Don’t Go All Microaggressive on Me or I’ll Sue!

I couldn’t sleep last night. I tossed and turned, haunted by guilt. I could not stop replaying the moment, earlier in the day, when I committed the unforgivable against a person of color. It happened as I was reaching into my knapsack of white privilege for my wallet while simultaneously opening a door. On the […]

Did You Hear the One About the Ungrateful Campus?

Miss can take a joke. Goodness knows, she could not have survived a thirty-year career in academe without a sense of humor. Recently having found herself in a vat of boiling hot water over a satirical essay, Miss was reminded that most academics are a cheerless lot who will go to great lengths to stop […]

The Philosophers’ Stones

Things are in an uproar at the University of Colorado, specifically in the philosophy department, which has suspended admissions to its graduate programs for the 2014-15 academic year. The department also has had its chair removed and replaced (although as of this writing you would not know that from the departmental directory), and been the […]

I’m Pregnant! Isn’t that Special!

Faculty spend hours weekly in front of a classroom, where they profess knowledge to help mold young minds. They possess a heightened ability to focus and concentrate on a narrow subject within a proscribed discipline. Because of the kind of work that they do, faculty also largely control the use of their time with remarkable […]

Somebody Quick Call the Diversity Trainers!

I am outraged. The monster of white privilege has once again raised its flaxen head, this time to disrupt the return-from-semester of Howard University students to their Washington, DC campus. Imagine, if you dare, the anguish of a scrappy band of upperclassmen who, upon arriving back at the dorms, make a quick stop at the […]

Institutionalized Incompetence, Tenure’s Dirty Little Secret

A recently released study, “When Tenure Protects the Incompetent: Results from a Survey of Department Chairs,” by John Rothgeb, professor of political science at Ohio’s Miami University, announced the startling news that tenure, as it is practiced at many U.S. colleges and universities, protects incompetent faculty from suffering the consequences of their incompetence.  It is, […]

Tits, Tarts, Teaching Assistants–and Latvians

A few years ago an assistant professor in the School of Management at LaSalle University, Jack Rapport got in trouble for inviting a stripper to his class on the application of Platonic and Hegelian ethics. There was a stink raised, of course, although Rappaport kept his job. He is now the oldest assistant professor on […]

She’s a university professor who wields ultimate and arbitrary power–for now

I’m a university professor, so I work independently and autonomously in classrooms where my only contacts are with people over whom I wield ultimate and arbitrary power. Of course, I don’t use this situation to punish bigots. Instead, I try to make my classes safe spaces to be gay, while also giving students opportunities to […]

When Moved by Spirits Faculty Take to the Streets

Last summer Professor of Cities and Society Stephen Graham of the University of Newcastle took a midnight stroll around his neighborhood. A respected scholar whose books include Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism, nominated for the Orwell prize for political writing, and Splintering Urbanism, Graham spends a lot of his time checking out the […]

Diversity, with a Capital “D”

A group of UCLA graduate students captured national attention recently by complaining about the unfair grading practices of Professor Emeritus Val Rust.  I am not surprised that Rust has “emeritus” in his title, because he is one of a dying breed: a faculty member who painstakingly comments and corrects his students’ papers. And therein lies […]