Skip navigation

Tag Archives: University in Crisis

Our Universities

THE UNIVERSITY IS OURS!

Edufactory

The University is Ours!

Friday, December 2, 2011  

A Conference on Struggles Within and Beyond the Neoliberal University
April 27-29, 2012
Toronto, Ontario

The university belongs to us, those who teach, learn, research, council, clean, and create community. Together we can and do make the university work.

But today this university is in crisis. The neoliberal restructuring of post-secondary education seeks to further embed market logic and corporate-style management into the academy, killing consultation, autonomy and collective decision-making. The salaries of university presidents and the ranks of administrators swell, but the people the university is supposed to serve — students — are offered assembly-line education as class sizes grow, faculty is over-worked, and teaching positions become increasingly precarious. International students and scholars seeking post-secondary or graduate education are treated as cash cows rather than as people who might contribute to both research and society. Debt-burdened students are seen as captive markets by administrators, while faculty is encouraged to leverage public funds for private research on behalf of corporate sponsors.

The attack on what remains of public education has been total. Over the last year we have witnessed the closure of humanities programmes, further tuition hikes, the replacement of financial support with loans, union lockouts, and the accelerated development of private, for-profit universities. Yet at the same time we have seen growing waves of struggle against these incursions, as students, staff and faculty in Europe, Latin America, and across the Middle East organize, occupy and resist the transformation.

Our struggles are not limited to the university, but are a part the widespread resistance against the neoliberal market logic subsuming all sectors of our society. The university is a key battleground in this struggle, and a point of conjuncture for the various labour, economic and social justice struggles that face all of us – workers and students alike. Crucially, these struggles occur on stolen indigenous lands and manifest through colonialism, racism, sexism, homophobia, ablism and other forms of oppression that hurt and divide us and that shape what sorts of knowledge are considered valuable.

We cannot cede the ideal of the university as a site for struggle and debate. We cannot permit the dissolution of proliferating research, ideas and innovations free from the demands and control of the market. We cannot watch as universities are degraded into a mere site for corporate or state-sponsored research and marketing. The time to mobilize is now!

This conference will connect and chart the varied struggles against neoliberal restructuring of the university inNorth Americaand beyond. We envision a series of debriefings on experiences of resistance, the creation of a cartography of local and global struggles, and a strategizing session for students, teachers, workers and activists. We aim to develop a North American network of struggles.

We encourage presentations that raise questions and generate dialogue among the rest of the participants. Ideally, submissions will indicate the specific outcomes they hope will emerge from the discussion. We encourage participation from those with first-hand experience of these crises, and those engaged in the fight for free and public post-secondary education, especially student groups and trade unions.

For a better future for all – join us!

POSSIBLE THEMES:

ü        Mapping the terrain of campus struggle inCanadaandNorth America

ü        Connecting with and learning from global struggles

ü        Waged and unwaged labour in the university

ü        Abolition of student debt

ü        The university and the occupy movement

ü        The cultural politics of the neoliberal university

ü        The death of the humanities

ü        Militarization of the university

ü        Intersections of university struggles other fights against oppression

ü        Environmental justice

ü        Beyond public education

ü        Radical pedagogy

ü        Academic freedom

ü        The politics of research funding

ü        The economics of the neoliberal university

ü        University and student governance

ü        The undergraduate experience of neoliberalism

ü        Alternative/free/autonomous universities

ü        Organizing the education factory

ü        The suppression of on-campus dissent and organization

Please email submissions to universityisours@gmail.com by January 16th.

Also,if you would like to attend the conference, please RSVP to the same address so organizers can plan for numbers.

This conference is organized by the Edu-factory Collective in collaboration with theUniversityofToronto General Assembly.

Edufactory: http://www.edu-factory.org/wp/

**END**

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Higher Education Crisis

UNMAKING THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY

Chris Newfield author of the “Unmaking of the Public University” is speaking at Goldsmiths College, University of London, next Monday

Monday 7th March, 2011
5.00pm-7.00pm
Room 309, Richard Hoggart Builidng
Christopher Newfield “The Broken American Funding Model: Our Higher Education Problem, and Yours”

The talk will discuss the conventional wisdom about how American research universities are funded, and show that it is wrong. Although Americans disagree about whether the privatization of public universities is educationally and socially desirable, there is a general consensus that it is financially sound. This talk shows that privatization doesn’t make basic budgetary sense, and that one can argue against reduction of public funding on financial as well as educational and social grounds. It will also review recent U.S. activism and suggest ways in which a better higher education model might be starting to emerge.

