Mainstream Media

Farewell to The Corporate University Andrew Ross The Chronicle of Higher Education The term "corporate university" barely raises an eyebrow these days. That is unfortunate. It's perfectly fine for a collegial kvetch around the department water cooler, but it's not all that helpful for analyzing how institutions like ours are being restructured. In fact, the term is a lazy shorthand for understanding the changes coursing through higher education. Admittedly, there is a pile of evidence to support the idea that universities have gone corporate. The casualization of the academic work force is the most obvious—arguably, the loss of professional job security has occurred at a rate faster than in any other occupational sector. The polarization in salaries is another example of marketization: The ratio of executive compensation to the pay of the average adjunct instructor bears comparison with that in most top-down corporations. So too have universities, like corporations, gone offshore, cutting costs, spreading assets, and polishing their brands in "emerging markets." The shift in attention and funds toward commercially relevant fields has also been quite pronounced, and the production of a jumbo pool of student debt has made universities into vehicles, if not instruments, for bankers' profits. Some of the most delicious water-cooler tales emphasize how our administrators are adopting managerial techniques from corporate America. But there the analogy begins to unravel. At my own university—no slouch when it comes to entrepreneurial moves—the administration recently introduced a "re-engineering" campaign to cut costs and improve managerial efficiency. Transplants from the corporate world might have concluded they were in a time warp. After all, the heyday of the managerial fad known as "re-engineering" was in the early 1990s, sparked by Michael Hammer and James Champy's Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution (HarperBusiness, 1993).
News Outlets Follow NPR's Lead: No Staffers at Stewart and Colbert Rallies Nate Freeman, NY Observer After a memo banning staffers from attending rallies — specifically the two high-profile ones to be orchestrated by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert later this month — made its way around the internet and collected backlash in its swath, NPR is trying to get other news outlets to join its side of the fight.
US Chamber Shuts off and Websites of Hundreds of Other Activist Groups Hundreds of activist organizations had their internet service turned off last night after the US Chamber of Commerce strong-armed an upstream provider, Hurricane Electric, to pull the plug on The Yes Men and May First / People Link, a 400-member-strong organization with a strong commitment to protecting free speech. "This is a blow against free speech, and it demostrates in gory detail the full hypocrisy of the Chamber," said Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men. "The only freedom they care about is the economic freedom of large corporations to operate free of the hassles of science, reality, and democracy." After suffering embarrassment at the hands of the Yes Men on Monday, the Chamber immediately threatened legal action, then followed through Thursday by sending a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice to Hurricane Electric Internet Services. In the DMCA notice, the Chamber claimed that the parody Chamber website operated by The Yes Men constituted copyright infringement, and demanded that the site be shut down immediately and that the creator's service be canceled. But the Yes Men are not served directly by Hurricane Electric, but by May First / People Link. And when Hurricane Electric shut down the fake Chamber of Commerce site (now relocated), they also took down the websites of 400 other organizations. May First / People Link fought back. They immediately "mirrored" the site, and then quickly negotiated with Hurricane Electric to restore service to their other members.
"Ward Churchill Redux" Stanley Fish, New York Times Last Thursday, a jury in Denver ruled that the termination of activist-teacher Ward Churchill by the University of Colorado had been wrongful (a term of art) even though a committee of his faculty peers had found him guilty of a variety of sins. The verdict did not surprise me because I had read the committee’s report and found it less an indictment of Churchill than an example of a perfectly ordinary squabble about research methods and the handling of evidence. The accusations that fill its pages are the kind scholars regularly hurl at their polemical opponents. It’s part of the game. But in most cases, after you’ve trashed the guy’s work in a book or a review, you don’t get to fire him. Which is good, because if the standards for dismissal adopted by the Churchill committee were generally in force, hardly any of us professors would have jobs.
You Are Being Lied to About Pirates Johann Hari Huffington Post Who imagined that in 2009, the world's governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy - backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China - is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labeling as "one of the great menace of our times" have an extraordinary story to tell -- and some justice on their side.
Rape threats, beatings and racist chants: 15 Italians jailed for abuse of G8 Genoa protesters John Hooper The Guardian Fifteen Italian police officers and doctors were last night sentenced to jail terms of up to five years after being found guilty of abusing protesters detained during riots at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa. Thirty other defendants were cleared of charges ranging from assault to the denial of basic human rights. The judges issued their verdicts after 11 hours of closed-doors deliberations.
William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82 Douglas Martin, New York Times William F. Buckley Jr., who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn. Mr Buckley, 82, suffered from diabetes and emphysema, his son Christopher said, although the exact cause of death was not immediately known. He was found at his desk in the study of his home, his son said. “He might have been working on a column,” Mr. Buckley said.

Party Letter Accuses China's Communists of Drift

The 17 Signatories, Ex-Officials and Academics Say Policies Make a
Mockery of Marxism

Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times

July 18, 2007, BEIJING — A rare open letter signed by 17 former top officials and
conservative Marxist scholars ahead of a key party meeting accuses
China's top leaders of steering the country in the wrong direction,
pandering to foreigners, betraying the workers' revolution and
jeopardizing social stability.

"We're going down an evil road," says the letter on the website "The whole country is at a most precarious time."

The challenge is unusual because of the importance of its signatories
and its timing before this fall's party congress, an event held every
five years and a key date on the political calendar.

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