Competing for tenure is like competing to be a drug lord.

I try not to reblog stuff without offering some sort of substantive commentary, but this article is just too good to pass up. Sums up the current (deplorable) state of the American academy quite well:

“So what you have is an increasing number of brilliant Ph.D. graduates arriving every year into the market hoping to secure a permanent position as a professor and enjoying freedom and high salaries, a bit like the rank-and-file drug dealer hoping to become a drug lord,” he explains. “Because of the increasing inflow of potential outsiders ready to accept this kind of working conditions, this allows insiders to outsource a number of their tasks onto them, especially teaching, in a context where there are increasing pressures for research and publishing. The result is that the core is shrinking, the periphery is expanding, and the core is increasingly dependent on the periphery. In many countries, universities rely to an increasing extent on an ‘industrial reserve army’ of academics working on casual contracts because of this system of incentives.””

Bloody brilliant; good to see I’m not the only one who thinks we need some radical innovation in the academy to stay alive (and relatively human).


Competing for tenure is like competing to be a drug lord..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s