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Around the blogosphere

July 29, 2008

Many of us have no doubt feel particularly beleaguered during this past eighteen months, and no doubt we have been. But it would be a mistake to view our situation in N.B. as entirely aberrant; in fact, though the details vary, concerns about academic freedom, corporatization, the devaluation of academic labour, and “mission-drift” would seem to be endemic to post-secondary education.

Following are an assortment of links to various academic weblogs:

  • In “How Bigtime Sports is Killing Our Universities” in University Diaries, Margaret Soltan writes:

    The crucial attribute of America’s enviable colleges and universities is their independence from government control. Even our public universities have remarkable autonomy from the legislatures that provide much of their funding.

    Americans need only look at the wretched university systems of Greece and Italy — and the slightly less wretched system of France — to understand that above all our campuses need to protect their freedom from state control.

    And in “You have seen their faces,” she calls online courses “the poor white trash of education.”

  • Marc Bousquet’s weblog, also called How the University Works: Tagline: “The triumph of the corporate university. Ph.D.s in crisis. The tuition gold rush. Contingent faculty militance. The collapsing tenure system. A nightmarish world of underpaid, overworked undergraduates. And the steady conversion of the professoriate to the ‘tenured bosses’ of students and contingent faculty … “
  1. July 29, 2008 11:23 am

    Today’s Globe & Mail lead story has prophetic news for “self-suffciency” advocates and educatoional innovators.

  2. July 29, 2008 4:08 pm

    Do you mean the story about Memorial?

  3. Debra Lindsay permalink
    July 30, 2008 10:11 am

    M. Thanks for the links.
    One especially interesting paper found under “Around the Blogsphere” is by historian David F. Noble, “Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education.” (

  4. July 30, 2008 1:12 pm

    No, sorry.

    I mean the lead story on page one: “Oil boom batters Alberta graduation rate.” The report also wonders why “innovative” educational policies in Alberta didn’t curb the problem of people going into the oil patch instead of continuing their education. See also page 4 for the stats.

    I was thinking about energy hub “boom” talk here abouts, as well as the innovations NB ministers responsible for education think they are making.

  5. August 1, 2008 10:31 pm

    Debra, I added the Noble text to the Corporatization page; there are some other links there to pieces by Noble in which you may be interested.


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