What UNC might learn from Black Mountain College

Michael Behrent, history professor at App State, believes that the changes in how public universities are funded represent an ‘economic and political model that is hostile toward the very idea of public institutions’ — and one hostile to the teaching staff upon whose services it relies. Altha Cravey, a geography professor at UNC-CH… cites data from UNC showing that 59 percent of the faculty at Chapel Hill are now in non-tenure-track positions, versus only 12 percent in 2003….

“The future of academic work is at stake. The midcentury model of shared faculty governance in higher education is eroding, replaced by a top-down, corporate technocracy…. If current trends continue, an entire generation of academics will come of age in a world in which the gulf between the tenured and non-tenured is entrenched, in which work is precarious and low pay, in which profits flow upwards toward administrators….

“Black Mountain College reminds us that there are other ways forward….”

— From “The most influential college you’ve never heard of, why it folded and why it matters” by Sammy Feldblum at Scalawag (Aug. 24)

Feldblum makes a thoughtful and important argument, however quixotic.