Academic freedom

Odds and ends to begin spring break

For the first time I can recall, my children and I are on spring break the same week, which given that we are talking the coordination of three different systems, is Spring Break Convergence. It’s great to have our college junior home from the Northeast; on the downside, we cannot complain about the weather for […]

What administrators should say when faculty are controversial

Since both the University of Rhode Island and Florida Atlantic University follow the standard practice of trying to make up responses to controversies over faculty statements, responses that fell well short of a vigorous defense of academic principles, I thought I might provide a boilerplate press release for all colleges and universities that can be […]

Why shared governance is such a damned good thing… for administrators

After I stepped down 19 months ago from being the head of the faculty union at USF, I got ribbed by my successor about “turning to the dark side” with an appointment last August as a department chair. “More like the gray side,” I replied. (In my college, chairs are in the faculty union bargaining […]

My dangerous colleagues in anthropology

My eternal thanks go to Florida Governor Rick Scott, without whom I would never have known that the 0.8% of Florida state university system graduates who major in anthropology1 comprise the major obstacle to state advancements in STEM. I always thought it had something to do with declining state support for higher ed, low requirements […]

Watch, but ridicule

A blog entry today on the Inside Higher Ed site helped me realize what's bugging me about the conversations around Bill Cronon and the Wisconsin GOP's crass efforts to intimidate faculty: [Another reason to be skittish about working in public higher ed is] the open records request in Wisconsin for Bill Cronon's emails. Not that, […]