It is not that I do not Care, But You Do Have the Capacity

June 14, 2024
Dear VC,         It is not that I do not care for your difficult position in my campaign to employ and contract the best and leading candidates for employment and contracting. In the United States the situation is far worse.         I suspect that I am not the only former […]

Dear VC,

 

 

 

 

It is not that I do not care for your difficult position in my campaign to employ and contract the best and leading candidates for employment and contracting. In the United States the situation is far worse.

 

 

 

 

I suspect that I am not the only former college president who has experienced a mild bout of PTSD during the past several months, as the frequency, intensity, and visibility of attacks on presidents have increased to a level that would have been difficult to imagine even on my worst days. Brian Rosenberg, The Impossible College Presidency, The Chronicle of Higher Education, JUNE 11, 2024.

 

I do care about the pressure that you are under. In the United States the pressure issue is stated as “the politically motivated scapegoating of higher education, economic stressors, social media, and a general coarsening of our public discourse.” I have not been scapegoating higher education, on the contrary, I have been valuing higher education by articulating policy solutions for bringing back the better standards of higher education, which we once knew 30 years ago, and before neo-liberal economic strategies eroded the acceptable intelligence standards we once expected of university political decision-makers. I do not make that criticism without acknowledging that, I too, was part of that system.

 

My point is that you have the capacity to resist and also, in small ways, turn things around. One example is that you can review your “human resources” policies and processes on this key question: did the institution employ/contract the best and leading scholars ‘in the field’, who were at the global cutting edge, ahead of the curve? Or to put the key question differently, did the institution deliberately resist employing or contracting cutting-edge social critics?

 

Featured Image: Bulgaria Merkel Doctor Honoris Title. Sofia, Bulgaria – October 11, 2010: German Chancellor Angela Merkels smiles as she receives the doctor honoris causa title from Ruse University President Hristo Beloev R. Photo 110835836 | President © Antonchalakov | Dreamstime.com

 

 

 

 

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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.
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