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.

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 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.

Interview with an Adjunct Organizer: “People Are Tired of the Hypocrisy” Reply

“The debate over working conditions for adjunct faculty was recently reignited by the death of Margaret Mary Vojtko on September 1. Vojtko, who had a long career as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, died penniless after being fired from the university in the last year of her life. Her story served as a reminder of what has become a massive underclass of underpaid contingent labor in academia.” Interview with an Adjunct Organizer: “People Are Tired of the Hypocrisy” by Moshe Z. Marvit in Dissent.

Activity based budgeting: Cautionary tales from the US Reply

by Justin Podur: “…another shock is coming to the university community: the SHARP budget model, or “activity based budgeting”. Like other damaging shocks to the community, this is being prepared in secret, away from the eyes of those who will be affected by it. Details of the budget model are embargoed, and faculty are told only vague promises that the model will provide additional transparency. Units have been threatened that when the new model comes in, there will be huge new deficits that are an artifact of the new way of accounting for things.” More…