Goodwill hunting after the USS strike

Number 66: #USSbriefs66

Gail Davies, University of Exeter

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1. Snap

(i) There is a ‘something has snapped’ feeling among colleagues

Scrolling through university end of year reviews, it is hard to avoid the feeling that something changed in 2018. Across articles, blogs and tweets, it is clear that large numbers of academics and others experienced what Sara Ahmed calls a moment of snap. This USSbrief looks back at this moment and reflects on the ways it has changed relations within academia. A snap is not a starting point. It is a moment with history; an occasion for recognising that ‘a snap can be what happens when you are unwilling to meet the conditions for being with others’.

The argument here draws on crowd-sourced testimony collected in the summer of 2018. USSbriefs asked people what had changed after the strike, and what had returned to normal more quickly than expected. Over 30 people responded with over 10,000 words of personal testimony. We read and replied to each message, removed identifying information and collated responses. The quotes below testify to what it means for individuals who feel that ‘something has snapped’, while the analysis seeks to reflect on the broader institutional implications of this moment.

The submitted correspondence came from the UK research-intensive universities that represent members of the USS pension scheme at the heart of the dispute. Most were academics: half were professors and readers (or equivalents) and half lecturers and early career researchers. Three were professional services staff. A slight majority were women, though some submitted anonymously and did not include their gender. Voices arrived from business and finance, STEM, and social science, with humanities scholars the more prolific letter writers by a small margin.

Returning to this testimony now offers a chance to explore what this moment meant and why it continues to matter. The responses are from a self-selecting group, expressing a complex mix of solidarity, frustration, resistance, and catharsis. The letters are deeply personal, as lived experiences of strike action are refracted through institutional settings and individual situations. Many details have been removed to protect people’s identities. What is recorded is both the fracturing of personal bonds and the changing of professional identities. The testimony tells us that in 2018, a large group of people came to feel the previously implicit contract between them and the universities they work for had been broken.

Personally and professionally, I wanted to write this USSbrief as I am interested in what happens to what universities are, what universities do, and the kinds of knowledge that universities produce and reproduce when it is no longer felt possible to meet the conditions for being with others, in ways that may put the collective practices of knowledge production at risk. What happens to a knowledge economy — what Isabelle Stengers identifies as the ‘promise economy’ — when those crafting knowledge together feel the promises to them have been broken?

2. Surfacing

University staff have inhabited the tensions of the knowledge economy for a while. Jenny Andersson wrote in 2007 that ‘at the heart of the idea of the knowledge economy is a tension between solidarity and competition — between an emphasis on the public good of learning and education, and the need to turn knowledge into a marketable good’ (p.295).

What surfaces in 2018 is a feeling that the bargain struck by academics to balance the tensions between collective work and commercial values within their institutions has been broken. This may have been an implicit contract, but it is clearly articulated in people’s testimonials:

(ii) I’ve come to the view that the University and UK HE have broken a covenant with me that assured me a decent pension in return for a globally non-competitive salary and some pretty unattractive working conditions.
(iii) Whatever win/win relationship we had enjoyed — you allow us to do work that brings the institution credit — has been damaged (it feels irreparable at present, for me) because the circumstances in which we could create that value for the university (i.e. for the taxpayer) have been ruptured with their willingness to accept withdrawal of pension security, and the bullying, dismissive way they went about trying to impose that outcome.

The withdrawal of a Defined Benefit (DB) pension removes the promise of future security, a security which underpins the collective contributions to creating value with and for others, without expecting immediate personal return. This breach is experienced as a loss of security, a loss financially, and a loss of reciprocity around values and care.

(iv) The strikes helped put things in perspective a little, in terms of how institutions value staff and get us to do things out of ‘loyalty’ and being a good team player, when this is never really repaid.
(v) The biggest consequence of the strike was learning just how broken UK HE is. As well as the disappointing fact that my university does not really care about me.

Managers of HR departments across universities may argue that employment contracts were never drawn up in ways that align with this more social contract. However, once the gap between the employment contracts and presumed social contracts of university staff is opened up for scrutiny, relations fundamentally change.

Commercial imperatives and competitive measures have increasingly squeezed out the space to do the emotional labour of education, the unpaid service of peer review, and sustain the interpersonal relations essential to research and disciplinary reproduction. The misalignment of expectations and contractual arrangements is starkly revealed, as is the amount of voluntary work required to keep collective endeavours going.

