Monthly Archives: April 2010

Sticky notes with smiley faces showing various emotional states

Fear and Loathing in the Academy


Self-centeredness is the core of organizational politics in the university. The antidote for fear and loathing in the academy is a pedagogy of engagement, which means consideration for others.

The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower - book cover

Business as Usual: Elite Universities during the 1930s


Resources and intelligence do not necessarily translate into political or moral fortitude. Stephen H. Norwood, The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Editorial Matters – The Road Ahead


A university cancels a public lecture by an outspoken academic due to political pressure. A job offer at a prestigious research institute is rescinded in response to the opposition of a large, corporate sponsor. Police arrest demonstrators at a debate on one the flashpoints of regional geo-politics. A decision with far-reaching academic implications is taken with only perfunctory reference to collegial governance. A university’s strategic plan uses the corporate sector as a model, with the aim of maximizing growth, marketability and profit.

Humour Matters – Sabbatical Time


In an odd and unpredictable way, the Olympics saved my first sabbatical. I mean, I had great plans for my first sabbatical. No lectures to churn out, no essays to mark, no exams to set, no emails to return – just time to think, read, and write. But it wasn’t going to be all work. No sir. I figured it would be long lunches, real coffee breaks (you know, where you actually take a break!), walks in the afternoon, and even the occasional nap. Sabbatical would be like an adult version of daycare and, if anything went wrong, I could just go to the quiet area for a time out.

Peter Dale Scott

An Academic Life: Peter Dale Scott


Scion of one of Canada’s most noted intellectual families — his father F.R. Scott: poet, founder of the CCF, McGill Dean of Law and mentor of Pierre Trudeau; his mother, Marian Dale Scott: Montreal painter of extraordinary depth and close friend of Norman Bethune —  Peter Dale Scott, born in 1929, forsook in 1961 a […]

Men in suits chasing a dollar symbol at the end of a fishing rod

Higher Education or Education for Hire? Corporatization and the Threat to Democratic Thinking


Teaching critical thinking is the university’s democratic mission, argues the University of Ottawa’s Joel Westheimer, and today’s universities are failing to deliver. Universities need to reverse the trend that has them focusing on workforce preparation and the commercialization of knowledge and resurrect higher education’s public purpose.

Two groups of people on opposite sides of a walkway that leads up to a university building

Class Warriors


Professor William Ayers, banned last year from speaking at the University of Nebraska, argues that the current trend towards “academic capitalism” gives faculty the moment to speak up – and act up.