The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Heh. Heh. Heh.

Posted on | June 9, 2015 | 28 Comments

One of my favorite lines in Ghostbusters:

Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.

The insulation of the academic cocoon has been thinning for some years now, and what Professor Glenn Reynolds calls The Higher Education Bubble may not yet be bursting, but it seems to have stopped expanding. A left-wing journalist at CounterPunch laments the darkening prospects for the radical intelligentsia:

There are still plenty of left-leaning professors in U.S. colleges and universities. But as an employment sector, higher education has changed. There are now powerful conservatizing trends afoot that will likely lead to the extinction of professors as a left force in U.S. society within a few decades.
One major change is that the expanding academic job market that Jacoby observed is now shrinking. When the market for professors was growing, as it was in the 1960s and 1970s, radicals could get jobs in universities, earn tenure, and do critical intellectual work, even if it was often muted by a desire for conventional academic rewards. Today, tenure-track jobs are fewer and farther between. In response to reduced budgets and out of a desire for a more “flexible” — that is, cheap, pliable, and disposable — labor force, university administrators have cut tenure-track lines, preferring to hire faculty on a temporary, part-time, non-tenure-track basis.
This tightening of the academic job market has intensified competition for the tenure-track jobs that remain. Under these conditions, it is prudent — as each new cohort of graduate students discovers—to focus one’s efforts on publishing in academic journals and avoid rocking any boats, in print or in the classroom. Graduate students are advised that Facebook pages and Tweets should be crafted with the concerns of prospective employers in mind. Anticipation of a competitive job market thus begins to conservatize students early in their graduate careers. . . .
Although all faculty are supposed to enjoy academic freedom, contingent faculty whose writing or teaching causes trouble are easily dismissed. A contract is simply not renewed, or a department chair says, “Sorry, we have no sections for you to teach,” and that’s the end of the matter. . . . Then there is the practical matter of how much research and writing one can do while trying to piece together a living by teaching four or more courses per semester, often at exploitively low wages.

Welcome to the real world, you degenerate Bolshevik subversives!



28 Responses to “Heh. Heh. Heh.”

  1. Mike G.
    June 9th, 2015 @ 7:07 pm

    This guy writes as if he just got turned down for a tenured position and even possibly got canned.

    So much for the old adage…”Those who can, do, the rest teach.” Looks like another lefty added to the government dole.

  2. Matt_SE
    June 9th, 2015 @ 7:56 pm

    “…conservatizing trends…” LOL
    The academics are being strangled by the very bureaucrats they put in charge! Who was it who promoted technocracy? Academics!
    Now that the money is running out, the bureaucrats are covering their asses first, and leaving nothing for the professors.

  3. trangbang68
    June 9th, 2015 @ 8:00 pm

    I hope the first to go are the a-holes teaching “White Privilege” theory. I had to take a class a couple years ago on diversity at a Christian college. It used a text written by a privileged elitist Chinese guy from the Bay area talking about how white folks have all the advantages in life. I grew up in a gritty blue collar town with an alcoholic father and this clown is going to tell me I had it made in the shade. What a useless moron.

  4. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    June 9th, 2015 @ 8:12 pm

    Couldn’t happen to a more useless class of parasites. For every good professor (in liberal arts humanities programs) there are 9 flakes. Engineering and other hard sciences are different, they probably skew 50/50.

  5. RS
    June 9th, 2015 @ 9:22 pm

    The Humanities bubble has been deflating for some time, though it’s becoming more noticeable now. For years, Humanities departments seduced impressionable B.A. holders into pursuing graduate education with the promise of careers in academe. At the same time, those departments began cutting tenure track positions in favor of adjunct faculty in order to funnel a portion, but not all, of the savings to the tenured faculty. Administrators didn’t care because there was net savings overall. Meanwhile, the tenured faculties treated the adjuncts worse than any evil corporation would ever dream of, all while spouting the usual leftist “power to the worker” bullshit.

    Students are beginning to catch on and, like law schools, applications for graduate programs are drying up. The pressure is on the adjuncts at the moment, as they are the first to go when there’s a student crunch. But it’s beginning to effect tenured faculty in universities with graduate programs, as well. You don’t need that many tenured English professors if the only students are in the service courses like Freshman comp.

