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.

‘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.

Dr. Henry Giroux Addresses the Ontario Common Front Assembly with a call for a new kind of politics Reply

On August 19, 2013 McMaster University Professor Henry Giroux spoke at the third Ontario Common Front General Assembly. ““I can’t think of a better way to defuse the possibility among young people of the radical imagination than to place them into so much debt that for the next 20 years, all they can basically think about is paying that debt back,” Giroux says early in the clip in a section called ‘Student Debt and Generational Welfare.'” Watch video here.