Monday, April 27, 2009

Bad News in Higher Ed: No Surprise Here

More bad news and commentary on higher ed matters from the New York Times OP-Ed column and MLA Report on the status of women in the profession. Why did I even bother coming to the academy in the first place? I'll leave it to you to read the report, but I will say this: Because neither source considers the ways in which the economic crisis, tenure promotion, status of faculty, etc. specifically impact writing specialists, I wonder selfishly to what extent all this bad stuff will affect moi. While it is clear that rhet/comp specialists have been significantly affected by hiring freezes and less than ideal job circumstances because of the economy (trust me in knowing that they have!), since writing is one of the only courses that nearly every undergrad in the university is required to take, I wonder if rhet/comp has been less affected in comparison to other disciplines in the humanities like literature or religion. I mean, I wouldn't suppose that there'd be a huge demand to teach medieval lit or western and modern religion--not that there's anything wrong with people who specialize in those sets of knowledge. I'm just saying that I could understand the logic in cutting faculty in some disciplines in the humanities, especially if enrollment in those types of courses is down; I ain't saying that these cuts are fair and should happen more in the humanities than in the other sciences or rhet/comp for that matter. Nonetheless, I still hope that I'll a) get a job when I go on the market next year since I'm a writing specialist, and b) if I do get a job, I won't have to sacrifice family too much as a woman... *sigh.

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