The removal of future pension security was the last straw. Many people wrote about how they now had new understandings of the terms of their contract. They isolate the hours worked on the basis of goodwill, identify that these are now at risk, and demand their new contractual recognition.

(vi) Universities have come to rely very heavily on goodwill, but university managers seem completely oblivious of the extent to which their everyday activity depends on what amounts to unpaid work. My contract stipulates a number of ‘notional working hours’ but in order to make a useful contribution to my department’s teaching and research activity I, like almost all my colleagues, already regularly work much longer each week. […] These goodwill donations have grown and multiplied year on year, and they’re seen less as a valued contribution beyond the call of duty, and increasingly as basic expectations of the role. When this is coupled with derisory and insulting proposals to cut our pensions it becomes clear that the university is becoming a business, run by someone else with financial priorities, and against the interests of the academics and students. So all the donated time and effort, instead of being something which we all put in to achieve great things together for the public good, starts to seem like a way to subsidise a business model which doesn’t value me, or the quality of the education and research I care about. A mug’s game. All the enthusiasm and sincerity with which I helped promote the university has evaporated.
(vii) I’m doing what I have to (working hours) and nothing more. I, and practically everyone I know, is fed up and feeling like a mug for having participated in what we believed was for the wider good of our organisation, but what is now clear is only for the good of fake targets and the egos of the elite who run the place in a purely corporate [way] and no longer for societal or scientific good. I’m not an academic, but support staff. I believe academics have it even worse.
(viii) I no longer feel obliged to say yes to anything that is not explicitly part of my job description, and I am much more likely to explicitly demand compensation of some sort (time / £) for doing things that I do agree to. I am much more aggressive in pursuing payment for PhD and ECR colleagues who are taking on work for my department and refuse to ask them to take on any work without clear indication of what and when they will be paid and I regret not doing this before. I feel foolish for having trusted the system to treat people fairly.
(ix) The pride and excitement I felt at having joined, a few years ago, one of the great research universities of the UK has mutated into a feeling of resentful self-preservation.
(x) The strike has completely changed my relationship to my academic job. My motivation for the vast majority of my work has disappeared.

This breaking of ‘social contracts’ also rewrites academic identities. Even if paper contracts have not changed, what was previously experienced as care and sincerity around shared goals, or pride and excitement in institutions, is recast as economic and affective exploitation from which individuals have to protect themselves. Motivations are transformed and with it the capacity of universities to create the future.

Throughout the USS dispute some university managers did seek to acknowledge publicly the ‘depth of feeling’ around the pension issue. But what is voiced in this testimony is something different: a ‘duration of feeling’. This is not focused on one concern, but on questions of identity and enduring feelings of anger and humiliation that come from the harms of being ‘misrecognised’.

3. Misrecognition

The events of 2018 bring to the surface a harm that was already there, emerging from what Charles Taylor identifies as the consequences for people’s identities that flow from the absence of recognition. The two strands of the knowledge economy — those embodying solidarity and those building on competition — have moved to a point where the commitments of staff to the former no longer feel recognised by those who manage the latter. This ‘misrecognition can inflict harm, can be a form of oppression’ (p.25).

Many testimonies express feelings of not being heard, of work not being acknowledged, of feeling harassed and demotivated, and of a growing feeling of us and them.

(xi) I don’t think the Faculty and University management really understand how much good will has been lost. They are carrying on as normal, as if nothing has changed, but what they don’t seem to realise is that everything has changed for those of us on strike.
(xii) I have heard several colleagues — sometimes in tears say they are ready to leave. […] Their fury at being taken advantage of is immense. Mine too. I can’t be bothered any longer. I’m angrier. I have been the emotional interface between my institution and the students. […] I’m expected to use my wisdom and experience to mitigate the ignorance and incompetence of the institution. And now that ignorance and incompetence is turned on me.
(xiii) The strike revealed the institution’s leadership to be dismal and unaccountable […] The impression gleaned from picket lines of staff at breaking point has been confirmed by a recent external well-being report which highlighted bullying and harassment together with workload issues. We have requested a response from our leadership, but none is forthcoming. The feeling is one of an unhealthy workplace for an overworked, demotivated workforce.
(xiv) There is widespread contempt for the management — I talked to many people both strikers and non-strikers. I’m not saying I would have expected people to argue with me if they thought management was brilliant. But many people who had no need to have expressed their contempt for the appalling way the dispute was handled. And as somebody put it, staff didn’t know until now that there is ‘us and them’.

