Showing posts from May, 2014

A Post-ac, Para-ac and Alt-ac walk into an Alt-mod…

With social media craze and higher education crisis as parents, the hashtags #alt-ac, #post-ac, and #para-ac refer to people classified by their work, education, and attitude toward the academy, who opt or aim for careers across the public and private, employee and entrepreneur work spaces within and without higher education, and who by some lights are laying foundation for a new academy.
Until recently I was unaware that I might be classified as an “acer” – as in “hacker.” Like many others I do not fit nicely under any one of the three hashtags, though best fit is a reluctant post-ac.For a decade I worked as an adjunct until five years ago when romantic and labour market forces left me without even this tenuous access to faculty work.

From Motor City to Mind City: Combining Union, Professional and Co-operative Association in Michigan Higher Education

Nation of Change published a piece this month by Matt Stannard, entitled, “Organized Labor, Public Banks and Grassroots: Keys to A Worker-Owned Economy,” that includes several observations I consider consistent with the aims of my alternative higher education model (a.k.a. PSA): a paradigm shift away from the current employer/employee capitalist labour arrangement in favour of labour arrangements more common to entrepreneurialism and the social economy.
First, from my perspective on higher education reform Stannard’s piece offers a constructive rather than complicit role for unions.Second, his piece mitres nicely with one of the strategies I have been developing to put the PSA model into action.

Unions Are Complicit In Harm To Adjuncts and Higher Education

Unionization is not an effective response to the crisis in higher education. In fact it is a mistake that harms higher education and academic labour.  This is so for at least five reasons that are obvious from my perspective: