A is for Adjunct
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A is for Adjunct
collected sightings of the academic precariat in cyberspace
Curated by VanessaVaile
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You’re going to be an adjunct and it is going to be terrible.

You’re going to be an adjunct and it is going to be terrible. | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it
Sarah Kendzior’s Al Jazareera article The closing of American academia has begin a discussion across the blogosphere (see The Conversation … Continue reading »...
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Back to School...If They Need You

Back to School...If They Need You | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

from Remaking the University:

 

Just in time for the fall rituals of orientation and enrollment, the Center for the Future of Higher Education in conjunction with the New Faculty Majority Foundation has issued a new report entitled "Who is Professor Staff, and How can this person teach so many classes?" The report points again to the centrality of contingent labor for the present organization of higher education. It details, in important ways, the impact of the present labor system not only on those who teach but on those who learn. The report is based on a survey of contingent faculty carried out by the Center.

 

As "Who is Professor Staff?" makes clear, the majority of teachers in higher education are not only contingent faculty but are part-time contingent faculty....Despite the common perception of higher education populated with tenured and tenure-track faculty it is the reality of contingent and part-time faculty that is the dominant fact in the labor system of higher education. Reliance on contingent faculty is also the prime mechanism through which university and college managers have sought to cut instructional labor costs. ...

 

The report highlights two issues as it moves from the objective structure of higher ed labor to the experience of contingent labor within the faculty.

 

The first, is the frequency with which contingent faculty are given almost no advance notice....The second point highlighted was, unfortunately all too predictably, the lack of support offered by employing departments, administrations, and permanent faculty.

 

(and more)

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On Tenure and Adjuncts (Naomi Shaefer Riley vs. Carey Nelson)

In another don't miss piece over at The Adjunct Project, Josh Boldt writes, 

 

I hate to say it, but I agree with a lot of Naomi Shaefer Riley’s argument in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal article in which she debates Carey Nelson, former president of the...AAUP, on the value of tenure....the conclusion that “research is more highly valued than teaching throughout the higher-education system" is pretty hard to argue with....does in fact seem to be the case.

....

The other half... is Carey Nelson’s opposite argument...refut[ing] many of Riley’s claims about tenure. Nelson carefully dances around the adjunct situation though....but his argument [about tenure] is solid and worth reading...

 

Naomi Shaefer Riley has once again written a polarizing piece about higher education.

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You Call This Progress?

You Call This Progress? | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it
I was appalled to read the Chronicle article about the AAUP “plan” to provide “Better Pay, Job Stability, and a Career Path for Contingent Faculty” — to present this ...
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On the City as University: Occupy and the Future of Public Education

On the City as University: Occupy and the Future of Public Education | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

The CUNY Graduate Center Advocate writes:

 

For quite a long time now, we precariously situated students and faculty in CUNY have been practicing the art of what Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o calls “poor theory”— “maximizing the possibilities inherent in the minimum… being extremely creative and experimental in order to survive.”

 

Unable to isolate ourselves within the velvety quicksand of armchairs and seminar table solipsism, we have instead pursued a kind of crowd scholarship that jettisons “interest” for “involvement.”

 

Discussions among crowds of people—in and out of assemblies, street marches, virtual forums, shared meals, space-transformations, and yes, even jail stints—have assembled critical lessons and experiences not yet valued by scholastic frameworks of singularly rendered knowledge. Thousands have co-authored this document itself.

 

We are engaged in a process of defending our educational and social futures from a threadbare past and present.

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Why Did I Get a Master’s Degree in English?

Why Did I Get a Master’s Degree in English? | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it
A Warning of Sorts… Why did I get a master’s degree in English anyway? Good question. Wish I had a nice answer to it, but I don’t. When I finished my undergraduate studies at the...

 

Why in the world didn’t someone tell me? I might not have listened; I don’t know. I’m sure I would have thought that I could work hard enough and get a job. After all, I was fresh from the meritocratic world of retail management where if you work your ass off and schmooze with the right people, you’re golden. But it’s so different in higher ed, as I now know. I realized this after it was already too late..... The adjunct position that sounded innocent enough was revealed to me in all its glory via some colleagues who had finished a year before me. I finished my master’s and waited for all the hard work to pay off. Still waiting...

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The university: still dead | Angus Kennedy

The university: still dead | Angus Kennedy | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

... review's Andrew Delbanco’s insightful new book on the history and future of the American college exposes an institution that has no idea what it should be. He writes:

 

"In the course of tracing the changes from the religious foundations – the colleges – of the early American colonists through to the vast ‘multiversitys’ of today, Andrew Delbanco usefully draws attention to the fact that putting a big sign up on a college saying Committed to Providing Excellent Higher Education for All would probably signify that the very opposite was happening inside.

 

Delbanco’s survey of the tradition of college education and its basis in Puritan faith, both its provision of a universal liberal education and its focus on building character, is a salutary reminder when today’s colleges and universities brand themselves ‘Comprehensive Knowledge Enterprises’, distance-learning hubs or engines of social mobility."

