The University of Tennessee has told its staff and students to stop calling each other 'he', 'she', 'him' and 'her' - and to start referring to one another with terms like 'xe', 'zir' and 'xyr' instead.
The Knoxville branch of the public university, which has 27,400 students, sent a memo round to its members filled with unusual new parts of speech to avoid referring to anybody's gender.
According to a gay rights official at the university, the new language regime will make the university 'welcoming and inclusive' and stop people feeling 'marginalized'.
The university published the instructions on its website on Wednesday after they were emailed to every member of the university by the institution's Vice Chancellor for Diversity.
Donna Braquet, who runs the university's Pride Center, wrote the guidelines, which are accompanied with a long table demonstrating how to replace the regular parts of speech.
|Click to embiggen.|
She also advises staff members not to call roll in class, and to instead greet every student by asking them to announce their name and pronoun of preference.
|Your tax dollars at work - Donna Braquet, a gay rights official at the university, wrote the guidelines, which were sent to the entire university.|
'Ze' is crazy.
In addition to being just plain ludicrous, this is a great example of why college tuition is skyrocketing - the absurd growth of administrative programs that do nothing to educate students.
The number of non-academic administrative and professional employees at U.S. colleges and universities has more than doubled in the last 25 years, vastly outpacing the growth in the number of students or faculty, according to an analysis of federal figures.I've seen the increased use of part-time faculty and teaching assistants, at the expense of full-time faculty. It's like any other profession. In some cases it's an improvement, but overall the quality tends to go down.
Universities have added these administrators and professional employees even as they’ve substantially shifted classroom teaching duties from full-time faculty to less-expensive part-time adjunct faculty and teaching assistants, the figures show.
“They’ve increased their hiring of part-time faculty to try and cut costs,” said Donna Desrochers, a principal researcher at the Delta Cost Project, which studies higher-education spending. “Yet other factors that are going on, including the hiring of these other types of non-academic employees, have undercut those savings.”
Part-time faculty and teaching assistants now account for half of instructional staffs at colleges and universities, up from one-third in 1987, the figures show.
During the same period, the number of administrators and professional staff has more than doubled. That’s a rate of increase more than twice as fast as the growth in the number of students.
An argument in support of these changes might be made if there was a measurable improvement in universities' performance, but there is no data to support that.
...the doubling of administrative and professional staffs doesn’t seem to have improved universities’ performance. Since 2002, the proportion of four-year bachelor’s degree-seeking students who graduate within even six years, for instance, has barely inched up, from 55 percent to 58 percent...So what are we getting for all that extra expense?
Since 1987, universities have started or expanded departments devoted to marketing (that's marketing of the university, not the degree program in Marketing), diversity, disability, sustainability, security, environmental health, recruiting, technology, and fundraising...Like I said, I'm thrilled to no longer be a part of that nonsense.