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robertogreco : terranlane   1

Quitting academic jobs: professor Zachary Ernst and other leaving tenure and tenure-track jobs. Why?
"Ernst’s “Why I Jumped” is thus not unusual in and of itself: Academe is a profession full of erudite free-thinkers who feel disillusioned by a toxic labor system in which criticism is not tolerated—so those who leave often relish the newfound ability to say anything they want (talking about “a friend” here). In its insularity and single-mindedness, academe is also very similar to a fundamentalist religion (or, dare I say, cult), and thus those who abdicate often feel compelled to confess.



What further distinguishes Ernst’s giant middle finger to the profession, Mizzou, and the chair of his department (what approximates in academe for a direct “boss”), is that he does not succumb to either of these trappings. He is cynical about the “academic freedom” of the tenured, whom he believes have been hand-selected for mediocrity and obsequiousness (and since he is among their ranks, one wonders if he begrudgingly includes himself in this indictment). He also has no delusions about the relative importance of hyper-specialized research, and has sought to publish innovative multi-disciplinary articles that involve the scientific disciplines—for which he has then been heavily penalized. And finally, in a rare coup for humanists, Ernst is departing for a lucrative job in the private sector."
2013  academia  education  meritocracy  highered  highereducation  annetrubek  terranlane  zacharyernst 
october 2013 by robertogreco

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