October 26, 2013
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: “I Quit Academia,” an Important, Growing Subgenre of American Essays. “In its insularity and single-mindedness, academe is also very similar to a fundamentalist religion (or, dare I say, cult), and thus those who abdicate often feel compelled to confess. But there’s an important way that Ernst’s essay distinguishes itself: Most I Quitters are like me, which is to say failed academics, or like Lord, whose disillusion hit her midway down the tenure track. Ernst is part of the sub-subgenre of quitters who did the unthinkable, giving up tenure. He joins, for example, scientist Terran Lane, who left the University of New Mexico for Google, and writer Anne Trubek, who ditched idyllic Oberlin when freelance writing was able to pay her bills.”
Original essay here. “I’ve had one foot in the academic world and the other in the business world for a few years. It’s been fascinating to observe the differences between the values of a small start-up and a large university. . . . What makes me pessimistic about my own university and public universities in the United States in general is that their inability to adapt isn’t due simply to bad leadership or an unfavorable economy. It’s based on structural features that are self-reinforcing.”
All is proceeding as I have foreseen.