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Thread: Musings on Cinema

  1. #31
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    Yes Chris, the problem is not new but the veterans I know tell me it's much worse lately, and it's never been so difficult to get work published, which is so relevant to getting tenure. I did not know of this documentary. Thanks.

  2. #32
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    Doubtless this situation is indeed worse and worse lately. I didn't know it was harder to get scholarly writing published in the humanities. The documentary IVORY TOWER brings out the corporatization of American higher education but more than the exploitation of teachers it dwells particularly on the exploitation of students, through debt. DEMOCRACY NOW! ran a story about IVORY TOWER when it debuted at Sundance.
    The cost of a college degree has grown by over 1,120 percent in the past three decades, far surpassing price hikes for food, medical care, housing, gasoline and other basics. Coupled with $1.2 trillion in student debt, the U.S. is facing a crisis that threatens not just the economy but the nationís education system itself. The issue is explored in the riveting new documentary "Ivory Tower," which argues the model for higher education in the U.S. has become unsustainable. The film contrasts the struggle for quality, affordable education with a growing corporate atmosphere on college campuses, where hundreds of millions of dollars go to football stadiums, lavish salaries and high-end perks. We are joined by "Ivory Tower" director and producer Andrew Rossi. The film opens this Friday in New York City and Los Angeles.
    --Summary on DEMOCRACY NOW June 10, 2014.
    Running universities as businesses rose its head as far back as Ronald Reagan's time as governor of California, 1967-1975, when he famously objected to distinguished professors at Berkeley being paid for time not spent in the classroom. The idea of thinking, research, writing as "work" was beyond Reagon's grasp. I was at Berkeley. I remember vividly Eldridge Cleaver leading a chant of 'FUCK RONALD REAGAN' at a demonstration in Sproul Plaza. Wiseman's AT BERKELEY provides some glimpses into the bind US higher education is in.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-24-2014 at 10:23 AM.

  3. #33
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    That was a great post Chris. Very interesting and informative. Having come into teaching recently, I don't have long experience with academia from inside, so to speak. I am amazed for instance at the wide gap between the rich and the poor. I mean, Professors of Law, Science, Business, Medicine who earn six figures and all the perks for teaching 2 to 4 courses per year, and at the other end, professors in the humanities being paid as little as $2000 per course with no benefits. I have a friend who got payed $2500 to teach a course with over 100 students. It's crazy to figure out the ratio between what the school collected from students and what it cost the administration to have someone teach it.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 07-24-2014 at 10:03 PM.

  4. #34
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    That sounds terrible, indeed much worse, though of course science professors always got the big grant money, labs, etc. It seems the gaps that have grown in society are reflected in academe too.

  5. #35
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    Oscar, sounds like you're teaching in North Carolina. Recently, the state of Texas set up booth at the state fair grounds to draft NC teachers (secondary) fed up with $29,000 starting salaries. Texas - especially Houston - offered $49,000 starting and more for those with experience. $20,000 is difficult to refuse. I'm certain your governor, Rick Scott, will correct that soon (wink, wink).
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  6. #36
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    $29,000! Where do I sign?

    Sometimes I wish South Florida would split from the rest of the state, somewhere below the heavily Republican I-4 corridor (Orlando, Tampa, St. Pete) and far away from the bible-belt philistenes in the Panhandle, but things being what they are, Rick Scott is my governor.

  7. #37
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    And "Oh, boy, now what..." McCrory is mine. We're both stuck.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

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