On a website decorated with lemons, two graduate students from UC Irvine have posted a parody program of last week’s MLA convention. Under the headline, “When life hands you the MLA,” they hint, make “MLAde.” Some excerpts: “Shuttle Bus: A free shuttle bus will run between Professional Courtesy and Thinly Veiled Contempt. Buses will also […]

says Andy Smith of his years as a nontenurable instructor at a public institution in the great state of Tennessee, where the board of regents imposes a _maximum_ wage, not a minimum wage on its faculty–of, he says, about $2100 a course. For much of that time, he earned just 1,650 per class. Many of […]

Thanks to those of you buying from Barnes and Noble, Amazon started discounting the paperback by 22%, to $17.25. At MLA, I have video interviews set up with Katherine Hayles, Cary Nelson, Steven Mailloux, Jeff Williams, Patty Harkin, Gerald Graff, John Wilson, Jamie Owen Daniel, Michelle Masse, Sid Dobrin, Robert Samuels, Katie Hogan, Vincent Leitch, […]

The chair of the most partisan, most outrageously activist federal labor-relations board in recent memory, stepped down on Friday. This guy was such a thug for corporate employers that even the prez famous for sticking by his most brutal droogies couldn’t muster the political capital to renominate him. Grad employees will remember him from one […]

Many Linguists Agree that More Loquacious Absurdity can be found at the Mostly Lunatics Assembly, otherwise known as the annual convention of the MLA. Here’s part 2 of the Berube interview, in which he graciously agrees with my various leading questions about the Modern Language Association. Since this is the holiday season, I’ll save the […]

I’m just about to upload part 2 of the Berube interview–on the role of professional associations (like the MLA) in struggling against the corporate university. In the meanwhile, a 1-minute clip on blogging and the collapse of civilization… Quicktime version (.mov) Windows version (mpg-1) (highest quality)

In this first segment of our interview, Michael Berube discusses David Horowitz and the “academic bill of rights.” He talks about what happened in Pennsylvania after the passage of some Horowitz-sponsored legislation, and thinks that Horowitz may have helped the cause of academic freedom by motivating science faculty who, he says, “sat out the culture […]

I’m putting together the first interview (with Berube) in two installments. In the meanwhile, check out the trailer. The mpeg version is better quality: Quicktime version (.mov) Windows version (mpeg-1)

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 […]

Harvard just announced long-overdue improvements in its aid calculations, admitting that it has an “Upstairs/Downstairs” student population, with half the students coming from families in the top 1% income bracket, and the other half so burdened with debt and work to pay tuition that their “Harvard experience” was serving the other half. In an interview […]

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 […]

If you really want to understand what higher education management has been doing to teaching and learning for the past 40 years, just buy Michael Moore’s “Sicko.” Watch it and substitute “college education” for “health care.” Students’ rights to learn are being denied by “quality management” that has all but eradicated their encounters with tenure-stream […]

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 […]

Undergraduates now work longer hours in school, spend more years in school, and can take several years to find stable employment after obtaining their degrees.In fact, undergraduates increasingly find that their period of “study” is in fact a period of employment as cheap labor. The production of cheap workers is facilitated by an ever-expanding notion […]

A response to the “making opportunity affordable” report funded by the Lumina Foundation and assorted education profiteers, which circulates the tired old canard that there are still inefficiencies to be found in higher education after forty years of downsizing. My response: there’s fat to be trimmed all right–but you’re not gonna find it in the […]

During the week of December 10, I’ll be customizing this space, including links to other folks who care about the same set of issues. Drop me a line at pmbousquet (at) gmail if you want to be included, know someone who you think should be, or if you have any thoughts at all about the […]

I’m busy editing video I’ve already shot. First lesson learned: use a lapel mike when interviewing folks at a convention! Those interviews and other random video will be up soon. In the meanwhile, another contribution I put up this morning over at Inside Higher Ed in response to a Council of Graduate Schools press release […]

The first copies of How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation should be available at the MLA annual convention–just drop by the NYU booth. Or else you can order it from Barnes and Noble ($17.60) or Amazon ($17.25). I’ll be there, shooting a bunch of video interviews–with Cary Nelson, Jeffrey Williams, Vincent […]

Another contribution to IHE while I’m editing video. It responds to another study purporting to fix academic labor problems by tinkering with graduate education. Kind of like repairing the upholstery while your car is airborne after punching through the guard rail… What about the waste product? One thing the system of graduate education produces is […]

Just a little something I wrote in response to “Confessions of a Community College Dean” over at Inside Higher Ed, who in a very friendly, kindly way advised an adjunct faculty member to think about leaving the profession for her own good–because she was likely to remain in “adjunct hell” and because “colleges don’t hire […]

Interviews with Jane Buck, Michael Berube, the California Faculty Association leadership, architect of the Free Higher Education platform Adolph Reed, and much, much more. Check back about December 15!!