Tuesday, January 24, 2012

please sign Open Letter to NC Supreme Court re: Ginsberg vs. NCSU

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

At North Carolina State University (NCSU), shortly after Dr. Terri Ginsberg made supportive political comments at a screening of a Palestinian film in 2007, she went from being the favored candidate for a tenure-track position to being denied even an interview. Her efforts at redress were summarily rejected by NCSU and two courts. A jury should be permitted to decide whether NCSU's real reason for firing Dr. Ginsberg was its hostility to her political views, but this legal right has been denied. We urge the Supreme Court of North Carolina to review Dr. Ginsberg's case and to reverse the lower courts' decisions to dismiss it. On this basis, faculty at NCSU and elsewhere may finally exercise their legal right to academic speech on the topic of Palestine/Israel and, as such, to their full human rights as scholars, teachers, and intellectuals in the academic community.

To support this request to the NC Supreme Court, we invite academic faculty and students worldwide to sign our Open Letter as an e-petition at this URL:

We expect to submit the Open Letter with all signatures received by February 7, though signatures received later would still be helpful.

You are also encouraged to send your own letter to:

Supreme Court of North Carolina
Clerk's Office
P.O. Box 2170
Raleigh, NC 27602-2170 USA

Thank you for your support,

British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) http://www.bricup.org.uk/
U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) http://www.usacbi.org
Center for Constitutional Rights http://ccrjustice.org
Jewish Voice for Peace-Westchester http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jewish-Voice-for-Peace-Westchester-Chapter/201574026528540?v=info
WESPAC Foundation http://wespac.org/
Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism (CODZ) http://www.codz.org

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Science-Policy conference

Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology conference on

Science-Policy Interactions and Social Values

at the University of Texas at Dallas
April 13-14th, 2012

Keynote Speaker: Kevin Elliott, University of South Carolina

The Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology seeks proposals for papers and symposia for a conference to wrap up our 2011-2012 public lecture series on "Funded and Forbidden Knowledge: Science, Politics, and Cultural Values." The conference will be interdisciplinary, engaging the areas of science and technology studies, history and philosophy of science, science and technology policy studies, ethics and political philosophy, and science policy in exploring the interactions between science and policy-making, with special attention to the role of values in those interactions.

In these areas of scholarship, several categories of discussion concerning science and policy have emerged. Some focus on the role of science in the policy process, while others look at the inverse relationship of how politics influence scientific research. Some approach the topic in a very empirically grounded and particularistic fashion, while others take a normative approach and aim for general accounts. While there have been important interdisciplinary conferences in this area, the scholarship remains somewhat disjointed and piecemeal, whereas tackling the major issues in this area requires thinking across such boundaries. This conference will emphasize that the relationship between science and politics is mutually influential rather than unidirectional; it will emphasize the importance of normative or critical approaches that are also empirically grounded in the practice of science and realities of political institutions. We seek submissions that bring to the forefront issues of values in science-policy interactions.

Suggested topics (not an exhaustive list):

* Democratization of science
* Evidence-based policy
* Policy and the value-free ideal of science
* Forms of scientific and political representation
* Theories of scientific expertise
* Models of science advising
* History of science policy
* Lessons from environmental policy-making
* Scientific expertise and political advocacy
* Commercialization of science and the public good
* The aims of science and choice of research priorities
* Science and justice in political institutions
* Science, non-scientific views, and public reason
* Expertise and elitism in democratic deliberation
* Science and democracy in comparative and international contexts
* The influence of science on ethical values, and political ideals
* Obstacles to socially or politically responsible science

We're especially interested in proposals that cross the boundaries between already-established research programs.

