As many of you are aware, my latest project is a companion book/documentary called ‘Junct: The Trashing of Higher Ed. in America. My partner in this project, Chris LaBree, of 2255 Films, has posted a presentation that we gave recently at The Left Forum, Pace University, NYC. A version of the oral presentation is combined with clips of some of our interviewees for the documentary. I invite you to take a look and hear some of the important things that are being said about the state of the American university. Speaking are Anne McLeer of SEIU in D.C., Pablo Eisenberg of The Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University, Joe Berry, author of Reclaiming the Ivory Tower, Maria Maisto, President of New Faculty Majority, Victoria Baldassano, one of the core organizers of the adjunct union at Montgomery College, Michelle Massé, Professor of English and Director of LSU Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Together, they tell a story of labor abuse, deprofessionalization and struggle on the part of one million faculty in this country who are now trapped in career-long adjunct status, and a life of poverty. They speak of the loss for the students, in terms of the quality of their education, the guidance they need from faculty who cannot be there, and the fact that these students are being mired in a lifetime of debt before they even have a hope of beginning their adult lives. They tell of the loss to our country, when the universities no longer educate, but “instruct”, or “train” – the loss of well-educated thinkers and leaders, the loss of citizens who can reason and evaluate….and the loss to our democracy when we no longer have a population able to think clearly and effectively about the issues of the nation.
Our work on this project continues. We will be doing more interviewing, and filming events of protest and activism. The goal is to complete the shooting of the film by early summer, at the latest, and begin the editing and scoring. In the meantime, our progress will be shared, and we invited your comments on what you feel are some of the most important stories to be shared, ideas to be expressed. This is a documentary meant to raise awareness of the very serious breakdown of our university system. Anyone who has experienced this breakdown personally is invited to get in touch, through your comments here, and through your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your story so that we can tell the world.