Academic Betrayal: The Bullying of a Graduate Student is Loren Mayshark’s account of bad practices and mistreatment at Hunter College in New York City. Eager to get a master’s degree to become a history professor, that degree never materialized, as he became demoralized with a dysfunctional administration, ineffectual teachers, and bad policies, which are endemic to the educational system in the U.S. on the whole.
Far from seeming like Mayshark has some sort of vendetta, he lays out his case carefully and meticulously. Most agree that the student loan system, for one, has serious problems, so it does not take a leap to support his cause. His major theme is that educational institutions have become less about education, and more about profit.
Lest this seem like an attack on the university system in general, Mayshark points out the good professors he’s worked with, and how this system can potentially be remedied. At times, however, Mayshark is bitter to a fault. Granted, he had a trying time in the university system, but it does cloud his argument somewhat when his language seems like he does have a vendetta. There may also be too much personal detail, which strays a bit from the focus of his argument.
All told, Academic Betrayal is an interesting and important account because it’s a story told from the student’s point of view. There have been books written about how to reform the educational system in the U.S. but fewer that show what a struggle it can be for students from the inside. As such, it is useful for students wondering how to navigate a difficult system, and education reformers looking for ideas from a new perspective.