Showing posts from 2012

Academic Freedom and Proposed Policy 601

Colleagues, At the request of various people I have looked at the draft of Policy 601 that is being considered by the Faculty Senate and wrote the following.  I will appreciate your comments. Proposed Policy 601 .  Colleagues,  As it stands, the draft of Policy 601 creates an unwieldy structure to meet good, ethical ends that also violates academic freedom.  As a result, the policy should be rejected and thoroughly re-conceived before continuing forward.   The valuable ends of this policy include establishing expectations of professional conduct and of recognizing the legitimacy of some pedagogical ends, such as course accommodations based on disability and religion.  Nevertheless how it does so makes of those ends a problem such that in many cases it puts excessive detail as a proxy which then either does not meet the requirement or changes the nature of the classroom in ways that remove the freedom of the professor to make appropriate professional determinations

Professors blast UVU re-application as ‘purging policy’

Professors blast UVU re-application as ‘purging policy’ Higher ed • Administrators defend requiring adjuncts to re-apply for their posts each spring. By Brian Maffly The Salt Lake Tribune Published: May 14, 2012 09:14AM Updated: May 13, 2012 11:41PM Utah Valley University adjunct professors are pushing back against a requirement that they re-apply for their posts each spring, saying it disrespects the part-timers who do most of the teaching at the Orem campus. UVU officials have billed the requirement as a housekeeping measure that has little bearing on actual hiring decisions, which remain with department heads. But some professors — tenured and adjunct alike — are making no secret of their displeasure of what they call a “purging policy,” devised without faculty input. “Instead of recognizing our essential contribution, the university not only discriminates against us, it humiliates us,” wrote adjunct Edwin Firmage in a recent opinion piece published by UVU’s student newspaper.

Disposable Professors

An interesting article about the use of contingent faculty:

The Business of Education and Other Lies: Ed Firmage in the UVU Review

The business of education and other lies I t’s axiomatic today that organizations are best run like a business. In reality, however, it’s because we’ve been running everything like a business that our civilization now faces a multitude of systemic, possibly fatal problems. Among these is the decline in the quality of education. Last week, I wrote about the compensation gap that separates full-time from adjunct faculty at UVU. The gap is a manifestation of what writer Wendell Berry calls the “divide and conquer strategy of industry,” which destroys natural communities such as a faculty for the sake of short-term efficiency and profit. This compensation gap is the result of the university’s borrowing its operating paradigm from business. Full-time faculty salaries, especially in science and technology, are thus directly linked to those in industry. The trouble with this practice is that unlike industry, universities are not, and should not be, profit centers, the so-called “

Ed Firmage's Essay "Wage Slaves in the Ivory Tower"

From the UVU Review, March 26, 2012 Wage slaves in the ivory tower The glass ceiling for UVU’s adjunct faculty has been questioned. Illustration by John-Ross Boyce. S ome weeks ago, the UVU Review ran a story about the gap in pay for faculty men and women. According to the story, the average annual salary for male faculty at UVU is $73,000, while that for female faculty is $71,000. Clearly, despite official policy, sexual discrimination is alive at UVU. But women faculty have this consolation: sexual discrimination is not policy. There is a faculty group, however, that have no such consolation: UVU’s dedicated, talented and essential adjunct instructors, who constitute two-thirds of UVU’s teachers. In the case of adjuncts, the discrimination is on a scale that makes the school’s gender bias pale in comparison. And, it is deliberate and systematic. Let’s take my own case. I presently teach two classes totaling seven credit hours. For this, I receive a monthly check