You should submit your proposal to http://tinyurl.com/ScienceValues2012

We welcome submissions of both individual paper proposals and proposals for symposia and other multi-participant panel formats. For contributed papers, please submit a 250-500 word abstract. For symposia and other multi-participant panels, submit an abstract up to 250 words describing the panel and descriptions of up to 100 words describing each participant's contribution.
Submissions are due January 5, and decisions will be announced by early February.
Send any questions to centerforvaluesutdallas [at] gmail.com

Organizing Committee
Matthew J. Brown, UT Dallas - Philosophy of Science
Richard Scotch, UT Dallas - Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences
Magdalena Grohman, UT-Dallas - Psychology
Sabrina Starnaman, UT-Dallas - Literary Studies

Program Committee
Heather Douglas, University of Waterloo - Philosophy of Science, Science Policy
Kevin Elliott, University of South Carolina - Philosophy of Science, Applied Ethics
Mark B. Brown, CSU Sacremento - Political Science
Jeremy Farris, Harvard Law School - Political Philosophy

Thursday, November 10, 2011

To Know is Not Enough: Activist Scholarship, Social Change & The Corporate University

The Rouge Forum @ AERA 2012
To Know is Not Enough: Activist Scholarship, Social Change & The Corporate University

Free Interactive Conference Open to All

Friday April 13, 2012
University of British Columbia,
Robson Square Campus
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The theme for the 2012 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is “Non Satis Scire: To Know Is Not Enough.” It is laudable that AERA is promoting “the use of research to improve education and serve the public good” rather than the mere accumulation of research knowledge, but The Rouge Forum is interested in exploring what it means for scholars, and educators in general, to move beyond “knowing” to the pursuit of activist agendas for social change.

  • What happens when teachers and other academics connect reason to power and power to resistance?
  • How can academic work (in universities and other learning environments) support local and global resistance to global neoliberal capitalism?
  • How do we respond to the obstacles and threats faced as activist scholars?

The Rouge Forum @ AERA will bring together world-renowned scholars, teachers, community organizers, and other activists to discuss these questions and others related to activist scholarship, social change, academic freedom, and work in the corporate university as part of a one-day interactive conference at the Robson Square Campus of University of British Columbia in downtown Vancouver.

What is the Rouge Forum?

The Rouge Forum is a group of educators, students, and parents seeking a democratic society. We are both research and action oriented. We want to learn about equality, democracy and social justice as we simultaneously struggle to bring into practice our present understanding of what that is. We seek to build a caring inclusive community that understands that an injury to one is an injury to all. At the same time, our caring community is going to need to deal decisively with an opposition that is sometimes ruthless. RougeForum.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gigi Roggero on university factories and academia

New book shows how universities in Europe and North American are run like factories and how this affects academic workers

New from Temple University Press:

The Production of Living Knowledge

The Crisis of the University and the Transformation of Labor in Europe and North America

Gigi Roggero

Translated and with a Foreword by Enda Brophy

Publication Date: September 20, 2011

214 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 "

Cloth 978-1-4399-0573-9 $69.50

How universities in Europe and North American are run like factories and how this affects academic workers

Evaluating higher education institutions—particularly the rise of the "global university"—and their rapidly changing role in the global era, Gigi Roggero finds the system in crisis. In his groundbreaking book, The Production of Living Knowledge: The Crisis of the University and the Transformation of Labor in Europe and North America (Publication Date: September 20, 2011), Roggero examines the university system as a key site of conflict and transformation within "cognitive capitalism"—a regime in which knowledge has become increasingly central to the production process at large. Based on extensive fieldwork carried out through the activist method of conricerca, or "co-research," wherein researchers are also subjects, Roggero's book situates the crisis of the university and the changing composition of its labor force against the backdrop of the global economic crisis.

Combining a discussion of radical experiments in education, new student movements, and autonomist Marxian (or post-operaista) social theory, Roggero produces a distinctly transnational and methodologically innovative critique of the global university from the perspective of what he calls "living knowledge."

In light of new student struggles in the United States and across the world, this first English-language edition is particularly timely.

Gigi Roggero is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Politics, Institutions, and History at the University of Bologna. He is a member of the editorial board of WorkingUSA, and the collectives Edu-factory and Uninomade and a regular contributor to Il Manifesto. He is the author of Intelligenze fuggitive: Movimenti contro l'università-azienda, and co-author (with Guido Borio and Francesca Pozzi) of Futuro anteriore: Dai "Quaderni Rossi" ai movimenti globali: Ricchezze e limiti dell'operaismo italiano.

