Poems for Sister Karen from Grandma Wilda

Karen Louise Boje is my sister. Karen (also known as Karen Spain) was born on September 10, 1959 and passed away on Friday, September 8, 2017 in Deming, New Mexico. She was 58 years, and died two days before her birthday. She went from home to Mimbres Memorial Hospital. Arrangements with Terrazas Funeral Chapels ~ 575-546-0070. She is survived by daughter Sarah and her son Jedediah.  Today Wednesday, September 20, 2017 there is service and potluck for Karen at the Court House Park, 700 S Silver Ave, Deming, NM 88030 (exit 82A), at 6PM.

“It was all for the animals” In memory of Karen L. Boje

Karen  was Office Manager at Deming Luna County Humane Society, Deming, New Mexico, 2125 Onate Rd. SE, Deming, NM 88030.

karen in Deming

Karen loved animals. Granite benches with tax run $850-$1605. Depending on funds raised, we will work towards an engraved bench to memorialize Karen.  DONATE AT


“Karen managed the local county shelter for years, worked to transport animals for adoption out of state, made pet food pick up runs to help supply the emergency pet food bank, worked with numerous local rescues, worked vaccination clinics, fostered dogs, owned several and graciously helped animals in need at every opportunity.
Karen will be missed tremendously be her animal friends and family.
In honor of Karen, we would like to raise money for a granite engraved bench memorial to be located at the adoption park within DAGSHIP Rescue. It’s a lot of money, but I feel wood and plastic benches will not stand the test of time.
Every time a human visits our rescue and plays with a pup, adopts a pup or just sits under the shade tree… Karen’s words will be shared, “I did it for the animals”.
Your support to memorialize this wonderfully kind woman will be appreciated. Thank you.”


It is amazing to me that I am the oldest, yet my younger brother Steven, and now my sister Karen, have passed on. Should not the oldest die first? My sister moved from Washington to New Mexico after our mother, ‘Cindy’ Lorane Boje-Donlon-Eaton (born Dec 3 1946), passed.

Karen_Boje_Lorane_Spokane_WA_1964_mediumKaren maintained a genealogy website for her mother Lorane, and it says: Daughter of Raymond Victor Eaton and Wilda Eaton ,Wife of John Edward Donlon, III , Ex-wife of Daniel Boje , Mother of Patrick John BojeKenneth Daniel Boje (twins that died after birth, premature);David Boje;  Steven Douglas Boje; then Keven Boje, and sister Karen Boje. Our mother Lorane was half sister of Valla Isobel Brown. 

I collected some photos before our mom passed, and this one is of Karen’s family, a while back.

Karen family photo

Karen Boje (photo is Karen, Terry Manges, with children left to right Jedediah (their child together), Sarah (from Karen’s 1st marriage to Boycott) & Jerry (from Terry’s former marriage).

Karen Boje’s 1st husband Dudley Stewart Boycott (married 1975); children Sarah Ann Boycott (born Jun 25 1976) in Nyack New York. 2nd husband Terry Eugene Manges (married Nobleborough Maine in Jul 1984). Children Jedediah Zackary Manges (born May 26 1987 in Olympia WN). They are still married. Currently Karen is with with Dan Brooxshill (from TX); 14241 Country Lane, Yelm WN 98587-9150

I have some poems written by our grandmother, Wilda Brown-Eaton-Shelton (born Jan 28, 1902 to William Henry Shelton and Virginia Tuttle, who cross on The Oregon Trail by covered wagon to Goldendale, Washington, from Iowa).

Wilda married at age 16 to Raymond Eaton, still in Goldendale Washington in 1920, then remarried to Percy Brown, a forest ranger. Two of Wilda Brown-Eaton-Shelton’s poems are for her granddaughter, Karen Louise Boje:


Little pink Fairy, whence came you a far?

Was it out of the Iceland, where fairy queen dwell?

Or perchance it was from the sky azure blue, where fairy angels a kiss did us blow.

Then when it was wafted on a white little cloud.

Twas then we knew you dwelt there with god.

In his great love for us here on the Earth.

He sent us little Karen

His angel of Smith.

— Grandma WB 1959 (Wilda Brown)

KAREN’S 12th “71”

Birthdays are in horror of the one who is a year older. That means one step up on the ladder of life.

More knowledge of the joy of living of loving and yes of sorrow and disappointment and deprivation.

But most of all that new souls are born each day others grow old pass on. So each year you grow in character and personality as well as in physical size charm and beauty.

You are a loving seat girl I am proud to cll you my granddaughter.

I know you will surmount all the obstacles of life and the world with all its mystery and wonder.

Nothing is too great a burden for each of us to carry as we are strong and endure as long as we live.

So keep your smile and be happy and many many more birthdays

I will never forget your 12th and Tammy’s too.

In the few years I have left my hope is to see all my grandchildren young women and men.

— Love Grandma (Wilda Eaton Brown, Mother of ‘Cindy’ Lorane (Eaton) Boje Donlon, who is mother of Karen Louise Boje

 more about Karen Louise Boje here.


Storytelling Process Model


Organizations fall into a common trap. They often rely on just their CEO, President, PR office to do their storytelling. The problem with this is any organization has is an Ensemble of storytellers doing storytelling: all the employees, managers, staff, customers, suppliers, and competitors.  Some organizations try to ‘brand’ their storytelling, a kind of logo-centric approach.  The problem is that branding storytelling is not a Process Model. A successful Storytelling Strategy needs an Ensemble to care for the storytelling process.

What is Storytelling Process? 

Storytelling process is dynamic.  Storytelling of a situation begins with the first phase of antenarrative, the ‘social’ and ‘material’ processes out of which storytelling you internal story, and what is storyable in performance, begins. As William James (1907: 98) puts it “things tell a story.” It is not just people that are storytelling agents, the products, services, the sculptures, the land on which the buildings rest, all tell a story. I work with the material storytelling labs (founded by Anete Strand, in Denmark) and have developed some methods to work with veterans and family members, working with material things, to tell their story, to tell it without words.  I call it an ‘Embodied Restorying Process” a method for doing sociomaterial storytelling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rni–9m4H7Y   and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh3ED76wxjs

Storytelling process also proceeds to creation of narratives (& counternarratives) of the Past, and the second aspect of the antenarrative process, world-making possible futures.  Out of possible futures, one gets selected and changes our storytelling of the situation, including changes to the situation itself.  Attention in the Here & Now creates an uncertainty effect, as does the performance of storytelling to some audience.

Let the situation define the storytelling action. Mary Parker Follett, the godmother of systems thinking, Ensemble Leadership (Boje, Rosile, & Nez, 2016) means working out a system of leadership in a new kind of human relations, in what Mary Park Follett called the Law of the Situation. Follett (1924) develops the law of the situation in its “total situation: (p. 152) and “as part of a total process” and “of the continuous process of self-renewal” (p. 153). The total situation is within the “total environment: the “immediate relation to the individual that its forces can be reckoned with both as cause of and effect of his activity, that is, that much of environment which comes within the appreciable range of circular behavior” (p. 109). Circular or integrative behavior is considered “seminal for our future thinking, a conception which is surely destined to influence largely the social sciences: (p. xv).

Ensemble storytelling is about democratic participation rather than the usual top-down CEO stump speech, or the glossy PR brochure. The problem with top-down storytelling is the personality cult of leadership becomes divorced from science of the storytelling process. A situation changes, shifts, emerges and the fearless leader comes up with a storytelling event.  David Armstrong (1993) manages by storying around, walking about his company to ask workers, customers, and managers their stories. He is the Chief Storytelling Officer of his company (Armstrong, 2002). The storytelling gurus try to convince the leader that one stump speech, one elevator pitch, one story performed with passion of a Toast Master, will change an organization.  Armstrong is not developing the usual stump speech. Snap goes the storytelling performance, and a day later, its all pretty much the same as before. Like Stew Jr., Armstrong makes storytelling part of the management process.

Ensemble storytelling takes it one step purpose, everyone is answerable for the storytelling process.

Let’s look at an Ensemble Process Approach to Storytelling

The problem is the personality cult of leadership is divorced from science. “A trembling subordinate enters, states his problem; snap goes the decision from the chair” (Follett, 1941: 119). Barry and Elmes (1997) write an amazing article on the ways a single source (CEO) storytelling strategy process is not as effective as a polyphonic strategy, where many voices go into developing it. I worked on the many spacetime ways of doing storytellings strategy (Boje 2008) and worked with colleagues to apply storytelling strategy to McDonald’s (Haley & Boje, 2014), and to Burger King (Boje, Haley, & Saylors, 2016).

Tourani’s (2014) dissertation worked out the storytelling in Sears and Wal-Mart annual reports. The main finding was that Sears lost the thread of one of the most successful storytelling strategies in corporate history. Growing up, Sears dominated retail marketing, and were the pinnacle of how to manage. They brought in new CEOS, who forgot everything that the founders new about storytelling. They tried to be high quality fashion, insurance peddlers, and in the end, they lost their market share. Wal-Mart, by comparison, kept the thread of their founder’s storytelling. They were cared for the Sam Walton storytelling legacy. Counternarratives developed, when labor practices turned exploitative. The supply chain was severely critiqued for sweatshop practices, and for environmental damage. However, Wal-Mart keeps restorying Sam, reinventing supply chain, making it sustainable, but still puts the squeeze on the supplier.

How can an organization care for its storyline?

