Reading: A Case of Academic “Both Sides-ism?

From A Case of Academic “Both Sides-ism?

This is a call to co-operate, not co-opt. Power is so unbalanced that moving ahead requires restoring some symmetry first.

while I am sympathetic with its argument, I find Gavazzi’s article inadequate. In the first place, it is a textbook example of “both sides-ism.” Indeed, I was tempted at one point to tweet back that the essay reminded me of calls to both Democrats and Republicans to put the country’s interest before that of their own party, as if both parties were equally guilty of failing to do so. I would argue that — if only because of their greater power — far more responsibility for the gulf between administration and faculty lies on the administrative side.

insofar as boards of this sort appoint campus presidents and their administrations remain beholden to their boards, Gavazzi’s call for mutual understanding and cooperation, however noble, valid, and urgent, will be insufficient to repair our governance structures in the context of the enormous challenges higher education will now face in the wake of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and Donald Trump. However much one might endorse and applaud calls for cooperation like the one Gavazzi has issued, the harsh reality is that this is a matter of political power. And that power is not by any measure at present appropriately distributed.