The latest issue of Academic Matters is out now. Contributors reflect on how the pandemic has impacted faculty and students struggling to balance their professional and personal lives. Read the issue for free online:
The academy’s neoliberal response to COVID-19: Why faculty should be wary and how we can push back
Honor Brabazon, St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo
Canadian universities have reacted to the pandemic with neoliberal approaches that emphasize competitive individualism, commodification, and existing hierarchies of power. What can be done to push back against neoliberalism and re-imagine the future of the academy?
Care work during COVID: A letter from home about privilege, resilience, and capitalism in the academy
Soma Chatterjee, York University
Universities claim to re-shape the social, scientific, and economic contours of society for the better. Has the ongoing exploitation of precariously employed female and racialized academic staff revealed that universities are reinforcing the very norms they should be challenging?
Navigating the pandemic: Living alone but needing to stick together
Jeff Bale, University of Toronto
Whether living alone or caring for others, it has been hard to navigate this pandemic and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Overcoming these challenges means focusing on what we have in common and supporting each other to improve everyone’s working and living conditions.
Are Ontario universities and schools doing enough to care for students with children amid the COVID-19 crisis?
Norin Taj and Asmita Bhutani, University of Toronto
Many university students have child-care responsibilities they have to balance with their academic work. The ongoing uncertainty around in-person teaching at both universities and schools has made achieving this balance even more difficult.
Nursing students facing tough choices in order to graduate during the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has put incredible strain on healthcare systems around the world. In Ontario, healthcare workers are in high demand. However, nursing students are now faced with the reality that, even before they graduate, they may need to put their own health at risk.
Baby matters: Gender politics in academia beyond COVID-19
Enrica Maria Ferrara, Trinity College Dublin
Men continue to hold most senior positions in academia, while women are overrepresented amongst the precariously employed. Yet, gaining tenure often means acting in ways that reinforce existing patriarchal structures. How do we build more equitable institutions?
The ugly side of performance-based funding for universities
Marc Spooner, University of Regina
Several provinces are overhauling how they fund postsecondary education. Research shows that these “performance” based funding approaches are largely ineffective. What is the real reason for this policy shift and how will it influence the mission of our universities?