Ensemble storytelling means facing the conflict, the many sides of the story, told and untold (Hitchin, 2014). Ensemble storytelling is dialectic, a development process of communicating everyone’s Living Stories to fashion a ‘polyphonic’ blend, one that abides by Follett’s Law of the Situation. Mary Parker Follett’s (1941: 94) recommendation to have the imagination to see the possibilities of enterprise democracy to ‘integrative unity.” y integrative unity, conflicts are resolves by face-to-face communication, by jointly investigating the facts and values, then jointly fitting the interests into one another (Follett, 1941: 39).  As Follett puts it we need to implement the Principle of the Situation, in a process of scientific discovery, experiment, and evaluation of the results.

Kaylynn Twotrees (2000) Seven Directions storytelling approach is an ensemble process. It is a process that takes months for people in an organization to share their stories, to construct a generative account, one where people recognize their input in the narrative they are co-constructing.

Storytelling needs to be cared for.  At Stew Leonard’s very popular dairy stores, there is a storytelling meeting every morning, and managers actually read the stories told by customers, and then actually change their systems that day to get different results.

Boje (2007) “Stew Leonard Jr. (of Stew Leonard’s Dairy) took two Ph.D. seminars on storytelling when I was at UCLA, and he was in the MBA program. Here are few more of Stew Jr.’s ideas on stories. “Here’s a few ideas” (Stew Jr. told me) Pick anyone you like or mix and match.”

“If there’s no story, it’s too complicated to explain to over 2,000 team members”

“If you hear a story being told in the company cafeteria by a front line worker, promote the manager that initiated that story!”

“Our company is made up of lots of stories. We’ve found that “stories” get told and retold and become the fabric of an organization. “Policies” lay unread in the company handbook or training manual”

Storytelling to be most effective has to be the lifeblood of the organization, a process that is cared for: “At the Stew Leonard’s organization there is a focus group every week. Every week, Stew Jr. and his other family members sit and listen while customers tell them stories about services and products” (Boje & Dennehy, 1993/2008: p. 89)

More of Stew Leonard’s ideas on storytelling

“How do you get your message heard in an organization with thousands of people? David Boje taught me the value of stories in an organization. Stories are the “oil” that makes the gears work.” – Stew Leonard Jr.

“If there’s no story, it’s too complicated to explain to over 2,000 team members”

If you hear a story being told in the company cafeteria by a front line worker, promote the manager that initiated that story!

“Our company is made up of lots of stories. We’ve found that “stories” get told and retold and become the fabric of an organization. “Policies” lay unread in the company handbook or training manual”.

Ensemble storytelling is part of the ensemble leadership process. . “Our conception of [Ensemble] leadership is everywhere restricted by the persistence of the fallacy in the old idea of obedience, namely that obedience is necessarily passive” (Follett, 1941: 275, bracketed additions, mine). For Ensemble Leadership to be effective there is an active obedience, a testing of consent, an intelligent self-direction, an empowered action to be reciprocally involved, in the group process in order to accomplish what is “integral to the situation” (IBID.). Being actively obedient to the Whole Situation means checking out an order from above, sideways, and below, and being exigent with our voice of fore-caring, assertive in our dialogues with other leaders of every kind.

Ensemble storytelling means facing the conflict, the many sides of the story, told and untold. Ensemble storytelling is dialectic, a development process of communicating everyone’s Living Stories to fashion a ‘polyphonic’ blend, one that abides by Follett’s Law of the Situation. Mary Parker Follett’s (1941: 94) recommendation to have the imagination to see the possibilities of enterprise democracy to ‘integrative unity.” y integrative unity, conflicts are resolves by face-to-face communication, by jointly investigating the facts and values, then jointly fitting the interests into one another (Follett, 1941: 39).  As Follett puts it we need to implement the Principle of the Situation, in a process of scientific discovery, experiment, and evaluation of the results.

”You must remember how Alice in Wonderland had to run as fast as she could to stand still” (Follett, p. 264). The Storytelling Process has aliveness (Tyler, 2010), is moving and running fast, and it takes a lot of care to keep up.  Follett’s Law of the Situation, engage in co-operative study, making actual experiments, evaluate results, and only then make an informed decision about university reorganization. As Follett (1941: 51) puts it “we should try experiments, and note whether they succeed or fail, most important of all, why they succeed or fail.”

What Follett proposes is a joint responsibility for integrative unity, implementing democratic participation by everyone taking responsibility, an d jointly analyzing the Total Situation, scientifically.

Storytelling is a Dialectical Process

I need to develop how Follett’s dialectic (Hegelian) approach.  Her focus is on systems thinking, and  implementing democratic modes of organizational involvement. We are not talking about thesis-antithesis-synthesis. There is no synthesis, just a process of unfolding contradictions in thesis-antithesis, narrative and counternarrative interplay. Follett rejected the idea of Hegelian synthesis as a misunderstanding of Hegelian dialectic. This more precise understanding of dialectic, as the uncovering of differences, and how to develop power-with rather than power-over.  The tie-in to Ensemble Storytelling is that is power-with, and integrative unity of differences.

Mary Parker Follett (1918) stresses self-organization to negotiate a fore-caring process. Follett (1941: 280) puts this last point this way: “foresight is essential to leadership” and if you are not ‘fore-caring’ in Ensemble Leadership, outcomes (results) are disastrous. It is a ‘fore-caring’ for the Whole Situation, to its constant changes, to new trends. It is an “uncanny approach to the complexity” of the emerging Situation, the ability of leaders to interrelate and co-ordinate to “organize its essential elements” (p. 281). Ensemble Leadership is captured by Follett (1941: 281) when she says “anticipating the problems of to-morrow” and “solving the problems today” Situations that are “complex, intricate, far-reaching.” That is the Law of the Situation as it relates to Ensemble Leadership.

What is dialectic?

There are many kinds of dialectic. Hegel (1807) wrote against the idea of a ‘synthesis’ kind of dialectic. You have heard of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. Do a search of Hegel’s book online, and you will not fund the word ‘synthesis.’ If you read a commentator on Hegel, and they tell you Hegel’s dialectic is thesis-antithesis-synthesis, they really never read Hegel at all. Close the book, and go to the original. Instead of synthesis, Hegel wrote about a kind of dialectic where thesis and antithesis in a conflict unfolding, each have contradictions that come forth, and those difference keep intertwining in entanglement after entanglement. See Appendix for more on dialectic. more on this point

What is Relationship of Ensemble Leadership Theory to Hegel’s and Mary Parker Follett’s Dialectic?

In sum, a storytelling process that is effective is well cared-for, ongoing reflection by many participants on the efficacy of the storytelling strategy. There are untold stories that need to be addressed, and counternarratives to the dominant organizational narrative.

References and Related Blog Posts

Armstrong, D. M. (1995). Managing by storying around. David M. Armstrong.

Armstrong, D. M. (2002). Chief storytelling officer: More tales from America’s foremost corporate storyteller. Armstrong International.

Barry, D., & Elmes, M. (1997). Strategy retold: Toward a narrative view of strategic discourse. Academy of management review, 22(2), 429-452.

Implementing Mary Parker Follett’s and Bernie Sanders’ Social Democracy Practices could SAVE New Mexico State University!

[…] ways NMSU might implement Ensemble Leadership (Rosile, Boje, & Nez, 2016). See blog post (click here). How, for example, could departments of faculty, units of staff, faculty senate, and ASNMSU senate […]


Boje, D. M. (2007) Living story consulting. https://business.nmsu.edu/~dboje/690/cpscBOOK/cpsc0intro.htm

Boje, D. M. (2008). Storytelling organizations. CA/London: Sage.

Boje, D. M. (Ed.). (2011). Storytelling and the future of organizations: An antenarrative handbook. Routledge.

Boje, D. M. (2012). Reflections: What does quantum physics of storytelling mean for change management?. Journal of Change Management, 12(3), 253-271.

Boje, D. M. (2014). Storytelling organizational practices: Managing in the quantum age. Routledge.

Boje, D. M., & Dennehy, R. F. (1993/2008). Managing in the postmodern world: America’s revolution against exploitation. 1993, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Reissued 2008  Charlotte, NC: Information Age Press.

Boje, D. M., Haley, U. C., & Saylors, R. (2016). Antenarratives of organizational change: The microstoria of Burger King’s storytelling in space, time and strategic context. human relations, 69(2), 391-418.

Boje, D. M., & Henderson, T. L. (Eds.). (2014). Being quantum: Ontological storytelling in the age of antenarrative. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Boje, D. M., & Rosile, G. A. (2001). Where’s the power in empowerment? Answers from

Follett and Clegg. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 37(1), 90-117.

Follett, M. P. (1918). The New State: Group organization the solution of popular government. University Park, PN: Penn State Press.

Follett, M. P. (1919). Community is a process. The Philosophical Review, 28(6), 576-588.

Follett, M. P. (1924/1930). Creative Experience. Рипол Классик; NY/London: Longmans, Green and Co. on line at http://ww.pqm-online.com/assets/files/lib/books/follett.pdf

Follett, M. P. (1926). The giving of orders. Scientific foundations of business administration, 156-162.

Follett, M. P. (1941). Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of mary Parker Follett, edited by Metcalf, H. C., & Urwick, L. F. NY/London: Harper and Brothers.

Follett, M.P. (1949.1987). Freedom and Co-ordination. Lectures in Business Organization. Edited, with an Introduction by L. Urwick. NY/London: Garland Publishing.

Haley, U. C., & Boje, D. M. (2014). Storytelling the internationalization of the multinational enterprise. Journal of International Business Studies, 45(9), 1115-1132.

Hegel. (1807). The Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A. V. Miller with analysis and foreword by J. N. Findlay, Oxford University Press download online version:

Attachment Size
Phenomenology of Spirit – G. W. F. Hegel.epub 638.7 KB
Phenomenology of Spirit – G. W. F. Hegel.mobi 1.04 MB

Hitchin, L. (2014). Method and story fragments: Working through untold method. Pp. 2130238 in Izak, M., Hitchin, L., & Anderson, D. (2014). Untold stories in organizations (Vol. 33). Routledge.

