Category Archives: politics

Internal contradictions in the academic labor market

By | December 21, 2014

In the December 16, 2014, issue of the Inside Higher Education blog, there’s a story called “One Course Without Pay”, describing the plan of Arizona State University to require their full-time non-tenure-track faculty members to teach five sections per semester (of twenty-five students each) of first-year writing courses. As the article notes, “In effect, the university has just… Read More »

Academic work as a Moral Tale: An agony in a mere six fits [Part 3]

By | December 6, 2014

Fit the Fifth So at the moment, there are a series of groups of faculty, who often have relatively little in common with one another: The old-line tenured faculty, pursuing the traditional faculty courses and roles and quite comfortable with how things are working out, but aging and moving towards retirement. They may or may not hold administrative… Read More »

Academic work as a Moral Tale: An agony in a mere six fits [Part 2]

By | December 3, 2014

Fit the Third But using the tools of politics to repeal politics turned out to be a dangerous game. Neoliberals lying down with politicians caused the public generally to wake up with giant flea hickeys rather than just cautionary fleabites. Deregulation removing Depression-era policies like Glass-Steagall allowed the rawest kinds of market pressures to shape big financial institutions… Read More »

Academic work as a Moral Tale: An agony in a mere six fits [Part 1]

By | November 30, 2014

On our Reed College Facebook page, there has been a debate on academic reimbursement, starting with an innocuous discussion on the posting of a position for a new event planner for the College and leading up to my threatening them with my own analysis of academic job markets – a threat now begun here. Prelude Despite the neverending… Read More »

Is psychology a science? [Part 2]

By | November 14, 2014

[Part 1 of this discussion is found here.] The original proposition that sparked this discussion was put forth in a recent study by a couple of psychologists that claimed that “academic math-intensive science is not sexist”. This study has many methodological flaws, and I’m not sure that its rather sweepingly generalized conclusions are really justified. But arguing that… Read More »

Is psychology a science? [Part 1]

By | November 12, 2014

A LinkedIn discussion in the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Group is currently revisiting the perennial question of whether or not fields like psychology, engineering, and medicine ought to be allowed to call themselves “sciences”. This question seems to be of primary interest to those who have some vested interest in discrediting findings emerging from research in these… Read More »

Why do we teach?

By | November 8, 2014

The question of why teachers quit teaching has recently been posed in a LinkedIn discussion forum. I offered some thoughts there, but I thought that it might also be useful to expand some on this theme here. It’s a complicated issue, but one with considerable social urgency. It’s easy to see the question of why teachers quit as… Read More »

Guest post on Charlie Grantham’s blog

By | September 21, 2014

Today’s post is actually being posted elsewhere – on the blog of the Community Design Institute, managed by my old friend and colleague Charlie Grantham.  Find it here: Workspace Politics While you’re at it, check out Charlie’s other posts. This is actually part of his series on redesigning work spaces. He has a lot of other interesting thoughts… Read More »

Policing and Societal Regulation (Part 2)

By | July 28, 2014

We ended last time with the observation that we seem to be living increasingly in a society under the rule of Catch-22. For any of you who have been under a rock since before the 1960s, Catch-22 was the fabulously successful novel by Joseph Heller (IMHO, the only good one he ever wrote) first published in 1961. I… Read More »

Policing and Societal Regulation (Part 1)

By | July 27, 2014

I doubt that the story a couple of weeks ago about the police shooting of Jason Conoscenti in Long Beach – another gunning down of an unarmed man – made the news in your areas. It barely did here. This one is different, however – I knew Jason, although I hadn’t seen him in person for some years.… Read More »