Techno-Euphoria as a Visa for Neoliberal/Neoconservative Capitalism’s Invasion of Academia: The Case of Digital Measures

Myriam Torres, Marisol Ruiz

Abstract


The overarching purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the link between the push for a euphoric and acritical use of technology and the neoliberal/neoconservative agenda, specifically in the field of higher education. This paper examines the implications of demanding that faculty use Digital Measures for recording their performance evaluations. The authors argue that this ‘technological application’ is a disguised path to centralize control and homogenize faculty performance by privileging only that which can be counted or measured. This centralization of control of faculty performance facilitates top university administrators to compare faculty outcomes (‘productivity’) across the different colleges without considering the unequal allocation of resources, including salaries and teaching loads. This inequality is in turn justified with reference to the ‘market value’ of the various disciplines, rather than their social responsiveness for the common good and human fulfillment. This constitutes a clear example of the already advanced invasion of the ’free market’ doctrine -- central to neoliberalism/neo-conservatism - -into academia. The overemphasis on the “market value” of knowledge, the obsession with measurement and data management, and most recently the techno-euphoria have negative impact on the morale of faculty and the learning environment for students. Under the neoliberal/neoconservative doctrine, the homogenization of procedures and assessments is promoted as increasing quality, rigor and equality to cover up the enormous inequity in faculty treatment, and the detriment of the values of academic freedom and shared governance, the foundational values of higher education as the guardian and agent of democratic and liberating thinking.

Keywords


University corporatization; Measurement; performance evaluation; neoliberalism; Neoconservatism; capitalism; digital technology; academic freedom; top-down control

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ACADEMIA, ISSN, 2241-1402, Higher Education Policy Network

Πασιθέη: Ηλεκτρονικές Επιστημονικές Δημοσιεύσεις Ανοικτής Πρόσβασης, 2008-2012, Βιβλιοθήκη & Κέντρο Πληροφόρησης - Πανεπιστήμιο Πατρών