Landing : Athabascau University

Pennee, Donna. "ENGLISH 9089B: The Cultures of University Governance."

UPDATED: complete syllabus available online as PDF. Main readings (I should have put a bet on the third):

Ian Angus, Love the Questions: University Education and Enlightenment. (Semaphore Series, Arbiter Ring Publishing)
Gerald Graff, Professing English: An Institutional History, Twentieth Anniversary Edition (University of Chicago Press)
Bill Readings, The University in Ruins (Harvard University Press)
George Fallis, Multiversities, Ideas, Democracy (University of Toronto Press)
Frank Donoghue, The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities (Fordham University Press)

One of my favourite professors ever and former dean of Arts and Humanities at Western, Dr. Donna Pennee is teaching an English grad course on "the cultures of university governance." It looks timely, creative, and compelling to me (but that's me thinking like a "professionalized" academic); I wonder how it will go over with grad students.

Just as "theory" was once thought to be too difficult, even inappropriate, for undergraduate students and thus best left to graduate studies, so knowledge of university governance seems to be left to the tenured professor who steps forward (or backs into) various service roles, as a university Senator, for example, or a department Chair or Dean, or a union steward.
Yet understanding the current scene of the "corporatization" of the university requires knowledge of the history of the university as an institution, its relations to the state, the public, and the private, its constitution and funding arrangements, and the "mission drift" which is lamented by many members of the profession, particularly, but not only, in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Responding to the current scene from within the academy and engaging with issues and actions that have a bearing on the profession’s future, provides an education in the discipline and "training" for disciplinary and other practices. This course, then, is part "professionalization" (one of the keywords that we will study) and "cultural studies" (understanding university and disciplinary environments as cultures that operate/are operated through the materialization of keywords).
Some of the keywords particular to the academic environment, to be pursued as both content and method for this course, include "academic freedom," "self-governance," "peer review," and "autonomy." Additional keywords, while they are not particular to the academic environment, include "corporatization," "globalization," "governmentality," "management," and "leadership." Such keywords will be studied for the ways they have become embedded in university governance.


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