Frank Donoghue’s The Last Professors examines how the growing corporate culture of higher education threatens its most fundamental values by erasing one of its defining features: the tenured professor. In particular, he observes this trend through the lens of tenured professors in the arts and humanities, the value of whose work does not always lend itself to modes of cost benefit analysis.
In the 2009 Goldtrap Lecture at Iowa State University, Professor Donoghue extends his analysis of trends within academe by asking questions about the reward structure surrounding publication, especially as it relates to tenure and promotion. “We're all producing scholarly publication because we're obliged to, but no one is obliged to read what we publish,” he argues. He notes that “only two percent of all published monographs and articles in the arts and humanities is ever cited.” In “Against Publication,” Professor Donoghue suggests that the time has come for a fundamental change to the present reward system within academe.