Twotrees, Kaylynn . (2000). Seven directions practice: A practice for the crossroads. The Fourth R, 92.

Tyler, J. A. (2010). Story aliveness. Dance to the music of story: Storytelling and complexity. Mansfield, MA: ISCE Publishing.
Rosile, G. A., Boje, D. M., Carlon, D. M., Downs, A., & Saylors, R. (2013). Storytelling diamond: An antenarrative integration of the six facets of storytelling in organization research design. Organizational Research Methods, 16(4), 557-580.

Rosile, Grace Ann; Boje, David M.; Nez, Carma Claw. (2016). “Ensemble Leadership Theory: Collectivist, Relational, and Heterarchical Roots from Indigenous Contexts.” Leadership journal. CLICK HERE for online prepublication draft

Tourani, N. (2014). Storytelling and strategy in annual reports: A study of Sears and Wal-mart annual reports. New Mexico State University.

The University is a Butterfly: It Needs Two Wings to Fly

David M. Boje April 26 2017

A university, corporation, church, temple, government, industry, environment, ecology, economy, and so on, are many systems, not one system.  These systems have recurring patterns of self-sameness across levels of magnification, called fractals. Since there is always more than one fractal in a complex organization, we need to look at multifractal systems dynamics. It has a recurring trajectory than can look like a Lorenz attractor, called the butterfly.  My essay is about how to have a butterfly that has wings that allow flight, a trajectory of movements. Butterflies with one wing, do not fly. By not having wider basis systems change participation of everyone, an organization risks becoming a one-wing butterfly. This is the story of a university using top-down change (one wing) instead of broad participation by students, faculty, and staff, as well as community. Two wings is better way to fly.

I teach systems theory, and have done so for 35 years. It is that time of year to drum up more doctoral students to take the course. https://business.nmsu.edu/~dboje/655/  If you know of any who want to study advanced systems thinking, send them my way.

I also do change management. We are in the middle of the biggest systems change in the history of the Public University. My purpose is to suggest some constructive uses of complex adaptive systems theory, and ways that multifractal, chaos theory, and strange (chaotic) attracts can be applied, to make better changes to a public university (Boje, 2015; Henderson & Boje, 2015). For introduction to fractal and multifractal systems theory see https://davidboje.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/dialectical-storytelling-science-in-a-multifractal-world/  In Ensemble Leadership, there is broad based participation, not a few people appointed to a committee or team.

These days organizations are complex adaptive systems that are not only dynamical they are self-organizing. They are to complex for one-wing change strategies to be effective.

A university is a physical system, living biological systems, governance systems, HR systems, operations systems, accreditation systems, enrollment systems, and so on. Its a complexity of many sorts of systems working through differences, or not. It is also a place of conflict where conservative and liberal standpoints on how a university is to be run are worked out, or not. A university was once considered a learning system, a knowledge society, but now a university is run like a business in a knowledge economy. The switch from public education as a social good to an act of consumption, treating students as customers instead of citizen, is global.  Eve Tavor Bannet (1993) calls the university a universe-ity, a place that tries to be both Ivory Tower and is a Babel of different languages, disciplines, ideologies, and all kinds of differences that come into ongoing conflict. There are political incommensurabilities in a public university. There are also discontinuities and many contradictions. The insiders, the Aggies, are in conflict with the Outsiders, including the foreigners, and those who neither farm nor ranch, plow nor ride. The public university is a site of conflicting life-styles.  Bourdieu calls it a ‘academic capital’ when one gains power by having the right background, the right race, the right gender, the right immigration papers, the right friends, gets on the right committees to gate-keep other’s progress.  Then there is ‘scientific capital” gained by research publications, doing excellent teaching, having a strong external audience that likes your work.

How does a university survive all its many differences, its heterogeneity, its site of conflicts. For faculty, the administrative order keeps everyone in silos, while claiming that interdisciplinary work is important. The silos are even in a given department. My department has these disciplines: Human Resource Management, Management, Strategy, Operations Research & Production (and Supply Chains), Small Business (with and without Entrepreneurship), Organization Behavior (which is divided between micro and macro, psychological and sociological, efficacy and leadership, and many more), Try to get this faculty to agree on anything is a tall task. In that mix I do systems theory, small business, some leadership, sustainability, and some seminars in qualitative methods, and some change management. My point is there are conflicts to be managed and when a small team of a few disciplines put together changes for all Other disciplines, without input, there are predictable results.

An administrative solution is to keep faculty apart, yes have a senate, yes some committee work, but not to really work through their disciplinary differences.

Organization systems are multiple, and in n-dimensional space, and move along n-dimensional vector (trajectory) in time working through a myriad of conflicts, or keeping folks in their silos. In short, in multifractal spacetime-states, with phase shifts along recurring  trajectory paths. Within complex systems, attractor-spaces (aka basins) form and evolve, from a wide variety of starting conditions developing into multifractality dynamics.  The complex systems multifractal goes through space-state phase transition, that get close enough to the attractors values in particular basins.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attractor

The attractor-basins can become significant changes to multifractal structure known as a ‘strange attractor.’

In complex systems theory, describing the chaotic dynamic system states produced the specialty called chaos theory, and to understand its behavior, we need an understanding of multifractality.

Let’s start with an example of complex adaptive systems behavior being influenced if not determined by strange attractors.

The old change paradigm of linear paths, and tightly recurring cycles without deviations, are being replaced by dynamical systems theory understandings of trajectories in relations to strange and chaotic attractor basins.

It is easy to show that the cycles of our university’s enrollment are being made unstable by the lack of budget agreement being reached by the State (legislature and governor), and this this is part of a deeper and wider global vortex.

For example, in the Management Department, where I work, the any additional funds for  recruiting a cohort of Graduate Assistantships has been put on hold, until such time as the State makes its budget. In 28 years, we have always had a cycle of recruitment once a year.  However, since there has been a shift in insurance (they moved out of state, and dropped coverage, and no other agency could be found), that administrative order, raised the amount paid to GAs by $500. Since the Business College does not have funds to make up this difference, and the Graduate College is not saying it will, the College Executive Committee (CEC) decided to cut the GAs of one department and leave the others mostly untouched. In short, Management took the hit, drew the short straw, was in the dog house, or as they say on the shit list anyway. I was told by members of CEC, that I had it all wrong, that the Business College does support the Management Department Ph.D. program. Time will tell this story.

In anticipation that the Governor and legislature will remain at an impasse, budget cuts have happened at a university level (as you well know), and NMSU is telling students (by email) to expect a significant tuition increase, when the Board of Regents meets, at graduation in May 2017.

https://www.abqjournal.com/962502/budget-cuts-force-nmsu-to-make-hard-choices.html (March 6, 2017) Amid shrinking budgets, NMSU leaders face hard choices By Lauren Villagran / Journal Staff Writer

“On the butcher block at New Mexico State University: programs, positions, millions of dollars, the status quo. A top-to-bottom reorganization of the university is moving from the administrative side to the colleges this semester, a potentially thorny effort that could see academic programs meshed or eliminated and schools reorganized. The restructuring is both a product of New Mexico’s broken budget and Chancellor Garrey Carruthers’ vision for transforming the NMSU system into a more sustainable, more efficient institution. There have been about three-dozen layoffs and a workforce reduction of several hundred positions through attrition and retirement. Beyond that, changes have run the gamut. They range from revamping procurement – everyone will use a single Amazon account instead of running to the local office supply store – to stripping down layers of management – some will lose power, some will gain it – to restructuring departments and rethinking the “why” of almost everything.”

Figure above from Alb j. IBID. Note: The students report they got emails the Regents will likely increase tuition in May 2017 see http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/education/nmsu/2017/04/01/nmsu-regents-vote-tuition-hike/99871632/ “

Under the 6-percent increase proposal, the cost per credit hour on the main campus would increase from nearly $254 to about $269, according to the proposal. A student taking 15 credit hours would pay about $196 more per semester.

NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers has said he’d seek the tuition increase in light of higher education budget cuts likely to be handed down by state.”

Back to ALB J: “NMSU has slashed $30.5 million from its “instruction and general” budget over the past two fiscal years, including a 5 percent emergency reduction in appropriations required by the Legislature in a special session last fall. NMSU’s I&G budget – 62 percent of which is funded by legislative appropriations – currently stands at $178.1 million and is what pays for everything related to classroom instruction. Slight further cuts by the Legislature are still expected this session. NMSU’s total operating budget in fiscal 2017 is $621.8 million.”

“Carruthers has thus far managed the reorganization with substantial support from the Board of Regents and without significant push back. That may change as academia, too, comes under the knife.

As institutions of higher education in New Mexico face the unrelenting squeeze of reduced appropriations, falling student enrollment and limited tuition hikes, colleges and universities statewide are having to make tough decisions. NMSU may be going farther than any other large institution in the state, opting for a complete overhaul rather than piecemeal cuts…”

“NMSU Provost Dan Howard oversees an array of functions at the university, from the graduate schools to diversity programs to human resources. The Journal was invited to witness the decision-making process. Team members tossed out questions. Why is there an “assistant dean” in this area? Why are we using such an old model? What is the purpose of these units? Can you back that up with metrics? Broad sheets depicting “before” and “after” organizational charts color-code the tough decisions in pastels: orange for an eliminated position, green for a reclassification that might mean a lower salary for a new hire, purple for a reporting change that might mean that one manager loses some In this next sentence (apologies for its length, notice now the local micro-managing decisions are related to global influences).”

