As the Adjunctiverse Turns

cheeky, no respect for academia

American higher ed enrollment declines, again

Whither #highered numbers — and with them, our profession? @BryanAlexander on patterns — plus thoughtful discussion

Bryan Alexander

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center logoThe total number of students enrolled in American colleges and universities declined in fall 2016, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

I should say: declined again, because as my readers know, higher education enrollment has been sliding down without a break since 2013.

Let’s break the report down by key trends.  And I apologize for catching this story a few weeks after the publication appeared.

According to the NSCRC the total number of students taking classes in US postsecondary institutions was 19,010,459.  That’s down -1.4% from fall 2015’s 19,280,473, while that was down -1.7% from 2014’s 19,619,773.  Corrected for duplication (students enrolled in multiple institutions) last fall’s numbers shrink a little further, down to 18,663,617.

Enrollments from 2013-2016

By sector: enrollment especially declined in community colleges and for-profits.  Four year private colleges and universities saw a slight drop.  Four year public institutions alone saw growth, and that was…

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The Future Trends Forum leaps into 2017

start your #FTTE year today with Adrianna Kezar on the Changing Faculty and Student Success. Lagniappe: a handful of links about the Forum and today’s guest,

Bryan Alexander

After a holiday break (and nice online party) the Future Trends Forum is roaring back for the new year.

First, a glance back.  The Forum launched on February 11th, 2016, almost one year ago, with Audrey Watters as our first guest.   We started from scratch, without any name recognition, media partners, or institutional connections.  From that initial point, we went on to conduct forty-three (43) Forum sessions through 2016.   52 guests have appeared.  For the audience, more than 1,320people have participated. There are now forty-seven (47) recordings on YouTube.

forum-amy-collier-and-george-station Forum stalwarts George Station and Amy Collier, plus a horde of participants.

Plenty of developments and experiments have emerged over the past 11 months.  We’ve piloted live sessions, for example, held at important conferences, where Christopher Downs has done terrific production work making everything work.  I’ve tried having myself as sole host-guest for several Fora, connecting…

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MLA Convention Update: Academic Boycott Resolution at the Town Hall Meeting and Open Hearing

Following #MLA17? Read this before Delegate Assembly debates resolutions today, starting between 12n-1pm

MLA Members for Justice in Palestine

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-11-51-27-pmOn Thursday January 5, approximately 200 people attended the MLA Town Hall Meeting on academic boycott that was convened by the MLA and chaired by the current President Anthony Appiah. The Town Hall Meeting was the first of a two of sessions that focused on the Delegate Assembly vote on a resolution to endorse the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

The actual debate and vote on the resolutions will begin on Saturday January 7, in the early afternoon between 12:00-1:00 and is likely to last most of the afternoon. If you are attending the MLA, come to the Delegate Assembly meeting in Grand Ballroom Salon G-H of the Marriott Philadelphia and speak out in favor of the boycott resolution.

At the Town Hall Meeting, which was in many ways a test run for the arguments of both sides, MLA Convention organizers had three lines for members who wished to address the…

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How to Face a Trump Presidency: Resist, Reconnect, Renew

@SarahVanGelder on the coming year and going forward

The Revolution Where You Live

We can’t count on Republicans or Democrats to save us. Instead, we are the ones to build the world we want, starting in our communities.

It’s the darkest time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. I awaken in the dark and check for news about Standing Rock and about the Trump transition.

It’s almost an epic pairing: the Native Americans, withstanding water cannons and pepper spray, camped out in below-zero blizzards, holding as sacred the water, land, and well-being of the children—and the president-elect, in his gold-gilded tower named after himself, selects his team of leaders, mainly White men who are remarkable not for their accomplishments or wisdom, but for their contempt for those who are not rich and White, their love for fossil fuels and Russian oligarchs, and their reckless dismissal of science and the impending climate catastrophe.

It would be a mistake to oversimplify this as a conflict…

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How to Support Standing Rock Now?

support and learn from #StandingRock ~ #whatwecandonow

The Revolution Where You Live

Three big things have happened recently that change a lot, but not everything, about how to stop the pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers announced it would NOT be granting an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline — a huge win for water protectors, indigenous people everywhere, and the future of life on the planet.

dsc_1025-cropped Chief Arvol Looking Horse entering the Oceti Sakowin Camp.

An estimated 5,000 U.S. veterans showed up to camp, prepared to be human shields for the water protectors. While they were there, they apologized to Native elders for the atrocities against Native peoples committed by the military units they belong to. This is a huge breakthrough.

