Thursday, April 9, 2009

Globalizing Higher Ed in The Corporate Bailout Era of Late Capitalism.

Globalizing Higher Ed in The Corporate Bailout Era of Late Capitalism.
Isn't that what this is really about?

Higher Education institutions and their ancillary entities AAUP, CAUT, whatever, do not stand outside of history or politics or the economy, instead they are proactive and reactive contributors to them and players within them.

Therefore where AAUP stands depends almost entirely on where it sits. It is obvious that AAUP is primarily interested in protecting and preserving the interests (through dues and perks) of its core constituency (US faculty operating within the tenure system, therefore NOT adjuncts). I would submit AAUP does not give a hoot for teachers or educational arrangements in the emerging or expanding economies, except as profitable sites where AAUP members' interests can be promoted, expanded and preserved.

The AAUP is an integral part of the US higher ed political economy of Globalization which is still controlled by US-dominated market fundamentalism, masquerading as the "free market."

Has the "free market" produced an entrenched inequitable 2-tier faculty system right here in the US?
Has the AAUP been able to do anything about that?

Is AAUP even motivated to do so? So what is AAUP's clout vis a vis the "branches"? What can Northwestern University whose Journalism program is "embedded' in Qatar possibly teach Qataris about a free media?

My own take is that governments of the emerging (China, India, Brasil, Turkey, South Africa) as well as the disadvantaged (Uganda, Botswana) economies of the WTO should vigorously resist inroads by the rich (albeit currently distressed ) economies, which set up the higher ed 'braches" alluded to in the above article. These expanding economies should attempt to grow their GDP through self-reliance on their own domestic resources of teachers and administrators and most important CURRICULUM, based upon their unique history and culture. However globalization makes this difficult, the national elites are corrupt and opportunistic, so the challenges are many, but not in my view insuperable.

I would hate to see the proliferation of the US Higher Ed system throughout the world.

Another world is possible.

Chithra Karunakaran Ed.D.
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
Scrutiny and Standards for Branch Campuses
April 9, 2009 by
Inside Higher Ed copyright
AAUP statement;
On Conditions of Employment at Overseas Campuses (2009)

The statement that follows is being issued jointly by the American Association of University Professors and the Canadian Association of University Teachers. It was approved for publication in April 2009 respectively by the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure and CAUT’s Executive Committee. Comments should be directed to the AAUP and/or to CAUT.
U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities have been actively expanding their foreign operations in recent years. Overseas branch campuses and degree programs have proliferated, as have the overseas sale of curricular and other instructional materials and the franchising of campuses, online or distance learning, international student recruitment, and study-abroad programs.

The expansion of higher education opportunities is a welcome feature of today’s more internationally integrated world. Not surprisingly, these international initiatives are proving attractive both to private investors and to colleges and universities. Advocates of private investment now refer routinely to a multitrillion- dollar global market in educational services, and efforts to open up this lucrative market further are driving bilateral or multilateral trade agreements and negotiations. As a result, globalization has become one of the principal means of privatizing and commercializing higher education.

The leading nations in the field of international education have sought, under the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services and in the name of trade liberalization, to harmonize global standards for providing higher education services. According to the WTO’s tenets of free trade, educational services should be treated like any other commodity, and foreign providers should be afforded the same public benefits and privileges as domestic institutions of any member nation. Several international organizations in higher education have voiced their opposition to these tenets:

* the 2001 “Joint Declaration on Higher Education and the General Agreement on Grade in Services,” issued by four leading academic organizations in the United States, Canada, and Europe (the American Council on Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and the European University Association).
* the 2002 Porto Alegre Declaration, signed by the major Iberian and Latin American associations of higher education.
* the resolutions adopted by Education International (with 394 national teacher and academic staff federations from 171 countries representing 30 million teachers, academic staff, and others who work in education) at its 2001 World Congress in Jomtiem, Thailand and at its 2004 World Congress in Porto Alegre.

