The Remaking of University:
What Can We Do?
James L. Turk
Ryerson University
April 4, 2014
Role of the University
o Advancement of knowledge
o Preservation and dissemination of
knowledge
o Education of students
Made possible by:
o Academic freedom
o Teaching
o Research
o Intramural
o Extramural
o Collegial governance
Purpose of the University
“The University of Toronto is dedicated to fostering an academic
community in which the learning...
Purpose of the University
“The University of Toronto is dedicated to fostering an academic
community in which the learning...
Purpose of the University
“The University of Toronto is dedicated to fostering an academic
community in which the learning...
Customers
HR Policies
CEOs?
Thorsten Veblen, The Higher Learning in America. New
York: Sagamore Press, 1957 (originally published 1918)
“What is here ...
ideological state apparatus is to focus research (both basic and
applied) and to coordinate vocational-professional manpow...
Bill Readings, The University in Ruins. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1996
“…the modern university is a ruined inst...
Howard Woodhouse, Selling Out: Academic Freedom and the
Corporate Market. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen‟s
University P...
University collaborations
Big Oil Goes to College
An Analysis of 10 Research Collaboration Contracts Between
Leading Energy Companies and Major U.S....
University Corporate Partners Amount
Arizona State BP $5.2-million/2 years
UC, Berkeley BP $500-million/10 years
UC, Davis...
Findings
 In 9 of the 10 agreements, the university failed to
retain majority academic control over the central
governing...
Findings (continued)
 8 of the 10 agreements fail to specify
transparently, in advance, how faculty may apply
for allianc...
Findings (continued)
 9 of the 10 agreements affirm the university‟s right
to publish, but in many instances this contrac...
The same in Canada?
Research
Collaborations
University Partners
Consortium for Research
and Innovation in
Aerospace in Quebec
14 universities
...
Program
Collaborations
University Partners
Partnership UOIT
Durham College
Ontario Power
Generation
Munk School of Global
...
How do the 12 measure up?
1. Transparency?
The terms of 10 were secret.
2. Academic freedom protected?
7 had no specific p...
How do the 12 measure up?
6. Right to publish?
5 protect faculty members right to publish; 5 do not; and for 2
it is not c...
For 7 research collaborations only
10. Funding decisions based on peer review?
Only in 1 of 7 research collaborations
11. ...
University governance
Thorsten Veblen, The Higher Learning in America. New
York: Sagamore Press, 1957 (originally published 1918)
Faculty of a w...
“...the charges that one so often hears today,
that universities are becoming so large, so
complex, and so dependent upon ...
“It was consistently suggested during our
hearings that the control of the university had
fallen into the hands of an admi...
What can academic staff
& students do?
“At a certain point…we don‟t have
universities any more, but outlying
branches of i...
More specifically, we can:
o Use collective bargaining creatively to ensure
academic freedom & collegial governance
Collective Bargaining
academic freedom
promotion and tenure
complement
intellectual property
dispute resolution - discipli...
What can we do?
o Use collective bargaining creatively to ensure academic
freedom & collegial governance
o Defend labour r...
The Remaking of University: What Can We Do?
The Remaking of University: What Can We Do?
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The Remaking of University: What Can We Do?

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Keynote presentation by Dr. James L. Turk, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) at the 2014 conference "Capitalism in the Classroom: Neoliberalism, Education and Progressive Alternatives." Presentation made in Toronto, 4 April 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGEIFZoAAgs

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The Remaking of University: What Can We Do?

  1. 1. The Remaking of University: What Can We Do? James L. Turk Ryerson University April 4, 2014
  2. 2. Role of the University o Advancement of knowledge o Preservation and dissemination of knowledge o Education of students
  3. 3. Made possible by: o Academic freedom o Teaching o Research o Intramural o Extramural o Collegial governance
  4. 4. Purpose of the University “The University of Toronto is dedicated to fostering an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish, with vigilant protection for individual human rights, and a resolute commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, equity and justice.
  5. 5. Purpose of the University “The University of Toronto is dedicated to fostering an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish, with vigilant protection for individual human rights, and a resolute commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, equity and justice. “Within the unique university context, the most crucial of all human rights are the rights of freedom of speech, academic freedom, and freedom of research. And we affirm that these rights are meaningless unless they entail the right to raise deeply disturbing questions and provocative challenges to the cherished beliefs of society at large and of the university itself.
