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Fighting Academic Repression and Neoliberal Education

Resistance, Reclaiming, Organizing, and Black Lives Matter in Education

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Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II and Erik Juergensmeyer

Fighting Academic Repression and Neoliberal Education is a cutting-edge investigation of the alarming state of education today. This practical how-to handbook gives readers tactics and strategies to organize and challenge forces that threaten liberatory critical education. Drawn from scholars and activists from across the world, the fifteen chapters guide readers through a strategic method of understanding the academic industrial complex and corporate education in the twenty-first century. Education is being hijacked by banks and corporations that are tearing apart the foundational fabric of academic freedom, resulting in mass standardized education and debt for all students and furthering racial inequity. This is a must-read for anyone interested in democracy, education, social justice, critical pedagogy, and Black Lives Matter.

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3. Parasites, Sycophants, and Rebels: Resisting Threats to Faculty Governance (Mark Seis)

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CHAPTER  THREE

Parasites, Sycophants, and Rebels: Resisting Threats to Faculty Governance

MARK SEIS

 

INTRODUCTION

The greatest academic repressive threat to higher education is the normalization of the ideology of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is a set of economic policies that privilege private ownership over the public good by emphasizing reductions in public funding for services like education and health care, the deregulation of private enterprise, and the privatization of public space. Neoliberalism’s emphasis on privatization of public spaces and public wealth has led to a forty-year decline in funding for higher education and a litany of repressive measures aimed at turning public colleges and universities into for profit corporations (Badger, 2015; Cox, 2013; Giroux, 2014; Marmol, 2015; Newfield, 2008; Nocella II, Best, & McLaren, 2010; Ward, 2012). Less funding has forced most public-supported colleges and universities down the road to privatization, meaning rising tuition rates for students, fewer tenure-track faculty, and more streamlined and standardized curricula: “More incredible—and outrageous—the American Council on Education […] predicts that if current trends hold, by 2059 state funding for colleges and universities will be reduced to zero” (Badger, 2015).

An even more disturbing trend in the realm of academic repression is that with less government funding more federal and state legislative mandates have come, requiring publicly supported higher education to fulfill neoliberal ideological requirements focused on career-based education, “seeing students as consumers, and viewing the university brand through the...

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