Fernando Camacho Servin
Newspaper La Jornada
Friday, January 13, 2023, p. 4
University academics, in addition to advising theses, must carry out many other activities, such as teaching classes and participating in research, therefore accompanying an excessive number of degree papers.
goes out of reason and implies the risk of not doing it well, UNAM professors considered.
Given this, they point out, there should be mechanisms to certify the abilities of tutors and prevent them from having too many jobs under their responsibility.
Regarding the case of the teacher Martha Rodríguez Ortiz, who advised the theses of the minister Yasmín Esquivel and the lawyer Edgar Ulises Báez Gutiérrez, Hugo Casanova Cardiel, a member of the Institute for Research on University and Education, stated that accompanying an excessively large number high number of jobs of this type
goes out of reason.
According to the academic, some high-level university professors that he consulted have directed a maximum of 80 theses in more than 30 years, so the 510 that Professor Rodríguez advised is a number
clearly irrational, which even generates suspicions of a possible corrupt exercise.
He stressed that general judgments should not be made on this subject, but rather carefully analyze the specialty area of each thesis and its level of depth.
Currently, he said, the criteria for choosing or appointing advisers
they are of a great amplitude and freedomTherefore, the emergence of collegiate bodies that endorse the abilities and academic rigor of tutors should be considered, in addition to setting maximum and minimum amounts of work to be advised.
Similarly, he stressed the need to promote among students and teachers a
culture of legality and university ethics so that they act honestly and do not commit plagiarism or other irregularities.
Mauricio Padrón, academic secretary of the UNAM Legal Research Institute, agreed that advising an exaggeratedly high number of theses
it’s crazybecause whoever takes such work seriously agrees to do a very hard job of reading, reviewing and correcting.
In this sense, he warned that academics cannot neglect their obligations to teach, participate in research and write academic articles, so advising graduate projects is not their only job.
He admitted that the accompaniment of theses is a task that teachers must do, and is even required of them as part of their work performance, but he estimated that at UNAM there should be mechanisms to prevent a single professor from advising too many or that some others do not have a single obligation as guardians.