The power dynamics of employment means this is, and is experienced as, asymmetrical. But the misrecognition can be on both sides. Employers may also want to argue their motivations and identities have been misrecognised by employees. University staff and management increasing inhabit different spheres, producing different forms of legitimacy, underpinned by knowledge and values which are no longer shared.

(xv) For those in charge, it’s all for show. They won’t defend us against a government who are determined to destroy higher education. They see us as being in the way of what they really want to do (and I’m not even sure what that is) and want to enforce the hierarchy even more than ever.
(xvi) It led us to question not just why staff had been so ignorant on the pensions ‘risk’ prior to the strike, but why it was so hard to get staff voice heard by university power structures.

Andersson’s analysis of the evolution of the European knowledge economy helps articulate this growing gap. Despite early aspirations and the continuing commitment by many university staff to notions of the public good, ideas around knowledge production have increasingly been framed by private interests. Discourses of solidarity slowly disappear from policy on knowledge work.

This leaves space for a different version of the social to dominate the imaginaries and practices of the knowledge economy, which stresses individualistic notions of flexibility, employability, productivity, and social mobility. This version of the knowledge economy is enacted through consultancy on knowledge management and economistic metrics. It is not one widely recognised by many university staff, or fully encompassing the work that they do.

The pension dispute reveals the difficulty of engaging knowledge solidarities and inhabiting knowledge economies at the same time. They value different practices and engage different identities. The dissonance between the two is one likely contributor to growing mental health concerns in academia.

As the gap between them opens up, university staff realise they are only recognised through the competitive lens of the knowledge economy. And whilst identities are dialogic, it is not possible to engage this version of the knowledge economy, with its reliance on survey and consultancy, in any form of dialogue.

(xvii) It’s taken me several near nervous breakdowns to finally get the message that you are not allowed to criticise management in public or in private, and of course you should use the ‘usual channels’ or pointless university committees to put forward your suggestions which will get ignored.
(xviii) The University alternately pathologises (using language such as ‘febrile’ and ‘feverish’) or infantilises (using language such as ‘irrational’ and ‘emotional’) staff concerns over workload and equality. There is also stonewall silence from senior management — a simple refusal from senior management to engage with staff and student concerns beyond the narrow confines of ‘consultation’ via online surveys, ‘open forum’ and committee meetings that do not represent the spectrum of viewpoints within the institution.
(xix) People in my office referred to my ‘time away’ or ‘when you were away’, when they talked about things that had happened during the strike, and my line manager hasn’t once mentioned the strike directly or discussed it with me. For them, it’s like it never happened and can now be forgotten about. My own attitude to work though, has totally changed.

The harms of misrecognition are also not heard. Living with misrecognition not only involves a lack of respect, Charles Taylor suggests, it can thus also ‘inflict a grievous wound saddling its victims with a crippling self-hatred’ (p.26). The most difficult testimony to read involves people talking about hating the situation and disliking themselves for it. There is little alternative for these people other than to consider leaving.

(xx) The bitterness and anger that I increasingly feel about the daily experience of the managerialisation of the sector is not something I like in myself. And I guess I am fortunate in being old enough, and pensioned enough, to run away from it.
(xxi) It’s the anger that’s hard to get over. I’m looking for other jobs including jobs outside the university sector.

4. Resistance

The majority of those who responded are staying for now, but are quietly changing their practice.

(xxii) I think generally there are patterns of silent, but more individualistic resistance at the moment.

Much of this resistance is focused on changed responses to performance management techniques like personal development reviews, REF preparation, and evaluation processes. As one person encapsulates:

(xxiii) I am no longer the good neoliberal employee that I used to be.

This resistance responds directly to the way the pension dispute made evident how far the focus of the knowledge economy has become the management of academics themselves, rather than the knowledge they produce. The opening up of universities as a marketplace for the software systems and advice to manage student data, learning analytics, and employee review is an increasingly important source of value for the growing business of higher education consultancy.

The testimony submitted suggests that the loss of autonomy in the knowledge economy, predicted in critiques by Marilyn Strathern and Isabelle Stengers, is not primarily experienced through reshaping the objects of academic research, but in being shaped into an object of measurement as an academic and in the

(xxiv) pressure from all angles to complete endless, endless administrative tasks.

