LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for PORTSIDE Archives


PORTSIDE Archives

PORTSIDE Archives


PORTSIDE@LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

PORTSIDE Home

PORTSIDE Home

PORTSIDE  November 2011, Week 4

PORTSIDE November 2011, Week 4

Subject:

Linda Katehi and the Neoliberal Reform of Greek Higher Education

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 21:52:24 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (228 lines)

Linda Katehi and the Neoliberal Reform of Greek Higher
Education

by Panagiotis Sotiris

Greek Left Review November 24, 2011
http://greekleftreview.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/linda-katehi-and-the-neoliberal-reform-of-greek-higher-education/

Linda Katehi has come under the spotlight because of
her role as Chancellor of UC Davis, her support of an
openly corporate Higher Education and her stance
regarding brutal police tactics against peaceful
demonstrators at UC Davis. However, there is also
another aspect of Linda Katehi's politics that must be
brought forward, namely her role in implementing
neoliberal reforms in Greek Higher Education.

In September 2010 the Greek government announced the
formation of an International Committee to asses the
organization of Greek Universities. This was part of a
broader attempt to reform Higher Education in Greece.
Linda Katehi was put in charge of coordinating the
committee. A subset of the committee including
Chancellor Katehi, President Sexton, President Naylor,
President Hernes and President Ritzen met in Greece on
December 17, 2010 and participated in discussions with
Minister Diamantopoulou, Deputy Minister Panaretos,
Rectors and Vice Rectors of various Greek Universities,
and representatives of political parties. The result
was a Report that was made public in April 2011. In the
summer of 2011 the Greek government proposed a new
legislative framework for Higher Education, which was
passed through parliament in late August, despite
fierce opposition by  students and Academics, including
a strong condemnation by almost all Greek University
Senates and the Council of Greek University Rectors.

The Committee was obviously dominated by academics who
not only have openly endorsed the strategy of a
neoliberal corporate University but also have been more
than active in designing and implementing such
strategies and corporate academic management practices.
That is why the report states 'entrepreneurship' as a
core value for Higher Education today.

The text of the Report itself reveals that the members
of the Committee lack actual knowledge of Greek social
and educational situation. In an almost neocolonial
manner they simply repeat in their assessments the
mythology of a backward Greece and they offer
simplistic generalizations such as their opinion that
'the Greek system of higher education is mired in the
past - with structures and procedures that hamper the
development of skill and talent'.

It is also interesting which problems of Greek Higher
Education they choose to highlight. They strongly
oppose student participation in University Senates and
other governing bodies. For them this form of
democratic student participation leads to 'an imbalance
of power and control on academic issues and decisions'.
Moreover, they insist that 'the politicization of the
campuses - and specifically the politicization of
students - represents a beyond-reasonable involvement
in the political process.' It is obvious that they
endorse an authoritarian form of Higher Education
without democratic procedure and participation and
without strong and politicized student and faculty
movements. This also evident in the way they treat the
'university asylum', the ban against forces of order to
enter University buildings and campuses without prior
invitation by University authorities. They state that
Greek Universities 'are not secure', because of the
actions of 'elements that seek political instability'.
It is obvious that this refers to radical student and
social movements, which are being presented as a
security threat.

Regarding the quality of Greek Higher Education the
committee states problems such as high unemployment
rate for university graduates, low graduation rates and
an inability to have quantitative indicators for goals
achieved. However, there is no reference to the problem
of chronic lack of funding and infrastructure, or to
the fact that high unemployment is not the result of
low quality, but of the very strategy of a flexible
labor markets and precarization of labor, a strategy
that is now combined with economic recession that has
led to the extreme rise in youth unemployment rates.

The suggestions and proposals of the Committee
represent the basic aspects of the current neoliberal
and corporate agenda for Higher Education. They insist
on dismantling all forms of democratic participation
and propose the full introduction of academic
management practices. For them a University should be
'managed and overseen by an appointed, independent
Board of Overseers'. University rectors, vice-rectors,
department heads and other academic administrators
should not be democratically elected by all members of
the academic community (faculty members, students,
administrative and technical staff) but 'chosen by
dedicated search committees'. Faculty appointments and
promotions should not be the result of collective
decisions at the department level, but should be put
under the 'review and final approval by the President
(Rector)'. Universities must fully endorse the logic of
'measuring performance' and 'should acquire information
technology tools and develop policies and processes
which allow them to annually measure the output
parameters and assess the effectiveness of their
operation.' It is worth noting that this conception of
quantifiable performance indicators can only lead to
the chronic lack of funding for theoretical sciences,
humanities and social sciences and to the full hegemony
of a business culture within Universities. University
degrees 'should be accredited by an appropriate
accreditation board regularly', in line with the
broader 'Bologna Process' policies in Europe that
insist that university degrees should be accredited by
external boards, based upon their academic
'competitiveness'. Contrary to the strong support in
Greece in favor of a Public Higher Education, funded by
public funds and not tuition fees, they propose that in
the name of 'University autonomy' Universities must be
able to seek private funding or introduce tuition fees
even at undergraduate level (till now only some
post-graduate courses require tuition): 'Each
institution must be able to manage and support its
choices and identify additional resources that will
help the institution in achieving its goals.' Finally,
they propose the introduction of two-year Regional
Colleges, as vocational institutions, according to the
example of Community Colleges in the US. What is
important is that they want these to replace a large
number of departments in Universities and Technical
Higher Education Institutions that offer full academic
courses and degrees.

