When the president named Arne Duncan as his first Secretary of Education, he was doing a lot more, and a lot worse, than just naming a Chicago crony and basketball buddy to a critical Cabinet position. He was adopting one of the most aggressive, least tested, top-down, pro-corporate philosophies toward education administration ever promoted in […]

A funny thing happened on the way to the White House. The one-time supporter of the only kind of national health insurance proven to work (single payer) rolled over for the insurance industry and adopted the single most ridiculous health care plan offered during the 2007-2008 Democratic primaries. Against all the evidence, candidate Obama asserted […]

In this week’s lead story at _The Chronicle of Higher Education,_ Robin Wilson has a spread of four pieces scoffing at the notion of a national problem with undergraduate debt: A Lifetime of Debt? Not Likely.Splashed above the fold on the front page — during Congressional hearings regarding major reforms in student lending — this […]

EVERY DAY MAY DAY!   Thursday, April 30 is May Day for faculty serving contingently, according to the fledgling New Faculty Majority coalition. Major support provided by Bob Samuels, president of the California Federation of Teachers, representing nontenurable faculty at five UC campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Riverside, San Diego and Santa Cruz. Support ’em by wearing red […]

Take students out of the workforce and create real jobs for educators. This week, lawmakers will meet to forge a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill. The likely consequence will be something similar to the Senate version, which targeted education funds for aggressive reductions—chopping an average almost $1 billion per […]

“Democracy in the workplace is still basic to a democratic society, and collective bargaining is still basic to a fair economy,” says Wilma Liebman. Last week’s appointment of Wilma Liebman to chair the NLRB is extremely welcome news to graduate employees and other academic workers. The author of a scathing dissent to the Bush mob’s […]

“We’re in the business of education,” Arne Duncan says. The market worshipers have marched out of the building; hurray! Wait–who’s that tall basketball-playing fellow getting ready to sit in the Education seat? As superintendent of the Chicago public schools, Arne Duncan has given us a fair preview of his vision. It’s “a business-minded, market-driven model […]

you gotta watch this Batgirl video! Look, there’s no way to confront how the gated-community crowd has stunk up the economy without core legislation addressing higher education, health care, gender equality and workplace association as human rights. While the five million top consumers were out getting boob jobs, BMWs and blood diamonds, the rest of us […]

Without federal leadership, the crumbling faculty infrastructure will remain disproportionately white and male in the best-paying and most secure positions. With everyone else getting bailed out, higher education is at an absolutely critical juncture, with profound implications for academic actors at all institution types, and their ambitions to serve racial and economic justice. On the […]

Turkey at the top is always intensely competitive. This year’s contenders included first runner-up Robert Felner, the U of Louisville dean indicted for conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion in what the feds allege are repeated acts of embezzlement of grant monies amounting to over $2 million. Not content with these escapades, […]

He texted. He Twittered. YouTube visitors played his official campaign videos for almost 15 million hours. But what impact will social media have on his governing? We now know that a first-term U.S. Senator overcame two of the most successful political machines in recent history — the Clinton network and the Republican 72-hour get-out-the-vote operation […]

At 12:01 am on election day, thousands of younger voters and activists will simultaneously reset their Facebook pages to display a get-out-the-vote message–using a new application that allows users to “donate” their status lines to a third party. The application allows users to specify whether they want to get out the vote for a particular […]

This one comes over Vinnie Tirelli’s indispensable ADJ-L discussion list, courtesy of active list member, AAUP past president Jane Buck. Apparently concerned by the administration’s efforts to transfer students into a program staffed by non-union faculty, the leadership of a creative independent union, the Adjunct Faculty Association at Nassau Community College, began an investigation into […]

In a couple of recent posts, I raised questions about both Democratic candidates’ health plans–Obama’s really won’t cover many people and Clinton’s enthusiastically endorses tiering of care. As we move closer to the likelihood of an Obama presidency, isn’t it time to start moving the candidate toward questioning his own lousy health-care plan? His plan […]

In the very unscientific polls I placed at DailyKos and the Chronicle of Higher Ed nontenure-track forum, a 3/4 majority responded, “neither–we need a single-payer system.” This seems to reflect at least one of the candidate’s own judgments: Clinton appeared to acknowledge in the last debate that single-payer was preferable, just not in her view […]

crossposted at Brainstorm So it’s neck and neck in the Democratic race, and since neither candidate has promised to end poverty in academia, I wonder: which of the candidates has a viable plan for treating contingent faculty diagnosed with cancer, or heart disease? (Since “quality management” and “executive leadership” doesn’t take responsibility for these issues, […]

Yes, it’s true. Against all best-informed expectations and a premature celebration by yours truly, Bush II proved himself a pugnacious clod to the bitter end and renominated Bloody Bob Battista to helm the National Labor Relations Board last week. Returning Battista to the NLRB is like putting John Wayne Gacy in charge of an orphanage. […]