UNDER THE RADAR with Host Frank FearNov 27, 2023
Christopher A. Snyder on a Liberal Arts Education
We are pleased today to welcome Christopher Snyder, professor of history and founding dean of Mississippi State’s Honor College, who is joining us from the University of Oxford, where he is a visiting research fellow and working on a book manuscript associated with today’s topic.
Professor Snyder will speak today on the principles of a liberal arts education, drawing in his talk on an article published by Inside Higher Education in October 2023, entitled, A Liberal Arts Education in Name Only. The article is a response to administrative actions being taken across the country that are remaking what it means to use the words higher education, college, university, and what a college education is for. Too much is at stake to permit this trend to continue.
We are also pleased to welcome discussant Adrian Lenardic, professor in the Department of Earth, Environment, and Planetary Sciences at Rice University, who has written extensively on neoliberal influences in higher education and is a frequent contributor to Future U. Also offering commentary today are Ruben Martinez, professor and director emeritus, Michigan State University and founder of FutureU; and Nathan Rousseau and Lewis (Terry Dibble), professor and senior lecturer, respectively, at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus.
Today's forum is hosted and produced by Frank A. Fear, Michigan State University professor emeritus and FutureU's Managing Editor.
The Forum was taped on Friday, November 24, 2023.
FAF interview with Dimitri, Living Dangerously
Taped on September 12, 2023
Samuel H. Johnson Talks About His Life, Book Writing Experiences, and His Newest Offering, "HBCUs The Living Legacies"
In 2020, I referred to Samuel H. Johnson as a Renaissance Person. By that, I mean a person with wide-ranging interests/knowledge who draws on both attributes to create new and valuable things for public consumption. That description fits Sam to a "T." He has been a radio host, award-winning public TV producer, Hollywood actor, activist, trailblazing Federal staff writer, and (in retirement) a novelist and author of children's books. His ability to pivot from one endeavor to another--and do each well--is one reason (among many) why I hold Sam in high regard. Today, Sam discusses his personal background, including the impact of his collegiate years at Miami University (Ohio). He then talks about his book writing projects (two in particular), The Cherokee and the Slave (2013) and Gabriel's Favorite Angel (2018), before focusing on the centerpiece of today's program, HBCUs The Living Legacies, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2022). (All three books are available on Amazon.com.) I know you will enjoy getting to know Samuel H. Johnson. (You can read my review of his HBCU book here.)
Jim Holland: "The Investment Was Worth Every Minute"
The title of this episode was written by today's guest, Jim Holland. The words are drawn from the end of his memorable autobiography, My Fortunate Detour: Making a Right Turn into a Baseball Career Among the Mountains of West Virginia. The book describes how Holland made a "fortunate detour" from a general business career into an executive management career in minor league baseball. In one sense, his is a baseball book. But as my recent book review emphasized, it's about that and much more. The autobiography tells us much about Jim Holland and what makes him tick, and I found the sports-personal narrative connection incredibly appealing. I hope you will too. You can purchase Jim's book at Amazon.com with Kindle and paperback options available.
Cover photo: Jim Holland's photo as enshrined in the Appalachian League Hall of Fame (2019), lauded (among other things) for serving as General Manager of the Princeton, WV Appalachian League franchise for 24 years, earning the League's Award of Promotional Excellence five times, and being named Appalachian League Executive of the Year in 1993.
Mark Parsons, "The Person Behind the Feed"
Thousands of West Virginia University sports fans know the name Mark Parsons because they see his name just about every day in their Facebook newsfeeds. That's because Mark is a prolific poster on various Facebook pages and groups of news, views, and commentary about WVU sports. While many fans know him by name, many aren't as familiar with the person behind the feed. That's the purpose of today's podcast. Greg Crist, host of Courtside with Coach Crist on the New River Network, joins me in an entertaining 45-conversation with "The Person Behind the Feed," Mark Parsons. (Video produced for The Sports Column by Frank Fear.
Will the University Survive? Austerity, Political Repression, and the Attack on Academic Freedom
Our guest today is Professor Ellen Schrecker, and she will speak on highly concerning issues in higher education today--the impacts of fiscal austerity, political repression, and the diatribe regarding academic freedom.