    Sadly, the core, rigorous humanities courses will be jettisoned while the “diversity/grievance” studies courses will be maintained out of a sense of fear on the part of university administrators. All of the above translates into a massive negative feedback loop which will be a long time in correcting.

  6. ChandlersGhost
    June 9th, 2015 @ 11:42 pm
  7. Raoul Duke
    June 10th, 2015 @ 4:35 am

    Of course, in this context “rockingnthe boat” could be applied to any academic who isn’t towing a left-ish party line favored by the administrators.

  8. Quartermaster
    June 10th, 2015 @ 6:45 am

    You misspelled ‘affect.’

  9. Quartermaster
    June 10th, 2015 @ 6:46 am

    Depends on the University. Where I went, the STEM faculty would be considered a bunch of reactionaries. hasn’t changed since I granulated.

  10. TatR
    June 10th, 2015 @ 6:52 am

    Have to point out it’s not just lefties who hound people at Universities. The campaign by the pro-Israeli right to hound Norman Finkelstein out of tenure because of his views was a particular disgrace.

  11. elladeon
    June 10th, 2015 @ 7:15 am

    That campaign was led by Alan Dershowitz, who is, in fact, a leftist.

  12. The original Mr. X
    June 10th, 2015 @ 8:34 am

    Affect, from Latin adficio, do to; effect, from Latin efficio, do from, bring about. All that Latin I studied finally finds a use. :p

  13. Sort-Of-Mad Max
    June 10th, 2015 @ 8:36 am

    I’m so upset by this that I’m trembling as I type………oh, sorry, those are spasms of laughter. Carry on!

  14. Sort-Of-Mad Max
    June 10th, 2015 @ 8:38 am

    And I LOVED ‘critical intellectual work’; reflexively attempting to irritate normal people hardly qualifies, oh mighty Professor Skidmark.

  15. Quartermaster
    June 10th, 2015 @ 8:38 am

    Dershowitz went after Finkelstein because Finkelstein showed that Dershowitz is a liar and plagiarist.

  16. Quartermaster
    June 10th, 2015 @ 8:41 am

    Your use in the sentence “But it’s beginning to effect tenured faculty in universities with graduate programs, as well” is improper. I got nailed for such in Freshman comp several times. Effect in this case is a synonym for “result.” “Affect” is influence.

  17. RS
    June 10th, 2015 @ 9:38 am

    Saw it immediately after I posted. In my defense, I was typing the comment while trying to affect an interested face while my lovely wife was talking to me about lawn maintenance issues.

  18. Daniel Freeman
    June 10th, 2015 @ 10:56 am
  19. CrustyB
    June 10th, 2015 @ 10:59 am

    The prepare a college student for the real world of today I’d say “Yes it’s true. This man has no dick.”

  20. R.C. Smith
    June 10th, 2015 @ 11:04 am

    They can keep expanding for a while by importing students. And that laughable crack about not rocking the boat! They cry out as they kick you! In any case, what is leftism but white-hating racism? As the school system goes brown is there anyone who thinks it will go less racist against whites, that is to say less “leftist”? Particularly since increasing failure will need scapegoats.

  21. Quartermaster
    June 10th, 2015 @ 11:50 am

    I like that defense. I think I’ll steal it. If I were a judge, however, and you tried that, I’d ask “was she nekkid?” If not, you’d go to the pokey.

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  23. Mike G.
    June 10th, 2015 @ 6:16 pm

    You know what I say…go to a trade school. You learn something useful and can make a damn good living at it! Plus you don’t have to put up with a bunch of bullshit courses like gender studies, ect.

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  26. RS
    June 11th, 2015 @ 10:36 am

    In our house, we do not combine lawn maintenance with nudity. It upsets the neighbors.

  27. McGehee
    June 11th, 2015 @ 10:42 am

    There are now powerful conservatizing trends afoot that will likely lead to the extinction of professors as a left force in U.S. society within a few decades.

    Why is he saying that like it’s a bad thing?

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