done here. Determined to make a point, from an ultra-right wing point of view, he/she has gathered a few references that agree with an extreme personal point of view. As an example, at the start of his/her essay, Miradre makes a statement about a claimed debate/controversy; to "prove this" Miradre gives the titles of two books by conservative critics of the American university system. That is not how encyclopedic content is written. We find a WP:RS which describes in detail such a controversy or debate: anything else is just original research and sophomoric synthesis, of the type described in the quote above. The article, prior to Miradre's edits, was neutral and anodyne. Miradre, by inserting their pointy essay, has introduced controversy and silliness. Mathsci (talk) 23:33, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, at least the first source was widely cited and debated. But how about changing to "There are long standing conservative criticisms regarding the political views of the academia and the effects of these"? Many further sources can be added to that statement if desired.Miradre (talk) 23:50, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
You can't just add the title of a book to support a phrase you've concocted yourself. That is blatant POV-pushing. If you can't find a neutral text which is WP:RS and makes a precise statement about a debate or controversy, the statement will have to be removed. You can't use wikipedia for writing essays like this. Encyclopedic content about academia should be drawn, not from recent surveys—primary sources—that conform to your our own personal point of view, but from WP:RS that directly discuss the subject of the article. Academia is not the same as Higher education in the United States, which has its separate article. In that article, controversies are discussed. Possible right or left wing political bias of university faculty does not seem to be one of those controversies. Mathsci (talk) 00:08, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
The given sources certainly support the statement that there are conservative criticisms. Many further could be added. Regarding the surveys so are they discussed in academic sources so these sources are WP:RS. The criticism is not limited to only "education" so this seems to be a better article.Miradre (talk) 00:18, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately at the moment the statement about a debate or controversy is your own WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. If that's all you can use to support that particular sentence, then it is tendentious and will have to be removed. This section on political views appears to be completely off-topic and undue: you are citing very recent primary sources to prove some point of your own. This is the wrong article in which to insert this kind of essay; I'm not sure where on wikipedia that type of content would be acceptable. There is no hint of this in bias in education. I would imagine that the same would apply to adding content on wikipedia on the political views of physicians, paramedical staff, military personnel or law enforcers. Mathsci (talk) 00:34, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Changed the statement. The are many academic sources regarding this subject which is certainly notable.Miradre (talk) 00:45, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You've just written another personal summary of what you think can be found in two books. Please find a secondary source that makes that statement. Otherwise it will have to be removed as WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. Bluster is no substitute for properly sourced edits. At the moment all the material in your essay appears to be improperly sourced, undue and problematic. Mathsci (talk) 00:50, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Here is a source [4] which puts all your "surveys" in context. It does seem to be a WP:RS regarding the social and political views of American professors. Whether it is relevant to this particular article is another thing. The authors write: "But an unfortunate tendency became evident: increasingly, those social scientists who turned their attention to professors and their politics, and employed the tools of survey research, had as their goal simply to highlight the liberalism of the professoriate in order to provide support for conservatives urging the reform of American colleges and universities. Indeed, the last decade in particular has witnessed a concerted mobilization on the part of conservative activists, think tanks, foundations, and some professors aimed at challenging so-called “liberal hegemony” in higher education, and much recent research on faculty political views – what we term second wave research to contrast with the first wave work of Lazarsfeld, Lipset, and others – has been beholden to this agenda." This secondary source gives an overview of the surveys (primary sources) that you are attempting to use for adding content. They cannot be used directly in the light of these comments. Mathsci (talk) 01:07, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
That is one view from a source that is not less "primary" than the other sources cited in this article and who also review earlier literature. Neither does this source (which also uses a survey) deny a liberal overrepresentation as stated in the article.Miradre (talk) 01:29, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
All this material is undue in this particular article. It's more about the American political system than academia. The source I provided is secondary and not a survey. Circular arguments and refusal to follow wikipedia policy resulted in your topic ban. I don't see any change here. Mathsci (talk) 01:41, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
The text cites numerous academic sources and newspaper which are WP:RS. The newspaper articles certainly shows this is a notable public debate.Miradre (talk) 01:45, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
More circular arguments and WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Mathsci (talk) 01:52, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT seems more correct.Miradre (talk) 01:57, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
You have already been topic-banned for this kind of tendentious editing. If you continue in this way, I foresee a community ban. Mathsci (talk) 02:02, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
For what? Adding material regarding a notable public debate sourced to academic sources and newspapers?Miradre (talk) 02:06, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
That is an entirely misleading description of your edits here. Mathsci (talk) 02:17, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Summary of reasons for not including Miradre's essay[edit]

