Ramsay’s groupthink

Arena, 26 July 2019. Read the original here. Does anyone want to hear another word about the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation? Since the ANU rejected Ramsay last year, the centre may, as its ‘chief executive’ Simon Haines acknowledges, have been slower than it anticipated in starting collaborations with Australian universities. But the prospect of… Continue reading Ramsay’s groupthink

After Christchurch universities have a responsibility: abandon Ramsay

Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 2019. Read the original here. There has been much discussion since Friday of politicians’ and parts of the media’s responsibility for promoting Islamophobia. But what of the role of institutions like universities? Since June last year, a heated debate has been underway on whether universities should collaborate with the Ramsay… Continue reading After Christchurch universities have a responsibility: abandon Ramsay

The Attack on Palestinian Universities

Jacobin, 30 December 2018. Read the original here. Israel’s efforts to cripple higher education in occupied Palestine continued relentlessly in 2018, with Israeli universities acting as key tools of the occupation. The systematic punishment inflicted on Palestinian academics and students didn’t attract anything like the global attention of Gazans’ March of Return, but it deserves… Continue reading The Attack on Palestinian Universities

Ramsay course offers stark choice to Australian universities

Sydney Morning Herald, 6 September 2018. Read the original here. Pared down to its essentials, the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation course confronts Australian vice-chancellors with a stark choice: are they willing to let their institutions’ authority to be used to bolster xenophobia and national chauvinism in our society? The entire educational mission of the… Continue reading Ramsay course offers stark choice to Australian universities

Weaponising Learning

Sydney Review of Books, 12 June, 2018. Read the original here. Suddenly, the right has discovered an enthusiasm for funding universities. Not with public money, of course: the government’s moratorium on Commonwealth grant funding – retribution for the Senate’s ongoing refusal to legislate fee rises and funding cuts – remains truculently in place. Instead, government… Continue reading Weaponising Learning

Will our v-c continue resisting decades of social progress by refusing to give casual staff the sick leave they deserve?

Times Higher Education, 23 November, 2017. A contribution to the collective article 'Tossing and turning: what keeps university staff awake'? Read the original here. What keeps me awake at night is the thing that stops me getting to bed in the first place – work. Everyone knows that there just aren’t enough hours in the… Continue reading Will our v-c continue resisting decades of social progress by refusing to give casual staff the sick leave they deserve?

Roz Ward, Barry Spurr And What Universities Are For

New Matilda, 9 June 2016. Read the original here. When for any reason… the administrator of [a university] attempts to dislodge a professor because of his political or religious sentiments, at that moment the institution has ceased to be a university. So affirmed the University of Chicago’s first president in 1892. Going on recent experience,… Continue reading Roz Ward, Barry Spurr And What Universities Are For

BDS creates the conditions for a real dialogue

The Australian, 26 July 2017. Originally published under the headline 'BDS encourages Israel to enter into a two-state dialogue', which misrepresented my position. Read the original here. A major national conference on the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign for Palestine will be held at the University of Sydney this week. Predictably, the conference has been… Continue reading BDS creates the conditions for a real dialogue

How to justify a crisis

Jacobin, October 5 2015. Read the original here. As Europe’s asylum crisis intensified last month, prominent liberal opinion pages — the London Review of Books, Le Monde, Canada’s Globe and Mail — featured contributions from some of today’s leading thinkers. Slavoj Žižek, Jürgen Habermas, and Peter Singer all offered their analysis of what must be… Continue reading How to justify a crisis

The Vice-Chancellors and the budget

New Matilda, July 3 2014. Read the original here. Any serious discussion of university funding and this year’s budget must recognise a simple fact: nothing good for higher education can come of the reforms Joe Hockey announced on May 13. The mood of public anger tapped by the recurrent student protests in the budget’s aftermath… Continue reading The Vice-Chancellors and the budget