Monday, August 16, 2010

Department of All The News That Fits, We Print

Your favorite Radical has an opinion piece in the web version of the New York Times today.


Horace said...

I see your point here TR, and it's a point echoed by many, but I do wonder how much this conversation is a screen to the larger issue that you mention, and that Fabio Rojas refers to more explicitly: that retirement is far and away a secondary issue while the casualization of that labor remains as likely an option for replacing a tenure line.

I've got no new solutions to that problem, except to say that any time an issue like this one comes up--that implicitly or explicitly argues that another cause is at work--must point back to casualization as the much larger issue.

in the meantime, I won't begrudge my most senior colleagues their last few years of tenure until my institution and indeed academia at large can make greater commitments to secure, equitable, labor exchanges for full-time permanent faculty, while reducing their reliance on contingent labor.

Anonymous said...

As a new Ph.D. searching (desperately) for work, I appreciate your sentiment, but I wonder if really the onus should be on the people make the financial decisions and not on people like you. If you're still pulling your load at 67 or 70, then I'd welcome you as a colleague. It's a shame this even has to be an issue, but as states continue to cut higher education funding, we end up working against each other rather than as a team.

I know a few people who have really outstayed their usefulness, but honestly, it's more about money than about productivity. Let's put the blame where the blame is due: the corporate model that so many colleges and universities have adopted.

Anonymous said...

That should be "the people *who* make the financial decisions." Another cup of coffee and I'll be a properly functioning human!

Historiann said...

Amen, Horace and haphazardmusings. I was struck by the unanimity of the views expressed by the commenters noting that retirement doesn't necessarily equal new opportunities for young scholars. (Strange bedfellows, indeed!)

I have a colleague who retired 4 or 5 years ago who still comes in to sit on M.A. oral exams because the department still hasn't replaced him (and the large gaps in our European history faculty). "Dead wood" is such a cruel and glib way to talk about our senior colleagues.

Meghan said...

I agree with the three H's. As a graduate student, I'm worried more about administrations determined to wring as much money as they can out of adjunct faculty and less about older faculty. On the whole, I enjoyed the discussion (with the exception of the Johnson piece and his assumption that I, as a younger scholar, should be blocked from employment for as long as possible because I'd only teach race, class, and gender. Gross.)