Miradre's content is not relevant to the topic of academia. It concerns how right-wing groups and individuals in the US are the guiding force behind surveys to label the American professoriate as liberal and thus justify the reforms proposed by conservatives. I can't see why those surveys need to be discussed in this particular article. They do not appear to satisfy WP:RS. Mathsci (talk) 01:31, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Academic sources and newspapers are WP:RS.Miradre (talk) 01:37, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
You are using cherry-picked opinion pieces and biased surveys to support a personal essay. That's not what this encyclopedia is about. Mathsci (talk) 01:44, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
If there is a source missing, please add it.Miradre (talk) 01:46, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Because your essay seems WP:UNDUE, irrelevant to the general topic of academia, improperly sourced and unencyclopedic. it will probably have to be removed entirely. At present the best way forward might be be to open this up for general discussion on a public noticeboard. Mathsci (talk) 02:01, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
It is about a notable public debate regarding academia and very well sourced.Miradre (talk) 02:07, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Improperly sourced as has been spelled out above. You choose not to distinguish between secondary and primary sources. That is one of the main problems with your edits to wikipedia. Mathsci (talk) 02:20, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
This is intended to be an encyclopedia article. The subject of academia is in fact discussed at length in text books from a proper perspective. One example of that is "Reconstructing the University: Worldwide Shifts in Academia in the 20th Century" by David John Frank and Jay Gabler (2006, Stanford University Press). It is not written by a conservative lobbyist putting forward arguments for restructuring US universities; it is not an Op Ed in a newspaper. Instead it is a carefully reasoned magisterial account of how academia has evolved in the twentieth century, within a historical perspective. There appears to be no mention of the self-chosen subject matter of Miradre's essay. For writing an article on the general subject of Academia, sources like that, if they exist, are what editors look for first, without having preformed views. The edits of Miradre seem to be informed and biased by preformed views. It is inappropriate to use this general and neutral article as a coatrack for a personal essay, for patching together in a random and inconclusive fashion a selective set of references to support a personal point of view on the community involved in higher education. In real life that is what personal blogs are for, but not wikipedia. Mathsci (talk) 09:10, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
The subject matter is notable and has been discussed both in academic sources and major newspapers as cited in the text. I do not see how your book is relevant for political views if these are not discussed in the book but you could certainly cite the book for other topics that it does discuss. If you want a book regarding political views the text cites "The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power, Politics, and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education ".Miradre (talk) 09:26, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
You have not cited a single academic book devoted to a comprehensive discussion of the topic of academia and its history. The article is about the abstract concept of academia and how it has evolved, not political lobbying in the US about restructuring teaching and research in the humanities. The book I cited from Stanford University Press is a magisterial account of the evolution of universities and academic institutions in the twentieth century, with a detailed historical account of the periods before that. Its contents are relevant to the entirety of this article. The book doesn't remotely touch on the topic of your essay, which suggests that (as I suspect) you are adding inappropriate content and engaging in original research and synthesis. I understand that participants in WikiProject Universities will probably look at the content you have been adding to this article. To me it appears that you are engaged in WP:CPUSH. Mathsci (talk) 10:12, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
To me it appears that you are engaged in WP:CPUSH because of WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT. This article is certainly not limited to the history of academia. See my earlier arguments above.Miradre (talk) 10:24, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
If you believe that I am involved in WP:CPUSH (what content am I pushing?) then go ahead and report me to a noticeboard. But befiore doing so please read WP:BOOMERANG. Your current edits repeat exactly the same pattern of tendentious editing that led to your topic ban. Mathsci (talk) 11:08, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Your description is incorrect and your are pushing against the inclusion of a well-sourced description of a notable debate.Miradre (talk) 12:29, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Content definitely does not belong here. It relates only to the US, not to the general topic "Academia". That bit is easy, but it leads on to other questions. Does the content belong somewhere else, e.g. on Higher education in the United States? I doubt it, at least not right now and not this content as is. The topic of academic staff in the US is a relevant question in the HE in the US article, but such a sub-section would need to give a full overview of the topic. For example, I see in HE in the US a long and dull dictionary-like working out of the difference in usage between "university" and "college". So there should also be a slightly less dull explanation of academic careers in the US and their terminology (assistant professor, associate professor, tenure...). If books dealing with academic careers in the US also typically include material on the political behaviour of academic staff, that's when it becomes necessary to have it in our article. Also, I'm not sure if this article is necessary in the first place. It might be useful to merge it with Higher education. I am posting on WikiProject Universities for more opinions on all of this. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:54, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

