Tag Archives: institutions

Escape Workplace Hell with Erasogram®

Jean-Paul Sartre famously declared that “Hell is other people.”  And Dante constructed his Inferno by wedging like-minded souls into very close quarters.  You don’t have to attend the MLA Convention to see this principle in operation today.  Just think for … Continue reading

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Niether For Nor Against: Notes on the Institution

Working as a department chair for seven out of the past ten years I have heard my share of faculty who appear to think that the administration is an “other” and that the only viable position to take as a … Continue reading

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Rethinking Failure 2

When I was an undergraduate at Dartmouth back in the mythical 1960’s, people were always looking over their shoulders.  The school had a rugged outdoorsman mentality (it was all-male in those days), which compensated rather actively for the intense class … Continue reading

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The Adjunct and Part-time Challenge

Back when Jerry Brown was governor of California the first time, the state went into one of its periodic budget crises, and the good governor decided to freeze salaries throughout the state university system.  When the faculty objected, he told … Continue reading

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Preparation and Strain

“When you get right down to it, considering the long years of preparation and strain, it’s hard to find any position so poorly compensated as tenure-track college faculty—except, of course, most of the rest of college faculty, the majority who … Continue reading

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Endings and Beginnings

Op-Ed writers have a knack for conceptual distillation and, sometimes, a timely opening sentence. Such is the case with chairman of the religion department at Columbia Mark C. Taylor’s “Ending the University as We Know It” published in the April … Continue reading

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Some Thoughts on Identity and Integrity

I’ve always been interested in considering more fully the too often neglected relationship between the developing inner life of a teacher and the varied paths teachers’ lives actually take. A number of years ago I found in the writing of … Continue reading

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When a Sense of Place is a Sense of Motion

I’ve been thinking a lot about staying alive by thinking about place.  One of the common situations for those of us that pursue intellectual work is finding one’s way into a life, as Wallace Stegner once put it, where a … Continue reading

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