Chapter

Laundering Coercion: Restart Planning, “Pandemic Task Forces,” and the Dismantling of Shared Governance

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Abstract

In this chapter, we show how an already severely weakened commitment to academic shared governance was further undermined during COVID-19 through the workings of “pandemic task forces” established on campuses around the country that often served as vehicles to carry management agendas under the guise of “faculty consultation.” We examine a disturbing set of illustrations of both the implicit and also explicit allocation of COVID response team authority to campus executives in student affairs and athletics, as opposed to faculty-supported leaders in academic affairs. We explore the various manifestations of these exercises in the manufacture of consent, including those that are entangled with local and state officials. We discuss the consequences for faculty power, control over curriculum, and the conditions of teaching and learning.KeywordsPandemic task forcesCOVID-19 restart planningCurriculum controlControl of teaching and learningDismantling of shared governance

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