It's been a few days (ahem, longer) since I've posted. But, I have some important-ish news.
I've been appointed Lecturer in sociology at my graduate department, here at Vanderbilt University. I'm obviously thrilled and humbled. No teaching duties as of yet, but I do hope that eventually I'll be able to teach and class and have more sustained interaction with the faculty and undergraduates majoring in sociology. I think it's important to raise the next generation of sociologists right! And by right, I mean with an intersectional lens on social structures and inequalities.
By the way, it's important to specify that this appointment is at Vanderbilt University, because the University and the Medical Center have officially divorced (that is, become different legal corporations). The effects of this change are still being interpreted by faculty and staff. As far as I can tell, things have not changed much for faculty. For staff, on the other hand, things are different, starting with benefits (don't ask me for specifics, I can barely decipher basic HR-speak).
The change has got me thinking about the ways that the university has become an ever more corporate entity, as eccentricities and inefficiencies (like tenure for scholars who teach and conduct research in unpopular, but still important, fields). Is this simply neoliberalism finding a new and comfy home in higher education, where highly paid managers can streamline and "synergize" operations and efforts?