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If Dissent leaves the campus, there will be no more hope.

April 14, 2009
Sticker advocating dissent: "dissent deve...
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A recent dust-up at Bowdoin College has been expertly followed and commented on over at UnaskedAdvice.  Seems a tenured is getting fired for challenging the power structure.  Sifting through the allegations, it is difficult to get to the exact heart of the matter, but it seems that the prof is kind of an ass, and the dean is out to get him.

It would be so much easier, for the Dean, if the prof was an adjunct.  He would then wait patiently until the end of the semester and then announce, with all commiseration, that there are no open sections.  Problem solved.

That is, there can be no asshole adjuncts–which is really a sad state of things.  Where will all of the carmudgeons, ill-tempered and just plain grouchy profs go?  Will academia be the lesser for it?  Well, just pulse your local department.  Are there any carmudgeons?  Anyone there that might tell someone from the administration to buzz off?  Someone on staff that might say to a dean, “Yes, I will show up when the raise you promised comes through?”  Anyone at all?

If so, I would bet my last dollar (which is very well may be) that prof has tenure.  And his/her ilk are dwindling.   Look in the adjunct pool.  Any “socially inappropriate” people there?  I am not saying the perves who hit on the coeds, or the maladjusted, in-class criminal offender…I am talking about the person who may take a stand against the power structure for a good reason.  I am talking about Dissent.

If Dissent leaves the campus, there will be no more hope.  If the safe zone of free ideas is pacified into blandness, then Orwell’s vision (if not Cheney’s) will reign.

The present state of (in)(un)security that adjuncts face makes her bland out of necessity.

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One Comment
  1. brokeharvardgrad permalink
    April 15, 2009 4:07 pm

    Goldstein claims that he didn’t meet with the Dean to begin with because they wouldn’t get back to him on salary negotiations. And, well, I have to admit that demonstrating during recruiting days is not something the Dean would like, but as far as I know, demonstrating is not a valid reason for remonstrating. In fact, one might say that calling Goldstein to her office because Goldstein was demonstrating is a form of harassment. I wouldn’t say that Goldstein is an asshole because he was rude. I wonder why he was called to the carpet for this in the first place. When faculty takes part in a demonstration for salary negotiations, they can’t legally be fired or punished. When someone takes part in a demonstration for contracts, as the SAG did, the actors can’t be fired. Why would a place of learning not be cognizant of the historical precedent set here? There is no good way to fire someone for speaking out, especially if he or she has tenure. Part of the tenure deal is trying to protect the academic’s ability to speak. We know that this has been disregarded many times, but from the Dean’s level? That’s a fool’s game.

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