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People Are Getting Rich on Charter Schools, but K-12 Education Is Not Being Enriched

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

The following is a news release from We Are Ohio, the progressive coalition originally established to oppose Senate Bill 5. This coalition has remained in place because the attacks on collective bargaining rights, public employees, and public education have shown no signs of abating.

The Know Your Charter site is a remarkable resource because it measures the performance of the charter schools by the very standards put in place by the ideologues who have relentlessly railed against the failure of public education and have championed charter schools as a necessary alternative.

But I have gotten a little ahead of myself. Here is the news release:

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For-profit, failing charter schools have been criticized in the news lately for scandals related to corruption, low standards and millions in wasted tax dollars.

There is a new website that uses the Know Your Charter tool from the Ohio Charter School Accountability Project so…

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CFP: Neoliberalism and Public Higher Education

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

In order to promote critical reflection and public discussions on the impact of neoliberalism on higher education the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University is hosting a national conference on “Neoliberalism and Public Higher Education” at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan, on March 27 – 28, 2015.

Critical topics include the corporatization of public colleges and universities, the privatization of public higher education and its implications for democracy, performance-based budgeting and its implications for institutional governance, the impact of neoliberalism on shared governance, trends in state funding, rising tuition rates and their implications for working class and minority students, the assault on ethnic studies and its implications for academic freedom and the curriculum, and flexible labor and the dramatic increase of adjunct faculty members.

Keynote Speakers:

March 27, 2015

“What Good is Higher Education? How Neoliberalism Constrains Teaching, Research and Outreach”
Lawrence Busch
University…

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Votes of No Confidence in Minnesota

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

At this past June’s annual meeting, a chapter leader suggested that AAUP ought to start tracking votes of no confidence—even if not as formally as it tracks its own investigations and censures of institutions for violations of the AAUP’s core principles of academic freedom, shared governance, and tenure/economic security.

As it is now, a vote of no confidence remains a largely local matter unless the issues involved attract regional or national media attention. And, although the issues at a particular institution might not seem to warrant more than local interest, we have all come to recognize, sometimes belatedly and regretfully, that our local issues have actually migrated to us through an administrative network that may not be as formally organized as ALEC but is often every bit as pernicious in its impact.

So I am making this post to initiate an effort to track votes of no confidence on this…

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Koch Money at Colleges and Universities: Part I, A-M

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

In an earlier post, “The Koch Brothers Gifts to Higher Ed Come with Many Strings Attached” [http://academeblog.org/2014/08/18/the-koch-brothers-gifts-to-higher-ed-come-with-many-strings-attached/], I discussed the decision by Brooklyn College to decline a gift from the Koch Brothers Foundation.

To all appearances, it is one of the few colleges to have made such a decision.

A former colleague once said that higher education is just like the corporate world and government, with people scrambling to advance themselves and get whatever they can get—but it is all the more unseemly in higher education simply because the advancements and their rewards are so meager in comparison to those available in the corporate world and government.

The bloat in administrative positions and salaries may have narrowed that gap, at least somewhat, but what surprises me about the following list is how cheaply influence in higher education can still be bought, at least institution by institution.

The following…

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Koch Money at Colleges and Universities: Part II, N-W

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

In an earlier post, “The Koch Brothers Gifts to Higher Ed Come with Many Strings Attached” [http://academeblog.org/2014/08/18/the-koch-brothers-gifts-to-higher-ed-come-with-many-strings-attached/], I discussed the decision by Brooklyn College to decline a gift from the Koch Brothers Foundation.

To all appearances, it is one of the few colleges to have made such a decision.

A former colleague once said that higher education is just like the corporate world and government, with people scrambling to advance themselves and get whatever they can get—but it is all the more unseemly in higher education simply because the advancements and their rewards are so meager in comparison to those available in the corporate world and government.

The bloat in administrative positions and salaries may have narrowed that gap, at least somewhat, but what surprises me about the following list is how cheaply influence in higher education can still be bought, at least institution by institution.

