Articles and Interviews:
An Army of Temps: AFT 2020 Adjunct Faculty Quality of Work/Life Report
This new report from the American Federation of Teachers exposes the disturbing economic reality faced by millions of contingent and adjunct faculty at the nation's colleges and universities, with nearly 25% relying on public assistance and 40% having trouble covering basic household expenses. Feb. 2020.
Useful Campus Equity Week Links (2019)
Campus Equity Week is about recognizing the manifestations of inequity on college campuses first with regard to teaching working conditions, but also, by extension, student learning conditions. It is also about communicating these concerns beyond contingent faculty to our respective campus communities at large. By Geoff Johnson, AFTACC President. Sept. 2019.
Adjunct Professors Share Salaries and Working Conditions in a New Spreadsheet
After the “Art/Museum Salary Transparency” spreadsheet and the ensuing “Arts + Museums Transparency Internship Survey” made waves this summer, a new Google spreadsheet circulating on the web is allowing adjunct professors in colleges and universities to share their salaries and working conditions. The spreadsheet, simply titled “Adjuncts Rates,” has so far garnered about 250 entries from adjunct professors across the United States. The project was launched by Erin Bartram, a historian and academic. Sept. 2019.
Data Snapshot: Contingent Faculty in US Higher Ed by the American Association of University Professors
At all US institutions combined, the percentage of instructional positions that is off the tenure track amounted to 73 percent in 2016, the latest year for which data are available.
Confronting Biases Against Adjunct Faculty
~"The view that we adjuncts are inferior teachers or scholars who somehow deserve our lot makes less and less sense as time goes on," Angela B. Fulk argues. "In this piece, I will examine how bias toward adjuncts seems to play out among different groups: students, other faculty and administrators, in that order." Published by Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 2019.
Needed: Equitable Roles for Full-Time Instructors
~As academic departments at colleges and universities face higher enrollments without concomitant funding, more are turning to contingent full-time instructional faculty members to meet their needs. As a result, higher education has increasingly devolved into a pseudo-caste system -- with tenured and tenure-track faculty held in the highest esteem and receiving the largest salaries, while contingent full-time and part-time faculty languish with disproportionately heavier workloads and relatively low salaries. Published by Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 2019.
Worst Practices: How to Avoid Exploiting Contingent Faculty
~The article outlines the five categories of inequality faced by non-tenure-track faculty, and provides multiple examples of each. The five categories: hiring and promotion inequality, income inequality, benefits inequality, pedagogical inequality, and infrastructure inequality. By CCLIP and published by MLA Profession, Dec. 2018.
Austerity is Class War: The Social Wage and the Assault on Diversity
~"Educational laborers contend with administrators who often seem reluctant to protect us from the forces assailing our campuses. Many administrators avoid acknowledging the importance, or even the existence, of the social-wage compact. Expanding at a time of supposed austerity, university and college administrations are beholden to the corporate logic peddled by private consultants in the name of 'efficiency,' austerity’s avatar in polite company. The terms set by this corporate logic dictate a steady and lucrative increase of funds for administrators and private consultants and the concomitant pressure to strip the social wage for educational laborers. Tuition and student debt soar; job security mutates into precarious employment; spaces of reflection are ridiculed for sheltering 'snowflakes'." Published by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Nov.-Dec. 2018.
What Makes a Space "Safe": Adjuncts in the #MeToo Era
~Published by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the end of the article sums it up: "Following the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements’ vocal challenge to abuses of power, we must push back against the hypocrisy of administrations that issue abstract calls for 'diversity' and 'equality' while threatening and impoverishing their adjunct faculty. This is discrimination. This is harassment. This is not a 'safe space'." Nov.-Dec. 2018.
Modern Language Association, Profession Fall 2018: Contingent Labor
~The entire publication is filled with articles addressing contingent labor, such as "Adjuncts, Staff, and Solidarity," "Confessions of a Prize Heifer: From Adjunct to the Tenure Track," and "Common Good, Not Common Despair."
"The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2017-18"
~The AAUP (American Association of University Professors published their annual economic status report, and among their conclusions are, "Only 5 percent of reporting institutions indicated that they offer all part-time faculty members benefits. Another 33 percent of reporting institutions offer some benefits to part-time faculty." Apr. 2018.
"Adjunct Professors Step up Their Efforts to Increase Pay"
~The New York Times published an article by Phyllis Korkki that reports on a group of University of Pittsburgh faculty members exploring unionization as a way to press for changes that include higher adjunct salaries. Apr. 2018.
