by Jack Longmate: Contingent faculty—now the majority in U.S. higher education, especially at community colleges—are almost always paid on a discounted secondary pay scale.
That’s one reason for Campus Equity Week (October 28-November 2), established in 2001 to draw attention to the lack of equity for non-tenure-track faculty in the higher education workplace.
Who Are the Real Faculty?
In this view, tenured professors are presumed to be the real faculty. Contingent teachers are seen as illegitimate representatives of the profession, even though they now make up the majority. Elitists may see their part-time brethren as paraprofessionals not deserving of job security, equal pay, or equal distinction....
One example of the domination of the elitist attitude is the widespread practice of “overloads,” where tenured faculty members elect to teach courses in addition to their full-time teaching load....displac[ing] the jobs that would be assigned to part-time faculty....seen as the privilege of tenure-track faculty and defended by faculty unions.
The largest college under its auspices, Vancouver Community College, bars full-time professors from teaching overtime, in order to protect part-time faculty jobs and job security....In Vancouver, the goals of Campus Equity Week are already realized
Jack Longmate is an adjunct English instructor at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington. He is active with the Washington Part-time Faculty Association and co-authored with Frank Cosco of the Vancouver Community College Faculty Association “The Program for Change” on how to convert U.S. campuses to the Vancouver Model.Read more about the Program at http://vccfa.ca/newsite/?page_id=587
His comments overloads and the Vancouver system are of particular note.
Many economists think that the next bubble to burst in our current crisis will be student loans.
.....The academy should be an institution that works for the public good. It should be free from centralized power. It should be a hub for intellectualism. The academy should be a place that questions society and its practices. Education should be dedicated to critical analysis of, as opposed to co-operation with, the state, big business and special interests. To fail in this analysis is a betrayal
....graduates have a choice to make. To defend the status quo, or to revolt and join the struggle of the proletariat.
The Plight of CSU Adjunct Faculty Cleveland Scene Weekly It's generally acknowledged that the rise of adjunct professorships at universities nationwide is linked to sweatshop-inspired corporate "cheap labor" ideals.
Anyone else getting really tired of seeing 'plight' and 'adjunct' in the same sentence?
Adjuncts Launch Union Bids at 2 Southern California Colleges Inside Higher Ed Adjuncts at Whittier College and the University of La Verne, both in Southern California, have filed for a union election with the Service Employees International Union...
January 8-9, 2014* Location: TBA Deadline for submissions: November 15 papers@MLAsubconference.org
This year, the MLA hosts its annual convention in Chicago, IL under the title of “Vulnerable Times.” As in past years, committees and special sessions will be convened to address the pressing material and financial conditions shaping our profession and its possible futures.
But who are the subjects of such times? While individuals certainly experience it in different ways, vulnerability is distributed disparately across constituencies and groups as part of the systematic reproduction of hierarchies and forms of segregation that have long characterized higher education....
What is the role of graduate students, contingent workers, and autonomous intellectuals in organizing to change the distribution and affects of vulnerability today? Can those of us struggling on the strange outside and inside of the profession, on the margins of an institution but constituting the bulk of its labor, afford to do otherwise?
This - concept and event - look very interesting. I hope there is a way for those unable to attend in person to follow and even participate. All due respect to organizers of the 2011 MLA "counter conference," but this sounds like what I had hoped that would be but, alas, was not.
Margaret Mary Vojtko, an adjunct professor of French for 25 years, died underpaid and underappreciated at age 83. She died as the result of a massive heart attack she suffered two weeks before. As it turned out, I may have been the last person she talked to.
On Aug. 16, I received a call from a very upset Margaret Mary. She told me that she was under an incredible amount of stress....Sadly, a couple of hours later, she was found on her front lawn, unconscious from a heart attack. She never regained consciousness.
Duquesne knew all about Margaret Mary's plight, for I apprised them of it in two letters. I never received a reply, and Margaret Mary was forced to die saddened, penniless and on the verge of being turned over to Orphan's Court.
The funeral Mass for Margaret Mary, a devout Catholic, was held at Epiphany Church, only a few blocks from Duquesne....Margaret Mary was laid out in a simple, cardboard casket devoid of any handles for pallbearers -- a sad sight, but an honest symbol of what she had been reduced to by her ostensibly Catholic employer.
Her nephew, who had contacted me about her passing, implored me to make sure that she didn't die in vain. He said that while there was nothing that could be done for Margaret Mary, we had to help the other adjuncts at Duquesne and other universities who were being treated just as she was, and who could end up just like she did. I believe that writing this story is the first step in doing just that.
