Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A March 1 "Virtual Sit-in"

Tomorrow, more on other #M1 actions, which we've tweeted today and will follow on Twitter tomorrow. For a good overview/ preview, see Angus Johnston on "Student The March First National Day of Action — What to Expect on #M1." Coverage includes linked background on2009 and 2010 March actions, which preceded and the Occupy movement. Check Occupy Colleges for lists and locations. The 2010 March Action included a Virtual Sit-In that involved logging into the UC portal and adding a pin with your name and location to a Google map. Presumably this version, details forthcoming shortly, will be different enough to avoid DDoS investigations, as in 2010.

UC San Diego issues a Call to Action for a Virtual Sit-In (truncated and snipped version, complete version online here)
March 1st is one day of action in a growing movement, but there are any number of ways to support it. This one is a call to VIRTUAL ACTION. UCSD cordially invites the citizens of the world to become actors in a performance of Electronic Civil Disobedience (ECD) through a virtual sit-in that borrows tactics of trespass and blockade from earlier social movements, applying them to the virtual sphere. 

Electronic Civil Disobedience, as a form of mass de-centralized electronic direct action, utilizes virtual blockades and virtual sit-ins. Unlike the participants in a traditional civil disobedience action, an ECD actor can participate in virtual blockades and sit-ins from home, from work, from the university, or from other points of access to the Net. 

The virtual sit-in will begin on March 1st at 12:00 AM and end on March 5th at 11:59 PM. To participate, follow or send an email to Details will be posted to the blog and sent out via email about how to participate....See you on the streets and the virtual networks of the world.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reading Room: Omnivore on highered, academic publishing, online ed & more

Outlets for scholarly work

From the Village Voice's Education Supplement, a special issue on bursting the tuition bubble. The Occupy movement took hold at some campuses, and students are still holding their ground— but how strong is their will? A look at what the Top 1% of earners majored in. Every year, JSTOR turns away 150 million attempts to read journal articles (and more). Rather than restricting access to publicly funded scientific research, the rule should be — if taxpayers paid for it, they own it. Clever people have figured out that there is a growing demand for outlets for scholarly work; as a result, there has been a proliferation of new publishers offering new journals in every imaginable field. Kill peer review or reform it: It's only a matter of time before people rise up against the conventions of traditional journal publishing. Richard Price, founder of, on the future of peer review. Felix Salmon on Udacity and the future of online universities (and part 2). What you (really) need to know: The digital age has changed more than how we learn — it’s changed what we need to learn. Blogs vs. Term Papers: To raves and rants, blogging has become a requirement in everything from MBA to literature courses.
Shamelessly reposted in toto from Omnivore, the Book Forum blog. Best and smartest, eclectic curated collections of annotated links. Want more, from a cross section of popular and scholarly sources and on a variety of topics? Head on over, bookmark, subscribe, visit regularly.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates, 23Feb12

Email, to subscribe to regular updates in brief and links by email. More about Joe Berry, COCAL, publications, links. 

COCAL Updates in brief and links Capeheart v. NEIU: continuing free-speech/ academic freedom struggle at Northeastern IL U  ~ see below
  1. Santorum defends for-profits, Inside HigherEd
  2. Victory for union as U of Michigan Trustees oppose bill to forbid grad research assistants from unionizing, over the objections of senior administrators, Inside HigherEd 
  3. Economic numbers to die for [we are far from alone in suffering in this economy]
  4. For-profit higher ed and the Occupy movement and a new crack down on the for-profits  
  5. Pasadena City College students protest class cuts and adjunct layoffs  
  6. In case you have not heard, Occupy national congress set for July in Philly and more about it in WaPo. [Contingent faculty should be there!]
  7. Learning from Finland by Diane Ravitch  (and I wonder what their higher ed looks like too)
  8. Sue Doe of NFM testifies to Colorado state legislature about us.  
  9. Tenured professor fired at Indiana U, South Bend More on Columbia College union, PFAC, NLRB charges against Columbia Collge administration
Updates in full

#newfac12 TWTSTW

Press Release-National Higher Education Summit Meeting Links Faculty Working Conditions to Student Learning Conditions.pdf Download this file

= That Was The Summit That Was, an acronymization that dates me in this era of information half-life shrinkage. Considering #newfac12 Summit twitter action, TWTSTW could also be read as Tweets To Watch, remarkable for an event put on by a distinctly "tweet lite" group. More tweet now than did before the Summit. You may consider that as either progress or a further sign of the collapse of Western Civ as we have been imagining it. New Faculty Majority President Maria Maisto (@MariaMaistoNFM) and VP Matt Williams (@ohioadjunct) are giving the Twitiverse a try, as is Board member Alan Trevithick (@eValerick) to a lesser degree. There are a few others, mostly account holders in name only but a few lurking on the bank watching the twitter stream go by. 


