Cat Warren

From the Editor: Belts and Corsets

Feminist essayist Katha Pollitt has argued convincingly that just beyond the current attacks on reproductive health care lies a myriad of less visible ways that federal, state, and local government cutbacks, “touted as neutral and necessary belt-tightening,” will fall disproportionately on women.

And that is true in our universities as well. Contingent faculty are disproportionately women and are thus being laid off disproportionately. The same is true of staff. And it is also true of women’s and gender studies programs.

Don’t Know Much Biology

For a decade, I’ve used zoological metaphors to capture the complex relationship between arch-conservative foundations and higher education. At times, I may have stretched the metaphors to where they lost both illustrative power and accuracy. I said things about how barracudas reproduce, for example, that I’m not sure would have passed muster with my fisheries-biologist father. As end-of-grade testing approaches, I’ve resolved to tighten my metaphors, even if some are left behind. If you all could sharpen your number-two pencils?

From the Editor: No Entrance

Three years ago, I became the editor of Academe. This is my last issue. Editing the magazine has been enormously rewarding.

Though I’m a pessimist, I often remain cheerful. Even when I think the glass is two-thirds empty, I can find ways to enjoy whatever juice is left in the bottom. Still, I’m shocked by how much worse off higher education is now than it was when I became editor. By almost every measure. Of all of the things that dismay and exercise me, of the multitude of scandals and crises in higher education, one subsumes them all.


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