This is a guest post by Cecil Canton, a professor of criminal justice at CSU Sacramento. He is also associate vice-president for affirmative action at the California Faculty Association and is on the executive committee of the AAUP-CBC.
Every tenure-track faculty member in the Academy, neophyte or seasoned veteran, is responsible for teaching courses, building a record of scholarship, and providing service to the institution to meet the standards of the retention, promotion, and tenure process.
These processes take on increased and amplified weight for underrepresented faculty and faculty of color in predominantly white institutions. Continue reading
This post is cross-posted from Yellow Dog with the permission of its author, Jeff Rice of the University of Kentucky.
First person narratives about the adjunct experience in academia are being published – it seems – daily. Today, I came across a link from a Facebook friend about a Fairbanks, Alaska adjunct on food stamps. A link to a story about motherhood and adjuncting was also shared with me today. The Chronicle of Higher Education has become the mouthpiece for such narratives, all of which are anti-tenure track faculty and all of which believe in the great injustice that has been done within higher education. I read this narratives almost every day. I’m interested in the rhetoric of narrative, so whatever I feel about the adjunct experience, I am interested in how adjuncts are telling their story.
Why now? Why the sudden proliferation of adjunct narratives, a frenzy of pieces that rival the popularity of online essays regarding MOOCs a year ago. During that period, one couldn’t avoid either a hyperbolic praising of MOOCs or a dismissal of MOOCs in any given business or education online outlet. That frenzy is now a trickle of updates. It has died down. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Ellen Schrecker, a professor of history emerita at Yeshiva University. She also is a former editor of Academe and served on the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure. Her article, “One Historian’s Perspective on Academic Freedom and the AAUP,” is in the January-February issue of Academe.
Since I no longer edit Academe, I don’t get to see its articles until they are published. The recent issue, with its focus on public intellectuals (however one wants to define them), could not be both more and less timely. If nothing else, it shows us how quickly the world of higher education changes. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Rebecca Gould, a professor at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. Her article, “Aaron Swartz’s Legacy.” appears in the January-February issue of Academe.
Aaron Swartz is gone but his legacy lives on. In my article for the current issue of Academe, I offered a few reasons why his brief life, including his prosecution, is worth remembering. Here are a few more ways in which Swartz’s tragedy intersects with the broader political world.
The same year that Swartz was charged with downloading too many articles, and in the same city, Boston, Egyptian-American dissident Tarek Mehanna faced similar accusations from the office of the same prosecutor, Carmen Ortiz. In the years leading up to his arrest, while Swartz was busy promoting his agenda of global open access, Mehanna was busy discussing the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan in online forums, and translating Arabic materials on Islam into English. Mehanna argued for the right of Muslim peoples invaded by other countries to self-defense. He discouraged his fellow Muslims from gratuitous acts of violence, but defended anti-American violence in contexts where he perceived this violence to be legitimate. Continue reading
This guest post was written by Leemon McHenry, a lecturer in philosophy at California State University, Northridge. His article, “Of Brahmins and Dalits in the Academic Caste System” (co-written with Paul Sharkey), appears in the January-February 2014 issue of Academe.
In “Of Brahmins and Dalits in the Academic Caste System,” (Academe, Jan-Feb 2014) Sharkey and I blame the corporatization of the university for creating the academic caste system. Clare Goldstene agrees when she notes that opponents of tenure began the slow and deliberate move toward academic contingency over the past thirty years under the guise of fiscal emergency. (“The Politics of Contingent Academic Labor.” Thought & Action, 2012.) Continue reading
This is a guest post by Kevin Brown, a professor of English at Lee University. His article, “That’s Not What Happened to Me,” appears in the online version of the January-February 2014 issue of Academe.
I do a fairly decent job of keeping up with higher education news, especially as it relates to my discipline. Thus, I’ve been reading about the controversial resolution on Israel from the MLA convention that just recently ended, as well as all the conversations about the job market that might never recover. I’ve seen the discussions about the lack of information on placement rates from graduate programs and the effects that lack have on students pursuing advanced degrees, including the continuing rise of the alt-ac movement. Related to that problem is the rise in the use of adjuncts, an issue that has been a regular point of debate since I was looking for a job in the mid-1990s. I have even seen a consistent rise in articles about finding jobs teaching in community colleges. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Jane Arnold, a professor of English and reading specialist at Adirondack Community College (SUNY). Her article, “What Do the Students Think?” appears in the online version of the January-February 2014 issue of Academe.
In my essay, “What Do the Students Think?” the students point out that their educations often moved so fast that they had no time to master the foundation skills they need order to succeed at the next step. Unfortunately, the response to current negative critiques of US education seems to be to speed up even more. A current idea is that if students are not prepared for college work when they leave high school, we should allow them to do college work even earlier—offer “high school in college.” Continue reading
(This article appeared in the latest issue of the Illinois AAUP’s newspaper, Illinois Academe.)
By Keith R. Johnson, Oakton Community College
The Great Recession impacted everyone, but it contributed to a real hit for public college and university adjunct faculty. Pressures on budgets over decades have slowly increased higher education’s dependence on adjunct faculty. Now they are a majority of teachers at all levels, and an astonishing 80 percent at community colleges. They form a pool of poorly paid, qualified teachers who can be drawn on (or let go) as needed. But in 2013 new laws exacerbated this long term trend to pay a majority of faculty inadequately and deny them benefits and job security.
This is a guest post by Richard McCarty, an assistant professor of religious studies at Mercyhurst University. His article, “Objects of the Inquisition,” appears in the January-February 2014 issue of Academe.
The first incarnation of “Objects of the Inquisition” was a paper for the 2012 annual AAUP conference in Washington DC. I am grateful that it eventually reincarnated as the above article for Academe. I wrote this piece in order to encourage dialogue about the intersections of academic freedom and religious orthodoxy, as well as to motivate scholars and administrators to work together to find solutions for these difficult problems. Continue reading
By Jeremi Suri, University of Texas at Austin
Universities are a public trust. Citizens give their precious dollars to these schools with the understanding that their scholars will study, educate, and innovate for the future. Academics have freedom to think, and they also have an obligation to use their research for the broader public good. Continue reading