First, this is a notable debate in major newspaper, academic studies, and notable popular books. But you suggest that there is no place at all for this in Wikipedia? This article has almost or only US material in several sections. This material also includes material from Canada, not only the US. Second, since you yourself are an academic, may there be a WP:COI here? Miradre (talk) 16:02, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
COI ha, ha. Let's have no more philosophers editing philosophy articles. Little bit from Canada, nothing outside North America. If that's already a fault of this article, all the more reason to merge it. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:18, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
There is a difference between writing about something one is an expert on and writing about criticisms against one's profession and employer. Again, several sections in this article have only US material, so I hardly see why there is a problem with this material that includes both the US and Canada. Possible future merges are hardly relevant for the situation now. Again, this is a notable debate in major newspaper, academic studies, and notable popular books. But you suggest that there is no place at all for this in Wikipedia? Miradre (talk) 16:22, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I have this nagging doubt that Miradre might have been a student at some stage and thus part of academia. Presumably that would also create a WP:COI. Mathsci (talk) 16:33, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Even if I was it would not make me currently part of academia. On the other hand, you describe yourself as "a professional pure mathematician" which very likely means part of academia.Miradre (talk) 16:38, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
In that case, why not make a formal complaint concerning Itsmejudith and me at WP:COIN? Mathsci (talk) 16:55, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you an academic? If not, I see no reason to.Miradre (talk) 17:03, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I would advise you to stop making edits of this kind. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 17:31, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Point-by-point discussion of section on "Political views"[edit]

I am moving Miradre's essay here so that each point can be discussed and justified in detail.

United States

Several older studies have found that US professors were more liberal than the general population. Those in natural sciences, engineering, and business were less liberal than those in the social sciences and humanities. A 2005 study found that liberal views had increased compared to the older studies. Only 15% in the survey described themselves as right of center. While humanities and the social sciences are still the most left leaning, 67% of those in other fields combined described themselves as left of center. Even in business and engineering, traditionally considered conservative leaning fields, those with views left the center now outnumber those with views right of center. The study also found that women, practicing Christians, and Republicans taught at lower quality schools than would be expected from objectively measured professional accomplishments, a result consistent with these characteristics being a disadvantage for professional advancement.[1][2] Groupthink has been suggested as explaining why liberals are overrepresented.[3]

A 2007 study criticized some recent surveys, such as the above 2005 study, on methodological grounds as well as being motivated by conservative concerns. It also pointed to the influence of conservative think thanks outside academia. In its own survey it found that while conservatives were rare, there was a large centrist group between those self-identifying as liberals or conservatives. More moderate views were more common in younger professors, although also in this age group liberals were several times more common than conservatives. The age group with most liberal professors were the professors who were teenagers or young adults in the radical 1960s. Of all surveyed, 3% identified themselves as Marxists with the highest numbers being in social sciences (17%) and humanities (5%).[4][5]

A 2011 study disagreed with younger professors being more moderate and instead argued that the average view may shift further left in the future. The study also found that the years of college education had little effect on the political view of undergraduates. There was little evidence that right leaning professors were treated poorly. However, they may have difficulty publishing with a cited study finding that ouf of 494 books published by Harvard University Press only eight were conservative or classical liberal in orientation. Regarding the cause of the liberal overrepresentation, it found that conservative students preferred to major in fields leading to immediate employment, such as hotel management or accounting, rather than further studies.[6][7] Self-selection has also been suggested by others as the main explanation.[8][9]

There are both older[10][11][12] and more recent (such as The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America) right-wing criticisms regarding the political views of the academia and the effects of these as well as counter-criticisms against these views.[13][14][15]


