Professor Polster offers a theory of change and an associate set of strategies for transforming neoliberal higher education to its historic mandate as a public-focused institution.
Today’s guest 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 higher education systems and its implications for the public interest. She has published widely on 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 Haveand is co-author of A Penny For Your Thoughts: How Corporatization Devalues Teaching, Research, and Public Service in Canada’s Universities .
Dr. Polster offers a theory of change and strategies for transforming higher education. The time is right, too. 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 her presentation, Dr. Polster critiques the prevailing approach, The Cause-and-Effect Approach, and discusses the advantage of The Social Relations Approach. Rubén O. Martinez, professor emeritus of sociology and director emeritus of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University, hosts today’s program. Nathan Rousseau, professor of sociology at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus and frequent FutureU contributor, served as discussant.
Frank A. Fear produced this program for FutureU: Conversations about Values and Change in Higher Education.The cover graphic (STOP Neoliberalism) is reproduced courtesy of KBOO, Portland, Oregon’s volunteer-personed, non-commercial, and listener-sponsored community radio.