Magazine article Academe

The Next 100 Years

Magazine article Academe

The Next 100 Years

Article excerpt

THE ECONOMIST JOHN K. GALBRAITH once said, "When it comes to forecasting the future, there are two kinds of economists, those who know that they don't know and those who don't." so making statements about the future, especially without a crystal ball, can be risky. perhaps this is why Yogi Berra, who recently passed away at the age of ninety, once said, "The future is not what it used to be." Fortunately for me, I will not be around for the AAUp's bicentennial, so I am free to speculate about the next hundred years.

In our first century of existence, the AAUp's work centered on protecting academic freedom and shared governance and providing faculty members with economic security. Clearly, academic freedom has been and will remain a critical issue for all of those individuals involved in teaching in the broadest sense-faculty, graduate students, academic professionals, and postdocs. It is equally important to those involved in research and other creative forms of scholarship. shared governance is a collective form of academic freedom, allowing faculty as a group to bring their expertise to bear on the curriculum, academic policy, diversity, hiring and retention, and institutional priorities, all of which affect the primary missions of colleges and universities. Economic security is important because it allows institutions of higher education to attract the best faculty.

I believe that these core issues will remain as important in the next hundred years as they have been in the AAUp's first century of existence. The need for an organization like the AAUp, which recognizes that higher education is a public good and that it must serve the public interest by promoting the free exchange of ideas-whether in the classroom, in the lab, on the stage, or in the "public square"-is enduring.

Significant positive changes in higher education are unlikely to occur, however, until there is a broader mass movement that addresses the overall neoliberal agenda, which has been pushed by corporations and the super rich.

One of the main manifestations of the corporatization of higher education has been the transformation of academic labor. Recognizing the changes that were beginning to take place, faculty began unionizing in both the public and the private sectors in the 1970s. …

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