Two Academic Messes

If you read anything related to academic culture and universities then you are bound to encounter the complaints about the adjuntification of academic labor. More and more universities are relying on adjuncts to teach classes. Most people explain this as a need to save costs. Others may get more conspiratorial.

The prevailing opinion among a lot of people seems to be that going to graduate school, especially in the humanities Ph.D. programs, is a waste of time and a veil of tears.

So, we conclude that academia has a surplus of labor that needs better use.

Now for our second problem: the peer review system is broken. Mr. Myers argues, quite rightly, that there are too many burdens placed on current academics: reviewing, grant proposals, books, articles, and teaching. Expecting someone to fairly review eight papers a month is a lot, especially if we want good feedback.

So, we conclude that academia places excessive demands upon members.

I have no solutions to this problem. But cannot there be a way to unite these two thread, surely there is a supply of labor that could meet some of the demand for reviewers.

Todd Suomela
Associate Director for Digital Pedagogy & Scholarship Department

My interests include digital scholarship, citizen science, leadership, and communications.