Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Now With Global Warming Trolling

"Disparity in ... pay scale": Maria C. Maisto's letter to the Akron Beacon-Journal.

Some photos from COCAL VIII by Jeanette Jeneault.



2009 NYSUT RA Resolution
United University Professions


WHEREAS, in light of the financial crisis facing the
nation and higher education, NYSUT and its affiliates
affirm the following:
RESOLVED, that academic freedom and economic security for
all faculty and professional staff are necessary for the
success of academic institutions; and be it further
RESOLVED, that no cost-saving measures be considered that
contravene existing contracts resulting from collective
bargaining; and be it further
RESOLVED, that no work-force reductions be made for
budgetary reasons; and be it further
RESOLVED, that universities “open the books” to share full
information with the faculty on the state of university
finances; and be it further
RESOLVED, that university boards of trustees establish
meaningful governance structures for trustee-faculty
communication about fiscal and academic matters not
covered by collective bargaining agreements; and be it
further
RESOLVED, that university officers indicate publicly what
cost-saving measures will be taken vis-à-vis
administrative structures that have expanded dramatically
in recent years; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the current economic crisis should not be
used as a pretext to reduce retiree benefits or to lessen
the rights and worsen the working conditions of contingent
and contractual labor; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the current economic crisis should not used
as a pretext to reduce access to students from
historically underrepresented groups through the
diminution or elimination of financial aid/access
programs; and be it further
RESOLVED, that academic institutions must protect
initiatives designed to develop, hire, mentor and retain
faculty and professionals from historically
underrepresented groups; and be it further
RESOLVED, and that students should not bear the brunt of
the current economic crisis through increased tuition and
class size and reduced resources.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho.

The Florida Higher Education Accountability Project came to my attention by way of a comment about this post (by S. Dorn). Looks like it's right up my alley. I'll look into it after Cursemas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Who Do I @#$% To Get Out Of This Picture

"Not being allowed to be who one is, when to be who one is was what one was told was the job requirement, is my problem with academia." Long live Professor Zero. Axé.

Monday, December 22, 2008

aka freeway fliers

teachers on wheels is a set of YouTube videos (part 1, part 2, and part 3) documenting various CPFA actions from the first part of the century. I don't usually bother with videos and these haven't changed my mind (except to the extent that I did actually play 'em all the way through). Still, they could be a darn good organizing tool in the right hands. Audacity of hope and all that. (Hat-tip: Marc B.)

No Retreat, No Surrender
Pat Korte: "New School Occupation Enters Second Day".

What in the hell ...
...is radical scholarship?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unpublished In San Antonio

THE “ADJUNCT” FACULTY MYTH

Your taxes and your children’s future

Betrayed

G. Davey, Ph. D.


“Teacher’s Working Conditions are Student’s Learning Conditions.”

