Earlier today, the Chronicle of Higher Education’s online website, Vitae, published an article by one of our former Postdoctoral fellows, Bob Elder. Elder examines in his article “Practicing Affection in the Academy,” both the trouble with MOOCs and the challenges of life as an adjunct. What makes this essay truly worth reading is that Elder goes further than simply joining the fray. He writes:
But while it’s easy to say “I told you so” to innovators and administrators [regarding MOOCs and labor issues with adjuncts], and deeply satisfying to see the failures of our academic labor system laid out with verve and wit, these stories also highlight a failure on the part of those pointing fingers to present a compelling case for why these developments in higher education were misguided in the first place.
Elder asks us to consider: “Why is it that we do what we do in the way that we do it?” Go see what he has to say and how, with a little bit of help from Wendell Berry, we might find some “affection” in how we conduct the business of higher education.
Posted by Mary Beth Fraser Connolly