"Collective Bargaining, Shared Governance, and Academic Freedom: Creating Policies for Full-Time, Non-Tenure-Track Faculty at the University of Delaware"
~The American Association of University Professors publishes the Journal of Academic Freedom. This article by Gerald Turkel explains how "the interplay of unions powers, academic freedom principles, professional norms in the faculty senate, and actions by administrators combined to establish policies that provide significant academic freedom protections and employment security for full-time, non-tenure track faculty members." Vol. 8. 2017.
"Durbin, Franken Introduce Bill To Expand Public Service Loan Forgiveness To Adjunct Professors"
"At a time when adjunct faculty members now make up a majority of higher education instructors nationwide, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Al Franken (D-MN) today introduced legislation that would allow part-time faculty at colleges and universities across the country – who are often paid low wages with few benefits – to be eligible to participate in the federal student loan forgiveness program for public servants." Oct. 2017.
"Universities Take Steps to Improve Working Conditions for Adjuncts"
~The Chronical of Higher Education published an article by Nell Gluckman that reports on Penn State and others' attempt to create viable career paths for non-tenure track faculty. Apr. 2017.
"Professional Insecurity in a Fraught Environment"
~Inside Higher Ed published this article by Robert Samuels that brings attention to the dangers of having non-tenure-track faculty, new faculty majority in the U.S., rely on getting high student evaluations in order to keep their jobs or earn pay increases. "The emphasis on pleasing students not only can result in grade inflation and defensive teaching, but it also places the teacher in an impossible situation when dealing with political issues in a polarized environment." The author recommends a peer-review process. Apr. 2017.
"Just Wait Until I Get Tenure"
~CounterPunch published this article by Michael Yates that encourages everyone to advocate for positive change, now. Do not assume advocating will get easier or even happen when or if, in the future, you find yourself in a more stable position. Apr. 2017.
"The Great Shame of Our Profession: How the Humanities Survive on Exploitation"
~The Chronicle of Higher Education published this article by Kevin Birmingham that skillfully describes the exploitation of adjuncts in academia and how it affects everyone, not just the adjuncts. Feb. 2017.
Contingency, Exploitation, and Solidarity: Labor and Action in English Composition
~Various authors of this free, online book address five threads: strategies for self-advocacy; organizing within and across ranks; professionalizing in complex contexts; working for local changes to workload, pay, and material conditions; and protecting gains. Feb. 2017.
"Long-Awaited DOL Guidance Issued on Adjuncts’ Right to Unemployment Insurance"
~New Faculty Majority has published a statement regarding the new U.S. Dept. of Labor guidance that clarifies to state agencies how to understand adjunct employment and our right to unemployment insurance under the law. Dec. 2016.
U.S. Department of Labor, Unemployment Insurance Program Letter No. 5-17
~The U.S. Dept. of Labor revisited adjunct/contingent labor in higher education, and clarified the terms "contract" and "reasonable assurance [of employment]," two issues that have historically made qualifying for UI difficult. While the whole document is interesting, pages 4-10 are particularly important. Dec. 2016.
"True Stories From the Educated Underclass"
~Gawker published this article by Hamilton Nolan that offers a collective glimpse into what it is like to be a contingent/adjunct. This is one of several articles Nolan has contributed from 2013-2016 to Gawker regarding the lives of contingent/adjuncts. Apr. 2016.
"Organizing for Equity," "The U.S. of Adjuncts," "Helping Adjuncts with Student Debt," and "How to be an Ally"
~Various authors for NEA Higher Education Advocate, all articles published in Vol. 33, No. 4. Sept. 2015.
"Why the Backlash Against Adjuncts is an Indictment of the Tenure System"
~PBS Newshour published an article by Denise Cummins that "is in part an acknowledgement from full professors of just how meaningless the tenure division is; they know their adjunct peers are just as qualified to be sitting in their offices as they are. Aug. 2014.
"The Growing Reliance On Adjunct Professors"
~Guest host, Susan Page, leads the group discussion, as heard on The Diana Rehm Show. Apr. 2014.
"Part-Time Professors Demand Higher Pay; Will Colleges Listen?"
~Interview by Claudio Sanchez, heard on NPR's All Things Considered. Feb. 2014.
"Doing Higher Ed Right: Increasing education funding! Hiring full-time professors! Are these places for real?"
~Rebecca Schuman for Slate.com. Feb. 2014.
"The Just-In-Time Professor: A Staff Report Summarizing eForum Responses on the Working Conditions of Contingent Faculty in Higher Education"
~House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democratic Staff. Jan. 2014.
"Congress Takes Note: A new report on the impact of adjunct labor marks a new level of interest in Washington about the changing nature of the higher education workforce."
~Colleen Flaherty for Insidehighered.com. Jan. 2014.