All of us as children and as adults learn and accept certain beliefs to help make our world seem a bit more friendly and caring than it often is. In our society we all know that every drug company says that their “customers” come first – that we - you and I – come first. Every politician says that “the people”- you and I - come first. Every airline, every oil company, every business of every type in existence, places “us” first. And every college and every community college puts it’s “students” – our children, our neighbors children and us – first, don’t they? Yet, we all know that being placed first sure still feels like being placed last.
One of those myths is destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of college level educators in San Antonio and around our country and crippling the future of our children and we are supporting it through out tax dollars. It is perpetuated by administrators in our community colleges and increasingly in other areas of higher education. It’s the myth of the “adjunct” faculty.
We all know the old myth that adjunct faculty are just a few – usually older and sometimes retired – professionals or people who’ve worked in their field for years and want to give back to their communities or colleges. That – sixty years ago – was what adjuncts mostly were. They were few. They were specialists with practical experience. An extra and a blessing! But all that’s changed in the community colleges and most of the colleges you or your children attend or will attend. The “adjunct” faculty are now the MAJORITY of faculty in two year schools and nearly half of the faculty in all Universities nationwide! Why? And if adjuncts are the majority of faculty, in what way are they still adjuncts?
The answer is devastating for them and for you and your children. And no one seems to even notice.
The only way that “adjuncts” are still adjunct is in lack of pay, lack of health and disability insurance, lack of resources necessary to keep up in their fields, lack of retirement and lack of job security. In short, lack of just about everything that you and I once took for granted and necessary as part of having “a job” in America.
Administrators figured out a long time ago that they could do more with less by gradually replacing full-time faculty who had benefits, retirement, appropriate pay scales and who needed costly “resources” to keep up in their fields – like going to conferences, being able to spend time writing and researching and advancing knowledge - with “adjuncts,” people who by definition would receive none of those. They could save a bundle.
Beginning in the early 1970’s there were lots of young M.A.’s and Ph.D.’s - too many in fact - and that trend has continued ever since. Major universities need them to teach their own undergraduate courses cheaply so that senior faculty could concentrate on advanced students – which they always need more of! When you’re young of course you’re pretty confident and think: I’ll be one of those few who get those good jobs! Right?
So, just as community colleges and colleges in San Antonio and across the country had began to have heavier and heavier enrollments and needed more and more equipment, they also had available more and more talented young teachers who needed a job, and for most of them, just about any job - as long as they were teaching - would do.
Would they be willing to work without long-term contracts or tenure? Yes. Would they be willing to work without health insurance or retirement benefits? Yes! After all, young people hardly ever worry about such things – until, of course, they aren’t young anymore! Would they be willing to work for less pay - MUCH less pay? Yes. There was always a chance that they would eventually get that full-time, tenure track position with health insurance and retirement and the money to go to conferences and learn new things in their field and maybe even publish new discoveries, right? It was almost as though they’d do it for nothing. And sadly, many have come very, very close to doing just that. And as hundreds of thousands have had to learn for themselves – you’re not young forever.
So today, all those full-time professors who used to sit in their offices keeping current in their fields and almost always willing to sit down and talk with a student about their grades, their lives, their courses, their girl friends or boy friends, are dwindling away. They are getting older and older, and soon will be gone entirely.
What will be there in their place?
Not new, young, inspired and available professors, that’s for sure! That takes too much money – money that could be better spent on buildings and high salaries for administrators and high-priced marketing firms pushing higher enrollments! And the legislature couldn’t be happier! So all those full-time, expensive professors are being replaced by “adjuncts,” who don’t have those resources, that time, those offices, nor funds to keep up in and contribute to their fields!
And best of all, the public doesn’t even know!
“Adjuncts” have to teach as many as twice as many classes in order to earn half the pay of their predecessors. Their offices are most often their cars, as pointed out in Melissa Ludwig’s superb article in the Express News last month. Their doctors – when they get sick or need medical treatment – are Emergency Room physicians who are overwhelmed with acute medical needs of accident victims, stroke victims and people who have had a heart attack. You know – people like you and I that need attention now because it’s an “emergency.”
And when they get older – and many are getting older much faster now – will they retire? Of course not! Where will their money come from? Nothing has been set aside from their employers for retirement. Many will work until they can’t stand anymore. Terrific for their students, right? And then what?
And only God himself – and public charities - can help them if they’re hurt in an accident or become too ill to work.
So, how will our students do? Won’t they also bear the cost? You bet!
The quality of education goes down, no matter how bright and idealistic and dedicated those professors are. Imagine you and your family having none of the things that you rely on to as the necessities of life. How well would you do your job decade after decade under those circumstances? How innovative would you be as the years wen’t on? How creative? How energetic? How inspiring if you teach?
All of this has been made possible by continuing to perpetuate a simple lie: that the new, so-called “adjunct” faculty are truly adjuncts at all.
Nationwide, 45% of the college professors in America (and more than 50% in community colleges) are employed as “adjuncts” working without the bare necessities for doing their job or keeping their families safe and fed. If anything is a national disgrace, it’s that. And the future of our country – the success of your children - depends on them.
The most important and influential national educational organizations, such as The American Association of University Professors (www.aaup.org) have been arguing and pleading for years to bring this horrible and tragically short sided, and inhumane practice to an end. And administrations – and Legislatures – everywhere turn a deaf ear. That ear is deaf to them, but it’s just as deaf to you, your children and their future as well.
I ask you, my fellow citizens in San Antonio and Bexar County, what kind of educational institutions do you want for yourselves and your children? What kind of jobs do you want them to be qualified for when they graduate?
You have to care. You have to get involved! You have to tell the Presidents and the Chancellors and our Legislators that their jobs depend on creating and supporting a real faculty where your children’s teachers can work at one institution, not two or three simultaneously; where they have the resources that they need to do their jobs and the basic necessities of life and the necessary resources to keep active in their field so that they don’t have to spend every waking moment worrying about themselves and their families. Every moment spent on those basic worries is not being spent on helping your children who are their students and whose future is dependent on them!
There’s a widely used expression today – not my creation – that is absolutely true and everyone should learn to use it! “Teacher’s Working Conditions are Student’s Learning Conditions.” Our primary and secondary school teachers have all the things that we lack – though not everything that they need, I’m sure – but they have unions and legislature’s would be terrified to support a system for them like that used in community colleges and state universities. Unfortunately or not, the days when a high school education was sufficient for real success in life are long, long gone. You and I know that well.
So, if you or your children or your neighbors or their children attend any of the ACC colleges, start coming to the ACC Board of Trustees meetings at 201 Sheridan Ave. every Third Thursday of the month and demand that the Trustees, your representatives, solve this problem! We need thousands of citizens there! Demand that they require the state Legislature to listen and fund your children’s futures instead of their own pockets. And demand that college and university officials who defend the status quo be replaced. They are stealing your children’s futures!!!
Only if you do that, will your own families and our communities have a future. Focus on lifting the veil of lies, focus on ending the “adjunct” faculty fraud – because that’s exactly what it is.
Gerald J. Davey, Ph. D.
Adjunct Faculty, San Antonio College
BIOG:: Dr. Davey has taught at San Antonio College since 2001. He holds a Ph. D. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Iowa and a Master of Divinity from the Chicago Theological Seminary, where he was a President’s Prize Fellow. He has served as an elected representative on the Adjunct Faculty Council, as Adjunct Representative to the Academic Council and other institutional committees at San Antonio College. He is a member of the Kappa Alpha Tau Honor Society for academic excellence in journalism and mass communication, a NISOD Excellence award winner in 2006, winner of the 2005-2006 San Antonio College Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award and was named a “Top Professor in San Antonio” by San Antonio College in 2006.

