Category Archives: Working

Ne pas oublier

…at the library, Literary Bondage and those back pages of Poets & Writers, where they list bilingual presses. There is another book that turned out to be there and that I wanted to get, and I have lost my piece of paper. C’était quoi? Something tempting and new that I was going to order from a catalogue and that they turned out to already have.

Axé.

1 Comment

Filed under Pedro, Poetry, Race book, Working

Network of concerned academics

An antidote to the professor watch list.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Movement, Working

On academic freedom

This study explores the history of academic freedom in America through the focus of three interpretive models–the Gentleman Scientist Model, the Liberty Model, and the Professional Model–to show how the concept evolved over the past century. It examines violations of academic freedom, AAUP statements, and debates about the meaning of academic freedom to show how it remains a contested concept. It concludes that by studying the origins and changes in the idea of academic freedom in America, current controversies can be better understood.

That is a dissertation abstract, and the dissertation is fascinating.

During the Great War, the AAUP decided the concept of academic freedom did not apply, and condemned rather than support the many faculty dismissed for their antiwar beliefs. The Nation was appalled.

The Nation magazine criticized the AAUP report as “a serious disappointment” arguing that “By rejecting this principle, the committee, for the period of the war, hands over the keys of the castle to the enemy…” and “jeopards the very conception of a university” (“The Professors in Battle Array,” 1918). The Nation argued, “surely the university, as the home of freedom, should not go out of its way to impose on its members, in addition to these, other restrictions that are not laid on other members of the community” (“The Professors in Battle Array,” 1918).

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under ALFS presentation, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Academic Partnerships, the company

Most people I know either ignore online teaching because of the problems and the hype, and being tired of staring into screens already. Others are so gung-ho about it that they ignore the problems. One problem, I have discovered, in a neighboring R-1 is that this firm, Academic Partnerships, that runs their platform, also gets 50% of the tuition dollars generated by the classes. And most faculty do not know about, or pay attention to this technicality and its implications.

In its work to actively shape quality online education at Eastern Michigan University, EMU-AAUP has fought against pressure from Academic Partnerships to cut costs by using more part-time instructors. Educators know well that such instructional cost cuts lead to the exploitation of faculty, to part-time, under-resourced positions, and to the erosion of academic freedom. As a result, they diminish the quality of the experience in the classroom. To defend against these cuts, EMU-AAUP proposed a letter of agreement with the administration that includes a clause prohibiting the use of “coaches or teaching assistants employed by Academic Partnerships or its strategic partners for instructional duties regularly performed by tenured or tenure-track faculty.”

This is the kind of boring, technical issue people do not want to bother with because they have more juicy things going on, but that have implications they discover later. Here’s a primer on privatization worth referring to.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Working

Things I am considering buying

A Kindle Paperwhite.

Jonathan Mayhew’s new Lorca book.

I am also considering getting this book via Interlibrary Loan, an entity I keep forgetting.

I will order it through ILL and hope they do not make me read it as an e-book.

I could also just buy it. Book = $105. Kindle plus e-version, on the theory that then I will have a Kindle = $200. And probably I will not read it if it has to be read on a Kindle.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Working

Taking the high road

Department of e-mails not sent:

Dear committee member,

The question would be what gives you the right to speak in this tone to anyone.

If the dean, an AAUP member, confuses tenure track/tenured with FTE NTT, which I highly doubt he does, it would be our job to point out the error.

To keep these things clear is precisely the charge of this committee.

Yours,

Z
Professor and chair (as far as you are concerned)

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banes, Working

Mais c’est nouveau

I have my own domain name, because I am tired of having ads on this site. I want it to be a new spell … I should perhaps have gotten a new identity, but I got a domain name.

*

This, of course, is why I am fixated on the question of curriculum. What I learned in school, both college and graduate school, was to keep coming up with jewel-like papers in fields and on topics unfamiliar to me. A huge collection on a broad spectrum. Then you write a dissertation in yet another largely new field. Then start working as a professor in another field again, and in a place where the ideal specialty would have been something other than what you’d settled on. The general lesson, the practice taught, was not to specialize but to flit about, and to have the object upon which you are concentrating yanked away again and again. “No, you must do this now.” “No, you must be that now.” “Be grateful that you are at least allowed to be, and do THIS now.”

Still, it is fun to explore and I am cross-disciplinary. I would just like to have more time to spend on MY combination of interests instead of the university’s idea of my combination of interests. Our guest this weekend works really hard because in his job, at an R1, he gets to use his judgment; I remember someone saying long ago, “we have to get you out of all this drudgery.”

*

Yet I am changed, which is why I have the new URL, and I am trying to imitate our guest by doing as I see fit.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Working