This powerful article by Daniel Kovalik leads today's Columbia Journalism Review's Audit Notes ("news about news") ~ an adjunct story that jumped out of local, higher ed and niche readership without a boost from "newspapers of record" or higher ed media.
Dissident Voice: A strike is illegal for public employees under the Taylor Law. Adjuncts are fined two days' pay for every day they strike. Yeah, we have it all here at DV,
+ more from Paul Haeder in another School Yard Fights pôt au feu post covering academic lablor, society, education, solidarity, labor history and more. Education is the unifying, if not organizing, theme
The phrase “corporatization of the university” captures the reorientation of colleges away from a primarily educational mission and toward one that resembles the financial bottom line. The evidence of this shift is myriad: the growth of for-profit degree-granting institutions, rising tuition and student debt, the pursuit of elevated rankings, disproportionate resources spent on athletic programs and sports facilities, the identification of students as “customers,” assessment of accomplishment in the classroom as that which can be quantified, a small number of highly compensated academic “superstars,” and a swelling cadre of overpaid administrators.....As [former GWU President] Trachtenberg explained, “people equate price with the value of their education.”
..... The circumstances of contingent faculty and indebted students are simultaneously emblematic of national trends toward precarious employment and long term financial anxiety amid enormous national wealth, and more deeply implicated because of the power of education to act as an egalitarian social force.
※Claire Goldstene has taught United States labor history at the University of Maryland, the University of North Florida, and American University. Her book, The Struggle for America’s Promise: Equal Opportunity at the Dawn of Corporate Capital, will appear in early 2014.
Thanks to Doss Thane for sharing this link on adj-l list
The Changing Identity of Academic Labor (2005), edited by Deborah M. Herman and Julie M. Schmid about the Corporatization of Higher Education. Download site. UE Local 896.
[Representing both faculty and graduate employee unions from California, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ontario, and more, these essays discuss the transformations in the academic workplace and the resulting development of an academic "working-class" identity. Includes a history of the unionization campaign at the University of Iowa and the subsequent struggles of COGS to find its place in UE, a primarily blue-collar industrial union.]
…a message from Better Pay for Adjuncts petitioner and New Faculty Majority Board member, Ana M. Fores: It’s been a few months since I’ve written because I didn't want to be like petitioners who write...
…Joe Berry's COCAL Updates Special CCSF Edition: more on the CCSF struggle, including Chronicle coverage by Peter Schmidt, http://chronicle.com/article/Stunned-by-Accreditor-City/140143, a letter and links from Bill Shields, Head of CCSF Labor and Community Studies, mre links and a statement from the CA-AAUP Steering Committee
Contingent academic labor expert Joe Berry characterizes CCSF key to the future of academic labor and public higher education ~ where we must draw the line, comparable to CTU in Chicago has been for K-12 public education.
The Predatory Pedagogy of On-Line Education » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
Quote -- Instructure, like their competitors, is very concerned about faculty resistance to their encroachments. They have all learned from past battles not to challenge faculty directly. Instead they are taking a soft approach.
…Chicago, 6-7pm, Nov 2: Join in the struggle for equitable higher education! With a hat tip to Brecht and agitprop theater, we'll be singing a repurposed version of "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" to help raise awareness of national adjunct working conditions. Anyone is welcome to join! The more, the merrier. This will be filmed by an independent cinematographer for national distribution.
Meet at The Horse (Michigan & Congress, NE corner). Wear dark colors. Bring your belting voice, your tambourine, your bucket drums. I'll bring an accordion. Think Threepenny Opera. Think Brecht. Think Agit-Prop. Listen to a 1928 version of the song by Harry Mac http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uKbIkYGsIg, then read the lyrics that we'll be singing and watch the introduction to Brecht below for context, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-828KqtTkA
Come ready to make a racket. Stand up! Speak out! Campus Equity NOW!
we huff and we puff and we complain about wages and the quicksand death of higher and public education but all of life is a stage for the Daily Show The
Paul Haeder weaves remembrances of adjunct life past with Dan Kovalik's story of Mary Margaret Vojtko, Korean adjunct suicided and Keith Hoeller's recent Counterpunch article on a living wage for adjuncts. The emphasis is on the connecting threads are on adjuincts and living ~ or not.
by Keith Hoeller, » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
...With the recent clamor for higher wages for unskilled labor, should our nation’s highly skilled “contingent” professors also receive the minimum wage for each and every hour they work, and time and a half for overtime?