Smile When You Say That

"Why adjunct is a dirty word", by Dr. Davis.

Marc B. proposes some new legislation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Keith Hoeller Needs A Blog

Jack Longmate's "State of the Contingent" presentation, reprinted at the (very slow-loading) Oregon COCAL site.

"Defining Adjunct Rights" in yesterday's IHE (S. Jaschik more or less of course). Even more than the usual crankery in the comments.

I haven't been following the coverage of AFT's Reversing Course. But maybe I'll take a look.

"Class consciousness in the lumpenbourgeoisie", spotted at Professor Zero.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rarely Have We Seen A Person Fail ...

Marc B. on Steve Street's recent Chronicle piece (bonus: plug for Iron Jawed Angels).

In Other adj-l Related News ...
Adjunct marginalization in NEA (at IHE; cites Jack Longmate).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Just The Facts

Ruthi Erdman of adj-l placed a letter to the NY Times in the Sunday Magazine. And all I did was fill in the crossword.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

To The Barricades

COCAL VIII is this weekend; I won't be there of course. Marc B. has posted a preview.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Will Organize For Food

The AP profiles Cary Nelson; Marc B puts it in his blog. Jonathan Rees comments in (the newly-discovered-by-me) More or Less Bunk.
" 'Tenured radical’ tries to revive professors group" (ASSOCIATED PRESS); Wednesday, July 16, 2008; Justin Pope.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Until We Have Contracts

"Academic to be disciplined for offering extra lessons", in Bullying of Academics.

