With Emile’s arrival, I’ve had to turn down some invitations, but I do have some travel plans for the rest of the year. I’m best able to accept invitations that can be connected to travel to which I’m already committed. Spring 2008 March 19, Interview with P.D. Lesko, for Adjunct Advocate March, unscheduled, Interview with […]

In our abortive exchange over at Brainstorm, Stephen Trachtenberg a) repeatedly ignored my very polite request to talk about the circumstances of the overwhelming majority of faculty, those who serve contingently; b) said I could leave the academy if I didn’t like it; c) affected that I was a tricky fellow using rhetoric and d) […]

I was a bit surprised that Stephen Trachtenberg chose to ignore my second invitation to talk about the plight of the majority faculty–those who serve contingently–and, instead, indulged in a speculative ad hominem flight of fancy that ends with inviting me to leave the academy! I’m sorry Mr. Bousquet is so unhappy in the academy… […]

One of the co-contributors over at Brainstorm, Stephen Trachtenberg, president emeritus at G-Dub, recently posted on the importance of “safety nets” for administrators, then followed it with a post in which he questioned the usefulness of tenure for faculty, at least for those profs he described as “burnt-out”: The academy needs better, more imaginative ways […]

My son Emile Amitai arrived on Valentine’s Day at 5 am. To the best of my knowledge based on our brief acquaintance, he is healthy, intelligent, big-boned and goodlooking.  If all goes as planned, eighteen years from now he’ll be a big man on campus somewhere. But what will that campus look like? If current […]

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 […]

“It’s broadly recognized, certainly by contingent faculty themselves, that they really don’t possess academic freedom,” Cary Nelson says, at least not “in the way that the American academy has assumed for basically half a century that everyone who teaches does.” In the first segment of our interview, the 49th president of the AAUP suggests that […]

If you’re a diehard Amazonian, they’ve once again dropped the price on HTUW, to $17.25. I’m not sure how this is triggered. Perhaps it’s by the book’s rank on a competitor, such as B&N. I am not going to change the list price on all the pages this time–I’d just as soon folks patronized the […]

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 […]

I’ve had several interesting responses to the health-care question. More on that later, as the primary season heats up. In the meanwhile, I’ve had a commentator respond to both of my posts so far at Brainstorm, neither really on-topic, both expressing a perfectly understandable anger at the tenured. I’ll just share one of the comments […]

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, […]

Right now, I’m editing the Cary Nelson interview and breathlessly awaiting East Coast poll closings, at which point I will open a bottle of local wine (Santa Cruz Mountains) and sink into the spectacle. Before getting my politico-oenological fix on, I thought I’d share a provocative post from one of my colleagues at Brainstorm, Dan […]

As of Monday, February 4, How The University Works and yours truly will also be available at the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s Brainstorm, which already features Gina Barreca, Dan Greenberg, Laurie Fendrich, Mark Bauerlein, Stan Katz, Robert Zemsky, and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. This should be interesting! For the first week or two over there, I’ll […]

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. […]

“Wal-mart workers know they’re being had,” Michelle Masse says. “Academics don’t.” In part 2 of our interview, she argues that the call to service in higher education has been a vector for cynical exploitation by administrations, but also for willing submission to exploitative demands. This is especially the case for women faculty, but also for […]