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Book Cover for: Who Runs Our Universities?: Debt's Shadow Governance and How to Organize for Change, Coalition Against Campus Debt

Who Runs Our Universities?: Debt's Shadow Governance and How to Organize for Change

Coalition Against Campus Debt

Public and private universities across the United States are undergoing massive debt inspired austerity cuts. Departments are closing, tuition is increasing, and faculty and staff are being let go to meet debt obligations imposed by bond agreements with Wall Street banks and other private lending sources.


The future of public higher education in this country depends on a nearly invisible set of financial institutions and actors. How did it get this way? Who Runs Our Universities? Debt's Shadow Governance and How to Organize for Change answers the burning questions of how our lives are entangled in a debt economy, why debt is so hard to organize around, and what role does the university in our struggles against it.

Exposing the ways that institutional debt is a primary driver of austerity, miseducation, and the deepening historically racialized and gendered inequalities of U.S. colleges and universities, Who Runs Our Universities? reveals the "shadow governance" of debt and credit in United States' higher education and its impact on working conditions and learning conditions alike, through a revolving door of debt covenants, credit ratings, credit rating agencies.

In doing so, it develops an analysis necessary for our times: in today's neoliberal racial capitalist political economy, how do we recognize these shadowy forces making bank in a pervasive debt economy, resist their forms of governance, and collectively transform higher education into a hub for a just world. Part theoretical analysis, part toolbox for organizers in higher education engaged in debt abolition struggle, Who Runs Our Universities, is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to acquire a critical and transformative vision of higher education today, and get started on the collective journey to refuse the debt for education blackmail.

Offering cases and testimonies from public higher education campaigns the book highlights essential understandings, strategies, and reflections from the organizing work of public higher education workers, students, and allies in the struggle against debt financing. It offers far-reaching insight into how higher education should be financed and what this would mean for democratizing the university, making it a community project, rather than a project of Wall Street.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Common Notions
  • Publish Date: Sep 3rd, 2024
  • Pages: 128
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9781945335129
  • Categories: Educational Policy & ReformPolitical EconomyFinance

About the Author

del Mar Rosa-Rodríguez, María: - María del Mar Rosa-Rodríguez is an associate professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, and the president of the faculty union, Asociación Puertorriqueña de Profesores Universitarios (APPU).
Coalition Against Campus Debt: - Coalition Against Campus Debt is a collective of educators and organizers active in higher education struggles as well as the debt abolition movement more widely for over a decade. Members include Jazon Wozniak, Eleni Schirmer, Dana Morrison, Joanna Gonsalves, Richard Levy, Maria del Mar Rosa Rodriguez, Sofya Aptekar, Tracy Berger, and Barbara Madeloni.
Wozniak, Jason: - Jason Thomas Wozniak is an assistant professor in the Educational Foundations and Policy Studies Department at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He codirects the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society (lapes.org) and serves as an organizer with the Debt Collective.
Schirmer, Eleni: - Eleni Schirmer is a research associate with the Future of Finance Initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles, Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in Educational Policy Studies.
Morrison, Dana: - Dana Morrison is an assistant professor in the Educational Foundations and Policy Studies Department at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and chapter secretary of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.
Gonsalves, Joanna: - Joanna Gonsalves is a psychology professor at Salem State University and chapter vice president of the Massachusetts State College Association faculty union.
Levy, Richard: - Rich Levy is a professor emeritus at Salem State University and a member of Educators for a Democratic Union.
Aptekar, Sofya: - Sofya Aptekar is an associate professor of urban studies at the City University of New York School of Labor and Urban Studies. She is the author of The Road to Citizenship (Rutgers, 2015) and Green Card Soldier (MIT, forthcoming).
Berger, Tracy: - Tracy Berger is a Business Analyst at the University of Colorado Boulder, a member of United Campus Workers Colorado, and an organizer with Higher Education Labor United.
Madeloni, Barbara: - Barbara Madeloni is Education Coordinator at Labor Notes and a former president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association.
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