For over fifty years, American higher education has been attacked by a powerful right-wing network of libertarian billionaires, ideologues, and ambitious politicians engaged in rolling back its efforts to provide the inclusive, high-level public education a democratic society requires. At the same time, because the academy has also had to cope with the austerity brought on by a neoliberal polity that seeks to defund the public sector, its leaders adopted corporate practices that have undermined the university’s ability to defend itself against the current culture wars. This presentation explains how this situation developed and how the academic community can fight back effectively against the most serious threat it has ever faced.
Professor Emerita Ellen Schrecker of Yeshiva University is one of America’s most persistent and determined voices on the described matters. She has written extensively about McCarthyism, political repression, and American higher education. Her latest book is The Lost Promise: American Universities in the 1960s (2021). Earlier work, especially No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the University (1987) and Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (1998), resonates today. Her forthcoming publication, The Right to Learn: Resisting the Right-wing Attack on Academic Freedom, is a collection of essays co-edited with Valerie C. Johnson and Jennifer Ruth and will be published by Beacon Press in 2024.
Today, she is joined by Professor Jennifer Ruth, film professor at Portland State University’s College of the Arts. FutureU’s founder Dr. Rubén O. Martinez, Michigan State University professor emeritus and FutureU's founder, hosts the forum.
Today's program was produced by Emeritus Professor Frank Fear for FutureU, Conversations about Values and Change in Higher Education.
WVU "Band of Brothers" Tribute to Greg Crist
Greg Crist is one of the most recognizable names in West Virginia sports, the host of COURTSIDE WITH COACH CRIST on the New River Network @newrivernetwork5468, and a member of the West Virginia Sports Legends Hall of Fame. Greg was gracious enough to promote efforts surrounding the publication of Frank Fear's Band of Brothers, Then and Now: The Inspiring Story of the 1966-70 WVU Football Mountaineers.
It's now a time when turnabout is fair play. WVU football alumni Mickey Plumley, Charlie Fisher, and Dickielee Roberts join host Frank Fear in this entertaining and informative session with Greg. (60 minutes).
Our guest today is Professor Kirsty Morrin. Rather than view entrepreneurship as a uniformly positive concept/practice, something that is beyond the need for investigation and evaluation, Professor Morrin critically examines a subject matter and approach that has become a movement (if not rage) in higher education. Today, colleges and universities worldwide offer entrepreneurship majors, minors, and programs. However, analysis reveals (as Dr. Morrin puts it) that "entrepreneurial agendas conceal precariousness and reproduce inequalities." She argues against the current discourse for entrepreneurial initiatives in education and suggests the need for a critical conversation about its repeated failures.
Professor Morrin is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Liverpool, England. Her research explores social inequalities and focuses on public-private partnerships in state education. Kirsty has published on many issues, including educational inequalities, entrepreneurship education, social inequalities (race, class, and gender), and critical social theory. She is a co-author with Christy Kulz and Ruth McGinity of Inside the Education Lab: Critical Ethnographic Perspectives on the Academies Experiment (Manchester University Press, 2022). Dr. Morrin is also the author of the forthcoming Academies, Entrepreneurship, and Inequality: The Politics of Successful Failure, scheduled to be published by Bristol University Press in 2024.
Joining Professor Morrin today is Professor Rubén O. Martinez, professor emeritus of sociology and director emeritus of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University, and FutureU’s founder. Professor Martinez is today's program host. Dr. Nathan Rousseau, professor of sociology at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus and frequent FutureU contributor, will serve as the session discussant.
Today's program was produced by Emeritus Professor Frank Fear for FutureU, Conversations about Values and Change in Higher Education.
The Quantification of Quality in Higher Education
We welcome guest speaker John W. Traphagan to our audio series. Today's presentation, Neoliberalism and the Quantification of Quality in Higher Education is based on his recently published FutureU commentary, So You Want to be a University Administrator?
Professor Traphagan analyzes the ongoing infusion of metrics into all aspects of “measuring” quality in higher education. From course surveys to rubrics, the overarching approach is to quantify all aspects of higher ed around a simple equation: good metrics —> good optics —> marketing opportunities.
Dr. J. W. Traphagan is an anthropologist and a Visiting Professor at the Center for International Education at Waseda University in Tokyo. He is also a Professor Emeritus in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations at the University of Texas at Austin. His research has appeared in numerous scientific journals. His most recent books on Japan include Cosmopolitan Rurality, Depopulation, and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in 21st Century Japan (2020) and The Blood of Gutoku: A Jack Riddley Mystery in Japan (2021). His popular podcast series, How to Be Wrong, is available on the New Books Network.
