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A Call to Action. (Reminder to self: “I am not a lemming, I am not a lemming…”)

June 18, 2009

As university leaders increasingly appeal to the corporate world for funding, engage in money-making ventures as a measure of excellence, and ignore that the line between for-profit and not-for-profit institutions of higher education is collapsing, many schools, as educator John Palata observes, will simply ‘serve as personnel offices for corporations’ and quickly dispense with the historically burdened though important promise of creating democratic mandates for higher education.

Of all groups, university and college educators should be the most vocal and militant in challenging the corporatization of education by making clear that at the heart of any form of inclusive democracy is the assumption that learning should be used to expand the public good, create a culture of questioning, and promote democratic social change.  Individual and social agency becomes meaningful as part of the willingness to imagine otherwise, ‘in order to help us find our way to a more human future’ (Chomsky).  Under such circumstances, knowledge can be used for amplifying human freedom and promoting social justice, and not simply for creating profits.   (Henri Giroux, The University in Chains, 2007, p. 117)

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