Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#SEIU500 Forum on #PTFaculty #Unions this Saturday!

…the SEIU Local 500 Coalition of Academic Labor Forum is Free & Open to the Public. REGISTER TODAY ~ RIGHT NOW 

The SEIU Local 500 Coalition of Academic Labor Fourth Annual Forum on
Part-time Faculty Unions
Caste and Classes: Contingent Academic Labor Confronting Inequalities in Higher Education
Saturday, December 1, 2012, 9am to 5pm at SEIU Headquarters, 1800 Mass Ave, Washington DC (Dupont circle metro)

Please RSVP to Anne McLeer by November 28 (THAT'S TODAY), at
This forum is free and open to the public. Breakfast and lunch will be served
Join part-time faculty, union members and activists, contingent faculty advocates, full-time faculty, student groups, administration allies, members of The New Faculty Majority and the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, community allies and other stakeholders in higher education for an action oriented forum on the topic of how academic labor practices are perpetuating the increasing inequalities in our society and what we are doing to fight back.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday morning

…musing or media musings…banal, too much alliteration…TW3 recap + notes toward a do list that probably won't get done is more like it. TW3 = TWTWTW or That Was The Week That Was. This round is mostly about social media media ventures but won't always be. So here's  more about how the New Faculty Majority spends its Web 20 electrons. More about that page and the NFM Foundation another time.

Facebook analytics are by day by day overlapping 7 day chunks. The New Faculty Majority Facebook page shows 2,869 "reached" between 11/18 and 11/24. Although comments and discussion threads are more active, many visitors still choose to remain anonymous. No one really needs an explanation for why, do they?

Ana M. Fores Tamayo of  better pay petition renown has joined NewFac page admin as a content editor. Having such an active contributor is a huge boost for the page and even more help to me. I'm sure it comes as a relief to board members tired of my nagging. Is Ana aware that FB is just the gateway: micro and other blogging sure to follow? In the meantime, we're making plans to coordinates posts and issues to address. Input and suggestions, please. We'd sure like to see your posts and shared links too and plan to highlight those more.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What Is a Gift?

…from a post that is not about adjuncts, precarious knowledge workers, NTT faculty, or whatever we call ourselves this week ~ but very relevant. Compare "gifts" as used here to similar gifts, perks, favors offered adjunct: more pay but not equity and the gap still widening, adjunct appreciation days, awards, being "lucky" to get hired at the last minute, impossible schedules, etc). From Keithpp's Blog:

As the holiday season fast approaches, it has come to our attention that some of our colleagues, managers and co-worker need help understanding the concept of “gift.”

Friday, November 23, 2012

Support Walmart Workers on Black Friday

#walmartstrikers share many issues w/ #adjuncts & the academic #precariat…plus setting an example of how to organize mass action…and the courage to do it. I was going to add updates this morning but there are so many ~ better to save them for a separate post or Storify and send you straight on to this basic primer from adjunct comadre Rowan's blog /online journal, which I've been following longer than I've been doing #newfac. It's on our blogroll too. 

by Dan Wasserman, from occasional links & commentary
Uncommon Thought Editor's Note: Walmart is a reflection of capitalistic abuse on every continent where its heel rests. To say that Walmart is a "bad neighbor" would be an understatement. It controls entire markets, including price setting and wages. It ruins small businesses and communities. It abuses its workers in a hundred different ways. Please go to Making Change at WalMart to find out how you can support WalMart workers.

The following is from the Making Change site:
October was a banner month for Walmart workers nationwide.  Each week saw more Walmart workers speaking up and going on strike, to protest Walmart's attempts to silence workers and retaliate against them. The strikes culminated in an announcement at Walmart's Arkansas headquarters that if the retaliation does not cease, workers will make Black Friday a "memorable" day for the company. 
To make Black Friday a success, Walmart workers need the support of community members like you. Our website now features a number of ways to get involved and support Walmart strikers on Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Faculty Have a Branding Problem

…as New Faculty Majority VP Matt Williams reminds us on his blog, Akron Adjunct, no words minced in title, posts or here as reposted from Matt's blog (also listed in the blogroll on the left sidebar). There's a lot more than just posts on The New Faculty Majority blog. After this cautionary tale, we're waiting for the higher education faculty version of A Christmas Carol. Consider CCAC course cutting shenanigans as the trailer. Stay tuned for the next installments.

College faculty in America have a branding problem.  When even the Vice President of the United States disses you publicly, scapegoating you as the reason that college tuition has skyrocketed over the past twenty years…and when the vice president is supposed to be your ally…and when the vice president’s wife is a community college professor (i.e., he should know better)…well…like a Jeff Foxworthy joke…you might have a branding problem.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Storifying CC Allegheny County

…cutting course loads to duck covering adjuncts because it is the most effective tool for comprehensive coverage and to do justice an important story with its many voices and implications for the future of adjunct labor.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lost in cyberspace, Nov13: 2

 catching the rest of the way up with a quick Twitter collection, including RTs & recent Facebook shares. From here on, no than one a day, if that many, will be my limit. Look for occasional themed renditions and other experiments. PS the "Ed. note" caveat at the end of part 1 still applies.  Feedback invited. 

Lost in cyberspace, Nov13: 1

…found by Storify on the New Faculty Majority Facebook page & Twitter stream, with pit stops at New Faculty Majority and NFM Foundation Web 1.0 hideouts, YouTube flyby and more. This inaugural issue opens with selected stories and discussions currently unfolding on Facebook: CFP deadlines, conferences and a pay wall. More to come. Join the discussion. 

