Magazine article Herizons

Inside Corporate U: Women in the Academy Speak Out

Magazine article Herizons

Inside Corporate U: Women in the Academy Speak Out

Article excerpt


Edited by Marilee Reimer


A funny thing happened on the way to gender equity at Canadian universities. Just as more women gained faculty positions, as women's studies programs were developed and expanded, and as feminist principles began to impact pedagogical and institutional arrangements, universities themselves underwent a radical restructuring that today threatens all of these advances.

Beginning in the 1980s, administration procedures and government funding programs emphasized the profitability, consumability and marketability of teaching and research-often at the expense of the university's traditional responsibilities. Inside Corporate Uexamines the effects of this ongoing corporatization upon women working and studying at Canadian universities.

For one thing, this change in priorities had an especially adverse impact upon the fields preferred by women-fields where the quantitative methods of evaluation that serve commercial interests often miss the point, or where partnering with businesses and developing marketable products is less important than sharing skills and working with disadvantaged communities. "When shortterm commercial gains become the bottom line of university mandates, the fabric ot Women's Studies programming and of feminist scholarship that benefits social ends begins to unravel," says editor Marilee Reimer.

For female academics, this can also mean that their work is less likely to enter public debate and discussion. …

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