We all share in the pain of reorganization, budget cuts, misery of reengineering a complex public bureaucracy. My side of the story: I asked the CEC, a few weeks ago,  about the future graduate assistantships for the Management Department, and was told that the future cannot be determined until the Graduate School has a budget, which cannot happen until the legislature has a budget, which cannot happen until the governor stops vetoing the budget because she signed a contract with some think tank to never ever raise any taxes, and does not appear to be a supporter of public education, which is part of a global conservative movement to move public education out of the ‘public good’ ideology into the ‘consumer good’ one, which opens the way for charter schools, high tuitions and student consumer debt, doing away with tenure in favor of short term contracts and overall salary savings, and so on.

This series of attractor basins conjugates a fundamental change to NMSU, and to all of public university, and results in changes to dynamical self-organizing systems.

Dynamical systems in the organizational world tend to arise by bringing together heterogeneous differences that attempt to find at least some points of systems convergences. More differences create more perturbance, but also yield more innovation, creativity, and variation.

As external and internal differences multiply, the organization can be knocked off one trajectory to another one, in an adjacent basin, or phase space).

Budget cutting and reorganization tend to be fixed point transformations, a point is mapped to which the systems are encouraged to evolve (like a damped pendulum, of where sloshing water) finds a fixed point (equilibrium).

A limit cycle in a dynamical system, such as the phase space of the ideal pendulum, as the pendulum makes its periodic orbit is attracted to a limit cycle.

Limit Torus has a periodic trajectory of the complex systems through a limit cycle, such as how NMSU and State Legislature (& Governor) are oscillating bodies, where the limit cycle becomes a limit torus of incommensurate frequencies. For example, NMSU’s budget cycle is thrown off by the inability of State legislature and governor to come to a budget agreement for education.

Strange attractors, have a fractal structure.  Often NMSU’s strange attractors are chaotic attractors, but there are also non-chaotic attractors that exist at NMSU.  A strange attractor has dependence to initial conditions of the self-organizing systems that make up a university.  NMSU goes through a number of self-organizing dynamical systems iterations, subject to the confines of the attractors that can converge into a recurrence trajectory.

Basins of attraction occur at NMSU. There is a region of the phase space, such that any initial condition in that region will eventually iterate into the attractor. NMSU is not a stable linear or hierarchical system. NMSU has many nonlinear systems that plunge into different basins of attraction, and do not map into non-attracting points, cycles, or basins.

One basin of attraction is business process reengineering (BPR) brought to NMSU by Deloitte consulting firm, and continued in the reorganization efforts by the appointed members of Team 6.  http://provost.nmsu.edu/blog/2017/02/23/team-6/

Team 6 discusses ways to save budget costs by collapsing departments to save one department head and one secretary, moving from 12 to 9-month department heads to save 3-months of salary, and even possiblity of collapsing entire colleges to collapse more departments, courses, majors, minors, and release personnel (faculty, staff, administrators from further employment). It is a basin of attraction that is disruptive, provokes anxiety, and encourage faculty- and staff- flight to other universities, or into retirement. This BPR basin of attraction move along one phase space to the next over the course of the academic calendar year.

A second basin is the State budget, which is late in coming to manifestation. The delay results in many people leaving, budgets of colleges, departments, including termination of graduate assistantships, elimination of entire programs, as well as departmental secretaries taking on multiple departments’ workloads, faculty increasing their course load, salaries being frozen, and so on.

The first basin (BPR) and the second basin (State budget) are mapping forces upon the university reorganizations into one another. The interactions of the basins are not simple. Rather, the interactions form a complex plane within the dynamical self-organizing systems of NMSU.

These basins of attraction are fractals. They are not the only basins of attraction. The third basin has several global attractors. For example, Starving the Beast is an ideology and a practice, happening globally as neoliberal advocates starve public education (K-12 & higher education) institutions, leading to downswings in performance results, and then calls to further downsize funding, since results are so miserable.

The (Edward) Lorenz attractor can look like butterfly wings.



There are phase states where by chaotic behavior, one wing atrophies, as the complex adaptive systems trajectory moves from one wing-state to the other, and back.

To what extent is NMSU a Lorenz attractors dynamical systems’ fractal?



It would seem that as NMSU goes through its reorganization (Teams 1 to 6) practices, that the multiple possible solutions to Lorenz attractor fractality need sharper consideration.


Knowing the exact starting points of the heterogeneous NMSU systems and help determine their future phase states, and the overall limit cycle path from one butterfly-like wing of Lorenz fractal to the other one, and back, again and again.

To do otherwise is to court the chaotic attractors, whose outcomes are more unpredictable, and can become the impetus for downward spiral fractal behavior of the entire scientific and arts community of the university.

Conventional change management methods of BPR and university-reorganization are based on linear assumptions. However, as complex adaptive multi-systems of plurality and diversity, a university is exceedingly nonlinear in its trajectories, in spacetimemattering (see Barad, 2007).

The wings of the NMSU butterfly, the behavior of that Lorenz self-organizing system is being radically altered in ways that are going to change the fractal patterns.

The Lorenz attractor is dominant conceptual paradigm of chaos theory. It plays a major role in organizational systems theory. Rather than naive notions of open or closed systems thinking, the Lorenz attractor allow us to understand systems dynamics, the phase state transformations of organizational systems in spacetimemattering.

In chaos theory terms, an organization’s dynamical systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions. The future evolution of the complex adaptive systems fall under the influence of strange, and chaotic attractors, as the institution moves through its trajectory cycles, and move closer to are farther away from a recurrent path.  The overall path can be observed and studied by its relation to various basins of attraction.

By focusing on dynamic systems theory, including multifractality, NMSU reorganization can work with rich and nontrivial information that is being ignored by Teams 1 to 6. The reason is these teams are bent on finding linear point solutions, when in order to anticipate future states, the fractals, basin attractors, and evolving situation and context need to be analyzed.

Variations in the initial circumstances of NMSU product variations in the phase states and the recurrent trajectory of its complex systems. A small change by Teams 1 to 6, can produce variation in the limit cycle, resulting in a major outcome, for better or worse, performance.

Not paying attention to multifractality of systems dynamics of self-organizing can change balances in the force field (Kurt Lewin) that are unintended consequences, perhaps a devastating cyclone is unleashed, a downward spiral into oblivion.

Linear thinking as an obstacle to a global understanding of university dynamics.  By careful observation we can better understand and predict future self-adaptive, self-organizing systems phenomena. I am not asserting rigorous accuracy of predictions of the future of NMSU. Rather, we can get closer to accuracy by looking at phase-transitions organizations are making.

I call upon Teams 1 to 6, to widen their participation, actually solicit input form all the students, faculty, and staff. I call for more attention to nonlinear dynamical systems theory, chaos theory, and to how organizations have multifractality, and trajectories, often much like Lorenz attractors. A butterfly without two wings, one that over relies on central administrative task forces, does not usually fly too well.

I have suggested ways that change could happen differently that reengineering, I invoke the greatest systems theorist of all times, Mary Parker Follett, who taught about ways to management conflicts, even at a university, and change by using power-with instead of power-over, using integrative decisions, or what professor Rosile, doctoral student Nez,  and I call Ensemble Leadership (Rosile, Boje, & Nez).


Some References

Bannet, Eve Tavor (1993). Postcultural Theory: Critical Theory after the Marxist Paradigm. NY, NY: Paragon House Publishers.

Boje, David M. (2015). Change Solutions to the Chaos of Standards and Norms Overwhelming Organizations: Four Wings of Tetranormalizing. London/NY: Routledge.

Follett, M. P. (1919). Community is a process. The Philosophical Review28(6), 576-588.

Follett, M. P. (1924/1930). Creative Experience. Рипол Классик; NY/London: Longmans, Green and Co. on line at http://ww.pqm-online.com/assets/files/lib/books/follett.pdf

Follett, M. P. (1926). The giving of orders. Scientific foundations of business administration, 156-162.

Follett, M. P. (1941). Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett, edited by Metcalf, H. C., & Urwick, L. F. NY/London: Harper and Brothers.

Henderson, Tonya L.; Boje, David M. (2015). Managing Fractal Organizing Processes. NY/London: Routledge.

Rosile, Grace Ann; Boje, David M.; Nez, Carma Claw. (2016). “Ensemble Leadership Theory: Collectivist, Relational, and Heterarchical Roots from Indigenous Contexts.” Leadership journalCLICK HERE for online PDF

The Ethical Answerability of ‘Storytelling Billionaires’ Leadership In Society

David M. Boje, April 17, 2017


Storytelling is an act of translation of what one person/group/organization/nation is doing to and for another. ‘Storytelling billionaires’ to and for another points in two directions at once: to the billionaires and to and for another who are not billionaires. Billionaires consume more and have a larger carbon footprint than the poorest 50% of the world’s population. ‘Storytelling billionaires’ is thereby transmitting to them an ethics of answerability for the situation that the non-billionaires find themselves in. This essay considers how ‘answerability ethics’ extends to leadership of billionaires to and for non-billionaires, who inhabit the same planet are part of the same global system of capitalism.


The class I teach, leadership in society (Mgt 388v) at New Mexico State University, has a presentation on April 19 2017 on billionaire leaders in society. Last week there was a presentation on 1% leaders in society. Most students in the leadership in society class wanted to be on one of these two project/presentation teams.


My purpose here is to put billionaire (& 1%) leadership in a societal context. Since my specialty is storytelling, I will focus on the competing storytelling that our US and New Mexico society has about billionaire leadership.


‘Storytelling billionaires’ find itself in a situation of two audiences: other billionaires and translation of their situation to and for another, non-billionaires. Mikhail Bakhtin (1993) says there is an ethical answerability, which means ‘Being’ the one person who has the knowledge and capacity to intervene in the once-occurrent eventness of Being. Answerability ethics does come into play as the storytelling of and by billionaires, to and for non-billionaires, has ethical-answerability points here and now, in this situation, to and for these two different audiences (Bannet, 1993: 174).


