Academia a Sweatshop?

To the Editor:

William Hathaway's recent "Education and the Academic Sweatshop" (Perspective, October 10, 1993) is, it seems to me, sensationalist claptrap. I find therein not a shred of cold hard data to substantiate his main thesis -- which is that academia, though polished and enlightened on the outside, runs on the shoulders of a hidden sweatshop composed of those who are ineligible for tenure. As a tenured professor at Rensselaer I now happily teach the courses I taught when I was, to use Mr. Hathaway's language, a member of the "underclass" at Brown University. And I'm not alone; not in the least: my colleagues at RPI and beyond, including internationally renowned full professors on the cutting-edge of research in their fields, regularly offer introductory courses which, according to Mr. Hathaway, are taught by the "exploited." Perhaps a fact-finding roadtrip ought to replace at least a bit of Mr. Hathaway's armchair pontification.

Selmer Bringsjord