 

PS "A is for Adjunct" recommends http://www.spiked-online.com/ with hearty enthusiasm ~ going on the feed in and in the snark folder forthwith

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The Good News and the Bad News About Public Colleges

The Good News and the Bad News About Public Colleges | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it
Guest post by Laura McKenna, former political science professor, blogger, and freelance writer.
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College Affordability? For whom?

College Affordability? For whom? | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

Ethan Valerick on the New Faculty Majority blog writes, 

 

"A little story: one that occurs to me as I wait high above a rather nice golf course, Eagle Crest, waiting for the start of a weekend powwow of those who have signed on with the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education. It regards, my little story, college affordability."

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Being a Stupid Slut

Being a Stupid Slut | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

Fast forward several decades. I’ve been an adjunct professor in the Philadelphia area for over 15 years. Adjunct. Contingent. AdCon. Part-time. NTT. Lots of names are used for what I do as a precarious wage-laborer in the edu-factory that used to be academia.

.....

Since we’re about to head out on the road with the documentary, I welcome a conversation about this — and invitations from others who might want to have this conversation as part of our film. We can certainly document the suffering; there is plenty of it.

 

But can we begin now to deliberately contemplate ways of shifting this paradigm toward a new and positive reality? I’m not talking about unions, or legislation, or walk-outs, exactly. I’m talking about the kind of energetic shift that creates new realities. 

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More Green River Adjunct Workshop coverage + CPFA Conference

More Green River Adjunct Workshop coverage + CPFA Conference | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

Doesn't this make you want to go out and put on a conference just for adjuncts or throw a workshop of your own? When you do, be sure to let us know about it. Jack Longmate sets the example here by writing letting us know about the feature in the student newspaper and a video on YouTube.

 

"The April 20 “The Solution to Faculty Apartheid” conference held at Green River Community College in Auburn, WA, which featured Keith Hoeller, Frank Cosco, Kathryn Re, and me, is described in a feature in the college’s student newspaper, The Current. Click on the issue and then advance to page 10 for a nice picture of Frank and Keith."

 

The main feature is a video of presentations on part time college faculty working conditions that looks at the differences between full and part time faculty pay and other issues and possible solutions to these problems.

 

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Adjunct professors are hiding in plain sight.

Adjunct professors are hiding in plain sight. | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it
So here’s me in the Denver Post trying to change the (academic) world again. It’s online only so I’d be grateful if you click through and recommend or just share widely so that th...

 

... writes Jonathon Rees at More or Less Bunk, http://moreorlessbunk.wordpress.com (the ten-fac blog every adjunct should add to his or her reader)

 

http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_20490316/guest-commentary-adjunct-professors-are-hiding-plain-sight ;

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Don't know jack about Jack?

Don't know jack about Jack? | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

What is the story about Jack Longmate, Olympic
College and the Olympic College faculty union? There have been pieces in the acadamic press and limited discussion on lists for over a year but not the coverage one might expect for something this newsworthy. It is not every day - more like not any day - that adjunct defy their unions. Just what did Jack do to earn such onus from his union? 

 

h/t http://trotacampos.tumblr.com for heads up

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AFT Washington Affiliate Tries to Block Release of Public Documents Relating to Union Leader’s Embezzlement of Funds | Adjunct Advocate

AFT Washington Affiliate Tries to Block Release of Public Documents Relating to Union Leader’s Embezzlement of Funds | Adjunct Advocate | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

Ideally, union leaders help and protect members to the extent allowed by the contract negotiated between the union and the employer. At Green River Community College there have been allegations made that the game is being played differently. GRCC is located in Auburn, Washington, a suburb of Seattle with a population of about 75,000. In response to allegations made by part-time faculty who are union members represented by United Faculty (UF), AdjunctNation.com launched an investigation. As a part of our effort to gather documents, AdjunctNation filed two Freedom of Information Act requests on July 20, 2012. In response, UF’s leadership has attempted to force Green River Community College officials to keep from releasing emails and documents that could confirm leaders’ alleged efforts to single out, end the career and destroy the reputation of one of the union’s own members, part-time faculty member Keith Hoeller. (by PD Lesko)

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A Message from the NEA Contingent Faculty Caucus

A Message from the NEA Contingent Faculty Caucus | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

by Judy Olson, reposted from the Contingent Academics Mailing List and detailing the process by which the Contingent Faculty Caucus (CFC) brought a concrete action to help contingent faculty across the country gain access to unemployment benefits more easily and that representatives across the entire education spectrum approved by unanimous voice vote. Usually I wish for pictures; this time it would be an audio of the voice vote. Now read the whole thing. It's worth it. Judy explains,

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Coalition on the Academic Workforce Report Released

Coalition on the Academic Workforce Report Released | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it
In what may qualify as the non-event of the year, the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) released its report on Adjunct working conditions yesterday.  The data paints a picture similar to t...

