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Steps in the Forest

Step by step, advocates are making the part-time faculty cause known. For this update I'd like to focus on the positive points made in a blog entry by Matthew Pratt Guterl. The whole article can be read at http://matthewprattguterl.com/2014/02/07/adjunct-apocalypse/comment-page-1/#comment-88, but a few of the progressive changes he suggests for fair-minded Department Chairs can be summed up as the following:

1. As the controller of space in my department, I can guarantee temporary teaching faculty space....

2. As chief budget officer, I can provide support for research and travel to match that given to tenure stream faculty...

3. I can ensure that their teaching is valued by investing in it...

4. I can take their research seriously, which means giving them an opportunity to share it with our faculty and graduate students and, again, giving them a fair pool of resources...

5. I can include them in our faculty meetings as active discussants...

6. I can ensure that they are represented on our website as members of our core faculty...

7. I can make sure they are paid the best wage possible....

Of course, his suggestions break down in the all too familiar limitations on what a chair can do, given the current higher education reality. Nonetheless, it's encouraging to see the list put forward as a retort to "There's nothing we can do. You chose to be adjuncts, after all." We cannot say it enough as part-time faculty: we did not choose to be underpaid, third-class academics ineligible for promotion, tenure or any other benefits or respect that our teaching careers should offer. Those are impositions made by academic administrations. We chose to be educators. We are finally educating the public about the injustices we have been suffering in a system that pretends otherwise, and at least one brave blogger is nudging Department Chairs to examine their own practices that could be more just.

Here's to Liberty and Justice for ALL!

Following are some articles I found share-worthy since my last post.

MLA Subconference
MLA Sub-Committee: Ustream recordings of most of the panels are available online at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mlasubcon, as is detailed live tweeting  at #mlasubcon.

Adjunct Apocalypse

PBS tries to look liberal:

Adjunctivitis Redux

"The two-track system leaves the adjuncts worse than if they had no union at all."

"As an adjunct, I am experiencing what it would have been like for grade school teachers to be unsupported by the unions."

Faculty on Stike in Land of Lincoln

B.S. jobber resentment explained
Republicans have had remarkable success mobilizing resentment against school teachers, or auto workers (and not, significantly, against the school administrators or auto industry managers who actually cause the problems) for their supposedly bloated wages and benefits. It’s as if they are being told “but you get to teach children! Or make cars! You get to have real jobs! And on top of that you have the nerve to also expect middle-class pensions and health care?”

Problematic Higher Ed. Boom

Adjunct Justice on CO pay raise
Colorado Lawmakers Take Up Sweeping Overhaul of Adjunct Working Conditions http://chronicle.com/article/Colorado-Lawmakers-Take-Up/144397/

Education in General:

Civil Rights speeches

40% of JDs not practicing law

Distracted Students

Literature and Elitism

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