That "college of equals" is long gone, displaced by the corporate culture of predatory plutocracy that has attained supremacy in our larger society's workplaces, political institutions, and markets. Far from shared governance by faculty, administrators, and trustees, higher-ed now runs on a strict, chain-of-command corporate model. Even though education is, by nature, a labor intensive service organization, those who are actually providing the service have little or no say-so and are basically viewed by the ruling executives as a bothersome cost to be controlled. While it surprises most of us to find professors in poverty, once we see how the structure of academe has been contorted to fit the corporate order, it's no surprise that those on the lowest rung of the institutional ladder--the adjunct faculty--are treated as highly educated McDonald's workers.
To see that that even PhDs are being squeezed out of the middle class mocks America's promise of unlimited opportunities for upward mobility. But it also opens the opportunity for college professors, fast-food workers, and all others among the working poor forge powerful worker-professor alliances.Developing that bond can produce good results for all.