Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The CM Interview With Frog & Toad.

1. What's wrong with the current crop of undergrad students?
They are badly prepared and staggering under the obligation to work and/or big debt, so they are not as impressive in the classroom as they might otherwise be, and have a more instrumental view of their education than they should.

2. What's wrong with the current state of higher education in America?
Oy. The total corporatization of everything.

3. What could regular faculty do locally to improve things?
I don’t feel that regular faculty have much power. We are underpaid, disrespected, and subject to an ever-sped-up work process. We can speak out without fear of retribution, but who is listening?

4. What could part-time faculty do to not only improve their working conditions, but also the fate of our students?
It would be presumptuous of me to tell part-time faculty what to do. I myself intended to quit if not offered full-time tenure-track work. In terms of our various fates, though, I believe that it is time for general faculty and student strikes, combined with strong parent and alumni protest, against the government’s divestment of public education, the remaking of universities into corporations, the insanity of student loans, etc.


  1. Although F&T and I live and teach a continent apart, there are times when it really does sound like we're at the same institution, or at least have the same students (and administrators, and legislature, and. . .).

  2. Well, if you don't fight, how can you win? As Philip Morrison and Giuseppe Cocconi wrote in a very different context (in the 1959 article in Nature that founded the field of SETI), “The probability of success of difficult to estimate; but if we never search, the chance of success is zero."