Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The University Plantation

A retired professor has a new blog.  (noted at Q and O).  Interesting stuff:

I retired from academia in 2010, after 40 or so reasonably succesful years. I was glad to go, because the ideals I originally thought to serve have almost entirely been replaced by something I find repellent.....The proper metaphor for the university is no longer the "ivory tower," a shining refuge from daily life that promotes creative thought---if it ever was. A better metaphor is something more down-and-dirty. Like any metaphor, it only goes so far, but in its limited way may aid our understanding. 

The modern university is a plantation.
After a lot of interesting discussion, he explains some of the consequences:

The structure of the social and economic systems are similar, and it creates negative consequences for society. For example, there are few more conforming people than university faculty, despite their job security. They often seem terrified to oppose the prevailing opinion of other professors, let alone their bosses. Don't believe me? Read these:

There's a lot of forelock-tugging going on there. It's hardly an environment where creativity can flourish, or one in which students can learn critial thinking.

There's lots, lots more.

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