The Essense of Corporate Education: Greed and more Greed Reply

“Some of America’s greatest “school reformers” today (and by that I mean arrogant *&%$# like Bill Gates) insist that if we turn over the schools to corporations everything will turn out just great. Color me skeptical, I guess. As I see it, “corporate” is to “education” as “cigarette manufacturer” is to “public health and well-being.” Think that sounds harsh? Do a bit of digging and see what evidence you find.” The Essense of Corporate Education: Greed and more Greed, an article by John J. Viall.

‘How to Raise an Adult,’ by Julie Lythcott-Haims – The New York Times Reply

“When did the central aim of parenting become preparing children for success? This reigning paradigm, which dictates that every act of nurturing be judged on the basis of whether it will usher a child toward a life of accomplishment or failure, embodies the fundamental insecurity of global capitalist culture, with its unbending fixation on prosperity and the future… Instead of allowing kids to experiment and learn from their mistakes, parents hover where they’re not wanted or welcome, accompanying children on school trips or shadowing them on campus. Caught up in what the author calls the “college admissions arms race,” parents treat securing their children a spot at one of 20 top schools… as an all-or-nothing proposition. Concerned about the effects of a flawed high school transcript, parents do their children’s homework, write or heavily edit their papers, fire questions at teachers, dispute grades and hire expensive subject tutors, SAT coaches and “private admissions consultants”. How to Raise an Adult,’ by Julie Lythcott-Haims a review by Heather Havrilesky.

For Slow Scholarship: A Feminist Politics of Resistance through Collective Action in the Neoliberal University Reply

Abstract: “The neoliberal university requires high productivity in compressed time frames. Though the neoliberal transformation of the university is well documented, the isolating effects and embodied work conditions of such increasing demands are too rarely discussed. In this article, we develop a feminist ethics of care that challenges these working conditions.Our politics foreground collective action and the contention that good scholarship requires time: to think, write, read, research, analyze, edit, organize, and resist the growing administrative and professional demands that disrupt these crucial processes of intellectual growth and personal freedom. This collectively written article explores alternatives to the fast-paced, metric-oriented neoliberal university through a slow-moving conversation on ways to slow down and claim time for slow scholarship and collective action informed by feminist politics. We examine temporal regimes of the neoliberal university and their embodied effects. We then consider strategies for slowing scholarship with the objective of contributing to the slow scholarship movement. This slowing down represents both a commitment to good scholarship, teaching, and service and a collective feminist ethics of care that challenges the accelerated time and elitism of the neoliberal university. Above all, we argue in favor of the slow scholarship movement and contribute some resistance strategies that foreground collaborative, collective,communal ways forward.” For Slow Scholarship: A Feminist Politics of Resistance through Collective Action in the Neoliberal University by Members of the Great Lake Feminist Geography Collective.

The Neoliberal War on Higher Education – Twilight of the Professors Reply

“Twenty-eight years ago Russell Jacoby argued that the post-WWII expansion of higher education in the U.S. absorbed a generation of radicals who opted to become professors rather than freelance intellectual troublemakers. Since Jacoby’s book was published, things have gotten worse. There are still plenty of left-leaning professors in U.S. colleges and universities. But as an employment sector, higher education has changed. There are now powerful conservatizing trends afoot that will likely lead to the extinction of professors as a left force in U.S. society within a few decades.” “The Neoliberal War on Higher Education – Twilight of the Professorsby Michael Schwalbe.

How come our cash-strapped universities can afford so many administrators? Reply

“As academic staff suffer and ever more power is granted to donors, one slice of university staff seem to be doing very well. It took Oxford 40 years to catch up with Cambridge in appointing a woman vice-chancellor, but Louise Richardson is to take over from the chemist Andrew Hamilton. He is leaving early to head New York University for an eye-watering £950,000 a year. His successor will inherit a more modest but still whopping £442,000 a year. That’s what happens when a university is run like a biggish corporation — the head is paid like a chief executive. Chief of the problems Richardson has to get to grips with is the extent to which the real business of the university — teaching and research — is being subordinated to its bureaucracy.” “How come our cash-strapped universities can afford so many administrators?by Melanie McDonagh.

The age of precarity and the new challenges to the academic profession Reply

“The question of what is to be done to fight against academic precarity, strikes into the heart of the involvement of academics with politics. …The neoliberal short-term flexible contracts, the enormous work-load of teaching and publication under the “publish or perish” imperative, and the incentive for short-term project based research-oriented fundraising all compartmentalize the experience of research. In a life of accelerated mobility and inflated demands of work and activist involvement, they create a fake dilemma between political commitment and thorough academic work. It creates a dichotomy between those in permanent position, who can afford time to research, think, and write, but who are critiqued as becoming a part of the establishment, and the precarious academics who have none of these privilege, and whose political work is often seen as a lost cause for their academic advancement. And while the new ethos of academic-activist requires a reassessment of the relation between political involvement and knowledge production, meaningful public intervention still stay beyond the scope of overworked scholars cast invisible as workers and human beings.” “The Age of Precarity and the New Challenges to the Academic Profession” by Mariya P. Ivancheva.

The Politics of Branding in the New University of Circulation Reply

This short article reviews contemporary forms and practices of university branding and marketing, and links these to the broad-based neoliberal structural transformations taking place in all aspects of university education around the globe. It argues that the ascendance of university branding and marketing practices is both symptomatic and constitutive of the new raison d’ être of universities, which is to serve as points for the circulation and reinvestment of overaccumulated finance capital. Given the university’ s new role as private business, corporate entity, and investment bank, we can no longer imagine that its branding and marketing practices are politically or ideologically neutral; indeed, the position we take in relation to university branding efforts has broad implications for the future of free research and education around the globe.  “The Politics of Branding in the New University of Circulation” by Alison Hearn in International Studies of Management and Organization.

‘We must compete’: Corporate elite leveraging public universities into private profit Reply

“In the past 40 years, BOGs have been stacked with members of the corporate elite. As Canadian universities have been defunded by governments and have had to rely on alternative sources, captains of industry have used their alleged financial ability and multiple corporate directorships as leverage. BOGs at so-called elite universities like McGill, Toronto, and Queen’s have included directors from Teleglobe, TD Bank, Molson, Noranda, and Bombardier. BOGs at universities in different regions of Canada, like Calgary, Laval, and Dalhousie have included directors from RBC, Scotia Bank, TD Bank, Coca-Cola, and Bank of Canada. All universities are now drawn into the same net as decision-making power is vested in corporate representatives.” ‘We must compete’: Corporate elite leveraging public universities into private profit by Alexander Ervin and Howard Woodhouse on Rabble.

Open for Business: On What Terms? Reply

“Universities increasingly seeking revenues from partnerships with the corporate sector. What are the problems, what are the principles?  Since York is pursuing such partnerships and relies on them for its planned expansion to Markham, we need to be aware of what can happen and what we can do.” 2013 Report by Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Life in the Accelerated Academy: anxiety thrives, demands intensify and metrics hold the tangled web together. Reply

“At all career stages, though perhaps most harmfully amongst PhD students and early career researchers, a sense of commitment to a calling helps license acquiescence to precarious and exploitative labour relations which make a lie of the ideal of collegiality still alluded to within the academy.” Life in the Accelerated Academy by Mark Carrigan on The London School of Economics and Political Science.