  6. 6. Purpose of the University “The University of Toronto is dedicated to fostering an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish, with vigilant protection for individual human rights, and a resolute commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, equity and justice. “It is this human right to radical, critical teaching and research with which the University has a duty above all to be concerned; for there is no one else, no other institution and no other office, in our modern liberal democracy, which is the custodian of this most precious and vulnerable right of the liberated human spirit.” http://www.utoronto.ca/about-uoft/mission-and-purpose.htm “Within the unique university context, the most crucial of all human rights are the rights of freedom of speech, academic freedom, and freedom of research. And we affirm that these rights are meaningless unless they entail the right to raise deeply disturbing questions and provocative challenges to the cherished beliefs of society at large and of the university itself.
  7. 7. Customers HR Policies CEOs?
  8. 8. Thorsten Veblen, The Higher Learning in America. New York: Sagamore Press, 1957 (originally published 1918) “What is here said of the businesslike spirit of the latterday „educators‟ is not to be taken as reflecting disparagingly on them or their endeavours. They respond to the call of the times as best they can…to substitute the pursuit of gain and expenditure in place of the pursuit of knowledge, as the focus of interest and the objective end in the modern intellectual life.” (p. 149)
  9. 9. ideological state apparatus is to focus research (both basic and applied) and to coordinate vocational-professional manpower training with labor and capital markets. This conflicts with the intellectuals‟ own cultural or scientific intentions which rest on a traditional claim to autonomy, that is to collective self- management. “…What radical scholars must therefore rediscover is not merely that intellectuals play a significant role in the reproduction of capitalism and the capitalist state, but that education has been and remains every bit as much a contested terrain as the shop floor, the party caucus and the halls of legislative assemblies.” “The imperatives of the corporate ideal…are fundamentally mission directed. The role of an Clyde Barrow, Universities and the Capitalist State: Corporate Liberalism and the Reconstruction of the American Higher Education, 1894-1928. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990
  10. 10. Bill Readings, The University in Ruins. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996 “…the modern university is a ruined institution. Those ruins must not be the object of a romantic nostalgia for a lost wholeness but the site of an attempt to transvalue the fact that the University no longer inhabits a continuous history of progress…Like the inhabitants of some Italian city, we can seek neither to rebuild the Renaissance city-state nor to destroy its remnants and install rationally planned tower- blocks; we can seek only to put its angularities and winding passages to new uses, learning from and enjoying the cognitive dissonances that enclosed piazzas and non- signifying campanile induce.”
  11. 11. Howard Woodhouse, Selling Out: Academic Freedom and the Corporate Market. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen‟s University Press, 2009 “Government underfunding continues to accompany growing corporatization. This pincer movement ensures that universities move ever faster to subordinate the pursuit of knowledge to the overriding market principle of monetary gain for stockholders. Universities compliant with this principle place at risk not only the freedom that makes the pursuit of knowledge possible but also the very process of understanding itself…Those of us who advance [this] must reaffirm the distinguishing features of the vocation of higher education that make possible the independent and critical search for knowledge – academic freedom and university autonomy.”
  12. 12. University collaborations
  13. 13. Big Oil Goes to College An Analysis of 10 Research Collaboration Contracts Between Leading Energy Companies and Major U.S. Universities http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/report/2010/10/14/8484/big-oil-goes-to-college/
  14. 14. University Corporate Partners Amount Arizona State BP $5.2-million/2 years UC, Berkeley BP $500-million/10 years UC, Davis Chevron $25-million/5 years Colorado Sch. of Mines Chevron $2.5-million/5years Colorado; Colorado State; Colorado School of Mines 27 companies $6-million/5 years Georgia Tech Chevron $12-million/5 years Iowa State Chevron $22.5-million/5 years Stanford ExxonMobil, GE, Toyota, Schlumberger $225-million/3 years Texas A&M Chevron $5.2-million/5 years U Texas, Austin; Rice Baker Hughes, BP, Shell, Conoco Phillips, Total, Haliburton, Marathon, Occidental ,Petroleo Brasileiro, Schlumberger $30-million/3 years Big Oil Collaborations
  15. 15. Findings  In 9 of the 10 agreements, the university failed to retain majority academic control over the central governing body charged directing the university- industry alliance. 4 of the 10 alliances actually give the industry sponsors full governance control.  8 of the 10 agreements permit the corporate sponsor or sponsors to fully control both the evaluation and selection of faculty research proposals in each new grant cycle.  None of the 10 agreements requires faculty research proposals to be evaluated and awarded funding based on independent expert peer review.
  16. 16. Findings (continued)  8 of the 10 agreements fail to specify transparently, in advance, how faculty may apply for alliance funding, and what the specific evaluation and selection criteria will be.  9 of the 10 agreements call for no specific management of financial conflicts of interest related to the alliance and its research functions. None of these agreements, for example, specifies that committee members charged with evaluating and selecting faculty research proposals must be impartial, and may not award corporate funding to themselves.