In Clawson v. Grays Harbor Community College District (2003), the Washington state supreme court ruled unanimously that they should not...Because the colleges had argued they were “professionals” who had control of their hours and working conditions, and were therefore exempt from Washington’s Minimum Wage Act. The colleges may call them “professionals,” but do not in fact treat them as such.
Could unions help? Actually, these terrible conditions exist even in unionized colleges where the teachers unions (NEA, AFT, and AAUP) routinely negotiate inequitable contracts that force these insecure part-time workers into the same unions with the tenured faculty, who often serve as their supervisors, interviewing them, hiring them, assigning them classes, and firing them.
How can college professors teach equality and a respect for diversity when they refuse to practice it in their own ranks? The two-track system is not a merit system; it is a caste system. Should the U.S. spend billions each year on a higher education system dedicated to offering better opportunities, jobs, and salaries for all of our citizens—except those who teach in the colleges and universities that make such opportunities possible?
Keith Hoeller has taught philosophy in the Washington state community colleges for 25 years. He is the editor of Equality for Contingent Faculty: Overcoming the Two-Tier System, Vanderbilt University Press (forthcoming, January, 2014).
All AFA members are expected to picket from 3:30 PM - 7:30 PM every day beginning September 10.
The Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA), an independent union of adjuncts at Nassau Community College (NCC), represents 2600 adjunct faculty. Without the teaching skills of the adjunct faculty, NCC could not function. Responsible for teaching more than half the courses, the adjunct faculty is the backbone of the college.
Charles Loiacono writes:
The strike will continue until the agreement that we negotiated in good faith is recognized. All the maneuvers, threats, fuzzy math, and exaggerated claims have only prolonged the strike and moved us further apart.
On another front, I have gotten e-mails from unions around the country supporting the AFA and encouraging us to stand firm.
…a bad news bill for #adjuncts…California #PartTimeFaculty Association…Serving over 46,000 NTT Faculty in California Community Colleges.
If AB 950 passes in its current form, then the Ed. Code will codify overloads for all districts - setting the legal limit at 150% of load. That being the case, it will be next to impossible to get full time faculty to retreat to 100% as a "real" actual teaching load that is consistent with teaching loads of faculty in the K-12, CSU and UC systems.
This could be an important turning point in the ongoing overload debate, which often seems a lot like "The Trouble with Harry" dead body in the academic labor living room.
“[Unionization] does empirically make a difference,” said Adrianna Kezar, professor education at the University of Southern California and director of the Delphi Project to examine and develop the role of adjunct faculty.
- Uncommon Thought Journal: Interview by Leslie Thatcher of TruthOut
Henry A. Giroux exposes the "apostles" of educational reform in his new book "America's Educational Deficit and the War on Youth."
Leslie Thatcher for Truthout: You have authored over 50 books, all of which deal with education in one form or another and most of which deal with the problems of youth; how would you define the specific focus of America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth?
Dedicate the book to teachers everywhere... Giroux opens,
The focus of this book is on the growing economic, political and cultural gap that has emerged in the United States between political leaders elected to govern and the citizenry whom they represent. It is also about the pernicious gap between ruling financial and corporate elites and the rest of society and how it has intensified the growth of a political and cultural landscape that is as anti-intellectual and devoid of a culture of questioning as it is authoritarian.
I argue in this book that the deepening political, economic and moral deficit in America is inextricably connected to an education deficit, which is currently impacting young people most of all by starving them of both the economic resources and the formative educational experiences required to help them develop into knowledgeable and engaged citizens.
The book begins with the premise that the crisis of schooling cannot be disconnected from the economic crisis - fueled by endless wars, a bloated military-industrial complex, and vast disparities in wealth and income.
I argue throughout the book that as the United States proceeds headlong on a reckless course of civic illiteracy, which serves to legitimate and bolster a malignant gap in income, wealth and power, the end point is sure to entail the destruction of current and future possibilities for developing the educational institutions and formative culture that advance the imperatives of justice and democracy.....
In addition to documenting the authoritarian and morally malicious policies and actions of a government beholden to corporate, religious and military interests, America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth invites the reader to consider the possibilities for democratic renewal embodied by the ongoing actions of various modes of resistance that are emerging among young people, workers, feminists, and other individual and social movements that are demonstrating the importance of critical education, hope, and peaceful resistance against a creeping authoritarianism.
All but abandoned by the adult generation, youth, with others are beginning to take matters into their own hands and are teaching themselves the power of democratic expression in a society that has all but relinquished its claim to democracy.