As the Adjunctiverse Turns

cheeky, no respect for academia

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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Personal Learning Networks

what personal learning networks might adjunct faculty contemplate? Start with DIY higher ed pedagogy and professional development — because, face it, the odds of departments picking that up for NTT are slim to none. Add exploring and growing in our disciplines because… (see above). Finally — but neither last nor least — activism and social justice networks, not just about adjunct miseries. Don’t forget lagniappe PLNs to feed the spirit.

So you want to be a scientist

Here is an infographic briefly describing some of my reflections on PLNs based on week 2 of #digpins. Still learning and gaining an understanding of what digital identity, PLNs, and digital citizenship mean for me and for how I plan to engage my students with digital learning!


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School Leadership Matters: Why Are So Many School Leaders Mediocre?

apply this higher ed admin

Ed In The Apple

Why is the quality of school leadership, to be polite, so mediocre?  Everyone who visits schools on a regular basis comments on the lack of effective leadership – exceptional school leaders are hard to find.

The first question: Is this a new phenomenon, or, have principals always been mediocre?  Let’s remember, we have had decades of low achieving schools. Scores of large high schools have been closed, high schools that were dropout factories, and, schools in which the powers that make policy seemed  not to care. The lowest achieving schools were staffed with the substitutes, called PPT’s (Provisional Preparatory Teachers), teachers who could not pass the required pre-service exams. There was an unofficial triage system: some schools were sacrificed so others could survive. The most effective teachers and principals found their way to the highest achieving schools.  An (in)famous surreptitiously filmed video showed a principal boasting, “Just because I paid for my job…

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