The New York Times on The Last Professors
FA Chair Ian Kennedy thought that the membership might be interested in an article, by Stanley Fish, published in the New York Times. It is essentially a book review of “The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities” by Frank Donoghue. Some excerpts from the article:
“[The book argues that] the for-profit university is the logical end of a shift from a model of education centered in an individual professor who delivers insight and inspiration to a model that begins and ends with the imperative to deliver the information and skills necessary to gain employment. In this latter model, the mode of delivery – a disc, a computer screen, a video hook-up – doesn’t matter so long as delivery occurs. Insofar as there are real-life faculty in the picture, their credentials and publications (if they have any) are beside the point, for they are just ‘delivery people.'”
Ultimately, Donoghue “advises humanists to acquire ‘a thorough familiarity with how the university works,’ for ‘only by studying the institutional histories of scholarly research, of tenure, of academic status, and… of the ever-changing college curriculum, can we prepare ourselves for the future.’ But – and this is to his credit – he doesn’t hold out the slightest hope that this future we may come to understand will have a place in it for us [faculty].”
Full article at http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/18/the-last-professor/
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