A 2011 study found that Canadian university professors were left leaning but were not "hugely different in this respect from the Canadian university-educated population." There were considerable variation in political views which suggests "that contemporary characterizations of the North American professoriate as left- or right-leaning tend to be overdrawn". Disadvantaged status and socialization in the field were important in forming these views but self-selection effects were not excluded.[16]


  1. ^ Rothman, S.; Lichter, S. R.; Nevitte, N. (2005). "Politics and Professional Advancement Among College Faculty". The Forum 3. doi:10.2202/1540-8884.1067.  edit
  2. ^ College Faculties A Most Liberal Lot, Study Finds, Howard Kurtz, Tuesday, March 29, 2005 Washington Post
  3. ^ "Groupthink in Academia: Majoritarian Departmental Politics and the Professional Pyramid." Pp. 79–98 in The Politically Correct University: Problems, Scope, and Reforms, edited by Robert Maranto, Richard Redding, and Frederick Hess. Washington, DC: AEI Press.
  4. ^ Neil Gross and Solon Simmons, “The Social and Political Views of American Professors” (paper presented at the Harvard University Symposium on Professors and Their Politics, Cambridge, MA, October 6, 2007).
  5. ^ The ’60s Begin to Fade as Liberal Professors Retire, Patricia Cohen, July 3, 2008, New York Times,
  6. ^ The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power, Politics, and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education, Stanley Rothman, April Kelly- Woessner , Matthew Woessner, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2011.
  7. ^ Five myths about liberal academia, Matthew Woessner, April Kelly-Woessner and Stanley Rothman Friday, February 25, 2011 Washtington Post
  8. ^ Diversity in American Higher Education: Toward a More Comprehensive Approach, Lisa Stulberg and Sharon Weinberg, eds, 2011, Routledge. Explaining professor's politics: An indirect text of the self-selection hypothesis,Neil Gross and Catherine Cheng
  9. ^ Maranto, Robert. 2009. "Why Political Science Is Left but Not Quite PC." Pp. 209–24 in The Politically Correct University: Problems, Scope, and Reforms, edited by Robert Maranto, Richard Redding, and Frederick Hess. Washington, DC: AEI Press.
  10. ^ Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education, Roger Kimball, New York: Harper&Row, 1990
  11. ^ The Hollow Men: Politics and Corruption in Higher Education. Sykes, Charles J T, Washington, DC: Regnery Gateway. 1990
  12. ^ The Universities Under Attack... Roger Rosenblat, April 22, 1990, Book Review Desk,
  13. ^ Epstein, Barbara. 1995. “Political Correctness and Collective Powerlessness,” in Darnovsky, Marcy, Barbara Epstein, and Richard Flacks, (Eds.), Cultural Politics and Social Movements. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, pp. 3-19.
  14. ^ Messer, Ellen. 1995. “Manufacturing the Attack on Liberalized Higher Education.” In: Callari, Antonio, Stephen Cullenberg, and Carole Biewener, (Eds.), Marxism in the Postmodern Age: Confronting the New World Order. New York, NY: Guildford Press, pp. 526-536.
  15. ^ "Facts Count: An Analysis of David Horowitz's "The Professors"," Free Exchange on Campus, 2006,
  16. ^ The Ideological Orientations of Canadian University Professors, M. R. Nakhaie & R. J. Brym, Canadian Journal of Higher Education, Volume 41, No. 1, 2011, pages 18 –33


1. Coatrack My first point is that the rest of the article is on the general notion of Academia and its development over the centuries. The current section seems to be about recent politically oriented surveys (primary sources) concerning the humanities in US universities since 2000. The material is not discussed in depth in any secondary source that I could find on the general theme of academia. Is this article not therefore being used as a WP:COATRACK for issues which are too specialised to have any relevance to the general topic of academia, from the point of view of the rest of the article? Mathsci (talk) 14:48, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