Marc B. is eloquent as usual in this Brainstorm thread on the "job market".

Winning at George Washington U. in the "Advocate"(!).


"The Seven Year Itch"; Kip Lornell; Adjunct Advocate; May/June 2008.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

No Carnival Of Mathematics This Fortnight

This CoE announcement at The Scholastic Scribe is pretty amusing.

No. But we could sure use one. Is edwize the Roy (alicublog) Edroso of Education? And then who does that make Flypaper?—National Review, I suppose.

Strike that "healthcare for the sick" crack. Student health services under the axe, at IHE.

Quit Now Avoid The Rush."Retiring Tenure?", by Craig Smith.


"Heller High Water: Rightbloggers on Gays, Guns, and Goofy Cartoon Robots", RE in th' Voice, June 30, 2008.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Just as if ..."

Unemployment compensation for the unemployed? Indiana Supreme Court says OK. (What next? Healthcare for the sick?) Chicago COCAL has been a leader in this area; the (PDF) Berry, Stewart, & Worthen document is (somewhat surprisingly) linked in the story.

"[S]ending detectives to the homes of trustees is ... long overdue". Oh yeah.


"Legal Win for Indiana Faculty Who Aren’t Renewed"; Andy Guess; IHE; June 23, 2008.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Now Without Italian Autonomixt Marxists

Bousquet's "Academic Labor Bookshelf" mentions your humble narrator. Also, if I guess rightly, this publications list by one Wayne Ross. But mostly, as its title suggests, it's a list of good old-fashioned offline books. I'd like to spend about a month alone in this guy's office.

Instant Update. This post on cataloging research appeared today in FACE Talk. Is this an end-of-academic-year thing or what?

I Just Tune It Out. Recent posts at On The Tenure Track, University Diaries, and Burnt Out Adjunct on the pernicious effects of new media on literacy. Is it ironic that BOA is itself badly marred by widgets making loading slow?

A Plague On Both Your Houses. "The Crossroads Of American Educational Politics" (at edwise): if you enjoy reading about the neverending debates about how (never whether) to push people around as much as I do, don't miss this thrilling episode of The Clueless Rich.

Who Guards The Guardians? A review of The Students Are Watching, by samjshah.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Voice Cries Out

Here's some righteous outrage about incomptence and log-rolling in the testing-and-publishing racket, at The Chancellor's New Clothes. This appears to be part of some ongoing vendetta against McGraw-Hill by the joint authors ("A Voice in the Wilderness" and "Learners Inherit the Earth"). Good. Including the link to this anti-testing piece in The Nation was also very commendable.

Also spotted today: a favorable review for a remediation program, by Margaret UD Soltan (blogging at IHE). The basement of the tower is mentioned.


"Reading Between the Lines"; Stephen Metcalf; January 28, 2002.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Freshman Typo ("Lead" For "Led") Posted By Writing Teacher

Gregory Zobel interviews Joe Berry and Marc Bousquet. Didn't I just link to posts about those very same guys at that very same blog earlier this week? Yes, I did, wiseguy.

You might as well just go ahead and add Adjunct Advice to your own blogroll. I'll be doggoned if I'm gonna go on publicly admitting that Zobel's much better at this than I am.

They Call Me Mister Whore!

A review of HTUW appeared a couple days ago in Narratives. Do you have to deny your humanity to succeed in academics? Of course not. But it sure helps.

Then there's Disciplined Minds (here's my review [2002]): for some reason I haven't seen any discussion of this one lately; that's a shame. Heck, I haven't even seen the book itself lately ... I "lent out" my copy and we all know what that means ...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dream Machines

Bousquet's most recent post plugs COCAL VIII and is cross-posted here at the Chronicle's offshoot e-zine Brainstorm, where it's generated some interesting comments (having very little to do with the post itself ... but interesting just the same).