When asked what practices were not being done as before, there was a long and rhythmic list of similar confessions.

(xxv) Loss of goodwill is manifested as abstention from REF preparations and other ‘voluntary’ work.
(xxvi) I will not fill in staff time allocation sheets, or respond to surveys, or meet internal ‘mock REF’ deadlines, and so on, because these things are pointless.
(xxvii) In supporting academic colleagues — I am prioritising helping them with actual grant submissions over drafting impact case studies for practice REF exercises and have sought (and received) my manager’s approval in doing this.
(xxviii) I have stopped doing research for REF-able papers and am instead focusing on activist research.
(xxix) I have stopped responding to lots of requests for responses to various fake consultations coming from within and outside of my university.
(xxx) I was asked to take part as a reviewer in PDR processes this year and declined — this is the clearest example of loss of goodwill.
(xxxi) I have refused to do certain tasks (examining UG theses, course examination marking, participating in PhD progress review panels).
(xxxii) I avoid responding to any data gathering exercises if I can help it. This is particularly for university-level data gathering exercises.
(xxxiii) I can definitely report a sluggishness to complete performance management tasks (annual module reviews, personal development review) as well as mandatory online training (e.g. health and safety).
(xxxiv) I refused to sign off on my 2017–18 workload because it was over the nominal ‘maximum’, but no-one ever got back to me. This all feels like low-level disruption and is quite satisfying.

These individualised actions flow from the breakdown of an assumed contract and the experiences of misrecognition. They are also tactical practices, disrupting the data that constitute individual actions into the aggregated objects of the knowledge economy. They are recounted with satisfaction.

Other expressions of resistance were more vexed. People talk about the impact of imposed audit cultures on cultures of collegiality. They point poignantly to the loss of the pleasure in being able to engage and celebrate with students in sincerity.

(xxxv) What is also the case is that they are walking away from administrative roles which our Dean is sending frantic emails to Profs about filling. But no takers, and those roles which require implementing directives from ‘the centre’ seem particularly toxic.
(xxxvi) What future for field visits, open days at weekends, graduation ceremonies, international recruitment trips?
(xxxvii) For the first time in years I didn’t go to graduation as part of the academic procession. Feel bad for my students (though I threw a small garden party for the course I teach at my house a few weeks earlier). I love graduation day normally — such a pleasure to see all the students so happy and to meet their families. But when the email came around inviting us to take part (around the end of the teaching semester, not long after the industrial action had been lifted) I just didn’t feel like volunteering in what was effectively a PR activity for the institution, and one with an eye on future fundraising.

These losses cannot be recuperated through further measurement or by incentivisation through additional tools like behavioural competencies or the collegiality matrix Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber discuss. The remedies come from recovering opportunities for more authentic and meaningful interactions in intellectual life.

5. Reclaiming

Alongside practices of resistance are essential practices of recuperation. The most frequently reported change from people was of taking time for themselves, and reminding others of this responsibility too.

(xxxviii) Like many, I booked my Annual Leave in full for the remainder of the AY, for the first time in 30 years, immediately after the strike.
(xxxix) I don’t work into the evenings or weekends any more. I will take all my annual leave this year, for the first time in 24 years.
(xl) If I can’t complete the requirements of my job (particularly the administrative requirements) within reasonable working hours, then I will be unrepentantly late in delivering those things.
(xli) Where I have mentoring responsibilities my first piece of advice to mentees is ‘Just say no’ and the second is ‘Your weekends belong to you and your family. Ignore your inbox’.
(xlii) I always felt pressured into doing things (i.e. admin jobs) at a school/faculty level, because of a sense of obligation to my employer. I’ve decided to turn them down from now on. For context; it’s the usual things that women often get asked to do: widening participation, Athena Swan, sustainability rep.

Slowing down and taking time also creates new possibilities. Part of recuperation is the reclaiming of autonomy. Pausing to recognise the additional time required to balance the competing and often contradictory demands of university work enables people to ask ‘what is the value of tasks?’ and ‘what is valued by whom and why?’

