OK, I’ve been in the business of public education at a state university for 14 years now and I think there is a market to provide a description of what this existence really is. I just read Anthony Bourdain’s writings and am a bit motivated by Kitchen Confidential. The thing that I really enjoy about his writing is that he didn’t write it for me. He wrote it for his colleagues in the culinary industry.
Having recently moved from the front line of academia—the tenure track faculty of a research-level state university—into the realm of the population of administravia by accepting the role of a Director/Chair of an academic unit, I think I have a pretty interesting perspective on modern American Academia that would be ripe for discussion, particularly in the vein of Bourdain’s approach!
As the Chef did in his work, I think I will break this up into ‘value’ based chapters, each providing an insight with examples (local names changed to protect the individuals I’ve worked with at my University and abroad) to describe how modern education is being deployed in our society. These themes include:
- Perceptions of academia * A closed (and closed off) society * Tenture Track vs. Term Faculty vs. Adjuncts * Media Perceptions * “Bastions of liberalism” and Sciences * Fuding * State Schools vs. Private Institutions vs. For Profit * CYA and Effort * Indirect Costs * Leadership * How rises up * Development of an “Administrative Class” * Corportaization of the academy * Integrity * Loss of personal responsibility * Nepotism * Stacking Term Faculty * Student/Faculty Relationships * Future * Outsourcing (study abroad, MOOC) * For Profit Universities (hello University of Phoenix) * Removing Tenure