Tag Archives: the university

@Home in the Public Sphere: An Interview with Melonie Fullick, Graduate Student and Public Intellectual – Part 1

“I think the university may (paradoxically) sustain itself better by making its institutional boundaries more porous. That would involve academics extending their voices (their expertise and wisdom) to different spheres of communication,” says Melonie Fullick, a PhD candidate in Education at York University. Melonie, who is a public intellectual with a growing readership, sat down over coffee in Hamilton, Ontario to share her views on higher education and what brought her to engage multiple “publics” through Twitter and academic blogging. Though Melonie is careful to demystify social media and the term “public intellectual,” she represents a striking example of academic courage in what appears to be an increasingly austere and instrumentalized landscape of higher education.




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Faculty Union Referendum Challenges University Support for Chambers of Commerce

Martha McCluskey provides an overview of the rationale behind the University of Buffalo’s faculty union campaign to pressure the university administration to cut its ties with state and local chambers of commerce, which actively endorse political candidates and have appointed a number of university administrators to their boards. This U of B campaign began when the faculty union approved a referendum calling on the university to “immediately break its membership and financial support” with the chambers. Professor McCluskey’s eloquent defense of faculty activism (click on “Continue reading” below) has important implications for all institutions of higher education: it demands administrators be fully transparent about the alliances made with private sector and external political organizations, and it demonstrates how faculty are engaging in coordinated action to assert their voices in institutional governance. The example of U of B also invites us to think about the many different ways in which university staff and faculty can “take back” their institutions, while exposing questionable university partnerships with private, political interests that compromise the “accountability, transparency and independence” of public universities and misuse public resources.




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Andrew Furco on the Engaged University

Andrew Furco, who recently co-authored a white paper on the centrality of engagement in higher education for the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (ACLU), spoke to a large audience today at McMaster University on the topic of “Building … Continue reading




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Notes on Emerson’s “American Scholar”

Drawing upon Emerson’s 1837 essay “The American Scholar,” John Snider offers provocative insights into the changing nature of university education today, while also calling upon scholars to resist degrading forms of vocationalism and heed their moral responsibility to speak the truth.




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Rebuilding the University: From the Innovation Economy to Craft Society

Christopher Newfield

Christopher Newfield, author of Unmaking the University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class, poses the question: Why is the university system in crisis? A central reason is the financial pressure put on colleges and universities by the “innovation economy,” pressure which has led to rising student debt, less personalized instruction, and growing research funding deficits.




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