For a Review Copy, please contact:

Temple University Press

Phone: 215-926-2154

Fax: 215-926-2141

Email: Gary Kramer


Wednesday, August 3, 2011



Dear Colleagues,

As detailed below, Greek public universities are in danger of being demolished by the new higher education bill the government will propose to Parliament for voting within the next couple of weeks. Please help us stop the voting of the bill by signing the petition.

If you agree with the call that follows, please sign the petition and forward it to as many colleages as possible.

Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek and Noam Chomsky have signed it, among others.

with many thanks and best wishes



To the international academic community

PUBLIC Greek Universities in Danger

In the last few years, a wave of ‘reforms’ within the European Union and throughout the world has subjected Higher Education to the logic of the market. Higher Education has increasingly been transformed from a public good and a civil right to a commodity for the wealthy. The self-government of Universities and the autonomy of academic processes are also being eroded. The processes of knowledge production and acquisition, as well as the working conditions of the academic community, are now governed by the principles of the private sector, from which Universities are obliged to seek funds.
Greece is possibly the only European Union country where attempts to implement these ‘reforms’ have so far failed. Important factors in this failure are the intense opposition of Greek society as well as the Greek Constitution, according to which Higher Education is provided exclusively by public, fully self-governed and state-funded institutions.
According to the existing institutional framework for the functioning of Universities, itself the result of academic and student struggles before and after the military dictatorship (1967-1974), universities govern themselves through bodies elected by the academic community. Although this institutional framework has contributed enormously to the development of Higher Education in Greece, insufficient funding and suffocating state control, as well as certain unlawful and unprofessional practices by the academic community, have rendered Higher Education reform necessary.
The current government has now hastily attempted a radical reform of Higher Education. On the pretext of the improvement of the ‘quality of education’ and its harmonization with ‘international academic standards’, the government is promoting the principles of ‘reciprocity’ in Higher Education. At the same time, it is drastically decreasing public funding for education (up to 50% decrease) which is already amongst the lowest in the European Union. New appointments of teaching staff will follow a ratio 1:10 to the retirement of existing staff members. This will have devastating results in the academic teaching process as well as in the progress of scientific knowledge.
The government proposals seek to bypass the constitutional obligations of the state towards public Universities and abolish their academic character.
  • The self-government of Universities will be circumvented, with the current elected governing bodies replaced by appointed ‘Councils’ who will not be accountable to the academic community.
  • The future of Universities located on the periphery, as well as of University departments dedicated to ‘non-commercial’ scientific fields, looks gloomy.
  • Academic staff will no longer be regarded as public functionaries. The existing national payscale is to be abolished and replaced by individualized, ‘productivity’ related payscales, while insecure employment is to become the norm for lower rank employees.
  • Higher Education will be transformed into ‘training’ and, along with research, gradually submitted to market forces.
The government proposals have been rejected by the Greek academic community. The Council of Vice-Chancellors and the Senates of almost all Universities have publicly called the government to withdraw the proposals and have suggested alternative proposals which can more effectively deal with the problems of Greek Universities. Despite this, the government proceeds with promoting its proposals, in confrontation with the entire academic community.
We appeal to our colleagues from the international academic community, who have experienced the consequences of similar reforms, to support us in our struggle to defend education as a public good. We fight, together with our British, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and other colleagues, for the respect of the academic tradition of the European universitas in current conditions.

We ask you to send electronically the appeal below, signed with your name and indicating your academic status and institutional affiliation, to the Initiative of Greek Academics (europeanuniversitas1@gmail.com) or sign online at http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?GRUNIV

The support of the international academic community will prove invaluable for the upcoming developments not only in Greek Universities but in respect to public European Higher Education as a whole.

Initiative of Greek academics

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No confidence in the policies of the UK Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts

The following is from the ‘Campaign for the Public University’:

1) Both the Oxford and Cambridge campaigns for higher education have been in the news over the last week for their proposals for a vote of no confidence in the policies of the Minister for Higher Education, David Willetts. Oxford has also asked for national support for this campaign. You can join the campaign by following the link below and going to the 'Join Us' page. Their vote will take place on Tuesday 7th June and it would be helpful to get as many people signing up in support before then as possible.


