As the Adjunctiverse Turns

cheeky, no respect for academia

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The People Made the First New Deal. Can the People Make Another?

With Midterm elections coming and talk about system change in the air, this is a timely topic and post.

Overdue catching up with Be Freedom, I’m starting with the most recent post but also recommend following the blog by email or rss feed reader.

Be Freedom

WV-TeachersStrike-ap-imgMassive Protest and Organizing Created the New Deal

The kind of electoral victories we need will take far more than standard electioneering and Facebook debates.  Let’s look at what it took to create the New Deal so we can see just how challenging the task ahead is. During the Great Depression massive organizing efforts and protest movements were necessary just to reform the two-party system. New Deal history strongly suggests that the current dementer v. demexit debate is largely a waste of time until we organize movements powerful enough to upset the existing order.

In our memory Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the standard bearer of the New Deal but it did not start that way.  FDR was a reluctant reformer pushed into progressive action because millions of people were willing to experiment with radical solutions.

Mass movements, third parties and revolutionary parties, labor upheaval, agrarian unrest, powerful populists, discontented veterans, and Democratic congressmen

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Contingent faculty as a bivalent collective.

ICYM Deirdre Rose’s earlier version, “The Neoliberal U and Me,” on the Canadian Anthropology Society newsletter, Culture

In addition to following this blog (highly recommended) you can also follow her on Twitter @deidrerose22

The Sessional Trap

By: Deidre Rose, Ph.D.

The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, also known as Bill 148, has recently been enacted in Ontario. The new legislation calls for significant increases to minimum wage rates in the province and significantly expands the notion of “equal pay for equal work.” Under the Act, “Part-time, casual, temporary and seasonal employees would be entitled to the same rate of pay as regular employees when they perform substantially the same work, in the same establishment, under the same conditions, and require the same skill, effort and responsibility. (CUPE 2017)” Organizations like the Ontario College and University Faculty Association (OCUFA), the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU), and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have been strong supporters of this legislation. In early days and debates, labour representatives expressed their concern that non-regular or contingent academic faculty would be excluded. These concerns have proven to be correct…

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Stop Trying to Fix Students and Start Trying to Fix the University

Fruits of the pedagogic life

Dr Nicola Rivers and Dr Dave Webster

What do Universities do for students to help them secure a thriving future? They offer them mindfulness; sign them up to resilience programmes; advocate that they cultivate grit, and encourage them to promote themselves as personal brands, ready to do battle in the brutal arena of the precarious, broken gig economy. This seems benign, to be readying students for a harsh, world where individuals will need every advantage in competing with each other. But isn’t this hugely pessimistic and to undersell the goal of Higher Education?

It isn’t aspirational or transformative to try and make University like ‘the real world’, or an imagined reality TV version of it. What might be truly worthy of the term ‘education’, rather than ‘training’, would be to cultivate a space that transmits its values in its practices: an institution that walked the walk, rather than…

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Coping with an abusive boss: That voodoo that you do

many adjunct faculty, staff and student workers would probably spring for a bargain basement #badmin version (because that’s all most can afford) … or make our own

Minding the Workplace

If you’re angry about being treated like dirt by a terrible boss, then you may want to take it out on a voodoo doll. At least that’s what a study published earlier this year in The Leadership Quarterly suggests might be helpful.

In “Righting a wrong: Retaliation on a voodoo doll symbolizing an abusive supervisor restores justice” (abstract here), a team of researchers led by Dr. Lindie Liang (Wilfrid Laurier U, Canada) sought to measure whether “symbolic retaliation” might help to reduce feelings of being unjustly mistreated by an abusive supervisor.

They started with the common sense understanding that directly retaliating against a boss for perceived injustices at work might not be the best idea for many reasons. Next, they hypothesized that engaging in “symbolic retaliation,” such as taking out frustrations on a voodoo doll representing an abusive boss, might nevertheless help to reduce those feelings of injustice.

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Who can participate in “freedom of association”? Labor Notes 2018, Chicago

on the 2018 Labor Notes conference — and much more


Much too soon after we got back from Nepal, we went to Chicago for the Labor Notes conference.

Snow Chicago

Chicago (Oak Park), April 2018. A little red, a little blue. This is from the front steps of our friends Diane and Phil’s house.