Joining Dr. Traphagan today is Forum host Rubén O. Martinez, professor emeritus of sociology and director emeritus of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University, and FutureU’s founder. George Styles a biochemist with broad-ranging interests, including critical thinking, philosophy, and science, offers commentary as a discussant. Dr. Style’s podcast, The Socratic Method, is available on YouTube. Lewis (Terry) Dibble, a humanities professor at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus, offers comments.
Frank Fear produced the program for FutureU on June 20, 2023. The cover graphic is courtesy of Curatti.
Resisting the Neoliberal University
For those of us who have long been concerned about the neoliberalization of North American and other universities, now is a particularly disheartening time. Not only do longstanding issues of managerialism, commercialization, audit culture, surveillance, precarity, and others persist, but there are renewed assaults on tenure, academic freedom, and the discussion – let alone remediation – of inequality and social injustice. After so many years of dealing with, critiquing, and challenging neoliberalization, why our resistance is so seemingly ineffective is worth asking. In this talk, I answer this question by critiquing our general approach to making change and highlighting an important missing piece in our activism. I also encourage collective discussion of alternatives to enhance our resistance’s scope and effectiveness.
Today's guest and speaker is Professor Claire Polster. Dr. Polster is a Sociology and Social Studies Professor at the University of Regina. Her research focuses on the ongoing transformation of Canadian (and other Western systems of) higher education and its implications for the public interest. She has published widely on, and worked collectively with others to redress, various higher education issues, including government policy and policy-making related to universities, the privatization and commodification of academic research, and the erosion of university autonomy, democracy, and collegialism. Along with Janice Newson, she is co-editor of Academic Callings: The University We Have Had, Now Have, and Could Have and co-author of A Penny For Your Thoughts: How Corporatization Devalues Teaching, Research, and Public Service in Canada’s Universities. She was also a co-founder of the University of Regina Faculty of Arts’ Community Research Unit. Dr. Polster may be reached at email@example.com.
Rubén O. Martinez hosted today's program. He is a professor emeritus of sociology and director emeritus of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University. Dr. Martinez launched FutureU in 2015. Nathan Rousseau, professor of sociology at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus and frequent FutureU contributor, served as the session discussant.
James Hillman and Michael Ventura, We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse.
The Res-Sistas Manifesto, taken from I’m an Early Career Feminist Academic: Get Me Out of Here?” Encountering and Resisting the Neoliberal Academy, published in Rachel Thwaites and Amy Pressland, Being an Early Career Feminist Academic: Global Perspectives, Experiences, and Challenges.
Frank A. Fear produced today's program for FutureU. The cover graphic (STOP Neoliberalism) is reproduced courtesy of KBOO, Portland, Oregon's volunteer-personed, non-commercial, and listener-sponsored community radio.
(This program was recorded on Friday, May 19, 2023)
The Culture War on Higher Education
The Political Right has Public Higher Education in its sights. A series of actions undertaken by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature lead the way, and similar actions are underway in North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and Ohio, among other states. The legislative overreach includes reconstituting governing boards, restricting/delisting campus-based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and Critical Race Theory (CRT). A proposal before the Ohio Legislature would mandate what and how American history is taught to all state public university students. The incursion is akin to what is happening in K-12 education. School board races have become one of America’s most highly contested political sectors, and battles rage nationally about censoring books in public libraries. There is much to discuss, and we are pleased to have a panel of experienced educators with us today. Marty Ambrose completed her M.Phil. at the University of York (England) and has taught English at Florida Southwestern State College for over three decades. Her specialty is nineteenth-century British literature, and she has authored many historical fiction books set around the Byron/Shelley circle. Roger Barbee, a retired educator from North Carolina, has extensive experience as a public and private school English teacher and administrator. He has contributed to the Washington Post and Birmingham Arts Journal, and his poetry chapbook, Applewood Street (2022), was published by Plan B Press. Cindy Banyai earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and graduate degrees (master’s and Ph.D.) from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. A program evaluator, community developer, and community organizer, she has served as president of the international Community Development Society and was a candidate (Democratic Party) for the U.S. House of Representatives (FL-19) in 2020 and 2022. Banyai was an outspoken critic of the Trump Administration and is now speaking out against the DeSantis Administration. Nathan Rousseau is an associate professor of sociology at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus. He has published widely on various topics associated with social change, emphasizing neoliberalism's impact on individuals and society. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Between Past and Future: The Struggle to Transform Race Relations in the United States. Rubén O. Martinez will host today's program. A professor emeritus of sociology and former director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University, his scholarly interests include environmental justice, neoliberalism, academic freedom, and institutional and societal change. Frank A. Fear, emeritus professor at Michigan State University, produced today's program for FutureU, Conversations about Values and Change in Higher Education. (The program was taped on March 29. 2023)
Professor Adrian Lenardic, "Humility in the Age of Attention"
The drive for attention is central to the quest for success as colleges and universities compete for students, faculty, and funding. The branding/marketing mania is reaching into the faculty, too. Many colleagues feel increasing pressure to generate attention and visibility for their work, and they find that intellectual humility has become a hindrance. Academic work has always been based on balancing individual and community interests, and the need for attention is fostering hype, overselling, and the need to publish "sellable" research output. Today's discussion will focus on how a drive for attention is reshaping the purpose of higher education, including academic practice, how contemporary forces are undermining public trust in higher education and science, and what can be done to restore intellectual humility and community balance, both of which are central to the pursuit of knowledge.
