Nice sentence. Packs a lot in.

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5 Responses to ““That colleges and universities have turned more and more of their frontline employees into part-time contractors suggests how far they have drifted from what they say they are all about (teaching students) to what they are increasingly all about (conducting research, running sports franchises, or, among for-profits, delivering shareholder value).””

  1. dmf Says:

    that’s a beauty, of course if Obama and co. have their way all of higher-ed will be turned into tax and student-debt supported job-training centers for corporate interests (in our new on-demand uberfied economy all the risk is shifted away from capital and onto whatever suckers are left)
    so voters are pretty much damned either way…

  2. Jack/OH Says:

    Chop-shop managements pretty much think: “Let’s dump the $30 an hour union guy for the $9 an hour guy hired out of a day labor agency. Or, the $55,000 a semester prof for the $15,000 a semester adjunct.”

    Sometimes there are few ill consequences. Sometimes this sort of thing may be necessary.

    But, in the case of blue collar workers, you run into agency costs, higher turnover, higher absenteeism, higher training costs, unquantifiable but real inefficiencies from loss of workplace control, etc. There’s one local outfit whose outsourced workers earn maybe 40%–tops–of what the corporate guys used to make. After the costs of saving on wages are factored in, the real savings to the corporation may be something around 20% (vs. the 60% cut in wages).

    I don’t know much about the “adjunctifying” of academic labor.

  3. charlie Says:

    Itinerant professors pay <<<<<<<<>>>>> money going to Wall Street for all the bonds needed to finance the enormous building boom going on at uni campuses. UC faculty issued a study on the whole stinkin mess…

    ucbfa.org/2009/11/where-does-uc-tuition-go

  4. david foster Says:

    A Spanish Republican named Arturu Barea wrote about his experiences in the 1920s, working in a bank that every year would “hire” a number of high school graduates on a trial basis, ie with no pay. People took the jobs in the hope that they would be one of the small number who would be selected at the end of the year for actual paid employment.

    The pattern in academia today seems somewhat similar. Airline pilot hiring also has some of the same characteristics, with commuter airline copilots (the usual first entry to the profession) being paid very poorly.

    I reviewed Barea’s excellent book here:

    http://photonplaza.blogspot.com/2002_12_29_archive.html#86794486

  5. dmf Says:

    hey jack/oh here is some context:
    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/levine-flexhaug-coalition-governments-low-paid-contract-teachers-at-canadian-universities-oliver-sacks-1.3215479/academia-s-dirty-little-secret-1.3215885

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