2) Online petitions have also started at the Universities of Warwick and Goldsmiths. If there are any other petitions happening at other institutions, please get in touch with the Oxford campaign.

3) News emerged today of a new private institution established by the philosopher A. C. Grayling together with, what seem to be, a number of venture capitalists. This is the New College of the Humanities which will offer a predominantly humanities curriculum and will start admitting students in 2012-13. It is planning to charge £18,000 per year.

4) For a number of critical weblogs on this news, see the following articles:




Ginsberg vs. NCSU. Support for Ginsberg sorely needed

We have mentioned this case before (here). This time, we decided to reproduce the full letter from Terri Ginsberg and her Legal Team, as they urgently need support.
UP webmaster.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As you know, I have been involved over the past three years in waging a lawsuit against North Carolina State University (NCSU). The lawsuit contests the University's decision to dismiss me from my teaching position after it suppressed my speech and retaliated against me for my teaching and scholarship critical of Zionism and Israeli policy and supportive of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Since my dismissal from NCSU, I have sought redress from the University, first by exhausting all on-campus and local remedies, then by filing a constitutional lawsuit against NCSU and the larger University of North Carolina system of which it is a part.

I am writing you today, with great appreciation for your prior support, to ask you once again to help me continue my struggle. My case has been long and arduous. As of this writing, its combined Record runs more than 500 pages. As outlined on my case blog (http://ginsbergvsncsu.wordpress.com), the lawsuit entered litigation in December 2009. In May 2010, the parties underwent a mediation hearing mandated by the State of North Carolina; the University offered me a ridiculously small sum and no reinstatement, whereupon no settlement was reached. A week of depositions followed. When the discovery period ended, the case underwent a Summary Judgment hearing on October 25, 2010, for which the case was dismissed summarily, perfunctorily, without reason; the judge, Shannon Joseph, simply issued a boilerplate "decision" that basically "just says no."

In fact, NCSU admitted during deposition hearings that it suppressed my speech critical of Zionism and supportive of the Palestinian liberation struggle while I was under its employ as a visiting professor, and that it chose not to interview or hire me for a tenure-track position because of my scholarship focusing on Palestine/Israel, the Middle East, and the „Jewish.‰ Amazingly, the University claims that it has the right to suppress, refuse and reject on the basis of these considerations! Notwithstanding this admission and the fact that my attorneys presented a mountain of circumstantial evidence and were able to rebut NCSU's stated reasons for its actions against me, the judge ignored it all without explanation. By thus dismissing the case, Judge Joseph essentially decided that academic speech critical of Zionism and supportive of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim perspectives is not protected by the free speech provision (Article I, section 14) of the North Carolina Constitution.

In a few short weeks, my legal team, headed by Rima Najjar Kapitan (http://www.kapitanlaw.net/), will file an Appellate Brief with the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and an Appeal Hearing will be held subsequently, most likely in late August or early September. This appeal process is extremely important, for here is our opportunity to expose and contest Judge Joseph's irrational refusal to allow my case to be properly heard by a jury of my peers. We aim to ensure that I be given the fair hearing I deserve and that is my rightful due.

However, I cannot move forward without your continued support. While my legal team has been more than generous with their time, and firm in their commitment, litigation fees are unfortunately non-negotiable. Furthermore, since leaving NCSU, I have been un(der)employed and continue to seek gainful employment in the field of higher education. Under the circumstances, and recognizing the many other pressing issues which face our communities and require urgent support at this time, I must now ask once again for your help as we approach this crucial moment of our struggle.

If you are able to give, please kindly make your check payable to Kapitan Law Office, with "Ginsberg vs. NCSU" written on the comment line. The funds will be held in a client trust account until they are needed for litigation costs. All unused funds will be donated to a worthy Palestinian organization. Checks should be mailed to:

Rima Najjar Kapitan, Esq.

Kapitan Law Office, Ltd.

300 South Wacker Drive

Suite 1700A

Chicago, IL 60606 USA

Thank you in advance for your efforts, generosity, and continued support.

In appreciation and solidarity,

Terri Ginsberg and her Legal Team