(xliii) I’d say that since the strikes I’m giving more thought to the value of tasks and the agendas behind them, and declining, or in some cases simply not doing, some. This can be challenging but it feels good to exercise judgement.
(xliv) I’m still personally exploring what I’m now willing to do or NOT do as part of the undefined additional voluntary labour that goes into my job. Whenever I’m confronted with requests for additional voluntary labour beyond my contract — I ask myself, do I want to do this or not? Will I enjoy it?
(xlv) I no longer help with any more Open Days or marketing and promotional activity, and (except where I can see some direct benefit to myself or my family) I am gradually trying to bring my working week into line with my contracted hours.

For many, this process is empowering. It may develop new ways of working together across academic and professional services, creating what Stengers identifies as ‘relations with others that are not those of capture’ (p.82).

(xlvi) I am helping colleagues prioritise which activities would benefit them personally (e.g. help develop contacts for future research bids) and which are likely to only benefit [the] university.
(xlvii) I love working with academic colleagues and PhD students to communicate research to a wider public. I hate working for an organisation that values its academic and professional services staff so little and I also hate that so many in the organisation are complicit in this or don’t see it as their problem. […] Much public engagement and impact work is done after hours but there is little acknowledgement of this and almost no acknowledgement of the discriminatory nature of this necessity or attempt to mitigate it.
(xlviii) I have stopped attending committees that are not core to my role. I still sometimes work evenings but no longer work on weekends. I am making sure I take every single day of my entitled annual leave and that I am not accessible during that time. If people send me a query where I don’t know the answer, I have stopped trying to find it for them — they can use Google as well as I can.

Yet for others, recuperation means realigning identities with the ways in which they find themselves reflected in a decade of low pay rises and a future of retirement insecurity. What was previously thought of as a vocation is transformed into ‘just a job’; perhaps one of many.

(xlix) Simply, people are broke after the strike and a decade of low pay rises, and realise they might be forever, certainly in retirement. Lots of coffee table conversations about how to get more income — visiting posts, moving abroad, business side-lines — which mean that what we do now has to be seen perforce as ‘just a job’ if we are going to be able to do this other stuff.

The majority of testimonies suggest those working in universities do have an enduring commitment to a collective space of research and learning. But they also indicate how this space is attenuated by the imposition of audit and the misrecognition of identities. For many, reclaiming time and exercising judgement creates space for cultivation of the solidarities that are essential to knowledge production and education.

(l) I try to leave on time now, I don’t send work emails after 5.30. I made a ‘work rest and play’ poster to remind myself about working a reasonable 8 hr day. It hangs in the office. I made a solidarity screen saver that alternates on my screen to a drawing of our picket — just so we never forget the staff student solidarity.

6. Solidarities

The centrality of solidarity in underpinning new demands for the co-production of knowledge means this language is increasingly finding its way back into policy discussions. In a recent Nuffield Report, Prainsack and Buyx define solidarity as ‘shared practices reflecting a collective commitment to carry “costs” (financial, social, emotional, or otherwise) to assist others’ (p.46).

The irony pointed out in many testimonials is that those who demonstrate solidarity in strikes also express these collective commitments to assisting others in their university work.

(li) The irony that VCs have yet to grasp is that [it] is, in my experience, the ‘good citizens’ who went on strike, and who were active in the union. They/we have a general commitment to our colleagues, and to the sector and our institution, which means we take on the unrewarded stuff — course leadership, chairs of boards, research director, heads of this or that — and being part of a union is part of that ethos.

Many of those active in strikes report becoming more active in fostering solidarities, carrying emotional and other costs locally. These encompass university roles, mentoring networks, and engaging students.

(lii) I am actively seeking responsibilities in governance roles because of a renewed belief in academic governance.
(liii) My additional voluntary labour [now] goes towards research and teaching activity that I want to do to benefit a) my students or young scholars whom I want to mentor and promote in my field; b) my close colleagues whose work I admire and support; c) my own research interests.
(liv) Many of our students are more overtly politicised. There is a good sense of solidarity among colleagues that were on strike who previously hardly had time to even nod to each other […] It can be extremely difficult being back in, due to the toxic environment of ever increasing marketisation of education. It is good to be able to take a deep breath and walk down a corridor with head held high knowing it’s the students and the staff that make the university, not the structures of marketisation and spin.

Sometimes, people report they had not found the solidarity they expected within departments. This is often gendered and also distributed across disciplines differently.

(lv) This helped shatter any remaining sense of respect I had for the scientific hierarchy and the alpha-male posturing of professors — who are ready to strangle each other in the arena of hyper-competitive research but are cowed and compliant when it comes to facing the actual power structures of academia.