Billionaires are leaders in society and in global capitalism who have ethical-answerability points to and for, non-billionaires. Why? There is extreme carbon footprint inequality between billionaires and the poorest, 50% of the world’s population. Billionaires and the poorest 50% of the world’s population live on the resource limits of one world. “Climate change is inextricably linked to economic inequality.”[1] ‘Storytelling billionaires’ is therefore what Bakhtin calls answerability ethics for the situation of late modern capitalism and climate change, of the haves and have-nots, as well as the situation of the planet.


  1. World’s richest 10% produce 50% of global carbon emissions.[2] Billionaire storytelling of how the 10% richest on the planet are answerable for half the greenhouse-gas emissions carries an ethical answerability to aiding climate-vulnerable non-billionaires exist in the climate change.


“Rich, high emitters should be held accountable for their emissions, no matter where they live,” Oxfam climate policy head, Tim Gore, said in a statement (IBID.). “The poorest half of the global population – around 3.5 billion people – are responsible for only around 10% of total global emissions attributed to individual consumption (Oxfam Report, 2015).

10 percent rich and 40 percent poor

Figure 1: Contrast of Richest 10% and Poorest 50% lifestyle of consumption emissions

How do billionaires and the poorest 50% share out answerability for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, which derive mainly from burning coal, oil and gas? Billionaires in the US and other developing countries developing countries have polluted for much longer and should shoulder a bigger obligation for cutting back, than billionaires and poor in the poorest countries.

1 percent richest and poorest life styles

Figure 2: Contrast of 1% Richest with 40% Poorest and Global Average for Lifestyle Consumption Emissions (source Oxfam Report, 2015).


Therefore, it is the leadership by the richest 1% that has ethical answerability to do something substantial about curbing their own carbon footprint, since the carbon footprint of the poorest 40% is already extremely low.

nation with largest and smallest footprint

Figure 3: Examples of where in the world people in the poorest half of global population live, and the scale of their lifestyle consumption emissions footprints (Source Oxfam Report, 2015).

If we look more closely at which countries on the planet have the largest carbon footprint, it is reasonable to expect ethical answerability and positive leadership for climate change, from that country’s billionaires.

household CO2 rates of 10percent

Figure 4: Per capita lifestyle consumption emissions in G20 countries for which data is available (Oxfam Report, 2015).


In the USA, the top 10%, the billionaire class, per capita life style of CO2 emissions is 50 tons (in green), where as the bottom 50% (in red) is about 8 tons CO2 emissions per family. Billionaires are in a stronger, more resourceful, and answerable position to lead climate change.


  1. What is the ‘Storytelling Billionaires’ that is used to justify the extreme CO2 emissions inequality? Billionaires are heterogeneous. There are different ways of ‘storytelling billionaires’ carbon footprint inequality. Each has a different twist, a different translating of the situation that is answerable for and to another. Each storytelling claims to be an accurate translation of the situation of inequality. One group is storytelling billionaires as answerable for leadership, such as Figure 1 to 4 of the 2015 Oxfam Report. For example, storytelling billionaires: “that in many countries the richest 1% have a much higher carbon footprint per person than the income deciles below them”.[3] “Piketty and Chancel estimate that the country where the people making up the richest 1% have the highest carbon footprints per person is in the United States” (IBID.).


  1. Other groups are storytelling billionaires, by blaming the poor, for their own situation and circumstance. “If only you were smarter, had more credentials … all would be yours” (Bernstein, 2008: 173). This is the meritocracy approach, storytelling billionaires, how unbiased market forces are solely responsible for wealth distribution, and we dare not tamper with the game rules ‘free market’ capitalism. As this storytelling goes, the poor are just aware of the free market principles of global economics.


We cannot expect those billionaires in control to share the reins of power. There are deep-pocketed billionaires with vested interests in the current carbon footprint inequality, even though the path is not sustainable. E.g. The Koch brothers. If billionaires playing the game of monopoly capitalism, continue on the path they are on, blaming the victim, fairly soon, nation states will devote such a large share of the economy to war and health care cost, without anything left over for education or paying the price for the climate change problem


  1. Environmental Justice – storytelling billionaires.

“In the summer of 1978, a trucking company illegally dumped 31,000 gallons of used transformer oil along hundreds of miles of roads in Warren County, North Carolina. The location was no accident: This was the poorest county in the state, and the majority of its residents were black. Adding insult to injury, the state decided to place a hazardous-waste landfill in the area that would store the used oil and also serve as a repository for toxins from other counties. Rather than accept their fate, locals filed a lawsuit charging racial discrimination and were arrested for staging protests and sit-ins. Borrowing language and strategies from the civil rights struggle, they helped shape an emerging social movement for ‘environmental justice’.”[4] This is also structural racism: Race is the most significant determinant of the location of hazardous waste facility. Facilities are sited where land is cheap and environmental laws are lax. The storytelling plays out this way: The local population becomes aware of the health effects, the contamination of their bodies and their local environment. They begin to organize ‘citizen science’ to gather health data on the results of the hazardous waste landfill. The corporate player here is Shell, and they use blame-the-victim storytelling: “ Shell’s social-responsibility rhetoric as well as its blame-the-victim argument that contamination comes not from industry but from unhygienic slum dwellers” (IBID.).



  1. Hypothesis: Billionaire elites Protect their Environmental Privileges using Green Storytelling. ‘Storytelling billionaires’ from the ‘Green’ movement is subject to environmental justice critique. Billionaires, like it or not, do profit from environmental inequality, enjoy environmental privileges: access to material consumption amenities that are denied to the 50% poorest on the planet (open ‘green’ space, including green forests, organic food to eat, organic wine bars, well-insulated homes, clean air to breathe, and clean water to drink). The mainstream billionaire environmental (Green) movement is often hostile to environmental justice, but amenable to green amenities, and protecting them from the poorest of the poor. For example in 1999 the Aspen City Council passed a resolution petitioning US Congress and the president to restrict the number of immigrants entering the US. The storytelling rationale was that immigrants tax the nation’s scarce resources and ecosystems, and negatively impact population stabilization. This puts a moral gloss on the racist agenda of environmental inequality, and sustains environmental privilege. The white and wealthy billionaires seldom form a alliance with environmental justice advocates. Rather the storytelling billionaire logic of Green-sustainability protects environmental privileges.



  1. In New Mexico, Unchecked carbon pollution that causes climate change is fundamentally altering our environment and putting fish and wildlife populations and our outdoor heritage at risk.[5]


Of the 525 billionaires in the USA, zero are living in New Mexico.[6] According to Forbes, the richest person in New Mexico is Mack Chase, president of Chase Energy Corporation in Artesia. The entrepreneur and philanthropist is worth $650 million.[7] In 2012 Mack Chase was honored with a distinguished leadership award. The Chase Foundation of Artesia, N.M., has donated $100,000 to the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center. The money will be used by the center to provide drug information to health care professionals.[8] “Nearly 40,000 New Mexican households are millionaires according to the new Phoenix Marketing International 2014 Global Wealth Monitor report, or about 5 percent of the state’s total households”.[9]


New Mexico population is 2,045,525 and the number living in poverty: is 436,153, or 21%.





In sum, billionaires throughout the world have a miserable carbon footprint track record. ‘Storytelling billionaires’ is caught up in an apologetic for environmental privileges, known as blaming the victim. Billionaires sustain a Horatio Alger mythology, that if the poor got off their duff, saved their wages, got an education, and competed in the game free market capitalism, they could become a billionaire. There are no billionaires living in New Mexico. The number of millionaires is growing, while New Mexico ranks at the very bottom in child poverty in the entire USA, and second from the bottom in family poverty. New Mexico has landfills in the poorest places in New Mexico, including a nuclear waste storage facility.


It is time that New Mexico enact environmental justice in its millionaire leaders, who are answerable ethically and monetarily for their environmental privileges.

Billionaire leadership can be answerable, and create environmental justice, as well as cut back on his or her own carbon footprint. Billionaire leaders can also be answerable for billionaire storytelling. Each storytellers gives antecedent ‘billionaire storytelling’ its meaning context. These storytellings are not by accident. It is a situation of demand, survival of the billionaire class, and a counter-storytelling, for the survival of the poverty class.


I agree with Eve Tavor Bannet (1993), a university is an Tower of Babel, commonly known as the Ivory Tower. Bannet points out there are several ways to understand the Ivory Tower. The reason I bring up these versions of Ivory Tower, is they have quite different ‘billionaire storytelling.’


Roland Barthes looks at the university as a ‘happy Babel’ the opposite of the biblical confusion of languages. A university has the language of physics, economics, business, sociology, art, history, engineering, philosophy, ecology, to name a few disciplines, plus the languages of Spanish spoken at home, by most families in our New Mexico community. In a ‘Happy’ public university, no one language is dominant, nor has power over any other language. Of course, this is an idealized version of the Ivory Tower, and right now Business and Engineering are the dominant languages of power and control. NMSU is far from an egalitarian model of Ivory Tower.


Pierre Bourdieu has a more negative rendition of Ivory Tower. As Bannet (1993: 159) summarizes:


“The ‘outsiders’ in question – provincials, foreigners, intellectuals, left-wingers, innovators, Jews, and children of poor families who had been educated at public expense instead of in elite private schools (no mentiaon of women) – had the imprudence to expect the same career structure as those faculty members whose inherited (Roan-Catholc-Parisian-bourgeois) social and cultural norms really entitled them to the highest University psots.”


