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Archive for November, 2016

Yancey Orr, Raymond Orr, The Death of Socrates Managerialism, metrics and bureaucratisation in universities, Australian Universities Review, vol. 58, no. 2 September 2016

Neoliberalism exults the ability of unregulated markets to optimise human relations. Yet, as David Graeber has recently illustrated, it is paradoxically built on rigorous systems of rules, metrics and managers. The potential transition to a market-based tuition and researchfunding model for higher education in Australia has, not surprisingly, been preceded by managerialism, metrics and bureaucratisation (rendered hereafter as ‘MMB’) in the internal functioning of universities in the last decade. This article explores the effects of MMB on the lives of academics, the education of students, and the culture and functioning of universities. By examining some of the labour activities of academics, work scheduling and time use, we demonstrate that MMB reduces the efficiency and quality of academic teaching, research and administration. Even more worrying, by qualitatively assessing the language, values and logic increasingly present in the academic culture of higher education in Australia, we show that MMB does not simply fail to improve universities or accurately assess academic achievement, it replaces the core values of education with hollow bureaucratic instrumentalism.

Keywords: bureaucratisation, managerialism, metrics, transvaluation of values

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Alison Mountz et al. For Slow Scholarship: A Feminist Politics of Resistance through Collective Action in the Neoliberal University, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 2015, 14(4), 1235 – 1259

Abstract
The neoliberal university requires high productivity in compressed time frames. Though the neoliberal transformation of the university is well documented, the isolating effects and embodied work conditions of such increasing demands are too rarely discussed. In this article, we develop a feminist ethics of care that challenges these working conditions. Our politics foreground collective action and the contention that good scholarship requires time to think, write, read, research, analyze, edit, organize, and resist the growing administrative and professional demands that disrupt these crucial processes of intellectual growth and personal freedom. This collectively written article explores alternatives to the fast-paced, metric-oriented neoliberal university through a slow-moving conversation on ways to slow down and claim time for slow scholarship and collective action informed by feminist politics. We examine temporal regimes of the neoliberal university and their embodied effects. We then consider strategies for slowing scholarship with the objective of contributing to the slow scholarship movement. This slowing down represents both a commitment to good scholarship, teaching, and service and a collective feminist ethics of care that challenges the accelerated time and elitism of the neoliberal university. Above all, we argue in favor of the slow scholarship movement and contribute some resistance strategies that foreground collaborative, collective, communal ways forward.

Keywords: slow scholarship, neoliberal university, resistance, collective action,
feminism

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