As the Adjunctiverse Turns

cheeky, no respect for academia

Workplace perks don’t replace respect & honesty

speaking of toxic work environments, there’s nothing quite like higher education’s tiered system with adjuncts at the bottom.

Minding the Workplace

In a piece for Workforce magazine, Paul McDonald urges employers to remember that fancy perks and benefits don’t replace treating employees with genuine respect and honesty:

Faced with a red-hot job market, employers are offering perks like free ski passes, complimentary e-readers and on-site acupuncture to attract and retain quality employees.

…But there are organizations where once the luster wears off, employees begin to see that these benefits are simply camouflage over a toxic work environment.

…Workplaces with low employee morale see constant churn, and right now, the number of U.S. workers quitting their jobs is the highest it’s been in more than a decade. Seven in 10 American workers are not engaged in their jobs, according to Gallup’s recent “State of the American Workplace” survey.

All the bells & whistles, McDonald suggests, don’t substitute for a strong foundation of good employee relations. To attract and keep good workers…

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How to support a colleague under attack

Equity Mathematics Education

(Paraphrased from Grollman’s Inside Hire Ed article, “Scholars Under Attack”)

Individual-Level Strategies

  • Assume that the targeted scholar is already aware of the attack against them.  Do not tagging the targeted scholar on social media if and when you share links from the attack or stories about the attack.
  • Offer to take over keeping up with what is written about the targeted scholar so that they do not have to.
  • Make an informed decision about whether to point out the attack to others.
  • If you decide to raise awareness about an attack, be mindful that some colleagues (especially department colleagues and administrators at the targeted scholar’s institution) may be prompted to act in a way that harms the targeted scholar.
  • Ask what they need and extend an offer of support.
  • Say something more helpful or useful than “you must be doing something right!”
  • Counter the attack with supportive notes and…

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We Must March. But We Must Also Organize Locally

The Revolution Where You Live

The next women’s march is in the works. Although big mobilizations are important, if we want to build power, we have to build sustained organization.

1200px-Women's_March_2017_(32297881662) By Bonzo McGrue, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55219674

Last year at this time, a giant women’s march was in the planning stages. It turned out to be among the largest in U.S. history, according to theWashington Post. Between 4 million and 5 million people turned out in over 650 marches across the U.S. on Jan. 21, 2017, ranging from 200 in Abilene, Texas, to five who bravely marched in their hospital cancer ward, to between half a million and a million each in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and New York. In spite of Trump administration sputtering, the D.C. women’s march alone dwarfed the size of the official inauguration.

The pink-hatted marchers conveyed an unmistakable message of fury at the prospect of a Trump presidency. But…

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Appearing 1/31/18: “Workplace Bullying and Mobbing in the United States”

Minding the Workplace

Dr. Maureen Duffy and I are delighted to report that our co-edited, two-volume book set, Workplace Bullying and Mobbing in the United States (ABC-CLIO, 2018), makes its appearance at the end of the month! Booksellers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble) are taking advance orders. An Amazon Kindle version will be available as well.

With over two dozen contributors (including a Foreword by Dr. Gary Namie of the Workplace Bullying Institute) and some 600 pages packed into two volumes, we believe this will be an important, comprehensive contribution to the growing literature on workplace bullying and mobbing, useful for scholars and practitioners alike. The project deliberately takes a U.S. focus in order to take into account the unique aspects of American employment relations.

From the publisher’s webpage for the book, here’s a quick rundown of the highlights:

  • “The first comprehensive, multi-contributor book on workplace bullying and mobbing…

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Our book club’s next reading is… Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything

Bryan Alexander

Last week I asked readers to vote for our book club‘s next reading.  After a very energetic process (117 votes, 7 comments, plenty of stuff on Twitter and via email), we have a new title.

The winner is….

Kelly and Zach Weinersmith, Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything (home pageAmazon) (2017).

As I noted in the original post, Zack is the creator of the amazing and amazingly prolific Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal webcomic.  Kelly is a parasitologist.  Together they dive deeply into a mix of technologies, based on scholarship and interviews with practitioners.

