Taking on the Corporatization of Higher Education

Excerpted from the 2015 Spring Newsletter

On March 18, 2015, PHENOM joined the Labor Resource Center at UMass Boston and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice to host an educational and action-oriented evening. The program, “Taking on the Corporatization of Higher Education” (TOCHE), was held at UMass Boston. The event’s goals were two-fold: (1) to give some basic context for the corporatization of higher education, including a basic overview of the impact of neoliberal economic policy on higher education; and (2) to introduce the actions local groups are taking to expose and reduce the corporatization of higher education. TOCHE was MCed by a PHENOM Campus Organizer, Andriana Foiles Sifuentes, a lecturer in Sociology & Anthropology at UMass Dartmouth. Deborah Keisch gave the keynote address. She is an educational anthropologist and a founding producer of Education Radio. TOCHE also featured a panel of activists and organizations engaged in taking on corporate higher education in Massachusetts, including the Campaign for a Debt-Free Future, the Student Immigrant Movement, The Center for Education Policy and Advocacy, Adjunct Action, and PHENOM. The event was intended to be the first of many across the state to expose the corporatization of higher education and to bring together community groups and activists combatting these changes.