The article is of course not restricted to the history of academia. The sources include academic sources and major newspapers. They are WP:RS. Only one of the surveys (the 2005 study) has been accused of being politically motivated. Which is not a reason for exclusion. A newspaper article is not a primary source. Neither are the literature reviews in books such as The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power, Politics, and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education.Miradre (talk) 15:06, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
There is a mismatch between the rest of the article and the theme of this section. In the Stanford University Press book "Reconstructing the university: worldwide shifts in academia in the 20th century", which seems to be in line with the rest of the article and evidently a WP:RS, this peripheral subject is not mentioned. So that suggests it might be irrelevant. The statements describing the surveys in the first paragraph appear not to have been taken from a secondary source. They appear to be summaries and assessments written by the editor Miradre using primary sources. So the first paragraph appears to be unwarranted WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. Mathsci (talk) 15:15, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
A disagreement regarding two initial sentences is not a reason for deleting everything else. That an academic study analyzing and drawing conclusions from a survey, sometimes even a survey not done by the researchers themselves as was the case for the 2005 study, is primary seems dubious. That the separate literature review done is primary is also dubious. See Secondary source. Regardless, primary sources are not disallowed. As documenting a notable debate in academic literature, notable non-academic books, and major newspapers the material fulfill all criteria for inclusion.Miradre (talk) 15:23, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Those sentences in the first paragraph were written by you to summmarise the content of primary sources. (Newspaper articles fall into that category too.) You have chosen to ignore the period between the 1960s and the present time. That seems unencyclopedic. The book of Rothman et al, analysing the data of the NAASS, goes into detail about that period. It might be a suitable source for providing content. The issues addressed there are wider, covering for example censorship and academic freedom. Instead of using the article as a coatrack for preconceived ideas, the way forward is to locate the best secondary sources that treat the subject in depth and from a sufficiently wide perspective. Once the best secondary sources have been located, the nex step is to work out how to summarise the content from them, without preconceived ideas. There is nevertheless the nagging problem about representing these matters from an international perspective. Since the texts being discussed at presnt involve only the US and politics there, this article is probably not the right place for any detailed discussion. Mathsci (talk) 15:58, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
No, the two initial sentences are paraphrased from the 2005 study which is the source given. Obviously academic freedom is important for an article about academia. There is also material from Canada. No, newspaper articles are not primary sources.Miradre (talk) 16:11, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
No matter how many times you repeat it, newspaper articles in this context are primary sources. Mathsci (talk) 16:57, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
What policy are you referring to? Exact quote please for excluding newspaper articles. An enormous amount of Wikipedia articles cites newspapers.Miradre (talk) 17:00, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Please stop asking these silly questions. Evidently the secondary sources here are textbooks or journal articles devoted entirely to the subject of academia, not Op Eds whipped up in newspapers. Two experienced editors have told you that you are barking up the wrong tree as far as your essay is concerned. Perhaps it might be time for you to accept that you might possiby be attempting to make edits that are against policy and consensus. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 17:11, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I am still asking you to quote the exact policy excluding newspaper article (no, most of those cited are not op eds). It seems both of you are academics who may have a vested interest in this issue due criticisms against your employers and professions. Please consider if you should edit this article as per WP:COI. This is a notable debate in academic sources, major newspapers, and notable popular books. But you are arguing that there is not place in Wikipedia for describing this debate? Miradre (talk) 17:17, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I would advise you to stop making edits of this kind. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 17:30, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
It seems your are unable to show any policy prohibiting newspapers. Which is of course not strange considering that are everywhere in Wikipedia. Furthermore, the literature reviews in books such as The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power, Politics, and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education are not primary. Neither are popular non-fiction books primary sources.Miradre (talk) 17:37, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Context is everything with newspaper articles—this is clearly not an article on current affairs. The book you refer to was cited without giving page numbers. In addition I don't see how wikipedia editors can make inferences from the literature review in that book when adding content, unless they paraphrase what the authors wrote. Isn't that how wikipedia is edited? Two editors have advised you that the material in your essay is inappropriate for this article per WP:COATRACK. You haven't really given any reasonable response so far. Mathsci (talk) 18:21, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Since when are newspaper limited to current affairs as sources? No such policy. Newspapers are frequently quoted regarding everything from reviews to interviews to new research findings. The only one supporting the coattrack accusation are yourself. The other objection was regarding having material only about the US which is obviously wrong and furthermore this article have sections with only US material.Miradre (talk) 18:31, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Itsmejudith wrote [5] that the material you wrote was irrelevant to this article (that's what WP:COATRACK means). That makes two of us. At the moment you are in the minority of one. Mathsci (talk) 18:37, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
That is not what coattrack means. She claimed that there was too much regarding the US in the material which is strange considering the massive US dominance in other sections in this article.Miradre (talk) 18:44, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
She wrote, "Content definitely does not belong here." Completely unambiguous. Mathsci (talk) 18:51, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
That is not the same as claiming coatrack. Furthermore, I dislike your tactic of poisoning the well by describing the removed material as an "essay". I will create a new section with a sandbox version instead.Miradre (talk) 19:02, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Both of us think your material is completely unsuitable for this article. The term essay has a precise meaning on wikipedia and I think, as far as I am aware, I used it accurately here. Mathsci (talk) 19:13, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Note that no one disputes the reliability of the material or the neutrality of its presentation. Certainly Bill O'Reilly fans (whatever you think of them as people) looking for liberal bias in academia would come here. If the material is problematic in this article, the appropriate move is a separate artilce with a see also in this one. μηδείς (talk) 19:14, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