Well and good. Bousquet links (at his own page, but, weirdly, not in Brainstorm) to a short academic-labor bibliography by his co-brainstormer Mark Bauerlein. Who links in his turn to ... well, here my troubles begin. As of now, the article in question is here, and a fine piece is is too. But the Chronicle un-posts its stories after some few weeks and hides 'em behind a subscription wall. And this is too much of a concession to timeliness for my taste. I get ticked off when people post links to stories that require me even to "sign in" to something, never mind pay ... so I'm ethically bound not to post such pseudo-links myself (or, of course, to stop being ticked off ... but that's unlikely).

The really disgusting thing (also linked by Bauerlein) is this enormous list of Chronicle pieces on "Tenure and Labor Relations in Academe". Could somebody with some influence please tell these clods what the web is for? Surely they're not selling any subscriptions by limiting access to what ought to be their own best advertisement.


"THE STATE OF LITERARY THEORY: Why Today's Publishing World Is Reprising the Past"; Jeffrey J. Williams; June 13, 2008 (hey, that's tomorrow).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Tipping Point

This piece today at Oregon COCAL leads to info about The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities, by Frank Donoghue. Might be worth looking into. I'm about done on the day, though.

No, wait. Lesko v. AFT. Now I'm done.


"The Last Professors"; Scott Jaschik, June 11, 2008; IHE.

Monday, June 9, 2008

WPA = "Writing Program Administration"

Gary Zobel has recently posted quotes from How the University Works and Reclaiming the Ivory Tower in his Adjunct Advice blog (the authors of these books—both still unread by me—are, as I hinted in my second post, leading figures in the contingent-academic-labor movement). Also there's an interview with Craig Smith of AFT's FACE Talk. What the devil any of it has to do with Bedford/St.Martin's is unclear.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tiny Montgomery Says Hello

Breaking news: the following was posted to adj-l today. K. Hoeller provided the press coverage shortly thereafter. Hey. I didn't even know SEIU was involved in this struggle. Fabulous.

With pride and with slight change to the text, I am copying here two paragraphs from an email that just arrived:

Yesterday evening, with part-time faculty members Alan Stover and Terilee Edwards-Hewitt monitoring the counting of the last remaining ballots, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation announced the final tally for our election. By a margin of more than three-to-one, Maryland's Montgomery College adjunct faculty overwhelmingly voted to unite together with SEIU.

A round of applause broke out in the room as officials from the labor board read off the 250th vote for SEIU, marking a clear victory for adjuncts. As the vote count continued to climb past 300... then 350... and all the way to 365, instructors who had turned out to watch the vote count began hugging and congratulating one another. When all the ballots were counted, the final results was 365 YES votes to 105 no votes.

Deepest thanks to Alan, Terilee, and everyone at MC who worked toward this goal, and for everyone in Maryland and across North America who speaks truth to power on issues of fairness in adjunct employment. This is a first and mighty step forward for adjunct professors at Montgomery College.

Rebecca M. Trussell


"Montgomery College part-time faculty agrees to unionize"; Wednesday, June 4, 2008.

I Pity The Poor Billionaire

"The Value of a Textbook", Monday in IHE, is typical "capitalism is doing everybody a big fat favor by ripping us off; bend over and take it like a man" asssume-everybody-is-a-moron boilerplate uselessness ... but wait! There are some interesting comments, including one by Grover Furr referring to this thread from last year wherein he explains why textbooks should be free (there are other good comments there, too). All of which gives me a quasi-plausible excuse to link to this ancient letter to the editor by me (shrink the window). Oh, gee.

Here's a related post from my math-ed blog.

Arms Extended In Prayer

In this piece in McSweeney's, Oronte Churm announced his column in IHE. He's decloaked in this interview.
"On Apophasis"; 12/22/06.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

"Professional Development for Adjuncts", yesterday in IHE. Hey, maybe after actually teaching classes for twenty fucking years I know more about it than some buzzword-slinging rainmaker. But gee, on the other hand, look how well this strategy has worked in the public schools!