Although the committee was initially presented as
highly instrumental in the whole process of reforming
Higher Education in Greece, it mainly acted as an
ideological pressure to offer extra 'international'
legitimacy to policies that were already underway in
Greece. A group of academics and 'advisors' within the
Greek Ministry of Education had already started
preparing draft proposals for the new Law, which were
first presented in autumn 2010. However, the final text
of the Law passed in August 2011 reflects the proposals
by the Committee. The university asylum has been fully
abolished and we have already had the first cases of
riot police storming university premises. Although
University Senates remain in place, the main ruling
body in every Greek University is going to be a
'Directing Board' comprised by academics but also
external members and representatives of the world of
business. This board is going to be responsible for all
major policy decisions, including the selection of
potential Rectors and Deans. Student and academic
participation is drastically limited. Many university
departments face closure in what is described as a
process of 'reorganization' of Higher Education, but
also in the name of budget cuts and austerity policies.
Faculty promotion and tenure is going to become more
difficult.

Student unions, faculty unions and even the Council of
University Rectors, a traditionally conservative
organization, have condemned the new law, considering
it an authoritarian undermining of university autonomy
and democratic participation and an attempt at
dismantling public higher education.

Currently the battle against the implementation of the
new Law is still being waged within Greek Universities.
There was a wave of student occupations faculty strikes
in September and we are at the moment trying to make
sure that elections for the new 'Directing Boards' do
not take place. Contrary to what Linda Katehi and the
other members of the committee think, and contrary to
the dominant policies in Greece and the EU, Higher
Education is still considered a public good in Greece
and there is strong support of public, democratic
universities oriented towards the needs of society and
not corporations and private businesses.

For anyone familiar with the debate regarding Greek
Higher Education Reform, the authoritarian turn seems
only natural. Neoliberal supporters of the
entrepreneurial university always considered the strong
radical and militant tradition of the student movement
in Greece the main challenge to their plans. That is
why they tend to endorse disciplinary practices and
police brutality. The ideal of a truly public
university includes the right to collective action and
the need for strong social movements, both inside and
outside academia. On the contrary, within the
Entrepreneurial Higher Education, the pepper-spraying
of peaceful protestors is not going to be the exemption
but the rule. However, collective action, solidarity
and mass mobilization can always change things. This
has been the lesson and experience of student and
university movements in Greece and we will do whatever
is necessary to make sure that in the end we will be
able to defend public Higher Education, against Linda
Katehi and her colleagues' vision of an authoritarian
entrepreneurial university.

[Panayiotis Sotiris is a professor in the Department of
Sociology, University of the Aegean.] 

___________________________________________

Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.

Submit via email: [log in to unmask]

