Author Archives: Guest Writer

When We Fight, We Win!

When We Fight, We Win!

On Friday September 9, 2016, after over two years, the contingent faculty of Seattle University had their unionization votes counted by the National Labor Review Board. We won this long awaited victory by 10 votes, finally joining SEIU Local 925; the margin would have been higher had the University’s disingenuous challenges to 15 votes been adjudicated. We made the strategic decision to accept the challenges and walk out with the win rather than allow the University and its team of union busting ...

Cheryl DeFlavis: I Believe That We Will Win

Cheryl DeFlavis: I Believe That We Will Win

I am an adjunct activist and sociology professor at two community colleges in Florida. I am paid an unlivable wage and found myself (and my kids) at a food bank this summer. Summer is always the worst part of adjuncting for me, when job insecurity is at its highest for contingent faculty all across the nation. I have been working to form a union with other adjuncts at Hillsborough Community College and what I've quickly learned through this work is that my experiences are not unique. I've heard ...

Dr. Wanda Evans-Brewer: Lesson From South Africa

Dr. Wanda Evans-Brewer: Lesson From South Africa

This week, the first-ever nationwide Fight for $15 gathering across industries convenes in Richmond, Virginia, the former heart and capital of the Confederacy, to take a stand against racism and economic insecurity. The convention culminates in a massive march for economic and racial justice with 10,000 people in the streets demanding justice. One sister we’ll miss is Dr. Wanda Evans-Brewer. Wanda fearlessly gives voice and visibility to the struggle adjunct professors face: I couldn’t have ima ...

Giving Part-Time Faculty a Real Voice in Shared Governance

Giving Part-Time Faculty a Real Voice in Shared Governance

Athol Fugard, the South African playwright, once wrote that "a man who cannot speak for himself is not a man; he is a ghost." Sadly, at too many community colleges and universities, adjunct faculty are ghosts. They are not seen or heard. Part-time faculty remain invisible to department chairs, deans and college administrators, even though they may constitute a majority of the faculty. However, it does not have to be that way. Adjuncts can play an active role in shaping the work environm ...

A. Paige Warren Represents at the White House Summit on the United State of Women

A. Paige Warren Represents at the White House Summit on the United State of Women

The National Center for Educational Statistics declared in 2009 that: “51.6 percent of contingent faculty are women.” According to a 2014 report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, “Almost half of all unionized workers (45.8 percent in 2013) are women.” As a cis-gender female adjunct instructor and a proud union member of SEIU Local 73, I represent both of the demographics above. As an activist, I am also hungry to address other numbers, such as women earning 78.3% as much as men i ...

Arithmetic for College Presidents

Arithmetic for College Presidents

Dear University Presidents and Provosts, and other “high-ranking” administration officials (not to mention men's athletic coaches) who make more than a quarter million dollars a year: I'd like to give y'all a little math lesson.  Now follow me closely – this'll be easy if you pay attention.  I'm an adjunct instructor at Fordham, “New York's Jesuit University”, so the figures I will use for adjunct income are what I am paid by that highly moral institution. Step 1:  An adjunct is paid aroun ...

The Hidden Costs of Adjuncting: Staying Alive and Getting to Work

The Hidden Costs of Adjuncting: Staying Alive and Getting to Work

By Lee Kottner Adjuncts have been called Freeway Flyers and Roads Scholars. I’m the Public Transportation Prof. It costs me about $3,000/year—a little less than 10% of my income—to get to work eight months of the year, between a monthly unlimited subway pass (reasons for which will become apparent momentarily), a pass for the commuter rail, and cash for the bus or a taxi. And that’s when I’m only teaching at one college. When I’m teaching at more than one institution, I may use that unlimited ...

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