 

John A Casey Jr continues, "that of Josh Boldt’s earlier crowdsourced study the Adjunct Project. Non-tenure track faculty are working long hours for little pay, and they would gladly accept a full-time career track position if one were made available. The more interesting statistic from the CAW study that gets lost in the overwhelming focus on pay is that a significant majority of those working off the tenure track are women who teach in humanities disciplines...."  (and more)

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A Season for Heroes: Keith Hoeller

A Season for Heroes: Keith Hoeller | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

Jack Longmate has great news about Keith Hoeller. It's a season for heroes. Jack, no slouch in that department himself, writes,

 

I've just learned that Keith Hoeller has been recognized for the Distinguished Faculty Awards at Green River Community College in Auburn, WA. This is the first time in 27 years that a Green River adjunct has been so recognized.

 

In addition toKeith's teaching and publishing accomplishments, Jack's post summarizes his extensive, longstanding activist record

 

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Letter to Texas A&M on behalf of Professor Bradford

Letter to Texas A&M on behalf of Professor Bradford | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

NFM President Maria Maisto writes President Maria Hernandez Ferrier, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, on behalf of New Faculty Majority to protest San Antonio A&M's non-renewal of Adjunct Professor of Criminology Sissy Bradford, and to request immediate intervention.

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Survey of Tennessee Adjunct and Contingent Working Conditions

Survey of Tennessee Adjunct and Contingent Working Conditions | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

Please provide answers that are brief. Feel free to contact fairness@ucw-cwa.org with additional information.

 

We hope this survey builds on the amazing work being done by contingent rights activists across the country. The Adjunct Project has clearly shown the power of knowledge in this work; our goal here is to tease out additional specifics to help inform practical policy solutions here in Tennessee.

 

To learn more about United Campus Workers, Tennessee's higher education union, visit our website at www.ucw-cwa.org/

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Criticality and the Rebirth of the Public Sphere

Criticality and the Rebirth of the Public Sphere | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

John A Casey Jr writes,

 

Tonight I attended a talk by University of Chicago Professor Bernard Harcourt at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. 

 

The subject was Freedom and Education–the seminar series theme for this quarter–and he took the opportunity to explore more fully several themes in his most recent book The Illusion of Free Markets as he walked the audience through his understanding of what the terms “freedom” and “education” meant to him as well as how they were inter-related.

....

We are all peering into the crystal ball that is the future right now and everyone (including Harcourt) is slightly baffled by what they are seeing. Sitting on the edge of action, one can be forgiven for being impatient. I know I am. But the message of the evening seemed to be pay attention and keep an open mind. And make sure to share what’s on your mind with other thinkers in the public square.

 

If you need a public square to share your thoughts and live in Chicago, there are many places you can occupy your mind. One is at the numerous teach-ins and general assemblies held by Occupy Chicago. Another is the never dull “playground for people who think”–the College of Complexes–at which I am a regular. Stop by at both. All are welcome. Just bring an open mind.

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NFM speaks for Contingent Faculty at CFHE Gathering

NFM speaks for Contingent Faculty at CFHE Gathering | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

The New Faculty Majority was well represented, highly visible and a strong voice to make adjunct and contingent issues a priority at the Third National Gathering (left) of the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE), hosted by the Michigan Conference AAUP in Ypsilanti, Michigan May 18-20.

 

Early, sketchy reports from APSCUF (Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculty) and CFA (California Faculty Association) may have created the opposite impression. 

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Adjunct Project Media Board

Adjunct Project Media Board | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it
I feel like it’s time to do a little aggregating. Over the course of this past semester, dozens of articles have popped up all over the country about The Adjunct Project. I was interviewed fo...

 

Josh continues...

 

By the way, if you want to drive a little traffic to your blog, write a post that references the Adjunct Project and I’ll mention your blog here.

 

If I missed any articles or interviews, post it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list. I will also update this list as new pieces are published, so it might be worth checking in occasionally to see what’s happening. You’ll notice I added the date after each entry to keep track of current news. The Google Document also continues to grow—up to about 1750 entries now.

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Major Adjunct News Article Coming Soon in The Chronicle

Everyone be on the lookout next week for an important piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Be sure to share it widely. Migrant Intellectual offers these comments regarding the article: Stace...

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A Q&A With Harry Kelber: 'Working People Have to Be Involved in Their Own Fate' | The Nation

A Q&A With Harry Kelber: 'Working People Have to Be Involved in Their Own Fate' | The Nation | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it
New @thenation: my interview w/ Harry Kelber, 97 yr-old labor journalist, former strike leader/ academic/ candidate http://t.co/Sy6jbUyM #1u...
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Green River Workshop/TeachIn

Green River Workshop/TeachIn | A is for Adjunct | Scoop.it

April 20, 2012 Teach In: "The Solution to Faculty Apartheid" from original post to the Contingent Academics Mailing List, Sunday, April 22, 2012

Introduction / Frank Cosco / Jack Longmate / Workshop / Conclusion plus links to Power Point presentation, ppsx and swf formats

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