In other words, the Ivory Tower, including here at NMSU is heterogeneous languages, life-styles, politics, intellectual interests, and attitudes of what constitutes a University. There are conflicts among the rivals. One group Bourdieu calls “academic capital’ who get power in the university (including NMSU) by having the right background, making the right friends, sitting on key committees, administering grants, and deciding promotions and tenure of friends. Since accumulating ‘academic capital’ is so very time consuming, there is not much time for research. It is an academia meritocracy where power is invested in who you know in seats of power within the University.


Another powerful group forms in the Ivory Tower, is comprised of ‘academic researchers’ such as myself, who write journal articles in top-tier journals (& quite a few books) that appeal to an international audience.


The two groups ‘academic capital’ and ‘academic research’ pfovide ‘happy Babel’ with some measure of plurality, but there is a definite struggle of each against the other. I am part of another group, those who came from poor family, on welfare, going to a state university (U of I) on a military war (Vietnam) entitlement, and am therefore not from the correctness of ‘academic capital’ and identify with ‘academic research.’


There is another version of Ivory Tower, by Gerald Graf. The American university is a proliferation of many disciplines. Even in my own management department, we have the storytellers, human resource management, organizational behavior, leadership, operations research, strategy, and systems (no enrollees). There is a further heterogeneity between faculty and students specializing in quantitative methods (most) and a few that choose the qualitative methods (e.g. storytelling). Check out any department at NMSU, and you will find as much heterogeneity. For Graf, Babel is not ‘Happy’ University. Rather the University, its colleges and departments, have to isolate various languages (disciplines) in order to avoid interdisciplinary chaos and confusion (Babel of conflicting language/discipline groups). The solution the American university ahs adopted is to use administrative spacing, rather than actually have the various languages (& ideologies) engage in debate.


For the ‘billionaire storytelling’ we have various languages (& ideologies) in the class that mirror those in society. There is much ado about Horatio Alger, the by your bootstraps path to leadership in society, and this storytelling of leadership is opposed by those with an ear for inequity, how the ‘system’ is much like a game of Monopoly, where the billionaires already own all the railroads, Park Place, and Boardwalk, before the poorest 50% put their player on the board. The two groups of students (& faculty) talk past one another, each subscribing to a different ‘billionaire storytelling’ of leadership. This is a conflict of translations, a difference of interpretations, and why the storytelling of billionaire leadership is a difficult topic, yet highly relevant to a leadership in society course.


As an ‘academic researcher’ I provoke an ethical answerability debate. I decenter the Horatio Alger myth of bootstraps to riches, by putting the situation in a climate change and environmental justice, and environmental privilege context.


There are world-making possibilities. There are ‘new worlds’ in which there is environmental justice, and an answerability of leadership for environmental privilege. This would give climate action a new destination and destiny. Bannet (1993) recommends translation, as a path forward.


How can the Horatio Alger bootstraps-to-rich billionaire storytelling ‘translate’ into an environmental justice and equity billionaire storytelling? This would make ‘storytelling billionaires’ into translation between narrative and counternarrative, between haves and have-nots, who share the Earth, unequally. As the number of billionaires increases, do too toes the impossibility of achieving equivalence.




Bannet, Eve Tavor. (1993) Postcultural Theory: Critical Theory after the Marxist Paradigm. NY, NY: Paragon House.


Bernstein, J. (2008). Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?(and Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries). Berrett-Koehler Publishers.


[1] Oxfam Report 2 December 2015, EXTREME CARBON INEQUALITY Why the Paris climate deal must put the poorest, lowest emitting and most vulnerable people first


[2] World’s richest 10% produce half of global carbon emissions says Oxfam, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/02/worlds-richest-10-produce-half-of-global-carbon-emissions-says-oxfam

[3] Reducing inequality and carbon footprints within countries

By Dario Kenner – WhyGreenEconomy.org – February, 2016 http://www.greeneconomycoalition.org/know-how/reducing-inequality-and-carbon-footprints-within-countries


[4] August 7, 2012 Colin Jerolmack. Chocking on Poverty: Inequality and Environmental Justice, http://www.publicbooks.org/choking-on-poverty-inequality-and-environmental-suffering/

[5] National Wildlife factsheet. New Mexico: Top Power Plant Carbon Polluters


[6] Billionaires by state https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_the_number_of_billionaires

[7] Bizjournal blog http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2015/05/and-the-richest-person-in-new-mexico-is.html

[8] http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/afterhours/2412.html

[9] Bizjournal blog http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2014/01/new-mexico-gains-more-millionaires.html

The Ethics of Fore-Care of Standing with/Our Students (SOS) in Public Research University


Figure 1 – Heart of Care SOS (Photo and image by D. M. Boje Dec 7 2016, used by permission)

I am a theorist of fore-care. I am a participant in New Mexico State University Standing w/Our Students (SOS). SOS exhibits an ethics of fore-care is caring in advance. SOS is preparing in advance the possible futures of a community of relationality and care. Fore-caring is an antenarrative process that is antecedent to narrative and counternarratives. Fore-caring changes the narratives and counternarratives of the experiences of undocumented students. LGBT students, black, Hispanic, Native American, veteran students, and international students, including Muslim students.


Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) SOS in fore-caring prepares for moral agency, the becoming of an ethics of care by antenarrative generative mechanisms (AGMs). The AGMs are what I call the ‘heart of care’ that is all about fore-caring in four ways: fore-having, fore-structuring, fore-concepting, and fore-telling.


See Boje (2014) for definitions: Generations of blacksmiths for example, form an historic community grounding in advance the possibilities in “Being of care” the “futural” and in “authentic historicality”; (Heidegger, 1962: #150, p. 191) destining is an “interpretation” “grounded in something we have in advance – in a fore-having … fore-sight … fore-conception”; (#80, p. 110) “A warning signal, what is coming”; (#90, p. 111).


We have had our warning signal of what is coming. SOS is a historic community grounded in advance in possibilities, preparing the Becoming of Care, in an ethics of care that is ready-to-hand, not just present-at-hand. An example is our preparing in advance advising and enrollment materials for undocumented students (https://www.iacac.org/undocumented/questions/).


AGMs are what constitute the domain of storytelling. AGMs are fore-events that act and endure independent of the retrospective narrative experience.

Generative mechanisms according to Bhaskar (1975: 13) are distinct, in the ‘real’ and different from the actual and empirical. The ‘real’, the ‘actual’, and positivistic empirical overlap, and are distinct from one another. See blog post: Action Research Needs a Quantum Storytelling Theory of Action and Research


My purpose here is to propose Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) are ‘real’ and distinct from actual and empirical domains. Quantum storytelling is about the potential of AGMs generating story or narrative, in action-at-a-distance entanglements.


Transcendental realism ontology, both closed and open systemicity are subject to AGMs, which may or may not manifest living story webs of event patterns and sensemaking narrative experiences. This is because AGMs are not events, rather they are self-organizing independent generators of events, and experiences.

AGMs exist in the Real, and can manifest in events and experiences. The empirical domain of actual and experience cannot attain to the Real where AGMs exist.” See blog posts: A ‘Realist’ Shamanic Practice of Soul Retrieval for Wounded Warriors and Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms Are Independent of the Structural Equation Modeling Narrative! There is an ontological distinction between event patterns, experiences & their sensemaking), and the antecedent AGMs which have “real independence” in ‘open systems’ (Bhaskar, 1975: 13). “Hence one of the chief objections to positivism is that it cannot show why or the conditions under which experience is significant in science” (IBID., p. 13, boldness mine).


A dialectically conceived fore-caring for an ethics of care in an ecological community challenges the power of patriarchal leadership practices of higher education. We challenge them with what we call ensemble leadership practices (Rosile, Boje, & Nez, 2016). Ensemble leadership theory (ELT) is rooted in the indigenous world of prehispanic southwest, where leadership was entirely collective relationality process, enacted in storytelling and antenarrative multi-centered and decentered practices that are heterarchical rather than the hierarchy of patriarchy. From its ancient roots ELT breaks new ground as an alternative to patriarchy found in public research universities (PRU). Patriarchy is mono-disciplines, kept separated by hierarchical structures. ELT is interdisciplinarity by heterarchical (plurality of diverse structures, not a university governance rooted in patriarchal leadership hierarchy of command and control).



Figure 2 – Emergence and Dependence of Systems (from Jenneth Parker 2010: 209)


In open systemicity (Boje, 2014) complexity systems, such as a public university are unmerged, unfinalized, and in various states of emergence and dependence (Parker, 2010). A PRU take s “systemic maintenance of care” (Parker, 2010: 206), and what I am calling fore-caring, the preparations in advance to enact an ensemble leadership in a biotic community, an interdependent and emergent community.




Bhaskar, Roy. (1975). A Realist Theory of Science. Leeds, UK: Leeds Books Ltd. http://uberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Roy_Bhaskar_A_Realist_Theory_of_Science.pdf


Boje, D. M. (1995). “Stories of the Storytelling Organization: A Postmodern Analysis of Disney as ‘Tamara-land.’” Academy of Management Journal. 38(4): 997-1035.*http://business.nmsu.edu/~dboje/papers/DisneyTamaraland.html or print out the PDF version

Boje, D. M. (2008). Storytelling Organizations. London: Sage.

Boje, D. M. (2011). Storytelling and the Future of Organizations: An Antenarrative Handbook (London: Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society)

Boje, D. M. (2012a). Quantum Storytelling. Free book on line.

Boje, D. M. (2012b) Quantum Spirals for Business Consulting. Free book on line.

Boje, D. M. (2012c). Reflections: What does quantum physics of storytelling mean for change management?. Journal of Change Management, 12(3), 253-271.