The following…

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Upcoming CFHE Meeting in Los Angeles

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

An announcement from the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education [http://futureofhighered.org]

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We invite you to join us for the

Eighth National Gathering of the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education:

Building Common Ground Inside and Outside the Academy

 HOSTED BY: California Faculty Association (CFA)

 DATES: January 16-18, 2015

 LOCATION: Manhattan Beach Marriott, Manhattan Beach, CA (near LAX)

 FOCUS: Most organizations dedicated to an equitable society characterized by supportive communities and meaningful opportunities for all face seemingly never-ending assaults on our vision of a just society.

Daily we all experience the challenges of fighting back effectively against forces much more powerful than our individual organizations or the people we represent.

While our organizations focus our daily work on different, seemingly unrelated specific issues, we are united by a common problem: national, state, and local policies on nearly every important issue–from…

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Branding—Not Cattle, but Whiskeys and Universities

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

Many of our institutions are paying consultants very large sums to improve their “branding.” My own institution, Wright State University, has budgeted $2.3 million for this purpose. And I believe that that funding has been designated simply for a “branding” plan and not for conducting a actual “branding” campaign. So who knows what the price tag ultimately will be.

I cannot help but wonder how long it will be before we recoup that money in additional enrollment. But, of course, despite the constant institutional refrain that all expenditures have to be justified with entrepreneurial accountability, I very much doubt that anyone will ever attempt to track the impact of this campaign on our enrollment. Indeed, at the most basic level, one could ask how anyone might possibly track such data with any accuracy. If we wished to track it, I suppose that we would have to hire another consultant to…

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Adjuncts, Faculty Working Conditions, and Student Learning Conditions

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

An “On the Issues” Post from the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education [http://futureofhighered.org]

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In “I Used to be a Good Teacher,” Alice Umber contrasts her experiences teaching as a tenure-track professor and then as a contingent, “adjunct” faculty member.  Her piece should be required reading for college students and parents, for administrators and tenure-track faculty, and for legislators and think tank report writers, for it catalogues some of the many ways that contingent appointments profoundly–and negatively—affect students and the quality of the education they receive.

As Umber makes clear, the working conditions of adjunct faculty members make it almost impossible to do as well as they could with greater support and more time for students.

From the lack of time and opportunity to confer with colleagues to lack of support for conferences to lack of opportunities to learn about the curriculum or the students, it…

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It Is Illogical to Assert That Death Threats Do Not Have a Chilling Effect on Free Speech

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

Dear Ulf:

I generally find your posts to be very amusing. But I think that you have missed not just the bullseye but the whole target in your most recent post.

Regardless of how the writer of the piece may have slanted it, the core issue in this situation was that the speaker was scheduled, she received a death threat, and she then asked that those attending the scheduled talk be screened for weapons. That request was denied because weapons are allowed on campus, apparently whether death threats have been made to a specific speaker or not.

So this was not someone simply and irrationally equating guns with danger. This was someone recognizing the potential danger in the very explicit message that someone intended to shoot her if she spoke.

Unless you have actually received a death threat that was tied to your expressing a particular viewpoint and have nonetheless…

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The Most LGBT-Friendly and -Unfriendly Colleges and Universities in the United States

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

The Princeton Review’s list of the 20 most LGBT-friendly colleges and universities in the U.S.:
1. Emerson College (Boston, Mass.)
2. Warren Wilson College (Asheville, N.C.)
3. New College of Florida (Sarasota, Fla.)
4. Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
5. University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, Wis.)
6. Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio)
7. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Needham, Mass.)
8. Smith College (Northampton, Mass.)
9. New York University
10. Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, Pa.)
11. Wellesley College (Wellesley, Mass.)
12. Bennington College (Bennington, Vt.)
13. University of Chicago
14. Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
15. Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.)
16. Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, N.Y.)
17. Macalester College (St. Paul, Minn.)
18. Pitzer College (Claremont, Calif.)
19. Marlboro College (Marlboro, Vt.)
20. Grinnell College (Grinnell, Iowa)

At the other end of the spectrum, here is the list of the 20 most LGTB-unfriendly schools. The schools in bold are new…

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