I've been following this thread and I must say that I'm ready for
the clown's nose. While I have every intention of being a part of the
university system for the rest of my life, I don't know that this will
always be an option. Slowly but surely universities are adopting those
pesky corporate models and starting to downsize. Ya know, lose a couple of
professors and replace them with a lecturer or two--maybe even a
part-timer. That way you can get more work for less money.
That is, as long as you have students. While I don't think the old
brick and mortar is going by the wayside, I do think more students will
start opting for the virtual university given the chance. The more virtual
opportunities that appear and the more they become accepted by the
business world, the more students will use them. If we
(clarification--teacher-scholars) want to remain effective, educated (Lewis
Perelman's idea of hyperlearning), and employed, we need to get with the
I'm done. For now ;}
> I hear you loudly. You echo many of the thoughts going through my
>head. But, my guess is that very few who are discussing these
>possibilities right now would simply give up their day-gigs until there
>was security somewhere else. My guess is that much of what is being
>discussed here is part dream, part sour grapes, part adventure, and part
>excitement. VOU has taken quite a long time to get going. Large
>institutional undertakings usually do. So seems to me that a smaller
>venture, that kept folks in both worlds simultaneously could prove
>beneficial in lots of ways.
> I certainly don't plan to leave for the circus any time soon, but
>I'm willing to perform in one of the rings while doing the institutional
>thing at the same time. Isn't the circus, or perhaps Rabilais' carnival,
>all about multiplicity and dialogism?
>On Fri, 27 Sep 1996, Michael J. Salvo wrote:
>> At 12:38 AM 9/27/96 -0700, Kenneth Robert Wright wrote:
>> >I don't mean capitalism in the sense
>> >that one needs money to keep the system going. What I mean is
>> >that the shaping force of the system is conceived in capitalistic
>> >terms. After all, much (most? all?) of our current college
>> >system is conceived of in terms of exchange value. We, or if not
>> >us our students, view education in terms of what its material
>> >worth is or will be or will translate into:
>> YES! yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
>> all the talk about academia being a protected province, gene's crystal
>> castle, seems to me to spring from the idea that the university *is*
>> shielded from the cultural values of capitalism. we're not -- nor should we
>> be totally removed from responding to the needs of our students. these
>> students, i would posit, are not customers or consumers but CONSTITUENTS of
>> the university. and the companies, corporations -- all the entities that
>> hire graduates or pay students' tuition -- are constituents of the
>> i'm so very troubled by the (seemingly recent) move to make universities
>> profit-producing entities -- or a break-even enterprise. we're simply not
>> going to make money (as an institution) teaching. similarly, we need to
>> look at the other variables in this equation. the military doesn't "make"
>> money ... but it does protect the interests of those who make vast amounts
>> of money -- profits out of wack with the money they put into the
>> military/industrial complex. education does support the interests of
>> business in much the same way.
>> now, the fracture is between the training employers *want* their
>> college-graduated new employees to have and the skills they actually show up
>> with. and there are big problems with this gap. colleges must respond to
>> these demands, and they (we!) are by and large failing in this task. on the
>> other hand, we (as educators) must continue providing the most liberal (as
>> in liberal arts -- although i don't mind a liberal-value institution myself)
>> education possible.
>> balance. both/and.
>> let me add that even the circus is an institution. it'll just be an
>> institution without roots or a way or maintaining consistent delivery. *i*
>> don't want to put on grease paint before every class.
>> the institution of the university (or whatever it will come to be called)
>> will be re-formed (both in the sense of changed with progress *and* re-built
>> from the ground up) as we face the changes of the new millenium. i am
>> concerned, however, that if all the folks i respect (on this list, elsewhere
>> is cyberspace, at my new institution) who have the potential to enact change
>> take their show on the road, the very people who have the potential to
>> change the university will leave it, thereby extracting their own force from
>> the momentum of change.
>> a few months ago, becky rickly described the pace of change like steering a
>> battleship. we've almost faught our way onto the bridge, and then the real
>> work of steering the ship will begin. it'll take a *long* time to turn the
>> ship, but once it's turned ... it's just as difficult to put it into reverse.
>> balance. both/and.
>> in this case, both/and will mean working both online and in print, it will
>> mean working both in the institutions and outside them, working with the
>> rarified geniuses in the upper chambers of the crystal palace and with the
>> penny rabble at the globe. it means working as a nomad and as "part of the
>> problem," part of the institution. seems to me, we work contrary to our own
>> goals by putting ourselves outside the very institutions to which we have
>> valuable contributions to make, institutions that can profit from our
>> insight -- and i have faith that if we do this *right* there will be a
>> reformation of value.
>> and if *that* doesn't work, and i'm still treated like the poor country
>> cousin, then i'll join the circus. bowles and gintis, _schooling in
>> capitalist america_ is still the reference for me ...
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