I haven't disputed those things, but that's because I haven't looked at them properly yet. I have notified WP:UNI because this is a top-level article for the project and is still only C class, which is dreadful, really. I don't know anything about Bill O'Reilly fans, about Bill O'Reilly or why on earth we are mentioning a talk show host in the context of higher education. Please keep looking for potential appropriate articles for the material, some of which seems to have RS, but which still needs considerable work to make it encyclopedic content. I already suggested Higher education in the United States, so why don't you engage on the talk page there. Don't, whatever you do, create a new article. There are far too many already in this area. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:43, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
That is certainly not a valid criterion for not creating an article-unless you can point to some existent article that already covers liberal academic bias specifically-which is NOT limited to the U.S. See Jean-François Revel. Sounds more like this matter is being opposed for some other reason than valid wikipedia criteria. Let's see where the topic is already covered or the flaw in the sources.μηδείς (talk) 22:12, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, duh, this is a general article on Academia. And it needs attention in a whole lot of ways, and the stuff you want to put in is pretty marginal to the general, overrriding task of improving it and getting it up above C class. Even if there is something encyclopedic in this article that isn't best covered in Higher education, which I'm looking forward to getting a variety of comments on, it shouldn't contain chunks of stuff that only concerns North America. Blah, blah, doubt good faith of contributors, yada, yada yawn. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:26, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
(ec) As a section "Surveys of political views" in Higher education in the United States, it could easily be presented as neutral properly sourced content, since very recent secondary sources describe the bulk of these surveys comprehensively. The few mentioned so far all date from this century, but there are older ones that have been omitted and these are also discussed in detail in the secondary sources. Since this article is far more general than higher education in the United States (as Itsmejudith has just said), this is not the natural place for such an account. I agree with her that most of the article needs TLC, which she is providing at the moment. Mathsci (talk) 22:34, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Topic of politial attitudes in Academia is clearly suitable for this article but like the rest needs a more global perspective. Echigo mole (talk) 08:28, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Academia has been in existence for several millennia. How relevant to this article is an account of political attitudes since 2005 in the USA? BTW, as a very recently created account, welcome again to wikipedia. Mathsci (talk) 09:02, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
There are certainly many older studies (from 1950s or earlier) which are also briefly mentioned and described in the text. Further details could be added if desired. Could even go further back to when higher education usually was in quasi-religious institutions. You know that also Canada is mentioned. Not sure what you are trying to imply regarding Echigo mole since the account started editing before I made any edit to this article.Miradre (talk) 09:20, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
You might have noticed that one edit to this page was removed yesterday: it involved the help of four administrators, including an oversighter, a bureaucrat, an arbitrator and an ex-arbitrator. That edit, an attempted outing, was by Mikemikev, the banned user whose edits you previously restored to your talk page three times. Mathsci (talk) 09:37, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Please stop making misrepresentations. That ip was certainly not banned at the time I made one revert (not three). When it was I deleted everything. If you insinuate that any recent editor who disagrees with your own POV must be a sockpuppet, then request a checkuser. Do you have any actual arguments regarding the material? Miradre (talk) 10:11, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Detecting sockpuppetry is completely technical, e.g. Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Diligent007. (Meatpuppetry is a lot harder.) I've already written above that a properly sourced and comprehensive account would be fine in a different article like Higher education in the United States under the heading "Surveys of political views". That is my considered view here.Mathsci (talk) 10:32, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
But no conservative criticisms? Or research on the effects of these political views? Why are you ignoring the research done in Canada? Miradre (talk) 10:51, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I am sure you can think of alternative section headings. You could even ask for advice on WP:WPUNI, one of the two projects that oversees this article. Mathsci (talk) 11:20, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
The current section title and article avoids these problems and others (such that the criticism is not limited to "education" to but also includes implications for research and possible discrimination against women, practising Christian, and conservative academics).Miradre (talk) 11:35, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
No, the material is out of place in this article. Mathsci (talk) 11:57, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
What about on another wiki, e.g. Akademi or even conservapedia [6]? Mathsci (talk) 11:57, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
This is a notable debate in academic sources, major newspapers, and notable popular books. But you are arguing that there is not place in the English Wikipedia for describing this debate? Miradre (talk) 12:06, 25 July 2011, (UTC)
--> comment at 22:34. Please learn to read properly and stop wasting my time with silly comments. Mathsci (talk) 12:28, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Your argument seems to be that (some) of the material should be in the article "Higher education in the United States". Which of course ignores the material from Canada and that the material is not limited to "education" to but also includes issues such as implications for research and possible discrimination against women, practising Christian, and conservative academics.Miradre (talk) 12:50, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
You want to discuss the academic careers of US women in the 2000s? This article doesn't event tell the reader when women were allowed to study and teach in universities in the first place. That's surely the priority for article improvement. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:59, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Since when is one article problem a justification for other article problems? Current problems faced by women are likely no less important than historical ones. Also, that was only a point of my argument.Miradre (talk) 13:19, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
It's about weight and not unbalancing the article. This is a top-level article for WP:UNI. I know I have no response from my post, but that's a temporary lull in the project. Some of us have worked very hard to improve articles on individual universities, neglecting the general articles, and it is time to redress that. I'm going to write a to-do list for this article, and then we can all work towards that. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:25, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