These declarations and resolutions recognize that trade liberalization risks weakening governments' commitment to and investment in public higher education. They also assert that education is not a commodity and that reliance on public mandates (exclusively so in most countries) should make it distinct from other services.

The pace of overseas expansion also threatens to affect the character of higher education in the United States and Canada. The sheer number of faculty employed in foreign operations is increasing, and most are contingent employees on temporary contracts. Because foreign programs and campuses are usually less costly, colleges and universities may make decisions favoring their development over more expensive U.S.- and Canadian-based equivalents staffed by tenure-track faculty. Continued pursuit of this path will accelerate the casualization of the academic workforce, taking its toll on the quality of instruction as well as adversely affecting faculty rights.

Moreover, as the U.S. and Canadian presence in higher education grows in countries marked by authoritarian rule, basic principles of academic freedom, collegial governance, and nondiscrimination are less likely to be observed. In a host environment where free speech is constrained, if not proscribed, faculty will censor themselves, and the cause of authentic liberal education, to the extent it can exist in such situations, will suffer.

Consequently, it is essential that all international initiatives undertaken by North American colleges and universities respect the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, with its emphasis on academic freedom, institutional autonomy, collegial governance, nondiscrimination, and employment security. []

The treatment of nonacademic employees involved in the construction, service, and maintenance of foreign campuses is another area of concern. Colleges and universities as employers and contractors should uphold the full observance of internationally recognized standards governing the rights and working conditions of nonacademic employees who build and maintain classrooms and offices and meet other needs that keep the institutions functioning. Universities operating internationally should adopt a code of conduct governing the workplace conditions and rights of all non-academic employees, even and especially if these workers are employed directly by a local subcontractor.

Education should not be a commodity, bought and sold in the international marketplace and subject to the rules of competitive trade that govern a deregulated global economy. Participating in the movement for international education can rest on laudable educational grounds. But those grounds will be jeopardized if hard-earned standards and protections are weakened rather than exported.

In sum, the AAUP and CAUT expect every U.S. and Canadian college and university in any international initiative undertaken in partnership, or using the institution’s name, to honor the provisions in the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel. For nonacademic employees, we expect each institution and its subcontractors to adopt a code of conduct consistent with International Labor Organization (ILO) standards.

In accordance with the principles of collegial governance, U.S. and Canadian college and university administrations should provide their faculty and staff associations and the institution’s senior academic body with information about any international initiative being contemplated. If the initiative proceeds, administrations should provide detailed updates on all aspects of the project, with special emphasis on provisions to ensure academic freedom and tenure and collegial governance, including policies on approval and regular assessment of programs and curriculum, appointment and evaluation of academic staff, workload, appropriate compensation and working conditions, anti-harassment and -discrimination provisions, intellectual property, occupational health and safety, equity, and rights to appeal procedures characterized by substantive and procedural fairness.

Implementation of these obligations will require vigilance by faculty at U.S. and Canadian institutions. AAUP and CAUT traditions of academic freedom and shared governance make it clear that faculty representatives should have an integral role in drafting and reviewing plans designed to establish satellite programs and branch campuses. Plans for curriculum development and faculty hiring need explicit faculty approval. Compensation, working conditions, and grievance procedures for U.S.- and Canadian-based faculty will be subject to formal negotiation on many campuses with collective bargaining. The state of the law in host countries may necessitate bilateral negotiations in order to ensure fair working conditions for the faculty and staff at an overseas site; domestic faculty should be involved in reviewing such arrangements as an essential safeguard that these conditions are being met.

AAUP local chapters and CAUT member associations can play a key role in making certain that their institutions meet these obligations. AAUP and CAUT stand ready to assist their members and the higher education community more generally in this work.

Culture, Religion, Nation-State & the ETHICAL SELF: Denmark and the Cartoons on the Prophet Muhammad

My Published Comment on The Times of India 9 Apr 2009, 0105 hrs IST:

Denmark is a great country to visit, it has admirable social policies, Denmark has a democratic government and a democratic polity.