Introduced and chaired by Les Back

Christopher Newfield teaches American Studies in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His current research focuses on higher education history, funding, and policy, culture and innovation, and the relation between culture and economics. Recent articles have appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe, Le Monde Diplomatique, La Revue Internationale des Livres et des Idées, Radikal (Turkey), Social Text, Critical Inquiry, and South Atlantic Quarterly, and include “The Renewal of Student Movements, 2009-10,” “The View from 2020: How Universities Came Back,” “The End of the American Funding Model: What Comes Next? “Ending the Budget Wars: Funding the Humanities during a Crisis in Higher Education,” “Public Universities at Risk: 7 Damaging Myths,” “Science and Social Welfare,” “L’Université et la revanche des ‘Elites’ aux Etats-Unis,” “Why Public is Losing to Private in American Research,” and “Can American Studies Do Economics?” He is the author of The Emerson Effect: Individualism and Submission in America (University of Chicago Press, 1996), Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (Duke University Press, 2003), and Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (Harvard University Press, 2008), chairs the Innovation Group at the NSF Center for Nanotechnology in Society, runs a blog on the current crisis in higher education, Rethinking the University (http://utotherescue.blogspot.com), blogs at the Huffington Post, and is working on a book called Lower Education: What to do about our Downsized Future.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Reworking the University

 

Reworking the University: Visions, Strategies, Demands

 

CALL FOR IDEAS

 

April 24-26, 2009, University of Minnesota

 

 

The current ‘financial meltdown’ has exacerbated the ongoing crises within the university, resulting in even greater budget cuts, tuition hikes, hiring freezes and layoffs. Responses from university administrations have been predominantly reactive and have served to fortify the university as an institution of neoliberal capitalism. The administration and others have narrated this crisis as an external force that, while dramatic in the short rub, can nonetheless be managed properly. It is clear to many, however, that the neoliberal logic that has been used to transform the university over the past few decades has failed at a systemic level; the neoliberal death spiral has come home to the university.

 

In contrast to these reactionary responses, we seek to create a space for collective re-evaluation of the university in crisis as an opportunity for real transformation. Last year’s conference, “Rethinking the University: Labor, Knowledge, Value” (April 2008), sought to challenge the supposed inevitability of the neoliberal university. As a continuation of this project, “Reworking the University” seeks to draw together academics, artists, and activists, to share and produce political visions, strategies and demands for building an alternative university in common.

 

“Reworking the University” seeks to generate a vibrant, political exchange by troubling the traditional format of the academic conference. To this end, we hope to produce spaces for individuals and groups from different backgrounds and across a variety of institutional boundaries to converge. While the conference will include the presentation of papers on the topic of “Reworking the University”, the committee’s selection process will prioritize workshops, roundtables, trainings, art installations, film screenings, performances, and other forms of creative engagement.

 

The conference organizing collective has selected several questions and themes that emerged out of the 2008 conference that we will address in various formats. If you have interest in participating, please provide us with a description of your proposed contribution. We encourage you to self-organize a session (i.e. workshop, roundtable, training, etc.) and submit it as a whole. Feel free to use the blog: http://rethinkingtheu.wordpress.com to help  facilitate session organizing.

 

Below is a list of possible topics and we, of course, welcome additional suggestions. In submitting your ideas for sessions, please give us as much information as possible – suggestions for themes, other participants and the session format.

 

The Reworking the University conference coincides with “Reclaim Your Education – Global Week of Action 2009” (April 20-27): http://emancipating-education-for-all.org  Organizers also encourage suggestions for additional actions as part of this event.

 

Send your suggestions (of up to 500 words) to: comradmn@gmail.com

 

The deadline for submissions is February 10th 2009

 

 

Prospective Themes and Issues:

Confronting American Apartheid: Access to Education

The Financial Crisis and the University

Counter/Radical Cartographies and Disorientation Guides

Corporate Funding and the University

Autonomous/Open/Free Universities

The Poverty of Student Life

Post-Enlightenment Visions: Beyond the Liberal Model

Anarchism and Education

Adjunct Unionization

Organizing Across Campuses, Cities, and Regions

Post-Antioch Universities & the Antioch Legacy

Anti-militarization Movements in the University

Prisons and Education

Undergrad Education Beyond Commodification

Historical Struggles in the University: May ’68 and Beyond

Autoreducation and Tactics for Direct Action in the Workplace

Contemporary Struggles in the University: The Anomalous Wave & Movements in Italy, Greece and elsewhere

Expropriating Institutional Space

Graduate Student Unionization and Radicalizing the Academy

Anti-professionalization; Anti-disciplinarity

Student Debt

Pedagogy of the Crisis

Creating Radical/Open Access Publications and the Politics of Citation

 

The schedule and proceedings from last year’s conference can be found at: http://www.makeumnpublic.org/conference.htm 

 

Sincerely

Committee on Revolutionzing the Academy (ComRAD)

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk