As the Adjunctiverse Turns

cheeky, no respect for academia

Why the Adjunct Crisis is Everyone’s Business

Check out and follow this new adjunct blog. I don’t know much about it but following and reading is the best way to learn. So far just two posts, anon eds, no geo-tag (understandable cautions in a time of adjunct vulnerability and admin retaliation) ~ not to be confused with the original #Ais4Adjunct at

by Rita Lilly, @New95 Associate, October 6. 2016

Unless you’re directly connected to an institution of higher learning, it’s easy to ignore the crisis adjunct professors are currently experiencing. In truth, it should hold meaning and cause concern for everyone. Here’s why.

First, let’s look at how it affects students and how they, in turn, affect society as a whole.

Many of us have fond memories of in-depth discussions with a professor after class, some of which took a complete departure from the class topic. For some of us, that marked the beginning of seeing ourselves as adults and learning to interact with others on an adult level. Today’s adjuncts rarely have time for those encounters. Most must run from the classroom to travel to another part of town for a second or third job. Since they’re not provided office space, meetings that do take place are held in a…

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Always an organizer, sometimes a staffer, often a pain in the ass to someone

Cultural Capital Doesn't Pay the Rent

This week’s post is from the inimitable Joe Berry, who literally wrote the book on adjunct organizing—  Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education.

Joe was instrumental in getting the 1989 Cervisi decision passed, the California code that states contingent faculty have no reasonable assurance of employment, regardless of promised contracts, and are therefore eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. I absolutely benefited from this 20 years later and many more are still benefitting from it almost 30 years later.

Joe’s story spans decades of historically significant organizing and activism. Important for our current movement, Joe writes about the challenges faced by adjunct faculty when they are in “mixed units” of TT/T and NTT faculty. There has been excitement about starting to organize all faculty together. We owe it to ourselves to understand why this may not always be the best way forward.

On a personal…

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Higher Education is Pushing More Professors into Poverty

Just added @RusulAlrubail’s blog, Heart of a Teacher to rss reader and Precarious Faculty blogroll. There are many posts here that I want to read.

Heart of a Teacher

The summer of 2014 I received a phone call that would forever alter my career as an English professor. The chair of my department called me to tell me that the college will be getting rid of contract faculty starting January 2015. Of course, I was a contract faculty there. My heart dropped. My mind raced.

“Why? Does that mean I won’t be teaching anymore?”

“Faculty will have an option of either going part time (6 hours a week) or sessional (over 15 hours).” My chair answered.

3903-and-506-picket-5 Seneca students helped distribute leaflets to their classmates as they waited for the bus.

“Okay” I stammered, “that’s not so bad, perhaps I can make it work”.

“I am glad you’re looking at it from a positive light, if you have any questions, I’ll be in my office this week”.

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Contents – The Idea of the University (Issue 29)

Discontent in/about academia and the neoliberal university is global. Welcome to @CafeDissensus, Mumbai, and a special edition on the very idea of the institution ~ via Tiffany Kraft.

Café Dissensus

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The Demise of the Walmart Greeter, the cashier, the bank teller… and a Host of Other Jobs… — Network Schools – Wayne Gersen

future-of-work001education consultant, former K12 superintendent and #adjunct @waynegersen (about) on the #futureofwork. See also 2015 post, “The Contingent Workforce: The Future Direction for Public Schools?

Yesterday evening I wrote a post about the replacement of human operators with voice mail. Today’s NYTimes article on the development of $93,000 robot-greeters portends the demise of even more jobs. After reading this article and looking at the android working as a greeter at a department store, it is not difficult to imagine that any iterative […]

via The Demise of the Walmart Greeter, the cashier, the bank teller… and a Host of Other Jobs… — Network Schools – Wayne Gersen

Cartoon: The University of Chicago loves free speech on campus (except yours) — Fusion

Graphic Culture home | Previous Follow Graphic Culture: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

via Cartoon: The University of Chicago loves free speech on campus (except yours) — Fusion

Listening to Langston Hughes about “Make America Great Again” — the becoming radical

When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him. Bayard Rustin It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. George Carlin When I met with my first-year writing seminar, Reconsidering James Baldwin in the Era […]

via Listening to Langston Hughes about “Make America Great Again” — the becoming radical

A Civil Libertarian Rebuttal to the University of Chicago’s Dean of Students

By now, most people who read this blog have seen the letter that the Dean of Students of the University of Chicago sent to incoming students this week:

The crucial paragraph of the letter was the third:

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called “trigger warnings,” we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

There’s a lot to say, and a lot that’s been said, about this passage—Jeet Heer wrote a short piece at the New Republic (using some of my tweets as a jumping-off point) arguing that it was…

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My AB 1690 Advocacy Letter to the California Senate Education Committee Members

ICYMI ` Geoff Johnson on #AB1690

The Adjunct Crisis

Good Adjuncts:

For those of you outside the state of California, a big adjunct issue playing itself out in the chambers of the California Legislature is the push for adjunct job security via AB 1690.  The bill made it past the Senate Education Committee, and now awaits a more uncertain battle in the great legislative graveyard–the Senate Appropriations Committee, where its forerunner AB 1010, died last year. I choose to be optimistic.  if it makes it out of appropriations, it is almost certain to get approved by the floor of the senate, then sit before Governor Jerry Brown.  What will he do? No one is certain, but I’d like to think he’ll sign it,and I’m doing everything I can, along with so many others, to see he has that chance.

This the letter I wrote to the legislative aides of particular senators on the Ed. Committee.  They are often the…

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The English Major at Work

Timothy D. Robbins

Among the most potent archetypes in modern American culture is the English major cum budding novelist scriptwriter turned hipster barista. A guaranteed (if lazy) punchline, that a humanities degree ensures a middling career in the food service industry is a truism served up hottest by opportunistic politicians across the spectrum. (Here’s a right-wing governor, here’s a conservative presidential candidate, oh, and here’s the president of hope and change.) Despite the discipline’s best attempts to dispel the myth of the “impractical” English major, career marketability remains a constant source of anxiety within the walls of the academy itself.


The most popular majors in U.S. colleges, big and small, remain those fields with ready professional tracks–Business, Psychology, Nursing, Education, Criminal Justice–and there’s good reason for it, even if, as Natalia Cecire tweeted recently, the rationale might sometimes be a case of bad faith among liberal arts practitioners (though not a necessarily malicious one, as any philosophy major could tell…

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