One of my goals in this blog is to record instances of how people in the US gather at the grassroots level of political action. In other words, how we practice freedom of association. That’s different from “freedom of assembly,” which we in the US have in the First Amendment. Freedom of assembly refers to gathering for “peaceable” purposes for things ranging from a performance or celebration to a demonstration. If the gathering is large enough, it may require a permit.

Individuals and societies can lose freedom of assembly; I remember that during the apartheid period in South Africa, political activists could be banned from meeting with other people…

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Utopia and macroeconomics

…explaining the assumptions and the consequences of mainstream macroeconomics for the precarious impacted by them.

Read more of @dfruccio’s #utopoia series here</a

occasional links & commentary


From the beginning, mainstream macroeconomics has been a battleground between the visible and the invisible hand.

Keynesian macroeconomics, represented on the left-hand side of the chart above, has an aggregate supply curve with a long horizontal section at levels of output (Y or real GDP) below full employment (Yfe). What this means is that the aggregate demand determines the actual level of output, which can be and often is at less than full employment (e.g., when AD falls from AD1 to AD2, output to Y1, and prices to P2), with no necessary tendency to return to full employment and price stability. Therefore, according to Keynesian economists, the visible hand of government needs to step in and, through a combination of fiscal and monetary policy, move the economy toward full employment (at Yfe) and stable prices (at P1).

Neoclassical macroeconomists, like their classical predecessors, have a very different view of the…

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Privatization of public education

ICYMI but if not read it again anyway

occasional links & commentary


For the first time in American history, students in more than half of all U.S. states are paying more in tuition to attend public colleges or universities than the government contributes.

The privatization of public education has been under way for decades but this inflection point was hastened by deep cuts states made to their higher-education appropriations in the midst of the Second Great Depression.

For the United States as a whole, according to a new report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, students and their families were forced to come up with almost half (46.2 percent) of total educational revenue for public colleges and universities in 2017. They had to pay only 28.8 percent of the total in 1992, a share that had risen to 36.2 percent in 2007.

Increasingly, public higher education in the United States is public in name only.

And the privatization of…

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No Money for Lecs in Dearborn, but $90 Million for a Building

Lecturers' Employee Organization

by Alicia Schaeffer, Dearborn

Lecturers and allies protested the University of Michigan-Dearborn ELB groundbreaking to tell the administration that its priorities are hurting the faculty who teach the majority of classes on campus as well as students.

A group of LEO lecs and student allies hold aloft signs that read #Respect The Lecs. LEO lecs and Allies protest groundbreaking with informational picket.  Photo Credit: Carol Hogan

During contract negotiations, management has told LEO that UM-Dearborn doesn’t have the money to pay for higher salaries and equity adjustments, and the surplus in Ann Arbor will not be distributed to fund salary increases on Dearborn and Flint. Yet, the administration has allocated tens of millions of dollars to fund construction projects in recent years, like the $90 million Engineering Laboratory Building (ELB) Project. 

On Friday, Lecturers, Students, and Allies marched on the Dearborn campus to the ceremony site next to the Chancellor’s Pond.

20180420_131329 LEO lecs and Allies protest groundbreaking with informational picket. Photo Credit: Carol Hogan


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World employers report

occasional links & commentary


The history of capitalism is actually a combination of two histories: it’s a history of employers attempting to hire workers and develop new technologies to make profits and expand the reach of capitalism; it’s also a history of workers banding together to improve wages and working conditions and imagine ways of moving beyond capitalism.

The World Bank’s World Development Report, currently in draft form, comes down firmly on the side of employers and their historical role.

The theme of the 2019 report is the “changing nature of work.” As envisioned by the reports authors,

Work is constantly being reshaped by economic progress. Society evolves as technology advances, new ways of production are adopted, markets integrate. While this process is continuous, certain technological changes have the potential for greater impact, and provoke more attention than others. The changes reshaping work today are fundamental and long-term, driven by technological progress…

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#Colorado @AAUP chapters in #CCCS celebrate 5 years of pushing for change


By @ColoradoLark in @AcademeBlog

Our AAUP chapters of the CCCS, now with members at six of the 13 colleges within the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) are celebrating our fifth year of organizing CCCS faculty. 25 more words

by Caprice Lawless via AAUP Chapters of the CCCS celebrate five years of pushing for changeAcademe Blog

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