Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AAUP National Elections

If you are an adjunct / contingent faculty and AAUP member, whether Bargaining Unit or Chapter, please think of yourself as potential candidate for the National Council. It's been a tough year. The previous was no picnic either. Yet waves of resistance to an unbearable status and recent statements favoring a greater voice for us give hope. Maybe I am wrong about a change in the climate. Retired and not a member, what would I know? Call it a hunch (but an educated one). Jeanette Jeneault, certainly more informed than I, agrees and writes, 


If you are an AAUP Collective Bargaining or Advocacy chapter would like to run for National Council or one of the other positions of the AAUP, please let me know. I am on the nominations committee, and would like to see more contingent faculty representation. If interested, please read the information on the Nominations Invited page, and if you have any questions let me know.

Thanks for considering this. You will need to attend two meetings per year. All expenses are paid. I am on the nomination committee and on council.


In case we are not wrong, then surely this is the time for as many adjuncts, contingent faculty and other non-tenurable academic knowledge workers to stand for the council, Then with a slate worth supporting, join and vote it in. There is an advantage to being in the majority, even an exploited one, but not unless we seize it. Now.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Evolution Of Student Loans

Plaguing not just students but so many adjuncts as well... yet another way in which our fortunes (or lack thereof) and destinies intertwine. Many adjuncts were GTAs once upon a time, those more recently than others all the more likely to be sharing the same burden of student indebtedness. It's time to join them. How are you supporting the November 17th Day of Action? The date is also International Students Day, established in1941 to commemorate the anniversary of the 1939 Nazi storming of the University of Prague after demonstrations and the execution of nine student leaders, over 1,200 students sent to concentration camps, and the closure of all Czech universities and colleges.

Bob Lawless gave a quick history on student loan law. Mike Konzcal graphed it, arguing thatPlaug we should undo the rules from the 1990s and 2000s because it's "hard to see these [changes] as anything other than a giant subsidy to private agents." Pareene concurs:

Every single law Congress has passed regarding student loans since the federal program was introduced in 1965 has benefited lenders and made repayment or bankruptcy harder for borrowers. In addition to being unfair, this seems perhaps like bad policy, unless we really think it’s best for college graduates to spend their first decade (or decades) in the workforce sending substantial portions of their income to private lenders.

Konzcal's graphic after the jump....


More on The Evolution Of Student Loans

Campaign for the Future of Higher Education Meets in Boston, Plans Next Steps

Last weekend APSCUF President Steve Hicks and Executive Council member Jen Bacon attended the second gathering of the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education. Here are their reports: Campaign for the Future of Higher Education Meets in Boston, Plans Next Steps.

(and thanks Jen for the NFM mention)

"For those who are interested in learning more about a new organization specific to the issues of contingent faculty, please visit the New Faculty Majority website"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NFM Statement on the Repeal of SB 5 in Ohio

NFM is pleased to have been a part of the struggle to preserve collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio.  

However, as satisfying as the victory in Ohio is, it is critically important to remember that part-time faculty and graduate students still do NOT have the right to bargain collectively here in Ohio.  It is time now to extend collective bargaining to these faculty members who do the majority of the teaching in appalling working conditions in public colleges and universities in Ohio.  

We hope that the faculty unions will commit themselves equally to fighting for professional working conditions for these colleagues as they did to preserving the rights of the full-time faculty.  Because faculty working conditions are student learning conditions, all students deserve equal access to professionally supported full- and part-time faculty.
Public Statements that recognize the need to continue to work to extend collective bargaining rights to all faculty:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reading Room: The college years

Take a reading break while waiting for final report and wrap on #CFHEs 2nd  National Gathering this past weekend at UMass. Preliminary reports for Friday and Saturday are available on Restructuring Public Hi Ed. Have you checked out the NFM Foundation page for information on our 2012 Summit? Results and analysis of our back to school hiring experience survey will appear there soon. Not to left out, the New Faculty Majority page is poised for a relaunch. 

.... A review of The University and The People: Envisioning American Higher Education in an Era of Populist Protest by Scott M. Gelber .... Oberlin English professor Anne Trubek quizzes Victor E. Ferrall Jr., author of Liberal Arts on the Brink, about the glum future of the American liberal arts college .... Barbarians vs. Centurions: Culture wars over the literary canon have always been with us — we should make those conflicts part of the conversation in the classroom .... 

Sources of illumination: Characterised by creativity and attuned to the needs of their age, the first European universities have important lessons for higher education today .... Why we need for-profit colleges: Profits and education shouldn’t have to be such an ugly combination. Accountability is all the rage in today’s education reform industry and at the university level, but do we really want professors to be productive? Ann Blair on her book Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age.

Read the rest of The college years on the Book Forum

Friday, November 4, 2011

Coalition of Academic Labor: Third Annual Forum on Part Time Faculty Unions

Saturday, Nov 19, 9am-1pm, Washington DC. See below for details on topics and calls for presentations. This is late getting this out (my bad), so contact Anne McLeer to make sure the Forum is still accepting presentations.

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