Ed note: this Storify, created by Vanessa Vaile, collates shared links and visitor comments from NFM's public Facebook page and does not necessarily reflect NFM policy or opinions of other board members.

Monday, November 12, 2012

BYOP: we have a YouTube playlist

…6 hrs, 45 mins of videos, a lot of popcorn. We've been collecting videos about the adjunct life, higher education, academic workplace issues, activism and related topics. Normally, videos get blogged singly with the BYOP (bring your own popcorn) tag. With a total of 41 and four added just today, announcing the NewFacMajority video playlist is long overdue. So here it is.

Videos range from interviews, documentary trailers and news footage to xtranormal blasts. Reality and wry humor. We want to grow longer the list. Send your recommendations. Post the link to comments here, on our Facebook page or tweet them to @NewFacMajority

Saturday, November 10, 2012

#HurricaneSandy & New Jersey #Adjuncts

…an instructive account by New Faculty Majority Board member (& Treasurer) Bill Lipkin. His cautionary tale illustrates how being an adjunct during a natural disaster doubles down on disaster ~ and emphasizes the importance of taking action. Adjuncts everywhere, blow a raspberry for Bill's VPAA.

…Hurricane Sandy has further shown how adjuncts are the bottom of the barrel in the minds of administrators in Community Colleges. I am the co-president of our AFT chapter, representing almost 400 adjuncts in our College. There are 168 full time faculty. The College was closed for over a week due to [...]

Read the rest of Hurricane Sandy and New Jersey Adjuncts on the Adjunct Project

Nov-Dec 2012 issue of The Bullhorn

…the outstanding, award winning & #contingentfaculty aware newsletter of the SUNY New Paltz UUP Chapter, edited by NFM Board member Peter D.G. Brown. View Bullhorn back issues online. While on New Paltz UUP site, check the Contingents section, resources, links, articles, petitions & more. It's a good model for anyone looking to insert more contingent faculty information into their organization pages or just building a resource list. 

Download this fileBULLHORN November-December 2012.pdf.  NFM Foundation president Anne Wiegard reminds us,

Friday, November 9, 2012

Together at last!

Getting together. this?
#Adjuncts are steadily building networks, using technology to improve communications and share information. Is that enough? What are our options? Could Alternative (Academic) Worker Organizations, not unions as we know them, but something else ~ as yet undetermined, be a possible solution for adjuncts nationwide or regionally? Alternatives are especially important in regions where union organizing is, to repurpose a polite euphemism, problematic? "But what about us?" comments to a recent post on NFM's Facebook page about increased adjunct organizing activity reminded me of the too often overlooked plight of adjuncts. After sharing Bill Lipkin's good advice about focusing on local campus action, I recalled a few articles at New Unionism (also on Facebook here and @newunionismand started looking for more.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#HigheredNews: post-election musings on what it means for us

…from #Academe Today & @InsideHigherEd's Daily News Updates (in particular, Four More Years, A Status quo Congress & more). From California, Changing Universities' Bob Samuels writes "We Won the Battle, Now the War," and Remaking the University's Chris Newfield delivers a, "Bullet Dodged by Ballot." Snarky and smart Lawyers, Guns & Money offers briefly annotated election reflection links, Victory, include education,. Robert Valiant has launched a website to gather information about who funded campaigns for charters and vouchers and against teachers, unions and public education.

Yes, I'm till pushing academic news aggregation posts even if they don't have the bling or get the clicks of single items. Being informed matters and the day after a presidential election is a for read news day. Besides #nanowrimo and #digiwrimo = #wrimo all month long: I have not fish but other words to fry. Expect rewarmed leftovers, reblogs and otherwise recycled posts. Upside: more posts.

Chronicle of Higher Education
Academe Today
Wednesday November 07, 2012

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The 2012 Election: What Obama's Win Means for Academe

Monday, November 5, 2012

#highered news roundup

…from all over, mainstream, alternate and highered media. In addition to rss feeds, I subscribe to daily news alerts from the Chronicle, Inside HigherEd, the New York Times and The Guardian Higher Education Network as well as assorted business and alternate press that carry higher education news on occasion. Yesterday the Grey Lady ran a bumper crop, including a the usual MOOCapalooza entry 

This morning's higher ed media (they take the weekend off) had a good haul too, so I'm following up the admitted frivolity of Adjunct Wheels with serious news. 
  • Academe Today (Chronicle, no web view that I could see, email only, subscribe here): good adjunct piece behind pay wall (love the irony, not ~ but it's already being widely and informally shared)
  • Forbes Weekly Digest: Oct 29 - Nov 05, 2012, by topics and people followed, no web view, email only ~ manage here: Udacity Amara partner to offer courses in many languages; global private tutoring market; hurricane (Sandy) effect on education (IT, lessons for students). My Alerts
The New York Times

November 4, 2012

HigherEd Alerts

#Adjunct Wheels

image creditPeel Mini-car, world's smallest street-legal car
…even if it isn't big enough for holding office hours unless you could add a fold-out canopy, strap a folded up tent to the roof.  And where does the ubiquitous and indispensable traveling office-on-luggage-cart go? PS: remind students to bring their own chairs to office hours.

Yes, now that you mention it, we do have real & serious topics to write about: higher education budget cuts, student loan debt, workplace bullying and abuses of power, due process, job security, pay equity, studies, petitions, UI, health care, benefits, unions, organizing, the future of higher education, and so on, not to mention conferences and sessions about all of the preceding. But this was not just too much fun to pass but a quick blog to boot.

from The Presurfer: The Smallest Car You've Ever Seen
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