However Denmark lacks the basic and necessary understanding that freedom and a free press in democratic pluralist nation-states, does not include license to hurt cultural and religious sentiments.

The case of Denmark illustrates that democratic nation-states are no guarantee for the protection of cultural and religious sentiments of ALL of its citizens, Muslims among them. How are Danish Muslims expected to feel and react?

Ex-premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen lacks an ethical compass, essential for authentic leadership of democratic nation-states. Now, Rasmussen has found the job that fits right into his intolerant worldview -- heading up the US-dominated NATO which has absolutely no business conducting military operations in the South Asia region.

Rasmussen is the right man for that dirty job.

9 Apr 2009, 0105 hrs IST
Prophet Muhammad cartoon goes on sale in Denmark
8 Apr 2009, 2311 hrs IST, AP
Times of India copyright
: A Danish press freedom group said on Wednesday it is selling copies of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad that caused outrage across
the Muslim World.

Some 1,000 printed reproductions of a drawing depicting Islam's prophet wearing a bomb-shaped turban are being sold for 1,400 kroner ($250) each, said Lars Hedegaard, chairman of the Danish Free Press Society.

"All we are doing is starting a debate," Hedegaard said. "We are using our freedom of speech."

Hedegaard said Danish artist Kurt Westergaard, who drew the cartoon in 2005, had given the society permission to produce the copies and sell them. Each numbered copy has been signed by Westergaard, Hedegaard said.

"We have not, and are not, breaking any laws," Hedegaard said.

Westergaard has been living under police protection since an alleged plot to murder him was discovered last year.

Twelve cartoons depicting the prophet, including the one by Westergaard, were published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005.

The following year, they triggered massive protests from Morocco to Indonesia, with rioters torching Danish and other Western diplomatic missions. Some Muslim countries boycotted Danish products.

Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet for fear it could lead to idolatry.

Throughout the crisis, then Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen distanced himself from the cartoons but resisted calls to apologize for them, citing freedom of speech and saying his government could not be held responsible for the actions of Denmark's press.

On Saturday, Fogh Rasmussen was chosen to become NATO's new secretary-general, despite threats by Turkey, the alliance's only Muslim member, to veto his election.

Are Illegal Immigrants Economic Refugees?
New York Times copyright
My NYT comment # 213
April 9th, 2009 7:44 .

Are undocumented entrants (aka illegal aliens) economic refugees?

Should such entrants be given refugee status by the U.S. The refugee eligibility category is already an entry category in this country's immigration law.

Illegal entrants must become the responsibility of the "sending" govt. The sending governments (Mexico is one such, drugs and drug cartels are not Mexico's only exports) should be notified that their citizens have illegally entered the US.

The sending governments should be asked to reimburse the US taxpayer for the deportation costs of their citizens.
Governments of sovereign nation-states have to be held accountable for the welfare and well-being of their own citizens. That nmeans provide jobs and justice for your citizens. Do we see a flood of Danes, Swedes, Dutch becoming
boat people' desperate to reach US shores? No, because these responsible and accountable govts. take care of their citizens.

The US has a double standard (ditto foreign policy) on immigration. The US economy needs a steady stream of cheap, in many instances highly qualified and experienced labor, to prop up its allegedly homegrown economy.

US hype operates at every level, and Obama is only its latest practitioner, this time in the politically advantageous policy area of immigration. It is being framed as advantageous for Dems in upcoming congressional elections next year. The GOP hogged the immigration amnesty issue during the Reagan period.

We already know Amnesty policy doesn't work because it contains absolutely no deterrents, and most likely encourages more illegal entry. It also sends a message to potential legal entrants that the law is stacked against them, that the US is NOT a nation of laws.

The US census is coming up. And so are some seats that will be up for re-election in the US Congress.

Canny try Mr. Teflon (for now) President.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
New York Times copyright
Obama to Push Immigration Reform Bill Despite Risks
Published: April 8, 2009