Media roundup: the growing precariat, corporatization, and fighting back

Various recent media stories on CAE issues and the casualization of academic labour, corporatization, and activism:

  • Someone Calculated How Many Adjunct Professors Are on Public Assistance, and the Number Is Startling.” Jordan Weissmann, Slate (13 April 2015): “[A]n awful lot of Ph.D.s and master’s degree holders are basically working poor.”
  • A Tenured Professor On Why Hiring Adjuncts Is Wrong.” Susan Boynton, TPM (13 April 2015): “With each passing year, it becomes clearer that cheap labor has become the hidden foundation of American higher education.”
  • University bookstores change with the times: Sales of snacks, laptops, bedding and parking passes replace book sales at many university bookstores.” Rossana Tamburri, University Affairs (8 April 2015): “[M]any schools have embraced the same strategies used by general retailers: downsizing and diversification.”
  • Degrees of Separation.” Erika Shaker, Behind The Numbers: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives  (2 April 2015): “Here’s an idea for consideration (and it even comes with references!): Canada has the 9thlowest corporate tax rate of 189 countries, and the lowest of the G8. Rather than reducing university enrollment by 1/3rd, the Alternative Federal Budget recommends increasing Canada’s corporate tax rate by 1/3rd.”
  • University protests around the world: a fight against commercialisation: Academics and students in Canada, the Netherlands and the UK explain why they are taking a stand against their institutions.” The Guardian (25 March 2015):
  • Universities are a wise investment.” Jean Sauvageau, The Daily Gleaner (24 March 2015): “The [recent] editorials appear to have been synchronized with the provincial government strategic program review, which calls for $500 million to $600 million budget reduction. This review is happening in the context of a well-advertised “fiscal crisis” and a “fiscal reality” in need of immediate and bold action.
  • Welcome to Ohio State, Where Everything Is for Sale.” Steven Conn, The Chronicle of Higher Education (20 March 2015): “[T]he trustees originally wanted to carve “Every Asset a Monetizable Asset” into stone, but it turns out “monetizable” doesn’t have a Latin translation.”
  • Dutch student protests ignite movement against management of universities: Students and staff call for a ‘new university’ movement with greater democratisation of higher education and transparency of finances.” Jonathan Gray, The Guardian (17 March 2015): “[P]art of the reason the current student protests are gaining traction more broadly in Dutch society is because they are rejecting and calling for alternatives to market-orientated managerial changes that have taken hold in many areas of life and work, including in hospitals, housing corporations, schools and colleges.”
  • At university, who is doing the teaching?The Globe and Mail (13 March 2015): “Remarkably little good data is available – research-obsessed universities, take note and feel shame.”
  • Universities Plea to New Brunswick government.” Global News (11 March 2015; video).
  • Past is prologue when it comes to contract faculty: To understand the current issues, we need to look back at the roots of the problem and how they have developed over time.” Melanie Fullick, University Affairs (11 March 2015): “[T]he universities’ need for affordable and ‘flexible’ labour goes back a long way.”

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Categories: CAE issues, Corporatization, Media