Here's a rant by me from shortly after I was derailed from TT (1997?). Nobody seems ever to've read it but me. Shrink the window to the size of a column if you want to be the first. The e-mail there is way out of date (so comment here or find the real one in Vlorblog if you want to get in touch).

Tirelli on CUNY

Vinny Tirelli founded adj-l in 1998 (& posted this history there yesterday).

Prior to 2000, when the current PSC leadership (the New Caucus) won their positions, the old leadership (since the 1970s) had not enforced the agency shop fee for part-time faculty. This discouraged part-time faculty from joining the union and paying dues, thereby becoming voting members. The dues were a flat rate -- for part-timers I think it was about $240 per year when last implemented. There was never more than about 600-800 part-timers who joined the union (out of about 7000-9000). The part-time activists themselves campaigned forcefully and over a long period of time for the union to enforce the agency fee so that it would be easier for us to get part-timers to join the union and vote (i.e., if they were already paying agency fee, then it wouldn't be onerous to join the union and translate that into union dues instead -- we'd been trying since the 8 0's to get the union to implement this). The old leadership wouldn't implement it, but when the new leaders came in (2000) they agreed with the part-time activists, instituted the agency fee, and restructured the dues so that we were not paying a flat rate, but a percentage (1.0% -- which is much better for those teaching only a couple of classes per year, whereas for those teaching a larger "part-time" load, it's not much different. Senior full time faculty pay a little more - 1.05%). Today there are about 4500 part-time faculty in the union as dues paying voting members (out of 9000-10,000 in any given semester). As you all know, there is a frequent turnover, and that is part of the problem with regard to continuity and mobilization. The union has paid (part-time) organizers on the various campuses who work to keep these numbers up. The disparity in salaries remain, though in the first contract negotiated by the new leadership (200 2?) part-time faculty who are teaching two or more classes on one campus get paid for an office hour (equivalent to another credit-hour -- e.g., 6 hours of credits gets paid as 7 with the extra one for an office or professional hour). We've got a ways to go, but let's not discount the gains -- in terms of political voice, we have a seat at the table as voting members. That is no small accomplishment. Now we have to turn that into more significant contractual gains - not an easy task when budget cuts are looming and inequality is thriving.


"The bane of part-time faculty: satisfying work, lousy benefits"; Bridget Murray; APA Monitor December 1998.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Surely ... A Mistake"

"Academic Life vs Personal Life", by Dr. Crazy (yesterday in Reassigned Time).

Clueless About HTML

I quit reading University Diaries for a while there; I can't tell why. Anyhow, this update on U Toledo is a good place to jump (back) in: just follow the links for the story of a train-wreck even worse than the one you probably work in. The inexplicably huge type can be made to shrink; her stuff in IHE, on the other hand, has to be enlarged—but is very hard to read even then since it won't shrink to fit in the appropriate window.

Teaching Isn't Work: NLRB

This book review tells the story of The University Against Itself: the (failed) 2005 NYU strike.
"It's Not Just Academic: Union Rights On Campus"; Jason Kosnoski; City Limits; May 27, 2008.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Brown Versus Getting An Education

The AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers (UAW) today filed a complaint against the United States government with the International Labor Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations, alleging that a 2004 decision by the Bush-dominated National Labor Relations Board in the Brown University case violates workers’ rights to the freedom of association. The complaint alleges that by denying teaching assistants and research assistants at private universities the right to join unions and engage in collective bargaining, the NLRB has violated workers’ rights under internationally recognized core labor standards ...

—from this post at the AFL-CIO "mediacenter". OK--people always seem to want to talk about big national issues instead of the local stuff they might actually be able to do something about (like organizing). Why not go international?

Also covered in Academe and mentioned in this AFT On Campus piece.


"AFL-CIO and UAW File Complaint With UN Protesting Bush Labor Board Denying Teaching and Research Assistants' Freedom to Form Union"; February 26, 2007

In The Truth There Is No News

This undated piece in Labor Notes was evidently reprinted in the Monthly Review. Somebody on the list sez
This is the best press on PT issues I've seen in a long time,
unsubordinated as they are here to tenure or budgetary or "quality of education" concerns.