Apropos #NewFac12 Summit 2012, this means anyone could, and many did, follow the Summit live online. Still missed the Summit? Catch the rerun online. The Summit Resources page has a Final Schedule/ProgramReports, Tweets, and Published Responses to NFM Summit (naked links to be embedded, expanded and annotated in another post) and other linksBut this is neither history lesson nor social media cautionary tale. It's about outcomes, actions and change. 

Outcomes ~ in addition general consciousness raising/ increased awareness and revitalization, an growing list not limited to:
  • Network building manifested by increased membership, online traffic, discussions, information sharing, independent and group actions large and small as well as...
  • Widespread public sharing of adjunct stories, as yet informal and diffuse across multiple threads and locations, that could coalesce into a more organized project 
  • A Chapter Toolkit page right here (check the tabs at the top of the page) in response to a  post-Summit surge of interest in starting new NFM Chapters (a page for existing chapters is on the drawing board)
  • NFM Foundation's Framework for Change and Task Force ~ both pages are interactive, please visit and comment
  • Josh Boldt's Adjunct Project and crowdsourced data collection compiling information on adjunct pay and working conditions
  • Other new networks, projects, individual actions we can't wait to learn more about and share. (Spoiler Alert: John A Casey Jr of the splendid and influential Adjunct Manifesto and Occupy English has plans afoot well worth watching for)
  • Your own ideas and plans for change ... take Lee Bessette's excellent advice, "there is always something you can do" to heart ... and share them with us. A nifty new feature if I do say so myself.

Posted via email from Academentia

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates 21Feb12

Email, to subscribe to regular updates in brief and links by email. More about Joe Berry, COCAL, publications, links.

1. Another book of interest: "Wayne Lanter has published a book on our strike and jailing of faculty at Belleville Area College in 1980.  We are now known as Southwestern Illinois College. The title is Defending the Citadel: A Personal Narrative, available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon and others. Could you give it a plug? In solidarity, Leo Welch"

2. More on American U adjuncts union victory
3. More on East-West University struggle for recognition and a contract and against firings (and about the NFM Summit), NEA Education Votes

4. Very good summary article (in New Unionism) on job satisfaction among workers and the research on it. Nothing shocking to us contingent faculty activists, but confirms stuff we need to remember in order to organize and motivate our colleagues to fight for better conditions for us and students. Also shows how we are not so different from other workers but are very different from top managers (CEO's) in our motivations.

5. Review of new book (in New Unionism), Passing the Buck: Corporate Restructuring and the Casualisation of Employment, on casualized labor (like us) internationally

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How Well ARE Students doing after they graduate? Oregon: Call Home

February 9, 2012, Senator Ron Wyden D-OR introduced S-2098, titled the “Student Right to Know Before You Go Act." (watch unveiling on YouTube)

I just got off the phone with the Senator's office, where his helpful staff assured me that my well-reasoned demands—that this bill include "transparency" in regard to the phantom work-force that now runs higher ed—would be heard. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Join Occupy College Feb 22-23 Teach-Ins

@OccupyColleges's National Solidarity Teach-ins are prep for Mar 1 ~ training, warm-up. Although not coming out for these, the AAUP and other organizations affiliated with the the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE), of which New Faculty Majority is one, have officially endorsed Occupy Education and are promoting this year's upcoming March 1 Action. A recent AAUP letter to members and chapters urges participation and suggests activities very much modeled on Campus Equity Week (CEW). I am not entirely clear on the difference between the two groups, although OE seems more establishment and OC more in the streets, the former planning one day, March 1, and the latter a week of action ~ no matter really as long as they are headed in the same direction and work together.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

COCAL Update: Special Labor Notes Conference Announcement

LaborNotesConference.docx Download this file
The 2012 Labor Notes Conference, Solidarity for the 99% is May 4-6, 2012,  Chicago, Illinois. Joe Berry urges us to use the occasion for a contingent faculty meeting and to support local contingent faculty actions such as those at EWU. Conference Workshops and meetings begin 1 p.m. Friday, May 4, and end at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 6. More information online at Conference page and in attached document. Call Labor Notes at 313-842-6262 • conference@labornotes.orgRegister online at:

Email to subscribe to COCAL Updates


Joe Berry writes,
Contingent faculty activists, friends and allies,

Please see the attached announcement for the biennial (that's once every 2 years) conference put on by Labor Notes. This year, for the first time it will be in Chicago (instead of Detroit) which is a major center of contingent faculty activity, as everyone on these lists knows already. I have been invited to organize a session on Friday, the first day of the conference, for contingent activists to get together. We can have as much time as we want and they will give us a special day rate, though I hope many folks, especially from Chicago and the Midwest, come to the whole conference. Some details are below and more will be forthcoming. Mark your calendars. thre is always a gathering of all campus workers, which is also useful for us.

