Education: Just a By‐Product?

This blog entry was actually posted on December 10, 2015.

This article is from WLUFA Advocate 1.3 February 2013.

Herbert Pimlott, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Bullying, conditions at Brantford Campus, issues concerning contract
faculty members… topics that speak to the state of Laurier. We can
try and pretend that the situations of our colleagues are of little concern
to those of us fortunate enough to be out of harm’s way or, at least, tenured. We can pretend that what happens to others will have little impact on our lives, salaries, or working conditions. But, as we found out in Communication Studies, that’s simply not the case. As an example, we learned that when a large proportion of our courses were taught by contract faculty, we couldn’t avoid all the extra service and administrative committee work that would have (should have) been shared with other tenure‐track faculty – not the least of which would have been the committee work necessary for hiring contract faculty.
Our major contributors to this issue of advocate clearly outline the ways in which
our growing inability (or unwillingness?) to find connections between ourselves
– both personally and professionally – puts us in danger of destroying the very
institution (as we know it) that has, paradoxically, brought us all together.

The fall‐out of this climate, as both Pat Elliot and Gary Warrick point out, is far reaching
since our working conditions directly affect our students’ learning conditions. This issue of advocate offers a number of insights into the “narcissistic turn” that seems to be rapidly infecting us and which will have a direct impact on the quality of students’ education at Laurier, prompting us to ask whether or not education is becoming more the by‐product – rather than primary focus – at Laurier.

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