A Faustian Bargain is Never a Good Deal

The president of SUNY Albany recently cut funding to the university’s arts and humanities programmes. Gergory Petsko has written a scathing open letter to the president for this decision. For those that might think Petsko is just an angry drama teacher who is mad he’s lost his job – he isn’t. He’s a real life scientist. I’m guessing he has beakers and a lab coat and everything.  

“A Faustian Bargain: An open letter to George M Philip, President of the State University of New York At Albany,” by Gregory A Petsko:


Universities are down at the crossroads

And here’s a quote from Chris Hedges 2010 book Death of the Liberal Class:

Universities no longer train students to think critically, to examine and critique the systems of power and cultural and political assumptions, to ask the broad questions of meaning and morality once sustained by the humanities. These institutions have transformed themselves into vocational schools. They have become breeding grounds for systems managers trained to serve the corporate state. In a Faustian bargain with corporate power, many of these universities have swelled their departments with billions in corporate and government dollars. College presidents, paid enormous salaries as if they were the heads of corporations, are judged almost solely on their ability to raise money. (Hedges, 11)

And here’s a link to a post put up on the blog of the sociology graduate students at the University of Alberta. In the period of time since this article, if you want to see where Indira Samarasekera’s salary has gone, you’ll have to look up – way, way, up.

“U of A president Samarasekera richest in Canada!”

Explore posts in the same categories: Debunk an Academic Myth, Links to Important Places, Matters of Debate

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