Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Does the Air Force Academy have ‘the least educated faculty’ in the country?

Jeff Dyche, who used to teach at the Air Force Academy, asserts so in an article I read yesterday. At the academy, he writes, "Learning for the sake of learning was all but anathema. …  Combine this attitude with a faculty that may comprise a group of the least educated college instructors in the entire ...

Whitneybee's photostream/Flickr
Whitneybee's photostream/Flickr
Whitneybee's photostream/Flickr

Jeff Dyche, who used to teach at the Air Force Academy, asserts so in an article I read yesterday. At the academy, he writes, "Learning for the sake of learning was all but anathema. ...  Combine this attitude with a faculty that may comprise a group of the least educated college instructors in the entire country and you have the basic framework of the US Air Force Academy."

Dyche, who now teaches at James Madison University, adds that at the academy, it seemed to him that academic work "took a back seat of military training, athletics, religiosity and ... 'character building'."

I also didn't know that all faculty members are required to be in their offices at 7:30 am, even if they have no morning classes, and that civilian faculty have to fill out time cards every week.

Jeff Dyche, who used to teach at the Air Force Academy, asserts so in an article I read yesterday. At the academy, he writes, "Learning for the sake of learning was all but anathema. …  Combine this attitude with a faculty that may comprise a group of the least educated college instructors in the entire country and you have the basic framework of the US Air Force Academy."

Dyche, who now teaches at James Madison University, adds that at the academy, it seemed to him that academic work "took a back seat of military training, athletics, religiosity and … ‘character building’."

I also didn’t know that all faculty members are required to be in their offices at 7:30 am, even if they have no morning classes, and that civilian faculty have to fill out time cards every week.

When I read articles like this I wonder why we still have military academies, if they aren’t producing officers any better than those from ROTC and OCS routes. It seems to me that the academies are producing bright but undereducated officers at great expense. As Dyche notes, it costs taxpayers five to ten times more to produce a service academy officer as it does a ROTC officer.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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