ADRIAN LENARDIC teaches modeling & design, skateboard videography, visualizing nature, and planetary science at Rice University. He was born in Zagreb, Croatia (he rarely misses a Croatian soccer match). His undergraduate degree is from UW-Madison, where he started as an art major before switching to physics (he still co-teaches a class in the art department). His Ph.D. is from UCLA, where he was introduced to planetary science (as well as learning to surf). Before coming to Rice, he was a president's postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley (the snowboard days). Adrian's scientific research relates to understanding interactions between the Earth's interior and surface environment, model development and uncertainty assessment, and multiple tangent meanderings. He is part of a first prize-winning art-car team and the recipient of the mayor's award, from the Jamail skate park, for the most improved skateboarder over 30.
Today's forum, sponsored by FutureU at https://futureu.education/, is hosted by Ruben O. Martinez, and the audio was produced by Frank Fear on behalf of FutureU.
A book project is keeping me away from the microphone. I’ll be back in 2023. Until then, be well, and thanks for listening. Frank
Jim Carlen Deserves to be in the College Football Hall of Fame
Jim Carlen, head football coach at West Virginia, Texas Tech, and South Carolina, 1966-1981) is on this year's ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Leadership set Jim Carlen apart, not just leadership in the football sense, but in terms of leadership writ large. Carlen was adept at doing the things that great leaders do, including visioning, personnel selection/deployment, establishing/reinforcing group norms and performance expectations, and day-to-day-management. Being a consummate leader translated into Jim Carlin being a great football coach (career record of 109-67-6). This audiocast is designed to offer testimony to that assertion, voiced by those who played under and coached with him at West Virginia University from 1966 to 1969. Those you'll hear include John Hale, Tom Kucer, Dick Roberts, Mickey Plumley, Phil Callicut, Richard Bell, Ken Juskowich, and Danny Wilfong. This 30-minute audiocast is a companion piece to the article, COMMENTARY: Great Leadership Set Jim Carlen Apart, published in The Sports Column. (Cover photo courtesy of WV Sports Now)
Conversation with Mike Balow, Candidate, MSU Board of Trustees
Mike Balow will be on the November 2022 ballot in Michigan (statewide) as a candidate for the MSU Board of Trustees. In this 40-minute podcast, Mike talks about his background, why he decided to run, and what he hopes to accomplish should he be elected. Mike has lived most of his life in Michigan. He is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and a military veteran who served overseas. A family man, businessperson, and community servant, he is dedicated to helping MSU be the best university it can be. His daughter, Sophia, is an MSU undergraduate student. Learn more about Mike Balow at his website and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
(This program was hosted by Frank Fear and produced for FutureU, Conversations about Values and Change in Higher Education. The cover photo is courtesy of The State News.)
"So Lucky in My Life to be Supported by People Who Believe it is Possible to Strive for Greatness on Multiple Fronts," Cassidy Krug
It is impossible to describe Cassidy Krug without using the word "success." A high-profile athlete in the sport of diving, Cassidy was an All-America (high school and college), a 10-time national champion, a member of Team USA, and a participant in the 2012 London Olympics. But when you listen to Cassidy talk about how and why success came her way, you will be hard-pressed to hear the word "me." Instead, "we" is her word choice--her parents, coaches, teammates, and others with whom she engaged, and all those who supported, mentored, and enabled her development. Listen as Cassidy talks about her life and other issues, including her thoughts about the status and future of Olympic-style college sports. She also briefs us about her interviews (for a book) with former Olympians, and what she has learned regarding their transition from the intensity of training and competing to post-Olympic life. Uplifting and inspiring--that is Cassidy Krug.
