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The University In Chains Essay

1165 words - 5 pages

The book “The University in Chains: Confronting the Military, Industrial and
Academic Complex discusses how democracy is disappearing on university campuses across America and the rise of “ideologies and practices in militarization, corporatism and political fundamentalism” (1) is taking its place. The author gives many possible directions for hope but still his writings lack possible more in depth directions to stop this growing trend. The author defends this with discussing how this type of logic is exactly what he is fighting against. Pre-written instructions that society has become so used to that it doesn’t know what direction to go when faced with difficulty and if it wasn’t ...view middle of the document...

After looking at the relationship between the university and the warfare state the author dives into the increased militarization in determining what direction the universities research agenda will follow. This comes in forms of funding of scientific research that comes from the likes of the Department of Homeland security and Department of Defense. This direction can only give more room for questioning the legitimacy of the humanities and social sciences, along with the roles of the CIA and defense offices helping to develop curriculum that would be specifically catered to the military personnel. A good example was the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program. IT was named after a Republican senator from Kansas who was Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It funded 150 anthropology students in return for their commitment to work for the U.S. intelligence offices upon graduation. One can see how this would compromise the research that would be done in other countries.
In Giroux’s second essay it deals with education as a for-profit enterprise. “Academic entrepreneurs” at a brand name university are forced to sell themselves and their subject matter as if they were consumer goods. “When universities can no longer balance their budget through tuition increases or federal grants, they can turn to corporate money and self-branding to balance their finances” (110). But the influence of the corporation has expanded far beyond the non-academic sphere. As Giroux writes, “What was once the hidden curriculum of many universities, the subordination of higher education to capital has now become an open and most celebrated policy of both public and private higher education” (111). There are many examples of corporate intrusion into the formally holy ground of scholarship and curriculum. Another subject of this essay is the sky high cost of higher education for students and how they are forced into debt before even becoming legal adults. A report from U.S. (2006) the federation of State Public Interests Research Groups shows college graduates are not going into teaching as a profession for the simple fact of needing jobs that pay better just to pay off high debts. This is a deterrent for many that are not wealthy enough to pay for college. Giroux throws into this essay how temporary faculty at universities has really made academic freedom just a fleeting thought in an educators mind. He cites that many may not know that nearly 45% of all higher education faculties are part-time and that more than 60% are on non-tenure track creating the problem of lack of freedom and the exploitation of instructors.
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