Patricia Matthew’s interview on the Brian Lehrer Show brought me back to my observation of the brick wall in last week’s reading. Faculty of color are surely given the short end of the stick on all aspects of diversity in the university. They are burdened with the work of doing diversity yet it is not viewed as “scholarly” enough for tenure. I assume it is too far-fetched to think that the work faculty do for the university would be a major consideration in granting tenure. This is just another way to create the brick wall.
Professor Roger’s chapter two in Putting the Humanities PhD to Work hits the nail on the head in this quote on diversity work in the university.
- “No matter how many diversity initiatives a university launches, true equity will remain out of reach as long as the educational system as a whole continues to ascribe value to deeply conservative processes and outcomes, since the way to measure, success will always involve looking back toward those who have come before” (Rogers, 40).
If the work faculty do for the university is not valuable, what is? Does the exclusivity of scholarly writing for the university make it valuable? Rogers’ discussion on scholarly work that extends beyond the university could not be more spot on! Making scholarly work applicable and accessible to the public are ways the university can be more diverse in its reach.
- “If humanities programs were to emphasize this potential for connection, gainful employment, and meaningful applicability, it would represent a significant stride in reasserting higher education as a public good rather than a private and elite undertaking” (Rogers, 60).
Your question, “If the work faculty do for the university is not valuable, what is?”, makes me think that there’s work in the university and then there’s “real” work in the university. But are we at the point the bulk of the work is not understood to be “real” work? What kind of job is that?! The university worker seems split in two (unevenly), and only the “real” part of that worker is getting paid/rewarded. Are we being pulled apart and disintegrated at our academic worksites?