(This program was produced by Frank Fear for The Sports Column. The cover photo is courtesy of the U.S. Olympic Diving Team)
#character #swimminganddiving #TeamUSA #Olympics #collegeathletics #Stanford
Massacre of Black Buffalonians Puts Segregation in Spotlight
When it comes to social issues, America isn't willing to do what needs to be done. Instead, America puts individual rights over social responsibilities and elevates "me" over "we." Even trying to change that formula elicits calls of radical, socialist, and un-American. So we have racism, a gun problem, and segregated cities--three things that came together in Buffalo, New York, and a murderer took ten lives. (cover photo courtesy of The Buffalo News)
Understanding America's Political Divide Through the Lens of History
With sociopolitical identities on steroids these days, the overarching proposition is us versus them, and heaven help those who seek to bridge the political divide. How did we get here and what can be done? We'll tackle that question with the help of Cassandra and an Old Testament story, the Tower of Babel.
(Film Review) "Master," Watch What You Wish For
Larry Busch on “What Good is Higher Education?”
Larry Busch delivered this keynote address at the conference Neoliberalism and Public Higher Education, which was held at Michigan State University on March 27-28, 2015. Professor Busch, who held the title of distinguished professor, passed away in December 2019. “Thank you for all the moments that have made my life an excellent one.” Larry wrote a few days before he passed away. We say the same thing to Larry, He will continue to teach and inspire us. "His ideas and love of humanity are carried on by those who knew him." wrote Professor Ruben Martinez recently. Martinez organized and convened the 2015 conference.
John S. Levin on the Interplay of Academic & Market Values in Higher Ed
In this episode, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Levin (University of California, Riverside) draws on his work, including his article with Aida Aliyeva, “Embedded Neoliberalism within Faculty Behaviors," published in The Review of Higher Education, and his book with Marie C. Martin and Ariadna I. López Damián, "University Management, the Academic Profession, and Neoliberalism" (SUNY Press). The program was hosted by Professor Rubén Martinez with Amy Jamison and Frank Fear serving as discussants. This program was produced by FutureU, Conversations about Values and Change in Higher Education at https://futureu.education/
Performance Check--First Round NCAA Mid-Major Picks
Tribute to County Mayo's Terry Gallagher
Terry Gallagher, community developer and activist, cared deeply about County Mayo Ireland and its people. I was blessed to work and learn from him. Terry passed away in February 2022 at 89 years, a month shy of his 90th birthday. This audio was to have been part of Terry's birthday celebration. Now it is my memorial to him. So here are my reflections on Terry's life--a life lived with purpose, passion, and perseverance--dedicated to putting people first, especially small farm, non-farm rural, and village families in the Irish West.
"The Line" Keeps Gets Crossed in Revenue-Generating College Sports
Just when you think you've seen more than enough money and commercialization in major college football and basketball -- in what was intended to be amateur competition — you see even more money and commercialization enter the system. The line gets crossed again and again. To explore this subject and to address what might be done in response, FutureU is pleased to welcome a panel of knowledgeable and distinguished guests. Jason Kelly is associate editor of the Notre Dame Alumni Magazine, and he serves as acting director of Notre Dame's journalism school. His recently published "The (Next) Line that Can’t Be Crossed" ends with a quote from ND's Athletic Director, Jack Swarbrick: "We better be asking what we want college football to be, and how we make sure it still fits inside a university environment." Ellen Staurowsky, a professor in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, is a nationally prominent author. A fellow of the North American Society for Sport Management, her co-authored book with Allen L. Sack, College Athletes for Hire: The Evolution and Legacy of the NCAA’s Amateur Myth, is a seminal contribution to the literature. Jared Good, a third-year law student at Penn State Law (Penn State University), is keenly interested in legal and ethical issues associated with college and professional sports. He has written a number of articles on the Olympics, Formula 1 racing, the NFL, college sports, and other topics. Our panel also includes legacy college athletes — Mickey Plumley, Dick Roberts, Charlie Fisher, and Bob Zitelli -- who played football at West Virginia University during a different time and era, the late 1960s. They are adept at comparing the game played then with the game played today. The program is hosted by Frank Fear, professor emeritus, Michigan State University, and managing editor of FutureU.
