[This was posted originally on Facebook. See the original post here.]
This is probably a good time to make something explicit that has been implicit for about a year now.
I think academia is quite toxic for many – and actively sickifying under COVID – and I think it’s time for many folks to depart it.
My views HAVE evolved.
***I think anyone being harmed by academia should leave academia.***
I have always felt that (since 2011 when I wrote “It’s OK to quit”) but now with COVID, the urgency level is entirely different.
As such, if you have noticed a change on this [FB] page, yes, the page has changed. I didn’t think I need to “announce” that per se, but I can see now I probably should have, and I’m happy to. Like everything else I do, it was considered and intentional. As always I’ll continue to assist those who wish to pursue an academic career make that pursuit. But only while being even noisier than before about that career’s toxicity, and the gaslighting that stops people from imagining healthier and safer alternatives.*
I expect many will unfollow this facebook page [and the blog, etc.] as a result. That is fine. I may no longer be a good fit for you. I will be a better fit for others.
BTW: the crowdsourcing of advice is something I also decided to pursue with thought and intentionality. I am not an oracle; I don’t know everything. to me the advantage of a big page like this is the sheer wealth of knowledge and perspectives it can gather. I decided to make that available. I understand you might not like it, and again, you may leave. These are all choices — and ethical choices at that, although I know this will trigger the grifter folks to do another pile-on — that I make based on my evolving estimation of how best to use my platform as academic circumstances change (and worsen).
*Just to anticipate the usual mishigas, if you came here to say “oh now you’ve just moved your grift to the postac side!” please know it’s been said already. I mean, knock yourself out, but it’s pretty derivative at this point.
- The Professor Is In HAS Changed, Part II, or I Don’t Give a Flying Fuck What You Wear
- “So You Want to Get a Ph.D. in the Humanities” (Take II)
- #Dispatches: How Has COVID19 Impacted Your Career Planning, Part I: Leaving the Academy
- Questioning Your Future in Academia? Do This Now!
- The One-Body Problem, Part 3: Finding the Things You CAN Control
Trapped in the Academy says
As one of the few faculty who never moved to remote classes (with the exception of March-May of 2020 in the initial months of COVID lockdown), COVID has changed everything and everyone. As colleagues across the nation discuss returning to the physical campus, I privately lament how different my reality has been. I never left. And I got more jobs. Now a full time advisor, a tenured faculty member with a 4-4 teaching load, an admissions visit conductor, a counselor to students, a faculty senator, a committee member across the university, a chair, a faculty mentor, and the proud new owner of 8 million other roles that I didn’t sign up for. The higher education landscape has become more inflexible while claiming flexibility. Meanwhile, a pay cut, layoffs, and other austerity measures translate into income that is not enough to send my own children to college, and is largely achievable as an entry level manager of a fast food establishment. And yet I feel trapped unless I want to uproot my family. But thank you for a glimmer of hope…