I have just arrived to this discussion and I'm getting up to speed, but I think it should certainly be included. It seems like part of the issue is the section headings; how about a "Criticism of political views" heading? NYyankees51 (talk) 17:24, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Welcome! Interesting suggestion. Not sure about "Criticism of political views" since the academic papers describing the political views have a rather dry and academic style. Maybe "Controversies"? Miradre (talk) 18:06, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
US-centric POV-pushing coatrackery of the most obvious kind. Not suitable for this article. Or for any article in any encyclopaedia with any pretence to objectivity. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:36, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

There is clearly no consensus for removing the sourced section. I will shortly be restoring it.Miradre (talk) 09:09, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Comment: per WP:BRD the addition should not be re-added until consensus is achieved. Realistically I don't see a consensus anytime soon: this discussion is deadlocked. With all due respect to Miradre, I didn't see "implications for research and possible discrimination" in the addition. Anyway my suggestion is to add the content to Higher education in the United States and Higher education in Canada respectively. Alternatively it could be added to a new article along the lines of Media bias in the United States, perhaps Bias in higher education. – Lionel (talk) 10:55, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:BRD does not seem to favor any particular version such as the status quo. There is no consensus for removal either. A new article is an interesting idea. A "Higher education" article is also a possibility. Although I expect the same divided results in other articles. I will have to consider further how to proceed.Miradre (talk) 11:18, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Lionelt's thoughtful analysis. Mathsci (talk) 11:21, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I have added the material as suggested to the Higher education in the United States and Higher education in Canada articles.Miradre (talk) 21:01, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
It looks great and if you run into difficulty just let NYY and me know (those articles are not on my watchlist). If I read the thread correctly Mathsci also supports this compromise. That's 3 editors to call upon. Now... How do I get in touch with Obama about this debt thing? – Lionel (talk) 03:23, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Sandbox version of disputed "Political views" section[edit]

The disputed text is currently removed from the article but can be seen here: User:Miradre/sandbox. Also, I will inform Wikiprojekt Liberalism and WikiProject Conservatism for further views on this issue.Miradre (talk) 19:02, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Western Europe[edit]

"The monks and priests moved out of the monasteries and went to the city cathedrals where they opened the first schools dedicated to advanced study." Really? Neither Oxford or Cambridge was a cathedral city at that tine. References? Dates? Echigo mole (talk) 08:34, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