My Annual Predilection: Scoping out Mid-Major Bracket-Busters (Take 1)
I love screening not-so-big colleges that might spring upsets in the opening round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament and then sharing the outcomes of my research. I've been doing it for about five years with fairly good results, and I'm back at it again in 2022. This is the first of two takes. The second take will come at conference tournament time in late February/very early March.
My Review of Netflix's "Don't Look Up!"
The film invites us to answer an all-important question: How will I respond? The answer is for each of us to do the responsible and constructive thing, each in our own way. It requires us to do both of those things now — before the proverbial comet hits.
Review of Andrew Yang's New Book, FORWARD: NOTES ON THE FUTURE OF OUR DEMOCRACY
Andrew Yang announced recently that he was leaving the Democratic Party. In a crisply written piece entitled “Breaking Up with the Democratic Party,” Yang declared, "I believe I can reach people who are outside the system more effectively. Making partisan arguments—particularly expressing what I often see as performative sentiment—is sometimes uncomfortable for me. I often think, 'Okay, what can we actually do to solve the problem?' I'm pretty sure there are others who feel the same way I do." To understand more about Yang’s substantive trajectory, I picked up a copy of his new book, Forward: Notes on the Future of our Democracy (New York: Crown, 2021). I found it to be an excellent read, especially for Progressives. Here's why.
The Economics of Commercialized College Sports
I am pleased to welcome Professor Andrew Zimbalist, Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College. Dr. Zimbalist is a national leader in studying and writing about the money side of revenue-generating college sports—an enterprise that has migrated over the years from an amateur to a professionalized status with pro-like commercialization. His book titles include Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-time College Sports (1999), Equal Play: Title IX and Social Change (2007), Unwinding Madness: What Went Wrong with College Sports and How to Fix It (2017), and most recently, Whither College Sports: Amateurism, Athlete Safety, and Academic Integrity (2021, Rutgers University Press). Dr. Zimbalist is also president-elect of The Drake Group, a national network dedicated to defending academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports. Michigan State University colleagues Ruben Martinez and Steven Miller join Dr. Zimbalist and me in today's program. (The program was produced in collaboration with FutureU: Conversations about Values and Change in Higher Education.)
"The Quantified Scholar"
"The Entrepreneurial Intellectual in the Corporate University" with Professor/Chair Clyde Barrow and Dean/VP Emeritus Fred Poston
While much has been written and discussed regarding the impact of neoliberal philosophies/practices on contemporary higher education, far less available are compelling interpretations of the circumstance linked directly to practical responses. That is where Professor Clyde W. Barrow and his work stand out. Barrow's impressive array of scholarly contributions includes the 2019 book, The Entrepreneurial Intellectual in the Corporate University (Palgrave Macmillan).
In a series of essays, Professor Barrow offers a contrarian take to dominant views of how to attack institutional neoliberalism in higher education. Barrow argues that it is necessary to stop viewing college/university institutionally as the focal point for change efforts. That’s because bureaucratic structures and cultural practices–endemic to the corporatization and politicization of higher education–“thwart and suppress” those efforts. Instead, Barrow contends that faculty should conduct a good share of their work in self-organized/-governed enclaves situated beyond the boundaries of traditional structures, such as schools, departments, and colleges. While actualizing that outcome requires boundary-spanning leadership (skill, creativity, persistence, and administrative endorsement), Barrow’s own experience at UMass Dartmouth shows that it can be done successfully. In addition, that approach “does not require a massive social movement to initiate.”
Professor Barrow chairs the Department of Political Science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He received his Ph.D. in political science at UCLA and served earlier (1987-2014) in various academic/administrative roles at UMass Dartmouth.
Barrow is joined by dean and vice president Fred Poston, emeritus, Michigan State University. Known for creating space for interdisciplinary and cross-campus initiatives, Poston focuses in this session on work associated with spearheading MSU's sustainable campus initiative.
The program is hosted by Professor/Director Rubén Martinez. Professor emeritus Frank Fear serves as discussant.
(This program was organized and produced by FutureU, Conversation about Values and Change in Higher Education).
