Showing posts from 2009

Double Adjunct Pay = Raise Number of Full-Time Professors

In a meeting of chairs in University College on Wednesday, I suggested that we should advocate doubling adjunct salaries. This would, it seemed to me, address several problems currently plaguing the university. 1. It would put the university in a better moral position. Exploitation of the people who work for you, the people who bring in the tenure dollars you operate on, is immoral. 2. It would make it less profitable to teach up to 86% (History) or 69% (English) or 80% (Humanities) of your classes with adjunct professors. If it is less profitable to do so, then it's easier to think about how to hire more full-time professors, even in hard economic times. 3. Absent the cash cow that adjuncts are, we would think better about more fully staffing departments. A larger set of full-timers leads to a better sharing of committee work and to better teaching. Forrest Williams liked the idea, and added the thought that if department chairs all refused to open new sections with adjuncts,

Discussion about adjunct teaching and lectureships at John Jay

A very interesting discussion, I think, about teaching as contingent faculty

Adjunct Professor Without Insurance

Westminster loses revered professor Doug Wright » Philosopher of the arts-engaged students, faced cancer without insurance. By Brian Maffly The Salt Lake Tribune Updated: 12/04/2009 04:46:21 PM MST Doug Wright, a Westminster College philosophy professor revered for his ability to show students and colleagues the artistic wonder of everyday life, has succumbed to cancer. Many Westminster students claimed Wright as an important mentor in their lives. Jennifer Niedfeldt, an honors student from Salt Lake City, took four of Wright's courses, including his famous "Meaning and Movement in the Arts." "He used humor to connect with other people. He was the least judgmental person you would ever meet. Even if he didn't know you, he had this love of you and what you could be," said Niedfeldt, who graduated in May with a degree in environmental studies. "He would find that small, vulnerable part of a person and make them feel really safe." Wright, who died la

Adjunct Faculty: From the Chronicle

David Keller passed this along: November 1, 2009 When Adjuncts Push for Better Status, Better PayFollows, Study Suggests By Peter Schmidt If adjunct faculty members want to improve their working conditions, they might be better off focusing less on bread­and-butter concerns and more on securing their place at the table, a new study suggests. The study, being presented this week at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, examined 30 North American colleges at which full-and part-time adjunct faculty members had gained benefits or some other improvement in their workplace. It concluded that adjuncts had made the most progress at colleges where they tried to transform the campus climate to be more inclusive of them, rather than simply fighting to change one employer practice at a time. "Contingent faculty leaders
Professors fear erosion of the freedom of speech By Sara Israelsen-Hartley Deseret News Published: Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009 10:37 p.m. MST PROVO — The First Amendment is designed to protect you when you speak, but what if it didn't anymore? That's the concern of the American Association of University Professors, which issued a report last week, "Speak Up, Speak Out: Protect the Faculty Voice," an in-depth look at a Supreme Court decision that has permanently changed the way public employees speak and could potentially affect university professors in the same damaging ways. "Real education is impossible without academic freedom for faculty and students," said Utah Valley University philosophy professor Scott Abbott, chairman of the university's AAUP chapter. "It's all interwoven. If you start restraining academic freedom in one area, it would trickle down. I could imagine a whole culture where people are afraid to say what they think." The pote

12 new lectureships

Matt Holland said in the senate meeting on Tuesday that there were going to be 12 new 3-semester lectureships, a response to the number of our classes currently being taught by adjunct faculty members. Obviously we need more full-timers, so in that sense this is a good step. And if some of our best adjuncts are hired for these positions, it will be doubly good. But somewhere thinking this through it all gets complicated. Departments need tenure-track faculty members hired through national searches, and this doesn't help that. Adjuncts who have taught here well over time deserve some kind of job security, along with better pay, and this doesn't address that for most of them.

Chronicle Article on Adjunct Professors and Student Needs

David Keller sent this. Here's a link and also the article. The Chronicle Review   October 20, 2009 If Colleges Valued Students, They'd Value Adjuncts By Isaac Sweeney I walk down the noisy hallway, where the students push and shove their way into the narrow stairway they use between classes. I break from the crowd and glance to my right. Through the half-closed blinds on the glass doors, I see most of my colleagues gathered in the conference room. They look serious, intently listening to the one in the corner, who seems to be giving the speech of his life. I am witnessing important business, I think to myself. I am an adjunct instructor in an innovative writing department in Virginia. It doesn't take long for me to realize that I'm looking into a conference room of full-time

Adjunct Faculty Members at UVU

I am making waves in my department right now to raise the pay for adjuncts regardless of university policy or legislative decree.  I am supported by some of my colleagues, but exactly what to do is yet undecided.  My argument is this: We pay our adjuncts such a low rate that any time given by them toward their classes outside of class time lowers their pay toward the minimum wage.  That, along with the need to work several jobs to make up for the paltry wages earned as adjuncts at our school, makes it prohibitive for adjunct faculty to commit to writing assignments and other projects which allow for critical thinking and the development of those skills.  Our pay scale for part-time teachers promotes a memorization/regurgitation model of education (if you can call it that).  Our students are not taught valuable skills, our programs are not motivated to develop toward more mature standards, and our students will not be equipped with the necessary skills to compete with graduates of bette

Adjunct Faculty Members at UVU

There is a new report from the national AAUP on "Conversions of Appointments to the Tenure Track (2009)":   They note there that we're not alone as a university most of whose classes are taught by adjunct faculty members: "By 2007 . . . almost 70 percent of faculty members were employed off the tenure track." They see universities at a tipping point: "In addition to injuries to students, campuses that overuse contingent appointments show higher levels of disengagement and disaffection among faculty, even those with more secure positions. The committee sees a steadily shrinking minority, faculty with tenure, as increasingly unable to protect academic freedom, professional autonomies, and the faculty role in governance for themselves -- much less for the contingent majority." This might be an issue we should take on, and would include at least these two intimately interwoven aspects: 1. raising adjunc