"Part-Time Professors: Little Pay. No Pensions. No Health Care. No Seniority. Now Organizing Unions."; by Paul Abowd; Monthly Review February 29, 2008.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blogging As "Captain Adjunct"

Hey, this Tonkovich guy is pretty good. The throbbing ads settle down after a while so you can read.
"Jesus Glasses! Joseph II! Historical Mythology!"; May 21, 2008; oc register (Orange Co., CA).

Beneath The Surface Of The Mud

I read the whole thing yesterday. (In hard copy! In an actual library!) Pretty good for the Atlantic (usually their stuff is (i) dead wrong and (ii) way too long).

Blog comments have appeared at Kitchen Table Math (where I first heard of the story), Community College English, McClain's College Reader, American Power, DISSENT the BLOG, and, presumably, others (JFGI).


"In the Basement of the Ivory Tower"; Professor X; June 2008.

COCAL History

Posted in adj-l today; a modified (by Mary Ellen Goodwin) version of a document originally by Chris Storer (for COCAL IV). HTML by me. PS: COCAL VIII.


A Brief History of the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor

In December 1996, the first National Congress of Adjunct, Part-time, GTA, and Non-Tenure Track Faculty Conference was held in D.C. This conference ran concurrent with the Modern Language Association (MLA) conference in D.C. that year, at which the Graduate Student Caucus held a panel (moderated by Eric Marshall) on "Making the MLA More Proactive" in part-time faculty issues. Both the MLA panel and the National Congress conference were well-attended and very successful (attracting people from all over the country).

Vinny Tirelli revived his ADJ-L listserve which continued the discussions that developed during the Washington conference. In April 1998, Vinny Tirelli, Eric Marshall, and others organized the 2nd Annual National Congress conference at the CUNY Grad Center in NYC. The e-journal, Workplace was officially launched at the opening session. Cary Nelson and Stanley Aronowitz were keynote speakers.

The group renamed itself "The Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL)," and a steering committee was formed. It was decided that the 3rd Annual conference would be held the following year in Boston in April 1999. This conference was hosted by activists from the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMB) Part-time Faculty Committee of the Faculty-Staff Union (FSU), an affiliate of the National Education Association.

Building on earlier success from 1986, and with state budget surpluses emerging out of the recession of the early seventies, the Part-time Faculty Committee spurred FSU to vigorous support of part-time faculty issues. They achieved major gains in June 1998, including the reclassification of PT faculty teach two sections as salaried half-time employees with full medical, dental, and retirement benefits, and a floor of $4000.00/course. These successes inspired other faculty in the Boston area where there are 58 separate institutions of higher education. However, since most of these colleges had no union, part-time faculty from other colleges began to join with those at UMB, making the April 1999 conference a base for the Boston Project, now in its second year of demonstrating the success of regional coalition. Led by Gary Zabel and other part-time faculty activists, the Boston Project has worked closely with established organizations such as the American Association of University Professors, local affiliates of the National Education Association, the United Auto Workers Union, etc., and a variety of contingent labor support groups.

Faculty leaders of the California Part-time Faculty Association (CPFA), linking with their East coast colleagues through internet listservs and email, met for their Annual Plenary in June 2000 and decided that CPFA successes from building a statewide coalition would be furthered by expanded outreach. The meeting resolved to join the National Alliance for Fair Employment (NAFFE), and to host COCAL IV, the first West Coast National Conference on Contingent Academic Labor, in January 2001.

The idea for Campus Equity Week (CEW/FEW) was conceived during the conference and a resolution was passed to hold the first Campus Equity week in the fall of 2001.

COCAL V was hosted by the Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association (CUPFA) at Concordia University in October of 2002. The conference passed the Montreal Declaration (a document recognizing our contributions to higher education and our continued struggle in light of increased corporatization, scarcity of resources, competition between institutions, the flexible labor market, and degeneration of working conditions). COCAL V was the first trilingual conference with sessions translated in English, French and Spanish.