And a winter blizzard blew in, with single-digit temperatures, strong winds, and icy roads, making life at camp extremely difficult.

Then Standing Rock Chairman Archambault, in light of all these changes, thanked the supporters and said it is time for people to…

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Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements

@rchrdmoser’s posts over the election cycle lay bare a punishing year. #StandingRock has been a beacon and an enduring lesson to all organizers for what lies ahead. Closing, Richard reminds us,

“This battle may be won for now but the long war against climate change and the system that drives it, demands vision, organizing and perseverance. We will be standing on the shoulders of Standing Rock for many years to come.”

Be Freedom

This article also appeared in Counterpunch

Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements. 

Opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline began in October 2014. Young warriors of the Standing Rock Sioux established the Sacred Stone Camp in April 2016. Since then, thousands of native and non-native supporters have joined in non-violent resistance under the leadership of native elders.

And suddenly, as thousands of US veterans arrived in North Dakota, Obama blinked, and kicked the can further down the road. The people have won an important victory in the struggle for native rights and against climate change.

The most important victory is learning how to win.

The lessons flow fast and furious from Standing Rock and our teachers are Sitting Bull’s people. We have learned that violence has become one of the governments preferred methods of dealing with serious social problems and political challenges at home and abroad…

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Listening to Langston Hughes about “Make America Great Again”

‎@plthomasEdD on reading/teaching Langson Hughes as a guide to post-election America. “Let America Be America Again” vs “Make America Great Again”

radical eyes for equity

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 of #BlackLivesMatter, this Monday, I noted that the weekend had provided for us local and national examples of why the course matters: locally, one high school restricted students from having U.S. flags at a football game because of patterns of using that flag to taunt and harass rival students who are Latinx/Hispanic, and nationally, Colin Kaepernick was questioned about his sitting during the National Anthem at the beginning of NFL preseason games.

As entry points into the work of Baldwin as well as the long history of racism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries…

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The Awakening: Many Voices, Many Stories

this installment of Bay Area SEIU organizer Jessica Lawless (dTa @jesimone)’s blog chronicling a special #adjunctstories subgenre, #adjunct organizers, features @LeeKottner

More about the series. If you have a story to tell, contact Jessica.

Cultural Capital Doesn't Pay the Rent

Lee Kottner is a lifelong union supporter and educator, now working outside academe for a social justice policy think tank. She taught as an adjunct for nearly 15 years in every possible kind of institution in New York and Michigan, and she still misses her students. She’s proud to be a board member of New Faculty Majority Foundation and their Social Media Director. 

Lee has also been an uncompromising voice in the adjunct movement for many years,  moving us to where we are today.


She writes with humor and honesty about how her own awakening to inequitable conditions in higher ed was precipitated by her awakening to her students’ of color experiences simply attempting to get to school and earn an education. As an educator, Lee took in the “stories” students wrote about Stop and Frisk, unjust incarceration, racially motivated sexual assault, the fire wall state bureaucracy creates and so much more…

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Sunday mishmosh. — Fred Klonsky

#edblogger, teacher, #union guy @fklonsky’s on #StandingRock, cabinet deplorables & attacks on @KeithEllison 

2000 U.S. veterans arrive in Standing Rock. Matthew Crane, a 32-year-old Navy veteran who arrived three days ago, said the veterans joining the protest were “standing on the shoulders of Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhi” with the their plans to shield protesters. “I bought a one-way ticket,” he told Reuters as he worked to […]

via Sunday mishmosh. — Fred Klonsky

All those in favour?

on unions and workplace democracy: Bob Collum’s PhD thesis, “Social Inequality and the Politics of Production: Americans’ Attitudes toward Workplace Democracy”

NewUnionism's Blog

wdMembers of this network have been arguing that the union movement needs to become more involved in organizing for workplace democracy. Study after study, survey after survey, have shown that workers in post-industrial nations want more direct voice and influence in the workplace. However, by and large their aspirations are represented by a movement whose bargaining agenda has remained the same for decades.

Union organizers will be familiar with the tensions that result from this. What do you do when the members’ main concern seems to be about the boss making stupid decisions? Or the KPIs being out-of-synch with reality? Or a culture of nepotism generating widespread depression? Or a flash new I.T. system screwing up everybody’s workflow? How does all this fit into a program of achievable gains? Few workers will mention the word “democracy” during such conversations, but what they are wanting is to be heard. And they do not want to be sub-divided…

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