Given the enormous importance of technology to the future of education, this is a fine book to read.

So grab your copies (library or purchase, digital or print).  I’ll share a reading schedule… soonish.

How did other titles fare?

The closest runner-up was Chris Newfield’s The Great Mistake: How…

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Top 2017 reads

Minding the Workplace

image courtesy of gallery.yopriceville.com

Hello dear readers, here are the top posts published here during 2017, as measured by “hits” or page views. I’ve divided them into two categories, in recognition of the fact that the overwhelming share of online searches that lead to this blog are about workplace bullying and related topics.

Workplace bullying, mobbing, and abuse

  1. Gaslighting at work (March)
  2. Trauma-Informed Legal Perspectives on Workplace Bullying and Mobbing (June)
  3. Workplace bullying: HR to the rescue? (March)
  4. How insights on abusive relationships inform our understanding of workplace bullying and mobbing (April)
  5. Workplace bullying: Acknowledging grief (April)
  6. Male targets of workplace bullying (June)
  7. “Jerks at work” vs. workplace soul stalkers (November)
  8. Workplace bullying: Blitzkrieg edition (April)
  9. Workplace bullying and mobbing: Individual vs. organizational accountability (February)
  10. Addressing workplace bullying, mobbing, and incivility in higher education: The roles of law, cultures, codes, and coaching (July)
  11. When workplace predators silence and intimidate their…

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We Can Reimagine and Reinvent Our Society in 2018

The Revolution Where You Live

The place where we live is where we can find our power.

I’ve been writing a year-end column for YES! for years. Previously, my aim was to find the strands of hope from the past year that can be woven into new possibilities in the next year.

But as I sat down to write this column, on one of the darkest days of the year, I realized that this year will be different. This column will not be a list of hopeful trends. It’s too late to think we can make incremental tweaks to our current systems and be OK. Corporations and the ultra-wealthy will not share their wealth, and if we continue current practices of extraction and pollution, all life will be threatened.

The 2016 election showcased two destructive political directions: white supremacist nostalgia on the Trump side and coziness with corporate capitalism on the Clinton side. The Trump…

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Solidarity and the Gig Economy – by Peter Hall-Jones

New Unionism Network blog

Solidarity and the gig economy

by Peter Hall-Jones

Gig economyIt’s a credit to the tireless efforts of Professor Guy Standing that the word ‘precariat’ has made its way into most English dictionaries. In case you’re not up to speed (and who is these days?) it means: “the class of people who are poor and do not have secure jobs” (Cambridge Dictionary). Sure, there has been a bit of debate around whether this group is a separate ‘class’, but nobody disputes that the phenomenon itself is very real.

Almost 40% of young workers in the OECD are in non-standard work, such as contract or temporary work, or involuntary part-time employment (more). At global level the picture is even more disturbing: more than 60% of workers worldwide, predominantly women, are in temporary, part-time or short-term jobs in which wages are falling (ILO 2015).  Of the top 20 global…

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What next for the New Media Consortium? Today’s discussion on the Forum

Bryan Alexander

What will happen with the New Media Consortium?  Whither the staff, their Horizon Report, and the network of people around it?

That’s what we’ll explore in today’s Future Trends Forum.  From 2-3 pm EST we will reflect and create anew – which is very much in the NMC spirit.

Please join us.

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American higher education enrollment declines again. For the 6th year.

Bryan Alexander

The number of people enrolled in American higher education declined in fall 2017.

That numbers has declined steadily for the past six years.

My readers, viewers, listeners, and clients know that I’ve been talking about this as a major trend for our time.  Weirdly, it’s not a popular topic across a good deal of higher ed, either because it’s too abstract or too depressing.  It has little public traction.  But presidents and boards know all about it.

The key thing here is that American higher ed enrollment grew steadily from around 1980 through circa 2012.  Contemporary colleges and universities have largely built themselves on that old trendline.  Which has now paused and receded.

Let’s look at it a little more closely.

The data comes from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.   Note that the decline occurred across all sectors of American post-secondary education:

Enrollments from fall 2014 to 2017.

For-profits, community colleges, state universities, private colleges

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