This collection brings together essays to address the crisis of Higher Education today, focusing on its neoliberalization. Higher Education has been under assault for several decades as neoliberalism’s preference for market-based reforms sweeps across the US political economy. The recent push for neoliberalizing the academy comes at a time when it is ripe for change, especially as it continues to confront growing financial pressure, particularly in the public sector. The resulting cutbacks in public funding, especially to state universities, led to a variety of debilitating changes: increases in tuition, growing student debt, more students combining working and schooling, declining graduation rates for minorities and low-income students, increased reliance on adjuncts and temporary faculty, and most recently growing interest in mass processing of students via online instruction. While many serious questions arise once we begin to examine what is happening in higher education today, one particularly critical question concerns the implications of these changes on the relationship of education to as yet still unrealized democratic ideals. The 12 essays collected in this volume create important resources for students, faculty, citizens and policymakers who want to find ways to address contemporary threats to the higher education-democracy connection. This book was originally published as a special issue of New Political Science.
Introduction: The Future of Higher Education and American Democracy 1. Realpolitik in the American University: Charles A. Beard and the Problem of Academic Repression 2. From E Pluribus Unum to Caveat Emptor: How Neoliberal Policies are Capturing and Dismantling the Liberal University 3. Academic Governance and Democratic Processes: The Entrepreneurial Model and Its Discontents 4. Ideology and the Reform of Public Higher Education 5. Resisting the Exploitation of Contingent Faculty Labor in the Neoliberal University: The Challenge of Building Solidarity between Tenured and Non-Tenured Faculty 6. Contingent Academic Labor Against Neoliberalism 7. The Web We Weave: Online Education and Democratic Prospects 8. The Changing Democratic Functions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities 9. Open Admission and the Imposition of Tuition at the City University of New York, 1969 – 1976: A Political Economic Case Study for Understanding the Current Crisis in Higher Education 10. Lowering the Basement Floor: From Community Colleges to the For-Profit Revolution 11. Academic Conservatives and the Future of Higher Education 12. Transforming the Game: Democratizing the Publicness of Higher Education and Commonwealth in Neoliberal Times