Boje, D. M. & Henderson, T. L. (Eds.). (2014). Being Quantum: Ontological Storytelling in the Age of Antenarrative. Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Boje, D. M., Svane, M., Henderson, T. L., & Strevel, H. B. (in press). Critical corporate social responsibility in tamara-land: The role of tetranormalizing fractals. In R. Ocler (Ed.), Book chapter for a Springer collection, Rodolphe Ocler (ed.).

Boje, M., & Svane, M., Gergerich, E. (in press). Counternarrative and Antenarrative Inquiry in Two Cross-Cultural Contexts. Cross Cultural Management.

Rosile, Grace Ann; Boje, David M.; Nez, Carma Claw. (2016). “Ensemble Leadership Theory: Collectivist, Relational, and Heterarchical Roots from Indigenous Contexts.” Leadership journal.CLICK HERE for online prepublication draft

Svane, M., & Boje, D. (2014). Merger strategy, cross-cultural involvement and polyphony. Between Cultures and Paradigms, IACCM 2014, University of Warwick, UK. Conference Proceeding. To be published in: European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.

Svane, M., & Boje, D.; Gergerich, Erika M. (2015). Counternarrative and Antenarrative Inquiry in Two Cross-Cultural Contexts. Accepted for publication in Special Issue on counternarrative, European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence.

Svane, M., & Boje, D. (2015). Tamara land fractal change management – in between managerialist narrative and polyphonic living stories. Sc’Moi, Standing Conference for Management and Organizational Inquiry, Las Vegas.

Varra, Eero; Sonenshein, Scott; Boje, David. M. (2015). “Narratives as Sources of Stability and Change in Organizations: Approaches and Directions for Future Research”, Academy of Management Annals. Nov 24 2015 published on Taylor & Francis Online. It is available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19416520.2016.1120963

Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in Organizations. CA: Sage.

Žižek, S. (2012). Less than nothing: Hegel and the shadow of dialectical materialism. Verso Books.





What will Trump’s Election mean for the Public Research University?

Capitalism has achieved a new Social Order in its late modern global capitalism. The corporate executive,  Donald Trump, is now is President of the US.

Extending from David Harvey, I will venture to say, this election will not do anything positive to help the Public Research University (PRU). Trump has made no promises for the PRU. I would like to suggest it is moving rapidly away from John Dewey’s ideas about democracy into the PRU as Academic Capitalism.

There is something distinctive about the current variant of neoliberal Public Research University (PRU) education. There has been a shift in collective intelligence (John Dewey) form clan, to hierarchy, to market. Can the PRU reconnect with its social mission, to elevate the collective intelligence of the people to guide what John Dewey (1937) calls ‘collective action; ?

  • “The foundation of democracy is faith in the capacities of human nature; faith in human intelligence and in the power of pooled and cooperative experience.  It is not belief that these things are complete but that if given a show they will grow and be able to generate progressively the knowledge and wisdom needed to guide collective action….  While what we call intelligence be distributed in unequal amounts, it is the democratic faith that it is sufficiently general so that each individual has something to contribute, whose value can be assessed only as it enters into the final pooled intelligence constituted by the contributions of all.”—  John Dewey, “Democracy as a Way of Life”, a 1937 speech cited in Introductory Readings in Philosophy, Robert R. Ammerman and Marcus G. Singer, eds. (Wm. C. Brown, 1960) pp. 276-277.

The Public Research University (PRU)of full participation of all, is being thoroughly transformed and dismantled, into a generator of inequality. The push toward mass public higher education for all has been displaced by a push to maximizing economic efficiency in the ‘global knowledge economy.’

Lawrence Busch tells it like it is. He critiques all the journal ranking, the university ranking, the obsessing the faculty, auditing us incessantly:

he PRU is now shifted form global knowledge society (access to pubic higher education) to a global knowledge economy (gap in access). In short, now we have a neoliberal knowledge economy PRU that is actually widening the gap between the Haves and Haves-Nots.

The PRU now contributes to inequality, rather than to its role after WWI in reducing inequality. See Holmwood (2014) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02601370.2013.873213

I want to make a factual case, and will start with the income gams in the postwar decades, followed by decline in recent decades.


source https://mises.org/blog/2015-fbi-report-homicides-still-near-1950s-levels

The PRU had made a contribution to the democratic life of a nation after WWII, until the decline began in the 1970s. Now look what happens after the 1973 oil crisis:


Now the PUR is expected only to contribute to a nation’s economic growth. Training for career employment of skilled workforce, and development of research that has commercial value to corporations. Teaching is being separated from research, as adjuncts and teaching assistants increasingly take over teaching undergraduate courses, while  new faculty seeking tenure and fully tenured faculty do the research. Ellen Shrecker the historian, has got an amazing history of the shift in the PRU from WWII till now.

WATCHED Ellen Shrecker


“Something massive and important has happened in the United States over the past 50 years: Economic wealth has become increasingly concentrated among a small group of ultra-wealthy Americans: (Alvin Chang, May 23 2016, vox.com).

The rich got richer, and the poor got poorer since the 1970s. http://www.vox.com/2016/5/23/11704246/wealth-inequality-cartoon  “So here we are in the 1930s. This is when we start seeing a strengthening of labor unions, a federal minimum wage, the establishment of Social Security and unemployment insurance, and increased taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Economist Paul Krugman calls this phenomenon “The Great Compression” because these policies created a lot more parity — and held inequality at bay for about 40 years.”

If nothing is done to redress income inequalities by improving access to PRU, the prediction is there will be 25 percent less upward mobility (vox.com).

Effective operation of a ‘free’ market for PRU education is now the priority, while producing democratic citizens is marginalized. PRU access is no longer open to every student who would like to pursue it. Rather those students with access to tuition discounts, and to loan debt, have access.

See Holmwood, J. (2011). A manifesto for the public university. A&C Black. and Holmwood, J. (2014). From social rights to the market: neoliberalism and the knowledge economy. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 33(1), 62-76. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02601370.2013.873213

    1. John Holmwood – The university, democracy and the public interest – 19 January 2016

      For more information on the University of Brighton’s Centre for Applied Politics, Philosophy and Ethics (CAPPE) Lecture Series on …

The corporate form of PRU, matches the transformation of the corporation itself. And the corporation is becoming more like the university, in the emergence of the knowledge economy.  The PRU is now a management structure of cost centers and managerial decision making in a marketization of all PRU functions, and its subordination to global, market-based knowledge economy. This promotes widening inequality, pricing it out of the possibility for more and more students. This is a radical system modification of the university, and its role in society, and the market economy. Democratic inclusion becomes less and less possible with the deterioration of the PRU role in increasing social mobility by increasing access to education.

The ending of direct public funding of PRU is having an impact on student loan debt, and is accelerating inequity, that is dramatically affecting our democratic life, and reemergence of inequality and lack of social and economic mobility. It is the de-professionalization of public and social services, as they serve customers rather than clients, and is reduced from deomocratic-citizen to bureaucracy to the market (in a fulfillment of the corporation under conditions of transaction cost economics) in order to marketize shareholder value by marketizing the internal economy of the PRU..

Meanwhile the Top 1%  who were contained after the creation of social security, and the labor movement of 1913, after the 1973 oil embargo, made a steady climb to attain wealth accumulation.


Source of image http://the-business-scholar.blogspot.com/2014/06/culture-change-at-chrysler-group-llc-pe.html

In the beginning universities operated by adhocracy (flexible, adaptable, and informal organizational structure without bureaucratic policies or procedures).  Faculty became clan governed and had the space to create, have agility, and live in constant change. The PRU in hierarchy, was all about control, with the leader coordinating everything the faculty and student does with the help of digital technology and high does of Taylorism, Fayolism, and Weberism to kee the bureaucratic PRU humming along. The PRU has moved from adhocracy to clan, to TFW hierarchy, and now to market bases of transaction cost economics. This is a radical shift in the PRU, with the last phase from TFW hierarchy to market-focused university reproducing inequality in the society.  With marketization of PRU, it is no longer in the service of democratic knowledge.


source of image: http://the-business-scholar.blogspot.com/2014/06/culture-change-at-chrysler-group-llc-pe.html

Market is seen as a way of aggregating knowledge of PRU faculty and students.  The Mass education is now seen as a distortion of markets. The neoliberal ideology says the market can align faculty research and teaching to serve market needs.The commitment of PRU to reduce income inequalities has shifted, and only economic efficiency and academic capitalism counts. There is an increasing subordination of PRU to market mechanisms inits academic capitalism form. The internal form of the PRU changes in ways that is relevant to democracy. There is a de-professionalizaiton of the faculty role into subordination to the administrative hierarchy by increases in Taylorism, Fayoloism, and Weberism (The TFW virus).

As a Market-Economy, the PRU orientation is to compete, its leaders are hard-drivers, and the value drives is market share, and the theory of effectiveness is aggressively competing to meet customer expectations. In the socioeconomic approach to management, we help organizations move out of Taylorism-Fayolism-Weberism  (TFW virus) into the Adhocracy, where being Agile once more becomes possible.

The State is no longer interested in solving social problems, or in a ‘problem based learning; (PBL). Rather the interest is in the performativity indicators (outcomes assessment, journal article ranking, university rankings, accreditation) that set standards to discipline behavioral change in PRU.

The focus now of the PRU is on redefining the faculty labor contract, and social rights and medical benefits of graduate research assistants and teaching assistants , while treating them as employees of the university rather than as students, and how this upholds employer rights over its employees.

Why have we forgotten the charge of universities in the public sphere (Habermas) in the 1950s and 1960s, and the improper functioning public sphere since the 1970s.  The public sphere is not reduced to its corporate form, managerial hierarchy, and the dismantling of the PRU, and unbundling the mission of citizenship.

The problems of Late modern capitalism since the 1970s has everything to do with utilitarian shift of the PRU, derived form the corporation, and its market that is becoming the PRU market.

