In today’s mailbag, Miriam at The Little Professor has a nice reading of HTUW, and raises a couple of good questions in relation to the book. She wants to learn more about the way affect or “teaching for love” helps drive exploitation and wants to know what could happen to contingent faculty if contingent work […]

Thanks to Feminist Law Profs for putting HTUW on the recommended bookshelf, together with a great article by Marina Angel. “Women of All Colors Steered to Contingent Positions in Law Schools and Law Firms.” I’ve excerpted the abstract below. The sexist division of labor in the academy (via the feminization of disciplines and the permatemping […]

It used to be that feminists adhered to a “pipeline” theory of progress in gender equity in higher ed–the more women with PhDs, the more tenure-stream women, the more women in leadership. It hasn’t turned out that way. The majority of women teaching in academe get paid in the same range as men working as […]

As is the case with many contingent faculty, blogger Adjunct Whore was a long-term graduate student, pursuing her dissertation while working. She is also part of a faculty couple, and just scored a tenure-track job when her institution adopted a moderately enlightened partner hiring policy: mr. whore just went through tenure. in August, the institution […]

In a matter of hours, 2,000 union supporters joined the facebook group backing Derek Blackadder, the Canadian academic unionist, and won his reinstatement. Facebook members can friend me. Some of the How The University Works videos are circulating on facebook and have been used in courses in Australia and Germany. (Viewings on Youtube are around […]

Derek Blackadder, organizer for Canada’s major faculty union, was just banned from Facebook. If you’re a facebook member, you can join this group in support of his reinstatement. Yes, you can friend me on Facebook while you’re there.

Several folks have asked why I wasn’t steering book buyers to the major unionized online bookseller, Powell’s. Answer: they were charging 6.50 over list price for pre-orders of the paperback. The book is now shipping, and Powell’s is charging list price ($22), as is Amazon. Barnes and Noble continues to offer the book at a […]

I’ve been asked to update this piece by several folks with a link to the Chronicle discussion, and some commentary on the student’s memoir. Rather than hazard a translation myself, I am providing, warts and all, a few paragraphs from the Dictionary.com translation. (Yes, we reside part time in Quebec, but my francophone neighbors wisely […]

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 […]

Sabbaticals for everyone? Absolutely, says Adolph Reed in part 2 of our interview. “We’re all workers,” Reed explains. “We all want the same things.” Now that everyone works in the service economy, the blue-collar/white-collar distinctions make very little sense. And recognizing that all intellectuals are workers is a step toward realizing that all workers are […]

Completely tuition-free public higher education for everyone who wants it is a practical, realizable ambition, says the University of Pennsylvania’s Adolph Reed–a canny investment in our collective economic wellbeing, he argues, as well as a long-overdue step toward greater equality. We could do it for less than $50 billion annually. In part 1 of the […]

Play PhD Casino! was the top video in the “education” issues section on Youtube’s elections 2008 page, racking up 1600 views in two days, many of them folks who are new to the realities of higher education employment. It’s not Britney or lonelygirl15, but not bad, people, not bad at all! Thanks to Monica Jacobe […]

Thinking of grad school in the humanities? Are you ready to gamble your future–your marriage–your kids’ future–your health–your retirement? In part 2 of my interview with Monica Jacobe, she describes how graduate school resembles a lottery. “You can do everything right, ” she says, “and you still won’t get a job.” After a median 10 […]

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 […]

Oh. My. God. I thought I’d heard all the stories already. Wrong. In the discussion of the Faculty on Food Stamps video over in the non-tenure track forum at the Chronicle of Higher Education, plenty of others chimed in that they’d been forced to take their families on public assistance. One guy even slept in […]

At the New Hampshire presidential debates Saturday, Charlie Gibson imagined that a faculty couple at the host institution were in the $200,000 income bracket. They laughed so hard he practically blushed through his makeup. The reality: in the absence of spousal hiring policies, faculty couples tend to be one tenure-stream, one not: combined incomes for […]

Teaching as much as an 8/8 load… raising children on food stamps and without health insurance… flying the freeways over hundreds of miles… crashing on couches and holding student conferences in hallways and fast-food restaurants… just another lousy job in the service economy. All over the country, administrations have established contingency as the norm in […]

Part 1 of my interview with Andy Smith which needs no introduction. You can view it full-size at the new “How the University Works” youtube channel or in the  player above.