September 20, 2012
One of my old snaps of the SFU Burnaby campus was featured in an article written by a former CMNS classmate from the summer semester, the article is available on the Public Intellectual’s Project and is organized by McMaster University.
According to their website, the goal of The Public Intellectuals Project is “to provide a forum for academics, students, activists, artists, cultural workers, and the broader community to communicate ideas, engage in dialogue, and support higher education and other cultural spheres as vital places to think and act collectively in the face of a growing crisis of shared public values and meaningful democratic participation.
PIP accepts submissions in the form of short articles, op-eds, videos, photography, artwork, et cetera on any topic related to education and democracy.”
(excerpt from the article)
A person would have to be oblivious to walk around my university campus (Simon Fraser) and not hear the many public gripes from emerging scholars, senior graduate students and junior professors alike.
The themes are the same.
They are not upset with publication targets or duties. Rather, they are aggravated with a bloated university administration that is being swayed by long discredited lay management theories, perpetuating misplaced incentives insensitive to faculty ends, and focusing on inane superficialities at the expense of cultivating conditions for intellectual excellence. This bears itself out in justified complaints against miserable in-house funding packages, the expansion of contingent contract labour, acting as corporate research shills, exacerbating urban gentrification efforts, bulldozing endowment lands for condos, and viewing international students as cash cows.
The chief complaint is that the university no longer exemplifies the aspirational ideals of society. It has absconded from providing public guidance and wisdom on the pressing affairs of the day.
And a vocational mandate alone cannot bear these expectations…
(read more here)