Today launches Campus Equity Week, during which groups plan local actions to draw attention to working conditions of faculty. Campus Equity Week is an annual event started by the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a grassroots coalition of activists in North America working for contingent faculty: adjunct, part-time, non-tenured, and graduate teaching faculty working to bring greater awareness to the precarious situation for contingent faculty in higher education, organize for action, and build solidarity among our colleagues.
Campus Equity Week kicks off on Capitol Hill today with a congressional briefing sponsored by New Faculty Majority and offering policy solutions to legislators to help transform working conditions for adjunct or contingent faculty, who constitute 75 percent of the teaching faculty in higher education in the US. The briefing includes an excerpt from a new documentary film on adjunct faculty working conditions by the nonprofit Brave New Films. A panel of adjunct faculty and students explains how legislators and policymakers can reverse this destructive trend of contingent, precarious employment in higher education, including through targeted legislation and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Speakers (current and former contingent faculty and students) include: Marisa Allison, George Mason University; Judy Olson, Cal State Los Angeles; Bonnie Halloran, U. Michigan; Matt Williams, formerly at University of Akron, Cathy Burns and Kim Laffont, South Florida Part-time Faculty Association. Contingent faculty typically work without job security, for low wages, and without access to the working conditions that underlie student learning. Every member of Congress has been invited to attend this briefing.
Campus Equity Week (known as Fair Employment Week in some states and in Canada) is supported by a large coalition of faculty activists and organizations of all sizes. Events are designed to put contingent faculty in touch with one another, support statewide legislation, inform campus communities about the exploitation of contingent faculty, or achieve specific change on campus. AAUP is a proud supporter of Campus Equity Week.
Campus Equity Week Resources
The documents below are designed for you to download and adapt to your situation, adding local content and deleting parts that do not apply. You can use them during Campus Equity Week or any time they may be useful.
- Books about Contingent Faculty (Word Doc). (Serves as a useful list of recommend books on the topic. Presented in large-type so you can print these out as posters for your library or other areas where people may be interested in reading more about contingency)
- Sample Media Advisory (Word doc) (send before your event if you want media to attend)
- Sample press release (Word doc) (send after your event to let media know what happened)
- Sample op-ed on part-time faculty (Word doc)
- Sample op-ed on contingent faculty generally (Word doc) (including full-time non-tenure-track)
- Sample faculty senate resolution (Word doc)
- Sample petition (Word doc)
- Trends in Faculty Employment Status, 1975-2011 (.pdf), a bar chart showing the dramatic growth in contingent positions
- Petition (Word doc) supporting contingent faculty
- Tips on Starting Campus Coalitions
- Media Communications Tips
- Degrees of Shame, a thirty-minute documentary by Barbara Wolf about the prevalence and working conditions of faculty in contingent positions.
- Con Job: Stories of Adjunct and Contingent Labor, a forty-five-minute documentary, available for free download or available on YouTube.