Submit via the Web: http://portside.org/submittous3

Frequently asked questions: http://portside.org/faq

Sub/Unsub: http://portside.org/subscribe-and-unsubscribe

Search Portside archives: http://portside.org/archive

Contribute to Portside: https://portside.org/donate

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

April 2014, Week 3
April 2014, Week 2
April 2014, Week 1
March 2014, Week 5
March 2014, Week 4
March 2014, Week 3
March 2014, Week 2
March 2014, Week 1
February 2014, Week 4
February 2014, Week 3
February 2014, Week 2
February 2014, Week 1
January 2014, Week 5
January 2014, Week 4
January 2014, Week 3
January 2014, Week 2
January 2014, Week 1
December 2013, Week 5
December 2013, Week 4
December 2013, Week 3
December 2013, Week 2
December 2013, Week 1
November 2013, Week 5
November 2013, Week 4
November 2013, Week 3
November 2013, Week 2
November 2013, Week 1
October 2013, Week 5
October 2013, Week 4
October 2013, Week 3
October 2013, Week 2
October 2013, Week 1
September 2013, Week 5
September 2013, Week 4
September 2013, Week 3
September 2013, Week 2
September 2013, Week 1
August 2013, Week 5
August 2013, Week 4
August 2013, Week 3
August 2013, Week 2
August 2013, Week 1
July 2013, Week 5
July 2013, Week 4
July 2013, Week 3
July 2013, Week 2
July 2013, Week 1
June 2013, Week 5
June 2013, Week 4
June 2013, Week 3
June 2013, Week 2
June 2013, Week 1
May 2013, Week 5
May 2013, Week 4
May 2013, Week 3
May 2013, Week 2
May 2013, Week 1
April 2013, Week 5
April 2013, Week 4
April 2013, Week 3
April 2013, Week 2
April 2013, Week 1
March 2013, Week 5
March 2013, Week 4
March 2013, Week 3
March 2013, Week 2
March 2013, Week 1
February 2013, Week 4
February 2013, Week 3
February 2013, Week 2
February 2013, Week 1
January 2013, Week 5
January 2013, Week 4
January 2013, Week 3
January 2013, Week 2
January 2013, Week 1
December 2012, Week 5
December 2012, Week 4
December 2012, Week 3
December 2012, Week 2
December 2012, Week 1
November 2012, Week 5
November 2012, Week 4
November 2012, Week 3
November 2012, Week 2
November 2012, Week 1
October 2012, Week 5
October 2012, Week 4
October 2012, Week 3
October 2012, Week 2
October 2012, Week 1
September 2012, Week 5
September 2012, Week 4
September 2012, Week 3
September 2012, Week 2
September 2012, Week 1
August 2012, Week 5
August 2012, Week 4
August 2012, Week 3
August 2012, Week 2
August 2012, Week 1
July 2012, Week 5
July 2012, Week 4
July 2012, Week 3
July 2012, Week 2
July 2012, Week 1
June 2012, Week 5
June 2012, Week 4
June 2012, Week 3
June 2012, Week 2
June 2012, Week 1
May 2012, Week 5
May 2012, Week 4
May 2012, Week 3
May 2012, Week 2
May 2012, Week 1
April 2012, Week 5
April 2012, Week 4
April 2012, Week 3
April 2012, Week 2
April 2012, Week 1
March 2012, Week 5
March 2012, Week 4
March 2012, Week 3
March 2012, Week 2
March 2012, Week 1
February 2012, Week 5
February 2012, Week 4
February 2012, Week 3
February 2012, Week 2
February 2012, Week 1
January 2012, Week 5
January 2012, Week 4
January 2012, Week 3
January 2012, Week 2
January 2012, Week 1
December 2011, Week 5
December 2011, Week 4
December 2011, Week 3
December 2011, Week 2
December 2011, Week 1
November 2011, Week 5
November 2011, Week 4
November 2011, Week 3
November 2011, Week 2
November 2011, Week 1
October 2011, Week 5
October 2011, Week 4
October 2011, Week 3
October 2011, Week 2
October 2011, Week 1
September 2011, Week 5
September 2011, Week 4
September 2011, Week 3
September 2011, Week 2
September 2011, Week 1
August 2011, Week 5
August 2011, Week 4
August 2011, Week 3
August 2011, Week 2
August 2011, Week 1
July 2011, Week 5
July 2011, Week 4
July 2011, Week 3
July 2011, Week 2
July 2011, Week 1
June 2011, Week 5
June 2011, Week 4
June 2011, Week 3
June 2011, Week 2
June 2011, Week 1
May 2011, Week 5
May 2011, Week 4
May 2011, Week 3
May 2011, Week 2
May 2011, Week 1
April 2011, Week 5
April 2011, Week 4
April 2011, Week 3
April 2011, Week 2
April 2011, Week 1
March 2011, Week 5
March 2011, Week 4
March 2011, Week 3
March 2011, Week 2
March 2011, Week 1
February 2011, Week 4
February 2011, Week 3
February 2011, Week 2
February 2011, Week 1
January 2011, Week 5
January 2011, Week 4
January 2011, Week 3
January 2011, Week 2
January 2011, Week 1
December 2010, Week 5
December 2010, Week 4
December 2010, Week 3
December 2010, Week 2
December 2010, Week 1
November 2010, Week 5
November 2010, Week 4
November 2010, Week 3
November 2010, Week 2
November 2010, Week 1
October 2010, Week 5
October 2010, Week 4
October 2010, Week 3
October 2010, Week 2
October 2010, Week 1
September 2010, Week 5
September 2010, Week 4
September 2010, Week 3
September 2010, Week 2
September 2010, Week 1
August 2010, Week 5
August 2010, Week 4
August 2010, Week 3
August 2010, Week 2
August 2010, Week 1
July 2010, Week 5
July 2010, Week 4
July 2010, Week 3
July 2010, Week 2
July 2010, Week 1

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager