This article takes a case study approach to examine social justice-oriented environmental activism of faculty in the context of neoliberalism. As an evolving trend, university corporatization places new economic burdens on universities and their students and has contributed to a tenuous landscape for faculty in terms of academic freedom and job security. In particular, we examine a faculty-led response to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. Drawing on participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and campus-wide survey data, we document this response as a “tempered grassroots leader-ship” approach to workplace inquiry and activism. We discuss both the opportunities and limitations of promoting more transparent, informed, and inclusive decision-making on campus via internal and tempered activism strategies. Ultimately, this case presents lessons learned regarding social change practices of teacher-scholar-activists on college campuses. These experiences are especially germane in the “Trump era” of top-down and socially regressive decision-making.
New Political Science
Highby, Wendy and Romano, Sarah T., "Environmental Activism of Teacher-Scholars in the Neoliberal University" (2018). University Libraries Faculty Publications and Presentations. 148.