I have just started reading Dr. Mark Bousquet’s book How The University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation. I found Cary Nelson’s introduction slightly out of touch with reality. Dr. Nelson, a self-professed “tenured radical,” and President of the AAUP, has long spoken out on behalf of part-time faculty to his credit and ours! However, I found his introduction to How The University Works contradictory and filled with myths about who teaches part-time.
In fact, Dr. Bousquet falls into the same bad trap. His book is full of myths about who part-time faculty are and what we do. I am finding it somewhat frustrating, but I am soldiering on. The most controversial proposition Dr. Bousquet puts forth is that there is plenty of work for all of the Ph.D.s who graduate. In other words, there is not an over-production of Ph.D.s, but rather an under-production of jobs within higher education.
I wish I could quote his research, but unfortunately I am finding many of his suppositions unsupported by research, but rather reliant on what I imagine must be his personal experience. Some of the research he does use to support his conclusions is somewhat outdated, in one instance coming from as far back as 1992.
Anyone else out there reading his book?!?