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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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7. Bureaucratic Stifling of Students and Faculty: Reclaiming College and University Campuses (Laura L. Finley)

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CHAPTER  SEVEN

Bureaucratic Stifling of Students and Faculty: Reclaiming College and University Campuses

LAURA L. FINLEY

 

INTRODUCTION

I consider myself an activist, as in addition to my teaching and writing, I am involved in numerous community and campus-based initiatives to address structural and institutional violence and to promote a more peaceful and just world. As an educator, I see one of my primary roles as a university professor to be introducing students to the many ways they can take action on social issues. I do my best to share with my students’ information about these issues and to model for them the diverse tools available to activists. I find my students to be interested and excited, and invariably when I share with them some of my own “projects,” many jump to get involved. Others are already passionate about something and seek only the mentoring that I can provide.

Unfortunately, too often I have found that university administrators stifle both faculty and student activism. This stifling occurs in a variety of ways, but it basically comes back to the imposition of excessive rules, policies, and procedures. Essentially, bureaucracy gets in the way, and interested students and faculty members either struggle to navigate it the best they can or, I think more frequently, decide that it isn’t worth their time. Underlying the bureaucracy are, well, far too many bureaucrats. The bloat of administrators in higher education...

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