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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Remaking is Ten Years Old!

This blog turned ten on Sunday, prompting me to wonder whether blog years are longer than kid years, or the other way around. Kid years are longer when you're waiting for your birthday. Blog years are longer when you're watching a university board meeting and you could have sworn the president said exactly that same thing about the budget 7 years ago, except it was a different president.  In any case, UC Berkeley looked like this when we started -- me in 2007, as a kind of alternate track while I was finishing a book called Unmaking the Public University, and Michael in 2009, when California higher ed got massively cut, employees were furloughed, students were protesting massive tuition hikes, and the road ahead seemed both steep and open.  Of course time in higher education policy moves in a circle, rather than straight ahead, and those of us who assumed that our professional status obligated us to continuous institutional self-governance wondered whether we were actually crew blown "into the devious zig-zag world-circle of the Pequod's circumnavigating wake."

You do what you have to do, which for us has meant offering analysis of the full range of university topics, which themselves intersect with the full range of U.S. scientific, social, and cultural issues, increasingly managed in Ahabian style, with many similarly loyal first officers who, notwithstanding the last ten years of missed opportunities, remain less doomed than Ahab's.  One dominant theme has been the persistence of culture wars on the university, now returned in the form of accusations that universities are the enemy of free speech.  Another has been the way short-term public cuts have been translated into long-term structural adjustments.  Both of these we stubbornly oppose, not just because we are stubborn, though we certainly are, but because we can see better alternate realities, which we will continue to set down here.

For a good while we were greatly helped by the editing of Jack Chen at UCLA, and are still helped by Alysse Rathburn working in the background, along with at least two dozen intermittent contributors, some anonymous.   Many thanks to all of them, and to our readers.  The work for universities continues, and I know I don't speak for Michael when I say here's to the next ten years!

1 comments:

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