September 4, 2012, 8:00 am
Two weeks ago, the New Faculty Majority and the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education released a joint study, “Who Is Professor ‘Staff,’ and how can this person teach so many classes?” (executive summary | full report). Authored by Steve Street, Maria Maisto, Esther Merves, and Gary Rhoades, the study documents many of the educationally counterproductive aspects of higher education’s systematic over reliance on contingent labor.
Justifications like “flexibility” or “budget constraints” don’t really explain pervasive slights such as lack of access to a campus’s online tools or library resources, last-minute course assignments, and more. The study takes great care to focus on those slights that impact student learning and other aspects of the student experience such as cost. For example, if you have less than a day before class starts to order books, the odds are that your class…
January 30, 2012, 8:00 am
Here at ProfHacker we like to talk about things in academia that “everyone just knows.” It turns out that many people don’t know these things because they go unspoken for one reason or another. And among those things is the role that non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty play in higher education. It’s not the readers of ProfHacker that don’t know about adjunct labor, however, so much as the general public. On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend an event that is looking to change that.
I was at the first national summit—Reclaiming Academic Democracy—called by the New Faculty Majority (NFM). NFM is a three-year old group that seeks to (1) highlight the extent of NTT faculty (hint: they teach the majority of classes and students across the country) and (2) the conditions under which many of these NTT faculty labor (hint: it ain’t pretty). The goals of the summit were to bring…