Address to Faculty and Students
Neatby-Timlin Lecture Theatre
University of Saskatchewan
April 7, 2009
by John McMurtry Ph.D, F.R.S.C.
My experience of the university extends over almost half a century. For the first 20-odd years, I was worried the place was disconnected from the real world in self-referential guild specialties. For the next 20-odd years, I have observed the cumulative subordination of the university to corporate-market methods and to rising financial-management appropriation of public educational funds by central administrations – all with no accountability to academic standards.
This invisible occupation of the academy by a corporate agenda forwarded by central administrations within universities has been analysed by University of Saskatchewan’s own Howard Woodhouse in his forthcoming book, Selling Out: Academic Freedom and the Corporate Market.[note]Howard Woodhouse, Selling Out: Academic Freedom and the Corporate Market. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009.[/note] Tracking of this corporate invasion of the academy ultimately leads back to what is not examined – the unaccountable right of central administrations to spend public money on their own growth, privileges and salaries instead of the constitutional objectives of the university – advancement of learning and dissemination of knowledge. University presidents who once received a faculty member’s salary with a modest stipend now arrange with their business-dominated boards to be paid more than the U.S. President while incurring steeper debts and raising tuition fees for debt-ridden students.