Higher Education

Chronicles of a Dumpster Fire

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
358 Pages
Reviewed on 08/01/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite

Veiled behind a chucklesome fiction story, Dr. Ashley Oliphant's Higher Education: Chronicles of a Dumpster Fire reveals the corruption that is rendering today's education system rotten. Clary-Smith University's unjust administration and a needless army of twenty deans have become the source of a constant headache for its faculty. Although the administration is rejecting/ignoring the expenses to improve the university, they are expressing no remorse in approving needless and extravagant trips by deans and sports teams. The only rays of hope in this doomsday level of chaos are Dr. Olivia Green, the associate professor of English, and the Clary-Smith Clarion, the underground faculty newspaper. While Dr. Green (aka Livie) tackles the senseless and illogical deans with her commendable (and heavy with sarcasm) wit, the Clary-Smith Clarion highlights the deals that the administration is making behind closed doors, sprinkled with hilarious tidbits of gossip.

Dr. Ashley Oliphant has chosen quite a unique method of telling this hilarious tale. Rather than simply narrating the events, she has presented the faculty's frustration through their group chats, the University's condition through the faculty newspaper, the communication between the deans/administrators/president and the faculty through their email correspondences, and the efficiency of the professors through the students' feedback. Even though the incompetence of the deans was incomparable and annoying, the meeting notes proved to be the funniest bits in the book. The effect of reading Higher Education: Chronicles of a Dumpster Fire has been nothing less than taking a spa retreat; it was absolutely refreshing. I highly recommend Higher Education by Dr. Ashley Oliphant to everyone who is in need of a good laugh.

Pikasho Deka

Higher Education: Chronicles of a Dumpster Fire is a timely satire on the dysfunctional educational institutions by Dr. Ashley Oliphant. Written as a prequel to her first novel, In Search of Jimmy Buffett: A Key West Revival, this book follows Dr. Livie Green, an associate professor of English at Clary-Smith University, as she navigates budget cuts, unruly students, unreasonable parents, and a highly incompetent dean who has a penchant for nepotism. Livie and her colleagues try to make the best of what they have to work with (not much), as they constantly find themselves in situations where poor management makes it difficult to get through faculty meetings sober. While the expensive four-year program for students yields negative results, the administration is more interested in banning the underground faculty newspaper that sheds light on its misdeeds.

Dr. Ashley Oliphant draws upon her own experiences of working in the education sector to create a rip-roaring piece of satire on academia that will have you in stitches. There is a particular statement made in the book that perfectly encapsulates what it's about: "Because higher education is a dumpster fire, and we don't have the budget to buy extinguishers." Higher Education and its sub-title are exactly what they imply. The characters are colorful and vibrant, and the sarcasm hits the nail on the head every single time. Livie and her colleagues gossiping about their higher-ups had some of the best dialogue in the book. This was an absolute blast to read. Highly recommended.

Vincent Dublado

Higher Education: Chronicles of a Dumpster Fire by Dr. Ashley Oliphant hits the right notes and strikes nerves by being bitingly sarcastic. Welcome to Clary-Smith University, a battlefield where academics try to keep their sanity intact amid the madness and incompetence that make academia an institution that is no longer what it's meant to be. The outlet to vent frustrations and express criticism is through the internal circulation of an underground faculty newspaper. The Clary-Smith Clarion has been published in the university for almost 70 years. It takes a stab at the aimless administration, but the figures that it targets find the articles slanderous. Nobody knows who writes the articles, and the witch hunt has yet to burn someone at the stake. Associate Professor Dr. Olivia Green may have something to do with it because she can find her butt with both hands and the administration doesn't want her kind among their ranks.

In its comedic take on the conditions that plague most of America's academic halls, Higher Education has a pressing message that no one should ignore. Olivia Green is bound to become an emblem for all that is no-nonsense and most effective in a university academic. Dr. Ashley Oliphant may have tailored her protagonist based on her own persona and experience as an educator. She writes with aplomb and her narrative mixes the medium of chat, newspaper, memos, and circulars, providing an immersive feel, and making you want to join a crusade to overthrow incompetent university officials. All the parts fit, and there are enough characters that emerge as individuals and contribute to sustaining the storyline. This is a witty blast on a serious theme that will be familiar to anyone who has ever walked school halls and dealt with authority.

Patty Black

Higher Education Chronicles of a Dumpster Fire" by Ashley Oliphant is a thought-provoking and insightful commentary on the current state of higher education. With a candid and humorous approach, Oliphant explores the challenges and absurdities faced by both students and educators in an increasingly complex system. Through personal anecdotes and research-based analysis, the book offers a refreshing perspective on the issues plaguing higher education today. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the future of learning.