Introducing: Joe Berry's COCAL Updates

We are pleased to announce a new feature here on the New Faculty Majority's blog: Joe Berry's COCAL Updates, excerpted from Joe Berry's well known email list aggregating news and information about COCAL, labor, organizing NTT faculty labor and other contingent faculty issues. 


Joe has been doing the list longer than 10 years, since the first Campus Equity Week (CEW) and the founding of COCAL in Chicagofor a more complete picture of Joe's extensive background in higher ed, labor and academic labor organizing, check out this (somewhat outdated since he's in Berkeley now, not Chicago) bio page for Joe. 

Email to subscribe to the complete COCAL Updates

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sue Doe's Testimony on Adjunct issues at Colorado General Assembly

This is about the proposed Fischer Legislation, in Colorado, which would in Dr. Doe's words, result in real benefits for adcons, in time, as institutions do the right thing, "take the plunge, make a five-year commitment, and reap the benefits of a more secure teaching faculty."

Wonderful testimony about our issues. Congratulations, Sue. Let's get some comments up.

And have a look at this bill.

Let's be into everything. Now is our time. Again, thank you, Sue.

UPDATE: Sue Doe writes with the following: "I have to correct the record a bit in terms of the House Bill. I didn't testify the way that Don Eron and Suzanne Hudson (CU-Boulder) and Ray Hogler (CSU) did, which was in the actual Colorado House chambers. I was insufficiently courageous for that. I just sent in my written testimony!  Ray Hogler, Don Eron, Suzanne Hudson and Representative Fischer are the people who showed the real guts. You may have met Ray at the Summit and you may know Don and Suzanne from their work with AAUP on the notion of teaching tenure."

Thanks for that, Sue—but we're still marking yours as more than sufficient, and we're glad to have everyone else here to be congratulated as well, on their courage, commitment and vision. 

An Unlikely Exchange? Well, Certainly a Strange One

Well, it was an odd exchange, certainly, billed by Inside Higher Ed as a conversation between Michael Clifford, investor in for-profit colleges, and Bob Shireman, architect of Obama administration's regulation of the sector

I shall refer to them as 1) Evil Tycoon and Enemy of Higher Education and 2) Fearless Obamanaut and Protector of the University, just to keep things straight. Read the whole thing if you dare, but three scenes really grabbed my attention. 

SEIU Adjunct Union at American University-Julian Bond and the Rest of Us!

Beautiful news here about SEIU Adjunct Union at American University. The strength and gathering momentum of the nationwide movement for adcon visibility and empowerment!

And check out Julian Bond voting for the new union—now that's how star power Adjuncts should do it! Jill Biden, take note! (PS sign the petition too!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Contingency Special this week on 21st Century Scholar


This week's 21st Century Scholar blog posts focus on non-tenure-track and contingent faculty. The posts are written by Adrianna Kezar, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis (CHEPA) at the USC Rossier School of Education. Adrianna explains the major challenges facing this growing group of faculty and outlines some possible solutions to the problems. Stay tuned … 

Tomorrow's post continues the review of proposals for alleviating the contingency issue in higher education. Today's focused mostly on reverting back to tenure; tomorrow's will explore other recommendations that have been offered.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

CFP: Essays on #NTTfaculty Labor Issues

Attn: #newfac12 participants: Bring on the essays about the NFM Summit, @Josh Boldt's The Adjunct Project crowdsourcing pay and working conditions, NFM Foundation, our Framework for Change's TEACH Task Force, NFM Chapters, studies, surveys, other action projects and more. ¡No somos precari@s invertibrad@s! Let's see "How 'teaching conditions are learning conditions' does justice to both." Call cross posted from the Contingent Faculty List via Sandy Baringer. 


Call for Submissions:  Special Joint Issue of the ADE Bulletin and the ADFL Bulletin: "Non-Tenure-Track Faculty in the Modern Languages: Issues and Directions"

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Costs of Higher Education: to Whom?

I saw the Fordham University student newspaper, The Ramon February 1 and was not surprised to read an editorial therein, that discussed President Obama’s recent remarks on the costs of higher education, and his calls for accountability.

The Ram specifically mentioned that, as college students, they were obviously glad to “hear about a possible tuition decrease.” Left out of the editorial, unfortunately, as indeed it has been left out of most of the discussion of “reform” in higher education, is any discussion of the position of the faculty, which is that community in any college or university which is charged with the production, evaluation, and transmission of knowledge, and without which, one can easily argue, there is no higher education left to reform.

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