The Public Interest University

This website publishes documents of the Critical University Studies Research Working Group @ the UofA and offers itself as a utopia lab for the collective discovery of pathways to a post-neoliberal university. 

We are researching the structural transformations that universities are currently undergoing, with the aims of better understanding the challenges facing the University of Alberta and of sharing our research with the university community so that our colleagues, peers, and students are able to make better informed decisions and interventions regarding proposed budget models, budget cuts, revenue generation schemes, governance processes and other reforms. 

Some of the questions we are asking include:

    • Do governments really have no options other than reducing their funding of universities?  Why are they doing so?
    • What have been the consequences of Responsibility Centred Management type budgeting and governance models at other universities?
    • What have been the consequences of revenue generation schemes at other universities?
    • What are some of the main  implications of contemporary restructuring for research, teaching, and academic freedom?
    • Whither the public university and its historical ideals and its social obligations in the face of corporatization, commodification, and commercialization?
    • How has collegial university governance worked historically and what could it look like in the future?

This research also aims at normative, imaginative construction.  Along with descriptions of the system's current situation, we invite speculative reflection and collegial debate regarding what the public interest university could be, given the world we inhabit today. 

Our collective understanding of our situation can be deepened by crowdsourcing research, analysis, insights and perspectives.  Accordingly we invite you to contribute what you can to the building of this public resource. If you would like to join this working group, contact Dr. Sourayan Mookerjea at sourayan@ualberta.ca.

RePublicU also features a Discussion Forum (via a link on the left hand menu).  To participate in the Discussion Forum you need to be registered.  If you would like to participate in the forum, send an e-mail to sourayan@ualberta.ca with RePublicU in the subject line. You don't need to join the working group to participate in the Discussion Forum.


Dr. Laurie Adkin
Department of Political Science
University of Alberta

Dr. David Cooper
Alberta School of Business
University of Alberta

Dr. Kathleen Lowrey
Department of Anthropology
University of Alberta

Dr. Sourayan Mookerjea
Department of Sociology
University of Alberta

and members of the Academic Precariat who currently choose to remain un-named