The "Band of Brothers" that Changed the Course of WVU Football
Over fifty years ago, a group of coaches and players changed the course of WVU football, migrating the Mountaineers from the Southern Conference to a national-level program that today is in the Top 20 of all-time wins among major college teams. But their story is more than a football story. It’s about a group of men who bonded, achieved, and remain connected to this day. First players. Then brothers. Mountaineers always. Listen as they talk about what it was like during this pivotal era in the annals of Mountaineer football and an important time in their personal lives, too. (This oral history features the voices of Phil Callicutt, John Hale, Ken Juskowich, Tom Kucer, Mickey Plumley, Mike Sherwood, Dick Roberts, Danny Wilfong, and Bob Zitelli, and was produced for the WVU Alumni Association, Fort Myers Chapter)
That Netflix Blockbuster Called "Squid Game"
Reclaiming Education from Corporate Capture
Politically motivated donors are exerting undue influence on K-12 and higher education. UnKochMyCampus is responding by seeking to protect education from those who seek to privilege private interests over public good. Learn about how and what with Jasmine Banks, Executive Director, and collaborator Professor Sharon J. Kirsch, Arizona State U. and Save our Schools AZ. Professors Nathan Rousseau and Zach Kaiser join the conversation. Today’s program, co-hosted by Frank A. Fear and Rubén Martinez, is an educational offering of FutureU, Conversations about Values and Change in Higher Education.
Want To Be College Football's #1 Team? (Think Again)
Politically Engaged Scholars: Focus on Industrial-Scale Agriculture in California
In Netflix's, "The Chair," There's a Moral To The Story
The Bobby Bowden I Knew
America's Struggle with Truth-Telling & Critical Race Theory
Recent condemnation of Critical Race Theory, including imposing restrictions about what can be taught in schools about America’s history, represents a major obstacle to truth-telling, an infringement of free speech, and an insult to academic freedom. It is another signal that democracy is in peril. Thankfully, many Americans seek truth and justice, including today's guests. MARK MCCORMICK is Director of Strategic Communications, ACLU of Kansas. A New York Times best-selling author, Mark has 20-plus years of experience as a reporter, editor, and columnist. His books include "Some Were Paupers, Some Were Kings: Dispatches from Kansas." MARTHA BIREDA directs the Blanchard House Museum of African American History and Culture in Punta Gorda, FL. Her most recent book, "A Time for Change: How White Supremacy Ideology Harms All Americans," was published in June 2021. RUBEN MARTINEZ is professor and director of The Julian Samora Research Institute, Michigan State University. His extensive publication record on circumstances/issues affecting Latinos includes a recent essay, "Divisive Concepts and the Problem of Racism." This video was produced and hosted by Frank Fear for FutureU FutureU, https://futureu.education. (Cover art, courtesy CNN)
John & Jim Magee: "It's Not About the Deal."
Michigan St. U. peeps may remember John Magee. John held several positions at the U, including Exec Staff Assistant, College of Arts and Letters, and staff assistant in Ag & Nat Resources. Today, John serves as Assistant VP & Chief International Officer at Madonna University, Lavonia, MI. John and I continue to get together (he introduced me to his brother Jim along the way), and we talk about a range of issues. One issue (the focus here) is what John and Jim (also an internationalist) have learned about working internationally. "It's not about the deal," they argue, and it's certainly not about mining other countries for money and students. Rather, it's about establishing meaningful relationships and creating partnerships that benefit all parties involved. Not earth-shattering, you say? Well...ego, hubris, arrogance, and institutional self-centeredness (what another colleague calls "The Organization First" syndrome) make it more difficult (than easier) to put into practice. So here are John and Jim on "It's Not About the Deal."
