Thursday, August 28, 2008

AAUP Names Gary Rhoades As General Secretary

The AAUP a few moments ago announced in an email that Gary Rhoades will be the new general secretary, in charge of day-to-day operations for the organization. It's an excellent choice. Rhoades is the perfect merger of a scholar and an activist on behalf of academic freedom in an age of academic capitalism. He is Director of the University of Arizona's Center for the Study of Higher Education, and the author of two excellent books, Managed Professionals: Unionized Faculty and Restructuring Academic Labor (SUNY Press, 1998) and Academic Capitalism and the New Economy (with Sheila Slaughter (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004).

The AAUP needs a scholar who is one of the top figures in the field studying higher education. The AAUP needs a faculty member to run the group, someone accustomed to speaking out rather than trained to be careful. The AAUP needs an activist who understands the changing nature of higher education and the need for the AAUP to become more aggressive in response. And the AAUP needs a leader who will listen to the members and push the staff to make the AAUP the preeminent voice on academic freedom, shared governance, and all of the other issues impacting higher education. And Gary Rhoades is that leader. So I have high hopes for the AAUP.

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