Tadween Roundup: News and Analysis from the Publishing/Academic World

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Tadween Publishing brings you the latest news and analysis from the publishing and academic worlds that relate to pedagogy and knowledge production. 


From Welfare to the Tenure Track
By Stacey Patton (Vitae)

After the success of earning her PhD Melissa Bruninga-Matteau began applying to faculty positions with the hope of fulfilling her dream of becoming a history professor. Unfortunately, she found academic opportunities few and far between, and circumstances forced her to take an adjunct position that paid little, causing her to rely on food stamps and Medicaid. After years of searching and countless job applications, just as she was about to throw in the towel, Bruninga-Matteau finally found her dream job.

The End of History?
By Ry Rivard (Inside Higher Education)

Elizabeth City State University, a historically black college that is a part of the University of North Carolina campuses, is discussing the possibility of ending undergraduate degree programs in physics, history, and political science due to reduced funding and a twenty-six percent decline in student enrollment.

Why Doesn’t the Constitution Guarantee the Right to Education?
By Stephen Lurie (The Atlantic)

Pearson’s “The Learning Curve” ranks the United States’ education system at position seventeen out of forty, falling behind countries in Europe and Asia. In comparison, the countries outranking the Unites States in the well-known ranking system have in common their constitutional, or statutory, guarantee of the right to education.  Is it time for the U.S. to make a constitutional amendment that promises the same?

Adjunct Professors in Dire Straits with Low Pay, Lack of Full-Time Jobs
By Patricia Sabga (Al Jazeera America)

The situation for adjuncts in American universities and colleges is ominous. According to Al Jazeera America’s Patricia Sabga, the conditions surrounding adjunct employment make it impossible for most adjuncts to rely on low pay and no benefits. Conditions for adjuncts are in decline, but the number of adjuncts at universities and colleges are on the rise, while tenure tracks remain few and far between.

Romania’s ReadForward Angles to Be “Facebook for Education”
By Daniel Kalder (Publishing Perspectives)

In Romania, entrepreneurs Cristian Dinu and Paul Balogh aim to reduce the gap between technology and culture by fusing them together. With their company ReadForward they produced Romania’s first digital textbook.

Report by Faculty Group Questions Savings from MOOCs
By Lawrence Biemiller (Chronicle of Higher Education)

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education recently released a paper, “The ‘Promises’ of Online Higher Education: Reducing Costs,” that claims massive open online courses (MOOCs) are not worth their burgeoning popularity as they provide little value and will not reduce students’ education costs as has been promised.

Students Issue Report Card on MOOCs
By Susan Gaier (Forbes)

Susan Gaier attempts to break through all of the hype surrounding MOOCs (massive open online courses) by asking developers and students for feedback on the new trend in online higher education.


Often Ignored Part of the Publishing Industry Faces Unique Challenges
(The Economist)

For decades upon centuries, university presses have managed to navigate the publishing industry successfully to become “the world’s oldest media business,” according to Peter Phillips. University presses are not-for-profit extensions of their universities that seek to publish scholarly and intellectual work, publications that usually do not have commercial appeal. Despite being able to find their way in the industry over the years, such presses are also beginning to face the same challenges as commercial publishing companies in the age of digitization. 

The Abomination of E-books: They Price People Out of Reading
By Art Brodsky (Wired)

Art Brodsky criticizes the legal limits and constrictions surrounding e-books and the hardship they place on individuals and libraries.

Amazon is Scaling Back Its Book Publishing
By Sean Vitka (Slate)

Amazon’s entry into the publishing market played an important role in changing the industry, but recently the company has decided to scale back its publishing operations amid a series of editorial departures and layoffs.

Academia.edu Crosses Five Million Users
By Kim-Mai Cutler (TechCrunch)

Academia.edu, a social networking site for academics and scholars, recently acquired Plasmyd as a search engine and discussion platform for academic papers. The news comes after Academia.edu crossed the five million users threshold, beating out their competitors, such as ResearchGate and Mendeley, in size.

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