editor

Editorial Matters: Skin in the game

We only do an issue of Academic Matters if we think the topic is important, timely, or relevant to the current state-of-play for higher education. But I have to admit that this graduate student issue has a special importance for me.

That’s the effect of having a bit more skin in the game, I suppose.

As you may have learned from my byline (and perhaps I’m flattering myself here thinking that people actually read my byline), I am myself a

Sometimes it feels like we’re standing on a battlefied

Military metaphors are tired, no question. Orwell cautions that we should never use clichés that we are accustomed to seeing in print, as they will “construct your sentences for you—even think your thoughts for you.” But with all respect to George— one of the clearest, if not greatest, prose writers of the 20th century— sometimes an old cliché is the best way to describe what’s going on.

The truth is that academia is under attack. Not by a single aggressor,

The November issue of Academic Matters is now live!

The great medieval universities – Paris, Bologna, Oxford – were places far removed from the tribulations of daily life. Under the protection of the Church, scholars were free to pursue knowledge for its own sake without interference from the city fathers. They lived in near-literal ivory towers, soaring above the concerns of kings and peasants alike.

This separation could not last. First in Scotland, then in France, and then with Humboldt’s bold reforms to German universities, the academy began to