The solidarities people found in their engagement with UCU were also mixed. A lot of testimonials describe growing involvement with local UCU branches.

(lvi) I’m a lot more active in the union and I hope to keep this up.
(lvii) I have become more involved in UCU as a result of the issues raised by the strike.
(lviii) The UCU branch has also been looking into issues of staff voice, and governance reform is now on the agenda of all our internal power structures.
(lix) I have become increasingly active in my branch (something I sometimes struggle with as it takes a lot of my already limited time, not to mention an emotional toll) & am also actively trying to work towards reclaiming the university. I have also become much more vocal about being in a union to both colleagues and my students to explain to them the importance of fighting for your rights & why a being in a union is essential.

However, many people also express disappointment about the politics of UCU HQ. Discussion of UCU nationally is refracted through the same tension between collective work and econometric measures, and misrecognition of identity, that people experience within institutions.

(lx) I have to say, I am disappointed in UCU, and have been for some time, because there seems to be no central understanding of the cogs of oppression and mistreatment in the workplace — how the REF, TEF, teaching feedback, the threat of being used are all used as sticks with which to beat us.
(lxi) People are fed up with UCU, and that has nothing to do with sectarian predispositions or personal politics. Indeed in some ways the tone with which UCU nationally is discussed doesn’t differ from the way we talk about ‘the centre’. I would have hope that UCU would try to build on the organisational energies of the strike, consider lessons learned, continue to lobby regulators, parliamentarians etc., but no sign.

The search for solidarities is starting locally, and moving horizontally through social media, including name checks for USSbriefs, and giving pleasure and creating new horizons for collective thinking.

(lxii) I engage regularly with academics from other universities via Twitter, to raise the profile of certain HE issues. This gives me a lot of satisfaction and pleasure, and makes me feel better connected to a wider, engaged academic community.

7. Conclusions

Concluding this brief is hard. As one person writes:

(lxiii) we are in uncharted territory — we are in a ‘post-normal’ state

Yet each testimonial does have an ending. As well as narratives of reclaiming and recuperating, there are stories about taking early retirement, going part-time, taking sick leave, refocusing research to activism, and leaving academia.

(lxiv) I am leaving. I am taking a new job in the NHS in a few months, and instead of feeling like I’ve ‘failed’ at being a scientist or ‘betrayed’ women in science or ‘wasted’ my talents or given up my ‘duty’ to the advancement of human knowledge, I feel like I’ve got out of a cult. That these are arguments that have been used to attempt to sway my decision just shows how bloody abusive and dysfunctional and wilfully soul-crushing the sector is. I like research and I’m very good at it, but if academia wanted me, they should have made an effort.

The language of failure, betrayal, duty, and waste remind us that understanding the emotional lives of researchers is as critical as the analytical takes on the future of the university. We reproduce these voices here as testimonies to their importance.

They also have consequences for the collective work of knowledge production. Commercial imperatives can shape research agendas, but they cannot legitimise the knowledge produced. The tension between the public good of learning and education and the need to turn knowledge into a marketable good masks a co-dependency. This may be at risk in what one response calls the

(lxv) weaponising of my commitment and vocation to justify underpaid overwork in increasingly eroding conditions.

The value of knowledge is created through relations with others that confer validity to questions, through the voluntary processes that reproduce disciplines, and confirm the veracity of answers, through unpaid advice and peer review. As Stengers puts it, ‘if scientific knowledge has a reliability of its own, it is due to [these] collective dynamics’.

The wider legitimacy of this analysis will depend on how far those reading this brief see their views represented in these words and themes. And, on how far those involved in management recognise these trends, whether through engagement surveys or further strike action, and whether they hear what is being said.

As Ahmed suggests, ‘when a snap is what is noticed so much is not noticed: exhaustion, pressure, harassment, work, not being willing; refusal; resistance’. These testimonies suggest that part of the enduring nature of this moment of snap in academia is that much has still not been noticed.


The author, and the USSbriefs team, would like to thank everyone who shared their stories with us. We invite you to add your responses and testimonies using the hashtag #USStoo.

This paper represents the views of the author only. The author believes all information to be reliable and accurate; if any errors are found please contact us so that we can correct them. We welcome discussion of the the points raised and suggest that discussants use Twitter with the hashtags #USStoo and #USSbriefs66; the author will try to respond as appropriate. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.