27.6.06

TODAY'S ACADEMIC READING. I Am Big has doubts about the academy aping business models.

What has taken over, really, despite all this attention to culture wars, is the business model, first with TQM, then with "best practices" and accountability and assessment measurements. Indeed, the corporate model has won, with universities downsized, facilities open for branding and product placement, cost-effective adjunct and instructor outsourcing on the rise, and students shouldering the costs for cheaper and cheaper goods.

At my university, I work daily with these new "accountability" practices, and not all of them are heinous. To construct a rigorous strategic plan for an English program does make some sense, and can actually enable faculty to teach more critically, productively, and collaboratively. But so much of the process results in endless paperwork for faculty, keeping us rather busy and occupied, producing binder upon binder of annual reports, just to document our practice toward continual improvement. At its worst, it's a Kafkian joke.

Via Newmark's Door, where today's theses include the best tagline from the linked post.

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