COCAL Updates

By Joe Berry
COCAL Updates (Chicago Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor)

1. A nice little history of anti-Wall Street protests in US history and some useful suggestive lessons.

2. Recent grads turn to adjuncting.

3. The new Emmy award-winning documentary on the freedom riders of 1961 has many lessons for us, especially just now. See it online.

4. Poet/teacher Taylor Mali on “What Teachers Make.”

5. Carroll College adjunct sues over unequal pay with other similarly situated adjuncts at her college.

6. Hard lessons for Philly area college instructors (adjuncts).

7. Our colleagues from CFA (in the CSU in CA) at Occupy LA.

8. Plymouth State (NH) adjuncts file for union recognition election (SEIU).

9. Contingent faculty forum in DC, sponsored by SEIU Local 500.
Join us for the Third Annual Forum on Part Time Faculty Unions:
Contingent Academic Labor and the Higher Education Teaching Profession

Sponsored by the SEIU Local 500 Coalition of Academic Labor

Saturday, November 19th, 2011 9am—1pm
1800 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
DuPont Circle Metro)

Featuring Key Note Speaker Debra Leigh Scott – writer, playwright, screenwriter and educational activist. She is completing a documentary called ‘Junct: The Trashing of Higher Ed. in America which addresses the exploitative nature of the corporatized university.

Panelists will include Maria Maisto, President of New Faculty Majority, and Esther Merves, Research Director for New Faculty Majority

Call for Presentations/Papers:
We invite proposals for short presentations/papers (10 minutes) from adjuncts/part-timers, term faculty, full-time faculty, labor historians, union members and students on how the over-reliance on contingent faculty in higher education is effecting the higher education teaching profession, and how unionization and organization on a local and national level is attempting to address this issue.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

Effects of contingency on scholarship and research
The corporatization of higher education
Grassroots organizing to confront contingency
Fighting for dignity, stability and a living wage for adjuncts
Professional development and academic freedom for adjuncts/part-time faculty
Contingency and the public interest
Getting a PhD in a non-tenure track world
Inclusion of part-time faculty in institutional decision-making and governance
Our teaching conditions are our students’ learning conditions
Stratification of contingent academic labor
The effects of contingency on full-time and tenure-track faculty
Adjuncting as a profession

To RSVP or to submit a proposal for presentation or paper, please contact Dr. Anne McLeer at

This Forum will free and open to the public. Breakfast will be served.

Your comments are welcome. They must be relevant to the topic at hand and must not contain advertisements, degrade others, or violate laws or considerations of privacy. We encourage the use of your real name, but do not prohibit pseudonyms as long as you don’t impersonate a real person.