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An Academic Defense of Grad Student Unions - An Open Letter to Columbia Provost John Coatsworth

Hank Reichman Academe Blog
As a proud Columbia alum (College '69) and an officer of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) I was excited to learn of the NLRB's decision last week. However, I was shocked and, frankly, disgusted to read your condescending and arrogant message to the campus community. As one graduate student put it, your letter 'simply encourages graduate workers to eschew this newly right, like telling workers management will look to their interests.'

Universities Are Becoming Billion-Dollar Hedge Funds With Schools Attached

Astra Taylor The Nation
It’s not just universities with eating clubs and legacies that are getting into the game. Many public universities are also doing so, in part because state support for education has been cut, but also to compete with richer schools by rapidly increasing their more limited wealth.

More Than Half of Chicago Area Universities Have Armed Police Departments

Jonah Newman Chicago Reporter
One of the problems that remain with campus police is that there is so little information about what they do and how they do it, particularly for those employed by private universities. A bill introduced in the Illinois House would have improved that by making private university police subject to public records laws, but the bill died in a Senate Committee in May.

Faculty Join Fast Food in the Fight for $15

Justin Miller The American Prospect
Like the other low-wage workers that protested yesterday, the ultimate goal of the burgeoning adjunct faculty movement is fair pay and decent working conditions. What yesterday’s demonstrations showed was that this could be a substantial and sustainable struggle that is primed to create waves throughout the labor market. And unifying all low-wage workers—from fast food to faculty—will be an important part of that.

Bad Science

Llewllyn Hinkes-Jones Jacobin Magazine
Not only do patents push higher prices onto consumers, they burden the research world with the increased costs of paying for the intellectual property needed to do further research . . . If anything, the neoliberal approach to academic research is a return to the privately funded, pre-tenure origins of the university system when numerous schools were simply research labs and promotional arms for private industry

University Presidents Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank While the People Who Work for Them Are on Food Stamps

Lawrence S. Wittner History News Network
As the incomes of the 25 best-paid public university presidents soared, the livelihoods of their faculty deteriorated. This deterioration resulted largely from the fact that tenured and tenure-track faculty were replaced with adjuncts (part-time instructors, paid by the course) and contingents (temporary faculty). Many adjuncts have incomes below the official poverty level and receive food stamps.

The Emergent Academic Proletariat and its Shortchanged Students

By Claire Goldstene Dissent: A Quarterly of Politics and Culture
The circumstances of contingent faculty and indebted students are simultaneously emblematic of national trends toward precarious employment and long term financial anxiety amid enormous national wealth, and more deeply implicated because of the power of education to act as an egalitarian social force.

At Universities, Too, the Rich Grow Richer

Lawrence S. Wittner History News Network
According to recent surveys by the Chronicle of Higher Education, thirty-five private university presidents and four public university presidents topped $1 million in total earnings during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. On university campuses, it seems, everyone is equal. But some are much more equal than others.
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