This is a summary of the main article and easy enough to correct. BTW, as a very recently created account, welcome to wikipedia. Mathsci (talk) 08:57, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I cut out a lot of unsourced detail here but will cut out more, or you can. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:08, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Echigo mole (talk) 14:57, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Now I am confused. I changed that to Groups and institution dedicated to advanced study, with teachers mainly drawn from the religious orders, emerged in cathedral cities and other towns, often based on exiting schools. and had it reversed as "unexplained and ungrammartical" [sic]. I thought I had explained it just above, and it seems perfectly grammatical apart from a rather obvious couple of missing letter S. Since the statement I complained of has now been put back twice, let me challenge quite clearly: where is there evidence that "monks moved out of monasteries"? Some orders founded houses in the new universities where monks could go to pursue studies. Priests did not in general live in monasteries (although some religious were regular clergy, so could hardly move out of them. The sentence as currently written is quite simply inaccurate. Why the anxiety to retain it? Echigo mole (talk) 20:37, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Probably, in view of the uncontentious content you are disputing by WP:TROLLING edits, you are a sockpuppet of Mikemikev or A.K.Nole. I assume the latter, but checkusers will be able to confirm that. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 20:44, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me but I'm trying to sort out an obvious inaccuracy. If you're not interested in helping then screw the lot of you. Echigo mole (talk) 20:48, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Merge discussion[edit]

"Academia" is the same thing as "higher education". Different words, same meaning. So I propose that the two articles be merged. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:15, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose. As I understand these topics and as the articles are currently constituted, academia is not limited in scope to higher education, but also includes topics such as academic journals and peer review, which are significant topics for "academic" research communities that exist outside of universities. Additionally, in much of its history, "academia" had little resemblance to what is now known as "higher education." --Orlady (talk) 18:28, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
  • OpposeAcademia includes research and non-teaching scholars. μηδείς (talk) 18:32, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Don't those people work in higher education? Itsmejudith (talk) 19:40, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Not necessarily. There are a lot of "academic researchers" who work for government research facilities, private foundations, and other entities that are not higher education institutions. And academic publishing largely happens outside of universities. --Orlady (talk) 19:47, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah, yes, could be. It's not the word "academic" we're defining though, but explaining the phenomenon. Itsmejudith (talk) 19:53, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose merge: though closely linked, I believe academia generally concerns the general practice of intellectual inquiry, while higher education is more specifically about the pedagogy (specifically post-secondary) related to that practice. -Pete (talk) 20:50, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose I assume HE refers to educational institutions and educators. But "Academe" or "academia" refers to a community of scholars, and this can include scholars who are not educators - it can include researchers employed by museums, and other researchers who may be members of a professional association and active members of the community of scholars but not associated with any educational institution. There is overlap and I think the instinct to use the terms synonymously is understandable but I too do not think they are identical. I propose that this article emphasize professional associations as the principal institutions associated with the term, and the HE article emphasize universities as the principle institutions Slrubenstein | Talk 21:17, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

I am withdrawing the merge proposal. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I hope some people will keep the article on watch, as it needs improvement. Itsmejudith (talk) 06:44, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Lead too short[edit]

I'd rather not use {{Lead too short}} but this article's lead clearly does not meet the requirements laid out in WP:MOSINTRO which is to "briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it can stand on its own as a concise version of the article". I understand the difficulty involved in doing this in some articles though, and am not sure how to effectively go about doing it myself. -- œ 20:25, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

UK academic titles[edit]

The term "researcher" is not usually an official title In the UK unlike the other formal titles that were previously listed. It could refer to a research assistant, a research fellow, or a research student: so I'm not sure how helpful that addition is. Those funded by the Royal Society are called University Research Fellows. Postdoctoral EPSERC grants are also called fellowships.[7] Mathsci (talk) 23:27, 21 February 2013 (UTC)


Is there a meaningful different between "researcher", "research associate", "research fellow" in the UK any more? AFAIK an associate is someone working on a part of a large project managed by a PI whereas a fellow is managing their own small project, though UCU and many EPSRC projects are just referring to such "associates" as "researchers" nowadays. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 21 February 2013 (UTC)