24h-payday

The real scandal of Hershey’s exploitation of hundreds of international student workers is that it isn’t actually news. Kudos to the students, who revolted en masse after paying a labor contractor $3,000 to $6,000 apiece to get $8.25/hour summer warehouse jobs in sweltering central Pennsylvania, and also to the U.S. labor associations to whom they […]

Unaccompanied by any actual proposals, much less commitments to funding, Obama’s latest rhetorical sally-forth has him touring the Hooverville of the south Atlantic states and promising the moon. Okay, not the moon–the race to the moon, which was our way of changing the rules on the space race (double or nothing, since with Sputnik we’d […]

What’s worse than a fat lip? How about a one-term presidency? The post-Thanksgiving White House news was all about Reynaldo Deceraga, whose elbow connected with the Presidential face during a basketball game. But those twelve stitches are nothing compared to the potentially career-ending injuries caused by another of Obama’s hoopsters, Education Secretary Arne Duncan. There […]

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 […]

Only way to please me turn around and leave and walk away –Alabama Getaway, lyrics by Robert Hunter Many who learn that the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) amputated a $650,000 state appropriation, not to mention a flow of grant money, just to rid itself of a labor center (and Glenn Feldman, the accomplished historian who […]

Just last year, Stanley Fish was playing Clint Eastwood with his manifesto: Do Your Job, Punk! (or, My Tinfoil Hat Keeps Politics Out of My Teaching–Get Yours Today!) In that widely panned book, he argued that the role of the faculty was to produce and distribute knowledge magically apart from the mundane and political. Earlier […]

As usual, your friends at the New York Times let higher education employers off the hook. After finally picking up on the nationwide scandal of unemployment claims denial, a story that Joe Berry broke years ago specifically in connection with higher ed employers, the Times mentions the complicity of just about every kind of employer […]

In a surprise move today, President Obama fired all 5,000 Department of Education staff members, including Secretary Arne Duncan. “Education is a failed Cabinet office,” he said. “We needed a clean sweep.” Spokespersons for the administration said the president was forced to act by a little-known federal law mandating the radical progressive de-funding of any […]

I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget. It began with […]

With a 150-person sit-in at Berkeley and members of the two UCSC occupations beginning a southern tour of talks at several campuses near Los Angeles this week, the movement appears to be gathering steam. In the next 24 hours, occupiers will explain their strategy for movement building–“demand nothing, occupy everything” at UCLA, Irvine, and Cal […]

Dear University of California students, staff and faculty: Thank you. As a California parent, I am grateful for your courage in standing up to this administration in the massive walkout you’ve planned for tomorrow, September 24th. You are wise. Without you, tuition would soon rise to a point where most Californians couldn’t afford it. Public […]

x-posted: Swift Notes, April 2010 Since it’s long been proven by solid metrics, such as admittances to the best colleges, that private boarding schools are the best schools, creating the best sort of citizens and leaders (“decision makers” or “deciders”), I think we should arrange private boarding schools for everyone. You’d think it would be […]

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 […]

Hundreds of students showed up to support the approximately 80 students occupying an NYU cafeteria last week. Organized by the TakeBackNYU coalition of dozens of student organizations, the occupying students asked for increased campus democracy, transparency in operations, and accountability from the administration to faculty and students. Specific demands included tuition stabilization, collective bargaining with […]

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, […]

photo: Louis Lanzano, Associated Press So yesterday I suggested that some other person take up a camera and assist the trustees to introduce themselves.But then I thought, why wait? These clever, selfless folks have overseen the vicious gutting of the faculty–earnestly saving on our wages and benefits (“$1000 a class–what great managers we are! maybe […]

Despite its length, this “bookshelf” is quite selective and personal. I’ve left out many helpful individual texts, and entire categories of useful material, including histories of academic unionism, studies of comparable worth and gender inequity, the idea of the university discourse, together with studies of postmodernity, disciplinarity, and professionalism. I’ve also largely neglected the larger […]

Loyal readers will have seen some of this before, but I’ve just cross-posted this to the Chronicle of Higher Ed Brainstorm and The Valve.  NYU has made a pdf of the entire chapter available for free download: it’s written for general readership and is suitable for undergraduate reading. Ask your students about their working lives–you’ll […]

I was appalled to read some of the reader comments at the Chronicle of Higher Ed to a news wire story about books by two of the estimated 40,000 students in France who may have turned to sex work to finance their educations (as a result of a steady turn toward the U.S. model of […]

NYU Press has kindly made available a pdf of chapter 4, which is suitable for undergraduate reading. It discusses the nightmarish experience of working-class students recruited to work midnight shifts five school nights every week at UPS on the promise of education benefits that few persist to receive. Per shift, they earn about what administrators […]

That was the headline on an interesting story on IHE reporting on students who demanded and received a  big tuition increase at Augustana College. Part of the increase went to aid money, part to student-directed educational spending, including on unpaid internships. This isn’t that surprising. (“A Big Tax Hike… Requested By Democrats”) If you think […]

Who among us hasn’t longed to be in charge for just one day? Oh, the things we would change! Virtual U gives you that chance-the chance to be a university president and run the show. – William Massy, Virtual U “Strategy Guide” William Massy’s “Virtual U” is a “computer simulation of university management in game […]

In response to an Inside Higher Ed columnist advocating that colleges devote more energy to professional development for their employees, I point out that the model of “quality” management has long ago shifted the costs and responsibility for professional development to the employee–typically by requiring them to purchase higher education services. The old days of […]

Tuition soared 38% between 2000 and 2005, out pacing nearly every other economic indicator.Where does the money from stratospheric tuition and slashed faculty salaries go? At for-profit institutions, the answer is obvious: it goes into shareholder pockets. Lacking even the veneer of a tenurable stratum, the dollars squeezed from a 100% casual faculty joined tax […]

On many campuses, the largest segment of campus workers are students, outnumbering faculty, staff and other workers combined.Undergraduates work for their degree-granting institution as painters, maids, janitors, cooks, groundskeepers, truck loaders, physical therapists, daycare staff, teaching assistants, computer technicians, coaches, security guards and administrative assistants, typically for wages at or near the national or local […]