Academic freedom is facing its most serious threats since the McCarthy era, according to essays in Academic Freedom After September 11, published this month by Zone Books. Essays in the book -- which come from scholars such as Joel Beinin, Judith Butler and Robert Post -- both focus on current issues and offer a historical perspective.
Monday's announcement that two private equity firms had agreed to pay $3.4 billion to buy Education Management Corp. means at least one thing: Some well-known and well-heeled financial folks decided that one of the country's most successful publicly held providers of for-profit higher education was a smart investment.
For some time now, large gatherings of faculty members have included a session about adjuncts. Those frustrated at being kept off of the tenure track would hear the latest data on the shrinking pool of tenure-track jobs and attendees would trade horror stories about the use and abuse of part-timers. And then the meeting would get back to its regular agenda.