ERIC Number: EJ861801
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 0
But Can You Hit?
Johnson, R. E.
Academe, v95 n4 p19-21 Jul-Aug 2009
The author shares a story told to him by a colleague more than thirty years ago. The dean of a midsized American university was explaining the path to tenure to a roomful of newly appointed assistant professors. "We know you boys can all "field"," he declared. "Now we want to see if you can hit." A lot has changed over the intervening decades. If the boys' club, locker-room side of academia has not vanished, it has at least diminished; most deans today would choose their words with greater care. But, sexism aside, how much has the underlying mind-set of academic life really changed? Was the baseball metaphor ever relevant to the shared enterprise of teaching and scholarship, and is it relevant today? The author argues that it is, but in ways that the long-ago dean might not have appreciated. Like the academic world, baseball itself has changed significantly in recent decades, and reflecting upon its trajectory may offer some cautionary lessons to academia. The author presents a comparison of academia and baseball and describes some lessons that academia can learn from baseball.
Descriptors: Team Sports, Figurative Language, Gender Bias, College Faculty, Deans, Womens Studies, Tenure, Educational Development, Comparative Analysis
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aaup.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A