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Reading: The Disneyfication of a University

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Dane Kennedy in Academe Blog

it is corporate culture, a creature that has become all the rage in the business world—and now, it seems, is burrowing its way into universities. Its professed aim is to instill a sense of shared purpose among employees, but its real objective is far more coercive and insidious.

Our president is rumored to have forked over three to four million dollars to the Disney Institute to improve our culture (he refuses to reveal the cost). A select group of faculty and staff, those identified as opinion leaders, are being offered all-expenses paid trips to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando “to gain first-hand insight into Disney’s approach to culture.” For everyone else, the university is conducting culture training workshops that run up to two hours. All staff and managers are required to attend. Faculty are strongly “encouraged” to participate, and some contract faculty, who have little job security, evidently have been compelled to do so.

Sounds far too familiar. Admin looking for another way to control the university space. Sell ‘em cartoons.

Not sure who’s the bigger looser here: the admin who bought the goop from disney, the fac and staff at the university, or the students and parents who foot the bill for bilge water.

The result is predictable – as Kennedy observes: it’s Mickey Mouse. The admin plays Goofy.