After the 1980s, the relation of PRU to its context shifted, and a particular corporate context took over. Public education was to upgrade all jobs, and decrease income inequality.

We are witnessing a reduction of the space of the public university in order to establish the hegemony of the corporation, in its promotion of Academic Capitalism.

The university as a knowledge economy in 2016 exhibits key socioeconomic dysfunction to drive down working conditions and wages of the PRU itself in a process of deskilling faculty, staff, and eventually the administrative hierarchic order.

Products of research are being sold to the highest bidder. We are getting a reengineering of PRU research that assumes structural determinants of behavior of faculty, students, and staff. We have the rise of anti=social sciences in an arcane form of behavioral sciences (John Hollywood).

John Dewey argued that the public depends on dialogue, with politics as the interplay of publics. The market is outside of dialogue, and in that sense, anti-democratic.

The neoliberal knowledge economy regime is narrowing the possiblity of any inclusion of poverty and lower class students, and making middle class access more and more prohibitive PRU higher education . It is a narrow focus on non-inclusive economic growth as the wealthy class opts out of the mass higher education model that was viable after WWII until the 1973 oil embargo. In sum, in 2016 the PRU is no longer inclusive of the lower class or middle class. The system is now designed for tuition and fees to rise, and have no cap, which is the language of global higher education regime is more efficient form of Academic Capitalism.

PRU are being reengineered, and unbundled, as the functions of the university are being outsourced  and privatized to the so-called ‘free market” (which does not exist) under the banner of an efficiency of PRU. Free market is actually bifurcated, with those in student, faculty, and staff positions being disciplined and punished by the ‘free market’ while the wealthy corporations and 1% billionaires are granted access to a welfare market.

Research is being commodified in the PRU. In the Entrepreneurial State, the PRU accepts the risk for the research, while the corporation reaps the benefits of the research. And the research under the drive to quickly get to market, is decreasing the creativity of research.

PRU is reengineered to seek corporate for-profit partners. The new partnerships set up to derive profit from sectors of the PRU, in order to make those profits available to shareholders. For example, speed up commercializations of faculty knowledge (research) by patenting and licensing to commercialize the commons.

STEM subjects have continued public funding by federal government, and are therefore protected, as compared to non-STEM subjects.

What should a PRU be?  We need to understand our own complicity in the  de-professionalization of our faculty work. If we are bystanders, sticking our heads in the sand, then the marketization of the university goes on without any resistance.

What comes next? I think Chris Newfield has his finger on the pulse of the PRU. We have gone through a major shift, and its going to take the Left to stand up and be counted, which they were not willing to do yesterday, in the Trup

Newfield, C. (2008). Unmaking the public university: The forty-year assault on the middle class. Harvard University Press.

  1. Newfield, Christopher


    What Comes After the Neoliberal University? Escalating Conflicts over Higher Education Part 1

    The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) organized a lecture by …
  2. I hope Chris is right, and the left will get more active, and bring the kinds of reforms of the 1930s.

Professor-Ant, Public University-Dove, and Neoliberal-Bird Catcher Story

Professor-Ant, Public University-Dove, and Neoliberal-Bird Catcher Story

Blog post by David M. Boje, Ph.D.

 In Aesop’s Fable: “An ANT went to the bank of a river to quench its thirst, and being carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point of drowning. A Dove sitting on a tree overhanging the water plucked a leaf and let it fall into the stream close to her. The Ant climbed onto it and floated in safety to the bank. Shortly afterwards a bird catcher came and stood under the tree, and laid his lime-twigs for the Dove, which sat in the branches. The Ant, perceiving his design, stung him in the foot. In pain the bird catcher threw down the twigs, and the noise made the Dove take wing.”

My Storyteller’s CRITICAL TRANSLATION: The professor (Ant) taught courses to quench student’s thirst for knowledge. The professor (Ant) got carried away doing more and more research and teaching, to the point of burnout. The Public University (Dove) intervened providing a better teaching load, and a graduate assistant to help. Shortly after a neoliberal Bird Catcher named World Bank attempted to catch the Public University (Dove), implement ‘performance budgeting’, made students into customers, downsized the number of faculty and staff, increase workload of survivors, or just replaced them with adjuncts, they are paid far less than full professors. The professor (Ant) seeing World Bank’s grand design to end every public research university confronted the neoliberal agenda with a cost-benefit critique. The bird catcher (World Bank) retreated deciding to hunt in another state, and Higher Education did take wing, free for another day.

Like the bird catcher, World Bank is out hunting for public universities to trap, and put in the cage of ‘Academic Capitalism.’ The goal of World Bank is to coerce faculty into giving up their power and become more entrepreneurial. The bait is set out. An entrepreneurial way the public university can use entrepreneurship ventures to make up for declining State funds. There is a trade off for this marketization: The student becomes customer, business becomes investor, and other universities are competitors.

The World Bank neoliberal agenda imposes ‘performance budgeting’ on each nation’s public universities, in which consumer determined output indicators, are used to reallocate university resources according to ‘student-is-customer’ needs.

The end game is final the demise of classic humanities curriculum, and destruction of traditional research university (CAUT).

Les Levidow (2005: 157) has an excellent chapter on ‘Neoliberal Agendas for Higher Education, including analysis of World Bank report, the Neoliberal Agenda for Public Universities, is revealed:

“The reform agenda … is oriented to the market rather than to public ownership or to governmental planning and regulation. Underlying the market orientation of tertiary education is the ascendance, almost worldwide, of market capitalism and the principles of neoliberal economics”

“Since the 1990s, universities worldwide have been urged to adopt commercial models of knowledge, skills, curriculum, finance, accounting, and management organization: (p. 157).

Harvey’s (2007) neoliberalism theory has these premises

  1. Privatization and commodification of public assets such as the public university
  2. Financialization that is speculative and predatory through mergers and acquisitions, raiding of pension funds, decimation of public university financial reserves
  3. Management and manipulation of crises to spring “the debt trap” as primary means of accumulation by dispossession. Creating crisis (starving the beast) then consuming the beast in order to pillage public university assets. Deliberate creation of student debt, and then unemployment after graduation as a way to produce labor surplus. Sometimes the crises spiral out of control and become too severe, which prompts revolts agains the managerial systems of surveillance and control (e.g. Zapatista uprising in Mexico)
  4. State redistributions – the state, once neoliberalized becomes the primate of redistributive policies to reverse slow from upper to lower class (in phase one privatization and cutback by State expenditures). If the rent to own of tiny homes converts a valuable asset into accessibility by the lower and middle class, the danger is after the transfer is accomplished, tiny housing speculation takes over, forcing the homeless and low income out to the periphery again, back into the tents and missions dorms.

Harvey argues the main achievement of neoliberalization has been to redistribute wealth rather than to generate it (159).

Dismantling public universities through acts of privatization, increasing tuition, and promising a culture of entrepreneurialism (Harvey, 2007: 61). Consent is forged more easily during budget crisis. Entrepreneurialism promises individual freedom and wealth in the marketplace, where each individual is responsible for their own actions and well-being (p. 65).

Years of Budget Cuts are Putting Public University education out of reach for more and more students

I found some more info on this World Bank neoliberal ‘entrepreneurial agenda for public universities (CAUT):

“But the World Bank’s reform agenda still emerged from the conference alive and raring to go. Their The Financing and Management of Higher Education: A Status Report on Worldwide Reforms, written for the UNESCO conference, explains that the reform agenda ‘is oriented to the market rather than to public ownership or to governmental planning and regulation. Underlying the market orientation of tertiary education is the ascendance, almost worldwide, of market capitalism and the principles of neo-liberal economics.’”

The Neoliberal rationality goes like this. Public university is a ‘private’ good because education is in limited supply, not demanded by all, and is available for a price (tuition). Students are consumers, but so are business and industry. The problem is faculty and administrators of public universities are not well-informed service providers on the ways of market forces. The neoliberal agenda is therefore is to make higher education completely self-financing (CAUT):

  • increasing tuition fees;
  • (charging full cost fees for room and board;
  • testing for all student loans;
  • charging full market rates of interest on all loans;
  • improving collection of loans through private companies, and
  • introduction of a graduate tax;
  • training faculty in entrepreneurship;
  • selling research and courses

NOTE the Difference in 3 Blue and The Red States above; Alaska has Permanent Fund, a Rainy Day fund for education.


What Can the Ants Do?

We must create dialectic opposition world-historical significance to counteract the prevailing socioeconomic order. To do this we embrace the contradictions of the world order and its university. Is education reform from below possible?

Neoliberal forms of marketization and entrepreneurship turn public education into a commodity, and use market measures performance indicators. The Faculty critics can deomonstrate how all these aspects are linked to change the content of faculty work, and student learning, as part of a World Bank global agenda to marketize public universities. Circulate analyses of anti-marketization struggles to create alternative futures to the neoliberal university strategy. De-reify the neoliberal narrative that says, ‘There Is No Alternative’ (TINA) to Marketization. Find alternatives, present the preponderance of evidence and get a critical debate going at every public university around the world. Distribute counter-narratives and critical pedagogies. Engage in Theater of the Oppressed pedagogies that enhance student’s critical citizenship and critical leadership praxis. Debate the TINA world future with world-making alternative futures.

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Giroux, H. A. (1979). Schooling and the Culture of Positivism: Notes on the Death of History. Educational theory, 29 (4), 263-284.

Harvey, D. (2007). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, USA. http://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/30224442/harvey6.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ56TQJRTWSMTNPEA&Expires=1475874140&Signature=kUfHTnrPw1DNW4fRhkIkk3aCM9U%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DA_brief_history_of_neoliberalism.pdf

Slaughter, S. and Leslie, L.L (1997) Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies and the Entrepreneurial University. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.