Mark C. Taylor of Columbia must be blackmailing an editor at the New York Times because I swear he shows up in that paper spouting the corporatist line on higher education more often than Frank Rich writes his weekly column. Today’s installment is particularly rich, as it is suggests a world where universities are the victims of forces entirely beyond their control and there are no such thing as adjuncts.
The part of the op-ed that just jumped off the page at me though was this one:
[I]t is absurd for Columbia and N.Y.U. to be have competing philosophy departments at a time when there are few jobs for philosophy academics. Instead, they could cooperate by forming a joint graduate and undergraduate program, which would reduce costs by requiring fewer faculty members and a more modest physical presence, while at the same time increasing course choices for students. And in our wired world, universities on opposite sides of the globe could find similar ways to collaborate.
Dude, this makes no sense whatsoever. The reason you’d merge the two departments would be to get rid of the redundant philosophy professors. That would create more unemployed philosophers, not less! And the only way doing this could save students any money would be if you made their classes larger or sent them all online. I’m sure that’s what everyone at Columbia is demanding: less education for the dollar ASAP!