Letters to the Editor

On "The Quick Rise of the Slow Professor"

Robert Zaller, October 2017

To the editor:

I am afraid that the unhurried and unpressured scholar depicted by Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber in their book The Slow Professor (“The Quick Rise of The Slow Professor,” May 2017) will not be soon to arrive. The hostile takeover of the modern university, including trustees chosen from business elites, an ever-expanding administrative bureaucracy, the dismantling of tenure, the collapse of faculty governance, and, in sum, the replacement of academic standards and values by corporate ones, has been a process decades in the making and will not be reversed without far wider efforts at social and cultural change that go beyond the university itself. To suggest that the modern assembly-line academic can simply choose to slow down his or her own pace is not merely frivolous, but an aspect of the very problem it seeks to address: sloppy, self-help thinking based on utterly superficial analysis. The powers that be in academia will have nothing to fear from such fluff.

Robert Zaller
Drexel University


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