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ERIC Number: EJ1070516
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0748-8475
From Art to Alienated Labor: The Degradation of Academic Work
Lustig, Jeff
Thought & Action, p143-158 Fall 2006
Discussions of higher education in the U.S. are driven today by the language of finance rather than of pedagogy--more specifically, the language of financial hardship. Terms like "shortfall," "cutback," and "retrenchment" set the tone and shape the policies that force austerities and lead to "triage" in American colleges and universities. These terms have provided the opportunity for a number of university administrators, private foundations, and business roundtables to deliver a new model of higher education under the pretext of simply responding to financial necessities. Government professor and author Jeff Lustig opines that were their model to be implemented in all its sweep and detail it would go beyond austerities to irreversible changes in the life and work of American higher education, while reducing the rewards of teaching and research to routinized work and a dollar figure on a paycheck. Now that states are cutting their support for higher education, universities have to reinvent themselves too and buckle down to tasks with immediate pay-off, like "reskilling" workers for recycled careers and boosting the local economy. Faculty and students, implicitly, will also have to fall into line. This at least is the current counsel says Lustig. The recent Spellings Report on the Future of Higher Education reiterates the argument, and though admitting to "the lack of clear, reliable information about the cost and quality of postsecondary institutions," barely pauses on its way to the sweeping conclusion that "academic programs and institutions must be transformed to serve the changing educational needs of a knowledge economy." In this article, Lustig explains the threats to the academy and academic work posed by cutbacks and the new model of the university and suggests ways faculty can resist these threats and avoid winding up as content providers of standardized courseware in a brave new knowledge industry.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A