Follow-up letter from Prof Agnes Whitfield regarding the presidential search Reply

The narrow corporate perspectives of the current Board of Governors, 100% dominated by big business and big finance, are precisely what have led York University to the demoralization of its full and part-time faculty, the present enrollment crisis, and general academic disarray. The present Board of Governors does not have the legitimacy to undertake, let alone control, the present Presidential Search process. More…

Corporatization of Canadian universities leaves students and faculty on the brink Reply

“At Carleton, one out of every five courses was taught by part-time faculty in 2003; by 2011, that number was one in three. Part-time contract appointments in the humanities and social sciences increased at York by 136 per cent from 2000 to 2010, including a gobsmacking 564 per cent in the English department. At Trent, part-time positions increased by 203 per cent; at the University of Toronto, 235 per cent.

The rates are consistent across all his data. In 2001, tenure-tracked appointments outnumbered contract faculty by one-quarter. By 2010, there was more part-time faculty than tenure-tracked. And the differences in salary, benefits, hours and job satisfaction are stark. ‘In no other occupation,’ Brownlee writes, ‘is there such a wide disparity between groups whose jobs and training are so similar.'” From Corporatization of Canadian universities leaves students and faculty on the brink, an article by Michael Stewart on Rabble.

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.