Very Frustrated but Fearful

This past week, we received “over the transom” the following e-mail from a non-tenure-eligible full-time faculty member. I am reprinting it with his permission but with all identifying details removed. I think that the e-mail itself conveys the predicament of these faculty more pointedly than any paraphrase and comment that I might provide.


I am attaching a form that my supervisor sent out this last week. I work at ____________ University.  I am a lecturer in the ____________ department.

We work a yearly contract and can be terminated at the end of any academic year and our supervisors do not have to state cause.  We sign our letters of appointment in early summer. So, basically, [the university is] instituting a new assessment procedure mid-year. The assessment mirrors that of tenure track faculty rather than my job description (which concerns teaching and advising, not publishing and service to the university). An additional problem is that the assessment does not say who will be doing the assessment, how it will be used, and if it is part of larger changes in how we are assessed.

Everyone I work with is afraid of losing their jobs.  Therefore, everyone will end up complying with the assessment. In my mind, this means that [the university has] managed to change my job description without actually changing the description, raising my pay, or offering anything in return. Without job security or any protections, we serve at the whim of the university.

I thought that if I notified the AAUP, maybe you might publicize this issue.  Please leave my name out of it, I need to keep my job.


4 thoughts on “Very Frustrated but Fearful

  1. This is why we absolutely need labor unions for all faculty! I tried for 30 years to advocate for myself and got nowhere. The key idea is that we have to advocate collectively for better working lives. Have courage, and good luck!

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.