Roosevelt University in Chicago was the venue for COCAL VI and COCAL VII was held in Vancouver, BC.


"The Future of the Contingent Faculty Movement", Keith Hoeller; IHE; Nov. 13 (2007).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

There's An Old Paltz?

The CCF Newsroom (SUNY's Coalition for Contingent Faculty) led me to this story from 11/05 among lots of other cool links; Steve Street gave me the lead. Oh, and Matthew Henry Hall's Higher Ed Cartoons (weekly in IHE; others)

Also at SUNY: United University Professions.


"Seeking Stable Ground: Unions address the precarious lot of full-time, nontenure-track faculty"; Virginia Myers Kelly; AFT.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What No Basketball

Indiana U's GEO (Graduate Employees Organization) has a blog (spotted at CGEU: the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions). It's very seldom updated, though, so I haven't listed it on the b'roll (at right). I was at IU for mumbledy-mumble years.

Here's some more on the Cali loyalty-oath story, yesterday at Academic Cog. Turns out this wasn't the first time this season (HT: this post in The Rebel Letter).

This 2005 piece can also be read here if for some reason you like clicking through lots of ads.


"Contingent teaching, corporate universities, and the academic labor movement"; Joseph Entin; Radical Teacher; Summer 2005.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Creepy Treehouses

If you build it, they will run away laughing: old dudes trying to look cool yesterday in Burnt Out Adjunct.

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Here's some old (2006) commentary on a piece on adjuncts & unions in IHE. Noted here simply because it's the first hit I got by googling "blogs by part-time faculty". Workplace Prof Blog is still going strong but I don't expect to be back real often. The law is a ass.
May 11, 2006; "Clash of Interests"; Rob Capriccioso.

Monday, May 19, 2008

In Other News, Dog Hopes To Bite Man

The Adjunct Advocate is planning to sell out.

Weekend Gleanings

AFSCME and UAW are pooling their efforts at U New Hampshire in this story from Saturday, posted to adj-l by the tireless Keith Hoeller.

He also posted this this deliberately short-lived link to a piece in the Chronicle. I won't be mentioning a whole lot more of this kind; putting an expiration date on a webpage defeats my purpose here. But this one's actually about Keith Hoeller, so get it while you can.

A discussion of tenure on PBS (TV) was announced by Craig P. Smith of FACE.


"National unions to help UNH workers organize"; ADAM D. KRAUSS; Saturday, May 17, 2008; Foster's Daily Democrat.
"A Philosopher Stirs Up the World of Adjuncts"; AUDREY WILLIAMS JUNE; May 23; CoE.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Of Shoulders And Giants

Here, though (almost exactly) two years old, is a tribute to The Invisible Adjunct: more than any other one blog, IA inspired me to begin this silly god-damn hobby (June 27, 2003).

Don't Ask Me To Swear If You Don't Mean It

I already mentioned this story in The Progressive in my main blog (May 7), but what the heck, here it is again: loyalty oaths in Cali.
"Adjunct Professor Fired for Not Signing Loyalty Oath"; Matthew Rothschild, May 6, 2008

adj-l

Sometimes I read posts from the adj-l e-mail list. Usually my favorite posts are links to readings. Seems like somebody oughta be posting some of 'em in a more searchable form: who's ever gonna wade through the archives? I once briefly maintained a readings list and I can't even begin to tell you how gratifying it was a few months back to have Joe Berry look me in the eye and tell me he'd once spoken with Marc Bousquet about it. These guys are my heroes, for heck sake.

So here's some coverage of a talk by AAUP prez-re-elect Cary Nelson. Hat tip: Jon Curtis (AFT).


"Fiscal woes and changing trends in the world of academia"; Kim Lee; May 1, 2008.

Hello World

This is a test of the emergency broadcast system. Had this been a real emergency, the academy would be overwhelmed by the corporate interests and it would have become impossible for a committed scholar and teacher even to make a living without singing Satan's songs.