December 15, 2012, re-posted from The Faster Times College section, Modest Proposal is by medievalist, fencer, translator and contingent academic Ken Mondschein (PhD Fordham + studies at BU, SUNY Buffalo, Harvard) who writes...
Most every commentator on academe has mentioned the sorry state of higher education: A decades-long oversupply of Ph.Ds, and cheap adjunct labor for everything from teaching intro writing classes to supervising theses to cleaning the president's office. Despite the fact that tenure-track jobs are rarer than hen's teeth, that venerated institution has come under attack, as well. Critics charge that tenure gives professors license to be unproductive layabouts or maniac wingnuts, but there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it unless said tenure-possessor burns down the administration building or runs naked through freshman orientation.
But I am not here to kvetch: I am here to offer solutions. It seems to me that all of these symptoms of current malaise of higher education could be solved in one sweeping stroke, were we only to reintroduce dueling to the academy.
Read the rest at precarious faculty: A Modest Proposal for the Reform of Academe. More articles by Ken Mondschein in Faster Times, at Academia.edu and books, including several on fencing