University of Austin takes JH’s shared services model to logical next level

From the Dartmouth Review:

In place of large, on-campus administrative bureaucracies, UATX plans to make administration remote, outsourcing positions abroad. Not only will this arrangement save university funds, Howland noted, but it would also pay foreign workers livable, US-level wages. 

and in a move Phil Knight’s BoT still only dreams of, there will be no tenure – but at least UATX recognizes this will entail some costs:

The trade-up for no tenure, Howland said, would be the promise of low course loads and hard-to-find competitive salaries. Academic freedom in this tenure-less paradigm would be guaranteed by an external and independent committee that would adjudicate conflicts between faculty and the administration.

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9 Responses to University of Austin takes JH’s shared services model to logical next level

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Some stuff to like there. A serious two year core unlike the usual mishmash? Taught by well paid NTTF with reasonable loads and teaching conditions instead of exploited serfs grinding away in the big intro classes? True, the upper level may be a problem without tenure. But Olin seems to have managed in engineering. And tenure is being eroded anyway. And hey if faculty don’t have to swear allegiance to the DEI oaths they will have lots of takers repelled by the woke regimes that have overtaken “normal” campuses. At the very least a lot of young faculty now excluded from faculty searches by the DEI apparatchiks. They might even influence the huge swath of campuses in the red half of the country. This experiment is worth watching. Scoff at perhaps your own risk.

    • just different says:

      So the way to address the exploitation and precarity of the people who get screwed by a two-tier system is to get rid of the top tier. Got it.

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        get it? Actually no you don’t. But nobody will force you to apply there.

        Meanwhile — How are things going in the normie universities?

  2. just different says:

    Gotta love how academic freedom is now going to be “protected” by what’s essentially an arbitration agreement. I’m sure that will work out just as well for faculty as it has for other employees. Welcome to the “libertarian” hellscape.

  3. Dog says:

    While I am in favor of elimination tenure (so that deadwood like me can be removed earlier) this is much easier said than done.

    a) The first University and announces this probable won’t be able to hire anyone very easily.

    b) You have to be careful about what deadwood actually means; while may appear to have been deadwood to many external observers, I did maintain a research program, produced phd students and secured external grant funding throughout my deadwood years.

    c) I favor progressively longer peer reviewed contracts that start at 3 years, then promotion to 5 years, then promotion to 8 years.
    This basically means that a typical faculty member will be about 50 yrs old when they are up for promotion to an 8 year contract
    which would allow for the deadwood decision to be made then.

    • CSN says:

      You’re forgetting one of the big aspects of tenure: geographic switching costs. Most universities are positioned in places without other strong employment opportunities for knowledge work. If you fire someone at age 45 you are substantially disrupting their life and the lives of their kids. Setting that decision up earlier is a commitment device that makes it substantially easier to agree to move to a (relatively) isolated geographic area.

    • Powerball says:

      What a hot take. “I got my tenure, screw the junior faculty!”

  4. Tony Gunk says:

    We are all aware that this is barely a university, right? Its mission includes the phrase ‘anti-cancel culture’

    • just different says:

      Majority of faculty vote Democratic = “left-wing indoctrination”
      Actual right-wing indoctrination in the mission statement = “ideological diversity”
      It’s the same logic as a certain cable channel calling itself “fair and balanced.”