with Katelin Kaiser
January 8, 2012 to January 8, 2013 year overview of visitors at Writing Commons
In past blogs, I’ve argued academics, particularly tenured faculty, should consider self-publishing their pedagogical materials. Today I wish to further explore the benefits of open textbook publishing. For this blog I’m joined by Katelin Kaiser, a graduate student in Ethics and Medical Humanities at the University of South Florida College of Medicine as well as one of the editors at Writing Commons.
Clearly, for academics there are meaningful obstacles to self-publishing OERs (Open Education Resources), including open textbooks or open courseware. First despite counter arguments such as Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered, Salary, Tenure, and Promotion Committees still prize the scholarship of discovery over the scholarship of application or teaching. Traditionally, hiring, tenure, and promotion are driven by obsolete notions of scarcity: academics relinquish copyright to distinguished university presses or journals in exchange for academic rewards, not worrying that forevermore their work will be locked behind passwords, controlled by powerful knowledge management companies such as Elsevier.
Rand Paul has a new video online that is being distributed by the National Review. He asks viewers to sign a petition and make contributions in support of national “right to work” legislation. The video emphasizes three points about “Big Labor’s power of forced unionism”:
- It has crippled America’s competitive edge.
- It has forced countless American companies overseas.
- It has polluted our political process for more than half a century.
Of course, none of these are new attacks, but the vehemence of the anti-union rhetoric from the Far Right during this and the previous election cycle flies in the face of several basic facts and begs the question of what its purpose is.
This is a version of a piece I posted six years ago on my own blog, One Flew East. I am offering it again now as a way of introducing myself to the Academe blog:
How can we in academia make the case for “academic freedom” to the broader public and move our own understanding forward, back towards the old function of academic freedom within the public sphere?
Too many of us in academia, and for too long, have looked upon “academic freedom” as a right, forgetting that it carries specific responsibilities.
Before departing for their two week break, Michigan’s House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education issued a group of policy recommendations tied to new funding. One recommendation in particular, tries to force public universities to sell their academic freedom or risk losing new state money. Section 273a threatens the state appropriations of any Michigan public university that ”collaborates” with any “nonprofit worker center”. Mind you, the legislature has yet to define either term.