In Higher Education, It's 'Follow the Money,' Too
Politically motivated philanthropy can influence who gets hired, who is awarded tenure/promoted, and what is taught/researched. Subject-matter priorities include promoting the primacy of free-market capitalism and safeguarding the ethic of American Exceptionalism. Recent efforts have focused on restricting teaching the legacy of racism in America, including rejecting Critical Race Theory as a legitimate framework for interpreting U.S. history. Thankfully, academics across the country are responding to these pernicious activities. We feature two of those colleagues in today's program--ISAAC KAMOLA, Trinity College, and BETHANY LETIECQ, George Mason University. Kamola’s recent article in Inside Higher Education, "Where Does the Bizarre Hysteria About CRT Come From? Follow the Money!," has received nationwide acclaim. Kamola’s new book (out in November), "Free Speech and Koch Money: Manufacturing a Campus Culture War" (with Ralph Wilson), examines how the Koch donor network funds the student groups, campus provocateurs, think tanks, litigation organizations, and the right-wing media outlets responsible for manufacturing the so-called ‘campus free speech crisis.’ Letiecq is a faculty activist at one of America’s most infiltrated universities. She serves on the GMU Faculty Senate and is president of the campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). In her GMU-AAUP role, she partnered with student leaders and worked to expose undue donor influence at GMU, and she has also challenged the privatization of presidential searches and working conditions of contracted workers during COVID. Letiecq wrote about GMU and donor influence in "George Mason University’s Donor Problem and the Fight for Transparency," which was published in AAUP’s Academe. (This podcast was produced by Frank Fear for FutureU, July 2021, and was transcribed for transmission here.)
Elevating Eulogy Virtues in Today's Resume-Driven World
There is a lot of pressure in leadership circles these days to beat the competition and score 'big wins.' Because of that emphasis, we can sometimes set aside the importance of what author David Brooks calls Eulogy Virtues, things like doing the right thing, being courageous in the face of political pressure, and figuring out ways to balance performance and integrity. In this program, James Votruba (president emeritus, Northern Kentucky Univesity) joins me in celebrating the life of one of Jim's mentors, Paul Miller, a person who embodied Eulogy Virtues in spirit and practice. Our conversation is more than a remembrance. It is a plea for emphasizing the importance of Eulogy Virtues when we use the word 'leadership.' To learn more about Paul Miller's life and work, read Remembering Paul A. Miller: Leadership for the Public Good. (Today's program is brought to you by FutureU and LA Progressive.)
Politically Divided America Is Likely to Stay That Way … Unless
Nobody defends America's political divide, and most call it out emphatically. And yet, it not only persists, but it is arguably getting wider, deeper, and hotter. One reason is that millions of Americas make a habit of contributing to the divide. Dysfunctional? ‘Understandable’ is another way of looking at it. Here's why and what we can do to heal America--before it is too late.
Stupid Is as Stupid Does? “There Is More to It Than That.”
Neoliberalism in Higher Education in the Age of Trump
The five-decade-long evolution from institution to industry widened and accelerated during the Age of Trump–an era that persists–and the outcome has changed what higher education represents, how it operates, and what it offers. Drawing on their book, Neoliberalism and Academic Repression, co-editors Erik Juergensmeyer and Anthony J. Nocella II discuss the impact and consequences of higher education in the Age of Trump and comment on what can be done to reverse this pernicious shift. Erik and Anthony are joined by discussants Jason Del Gandio and Amy Jamison. Co-hosted by Frank Fear and Ruben Martinez. This audio brought to you by FutureU: Conversations about Values and Change.
REBROADCAST (5/30/20): As Eyes Are on Minneapolis, Tulsa’s Experience Is Instructive
America's indefensible storyline includes mass killings of African Americans—not by police, but by fellow Americans. One such event--in Tulsa, OK--took place a century ago this week. The story didn't end there; it continues, and very differently from how it started. What happened in Tulsa a century ago was disgraceful. What’s happening today in Tulsa gives hope.
Affiliation's Blind Eye
We all devote time and attention to affiliations, and there is great joy and fulfillment to be experienced that way. By the same token, there are times when it is important to step back, raise questions, and take counter-positions to prevailing choices. “It's harder to do than it sounds,” wrote Jennifer Finney Boyton recently. Here's why.
What Can We Learn From Agatha Christie?
Major College Athletics Today: Pay the Head Football Coach $4 Million, Build an Addition to the Basketball Arena, and Eliminate Track & Field Because "We Don’t Have Enough Money"
That distorted picture, which mocks the purpose of athletics in higher education, privileges intercollegiate athletics in commercialized and quasi-professionalized forms. It's time to put an upside-down system right-side up.
The Story Behind 'One Shining Moment'
One Shining Moment ranks as one of the most iconic songs in sports history. Nearly every April since 1987, CBS-TV has played it immediately after a national collegiate basketball champion has been crowned. Surprisingly, though, the song wasn't inspired by college basketball (or any sport, for that matter). And if not for a quirk of fate, it wouldn't have been linked with college basketball. Sound strange? It is. Here's the backstory.