  17. 17. Findings (continued)  9 of the 10 agreements affirm the university‟s right to publish, but in many instances this contractual right is curtailed by potentially lengthy corporate delays. The National Institutes of Health generally recommends no more than a 60-day delay on academic research publication, which it deems adequate time for the corporate sponsor to file a provisional patent application and remove any sensitive proprietary information. None of the 10 agreements analyzed abide by this maximum-60- day federally recommended publication delay; most far exceed it.
  18. 18. The same in Canada?
  19. 19. Research Collaborations University Partners Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec 14 universities 9 research centres 52 companies Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In-Situ Energy Calgary Shell, ConocoPhillips Nexen, Total, Repsol Alberta Innovates Centre of Oil Sands Innovation Alberta Imperial Oil Alberta Innovates - Energy & Environment Solutions Consortium for Heavy Oil Research by University Scientists Calgary Nexen; ConocoPhillips Petrovera Resources Husky Energy Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability Calgary Enbridge Mineral Deposit Research Unit UBC Mining industry Vancouver Prostate Centre UBC Pfizer BC Cancer Agency
  20. 20. Program Collaborations University Partners Partnership UOIT Durham College Ontario Power Generation Munk School of Global Affairs Toronto Peter & Melanie Munk Charitable Foundation Gov‟t of Ontario Balsillie School of International Affairs Waterloo Wilfrid Laurier CIGI Ontario Gov‟t Partnership Toronto Pierre Lassonde - Goldcorp Inc. Partnership Western Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
  21. 21. How do the 12 measure up? 1. Transparency? The terms of 10 were secret. 2. Academic freedom protected? 7 had no specific protection for academic freedom. 3. Does the university retain complete control over all academic matters? 6 had no provision assuring the university retained control of all academic matters affecting their students and faculty. 4. Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest? Only 1 requires disclosure of institutional or individual conflicts of interest. 5. Requirement that academic staff have no financial interest in the collaborating partner?‟ Only 1 prohibited financial conflicts of interest
  22. 22. How do the 12 measure up? 6. Right to publish? 5 protect faculty members right to publish; 5 do not; and for 2 it is not clear. 7. Recruitment and evaluation of postdocs and faculty members protected from being influenced by their potential involvement in the collaborative project? 6 had not such protection. 8. Mechanism for regular, publicly-available assessments of the effects and effectiveness of each agreement? No agreement had that provision. 9. Independent post-agreement evaluation plan? Absent in 11 of 12 agreements.
  23. 23. For 7 research collaborations only 10. Funding decisions based on peer review? Only in 1 of 7 research collaborations 11. Clear details about how faculty apply for funding and what evaluation and selection criteria will be used? Only in 3 of 7 research collaborations 12. Researchers assured access to all the data collected? Only in 3 of 7 research collaborations
  24. 24. University governance
  25. 25. Thorsten Veblen, The Higher Learning in America. New York: Sagamore Press, 1957 (originally published 1918) Faculty of a well administered university are organized into “the many committees for the- shifting-of-sawdust…These committees being in effect, if not in intention, designed chiefly to keep the faculty talking while the bureaucratic machine goes on its way under the guidance of the executive and his personal counsellors and lieutenants.” (p. 186) 1918
  26. 26. “...the charges that one so often hears today, that universities are becoming so large, so complex, and so dependent upon public funds that scholars no longer form or even influence their own policy, that a new and rapidly growing class of administrators is assuming control, and that a gulf of misunderstanding and misapprehension is widening between the academic staff and the administrative personnel, with grave damage to the functioning of both.” James Duff and Robert O. Berdahl, University Government in Canada, 1966, p. 3. 1966
  27. 27. “It was consistently suggested during our hearings that the control of the university had fallen into the hands of an administrative group of senior officials (the president, the vice- presidents, the deans) and that this group, in fact, ran the university without any genuine accountability.” 1993 Independent Study Group on University Governance, Governance and Accountability. Ottawa: CAUT, 1993.
  28. 28. What can academic staff & students do? “At a certain point…we don‟t have universities any more, but outlying branches of industry. Then all the things that industry turns to universities for – breadth of knowledge, far time horizons and independent voice – are lost."
  29. 29. More specifically, we can: o Use collective bargaining creatively to ensure academic freedom & collegial governance
  30. 30. Collective Bargaining academic freedom promotion and tenure complement intellectual property dispute resolution - discipline selection of senior administrators appointments workload financial exigency program redundancy regularization
  31. 31. What can we do? o Use collective bargaining creatively to ensure academic freedom & collegial governance o Defend labour rights & have a vision that goes beyond business unionism o Use our academic freedom o Mobilize colleagues & students around these and other issues, e.g., accessibility, equity o Build real alliances with students, alumni, broader university community, other labour & civil society groups o Take these issues to the public Our action or inaction will determine our future

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