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Thu Oct 25 20:22:17 EST 2012

past thirty years is effectively driven by the administrators you are talki=
ng about, who typically give themselves three-figure salaries. They come in=
, you see, in the wake of economic crisis, in order to make the university =
*more efficient* -- ha ha, which is apparently why there is a tuition spike=
 after every major recession, including a large one right now. The administ=
rators go before Congress every couple years to raise the level of the loan=
s that will be guaranteed by the government, and they use the proceeds, alo=
ng with corporate partnerships and financialized endowments, to preside ove=
r vast expansions.<br>

I think the research university should be identified as the central institu=
tion of the neoliberal knowledge-based economy. The sea-change was the Bayh=
-Dole Act in 1980, which allowed for the patenting of publicly funded resea=
rch. Corporations as well as government could then scale back their large l=
aboratories and practice what&#39;s now called &quot;open innovation,&quot;=
 where relatively small amounts of seed money are enough to catalyze resear=
ch processes whose results can be selectively acquired by buying out the re=
levant patents. In a society where, since Reagan, only business is recogniz=
ed as a value, this transformation of scientific research was enough to jus=
tify running the entire university like a corporation. The star system, the=
 corporate partnerships, the precarization of academic labor, the competiti=
on for the revenue stream of student loans, and more recently, the franchis=
ing of major university brands in Asia, are all among the results. For what=
? is the best question. In my view, very sadly, it&#39;s for reducing knowl=
edge to nothing more than a function of capitalism.<br>

The best book I&#39;ve found on this is, fittingly, entitled Academic Capit=
alism, by Sheila Slaughter and Gary Rhoades. It&#39;s serious, anything but=
 simplistic, a very impressive and wide-ranging piece of scholarship, check=
 it out:<br>

<a href=3D";printsec=3Df=
rontcover" target=3D"_blank"><u></u>id=3DY-mI=
Another good one is Chris Newfield&#39;s Unmaking the Public University, pa=
rticularly the chapter &quot;Facing the Knowledge Managers&quot;:<br>
<a href=3D"" targ=
Finally, my own attempt to sum these things up:<br>
<a href=3D"" tar=
No one yet has the solution to these problems, but the good thing is, over =
the last five years people have finally started to ask the important questi=
ons and to begin mobilizing around those questions. Student loans and corpo=
ratization are issues in themselves: but they are also part and parcel of a=
 larger problem, which is the neoliberal development model. It can&#39;t ad=
dress the problems of inequality and ecological unsustainability, and as lo=
ng as it rules over the universities, we will get nothing substantial from =
them. A great loss, I&#39;d say.<br>

in solidarity, Brian<br>
empyre forum<br>
<a href=3D"mailto:empyre at" target=3D"_blank">empyre at l=</a><br>
<a href=3D"" target=3D"_blank">http://www.subtl=</a><br>
</blockquote></div><br><br clear=3D"all"><br>-- <br>David Golumbia<br><a hr=
ef=3D"mailto:dgolumbia at" target=3D"_blank">dgolumbia at</a>=
empyre forum<br>
<a href=3D"mailto:empyre at">empyre at
<a href=3D"" target=3D"_blank">http://www.subtl=</a><br></blockquote></div>


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