Friday, July 25, 2014

from the archives: A Modest Proposal for the Reform of Academe

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...

QEDMost 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 and books, including several on fencing


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Swiftian satire, and I was thinking to myself, how could I have missed this the first time you posted it? But then, I saw it: no I did not miss it! I also posted back in 2012: can't you tell I am hopelessly in love with Jonathan Swift and his followers?

    Thanks again for this wonder of a piece: a great re-post, three times over!

    In sol(idarity),

    Ana M. Fores Tamayo
    Adjunct Justice
    Facebook Page:

    1. This time I included better links to Mondschein's articles too. I looked for the original 2010 post but must have reposted by reverting it to draft and republishing.


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