U of O Watch mission, in the words of Foucault...

"One knows … that the university and in a general way, all teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power; and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class. … It seems to me that the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them." -- Foucault, debating Chomsky, 1971.

U of O Watch mission, in the words of Socrates...

"An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all." -- Socrates

video of president allan rock at work

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Some U of O students shut down the BOG over tuition fees: So very lame

Video reports about the recent student action to shut down a meeting of the Board of Governors (BOG) of the University of Ottawa are HERE, and HERE.

This student action was so lame. Let me explain how and why it was lame.

The "action" is solely a complaint, nothing more. Students were passively asking to be oppressed fairly. There was no hint of wanting to take over to better manage the institution. There was no offense in the tactic. Instead, it was purely a complaint about the quantum of fees.

Meanwhile administrative costs and executive globalization projects are skyrocketing...

Hey students! Here is a hint: Make a graph of total executive and executive support staff salaries (on the y axis) versus time (on the x-axis), for the last 15 years or so. Express y as a fraction of the total operating budget if you like, to account for student population and overall budget growth. Oh, and get your own numbers, not any spin from the corporate spin doctors.

Have you noticed the growth of the media relations and communications offices in recent decades...? Or just look at the president's salary for the last 20 years... That's quite a historic break!

Now I know that most of you are only around for 4 years or so, but you can research what happened before you arrived...

Corperatization and globalization are not solely about vanity buildings and brand name coffee.  They are about the institution being taken over by corporate and global interests and being run by those interests. This includes:
  • the massive drives to recruit foreign students paying large tuition fees (diploma mill economics)
  • the president's trips around the globe (notice how he's always out when something happens?)
  • top-down academic exchange programs with Israel (why Israel?)
  • "responsibility to protect" talks on campus (whose ideology?)
  • increasing "security" (cameras, lock downs, campus police...)
  • the institution's image propaganda machine (resource allocation for brand maintenance...)
  • technology and buildings being more important than quality teaching (do you like Power Point?)
  • blotted salaries of upper tier research professors (do the math)
  • poverty wages for everyone else (temp staff, undergraduate students)
  • loss of participatory collegial governance (you don't even know what that is, right?)
  • centralized control of all resource allocations (try getting a room for a student event...)
  • centralized control of all messaging (try putting up a poster)
  • costs of centralized control...
  • skyrocketing institutional legal fees (discontent students and employees sue... more lawsuits and grievances than you can count)
The list goes on.

If professors were made responsible to educate or took that responsibility, instead of being buried in or hiding behind their high-paying assembly line jobs, then you could have an education at a small fraction of the present cost, if you cared to take it.

And, um, did you consider that you are adults being forced to finance your productive work for society...? I mean does that ever cross your mind, that if you are going to be institutionalized into forced work, then you should at least be salaried?

Negotiate a salary, and impose student governance leverage on the actual management of the outfit. Grow up.

Lame. Access...? Lame.

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