Author Archives: Guest Writer

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 ...

On Not Being a Professor

On Not Being a Professor

Sometime in my junior year of college I began thinking about becoming a professor. I’d been, frankly, a lousy and bored student up until then. But at some point going to class ceased being a burden and became exciting. Unlike schooling up to that point, critical ideas—political ideas, radical ideas, difficult ideas, new perspectives, challenges to received authority, feminism—took center stage and the teachers, my professors, asked us to argue with them, to debate the material they brought to us ...

Labor Justice at Jesuit Institutions

Labor Justice at Jesuit Institutions

By Alan Trevithick Fordham Faculty United will host an event tomorrow “Labor Justice at Jesuit Institutions," and Dave Andrews, known to many as a key adjunct activist and organizer at Loyola Chicago, will be our main speaker. Given his experience, his insight, and his commitment, we're more than pleased to have him at the center of FFU's first major event at Fordham. That's at 1pm, in the FLOM auditorium at Walsh library, on the Rose Hill Campus. We're so looking forward to it, and to ...

Why I'm Taking Action on 4.14

Why I’m Taking Action on 4.14

By Jason Grunebaum When’s the last time you saw a McDonald’s commercial featuring one of its workers cashing a paycheck that pays a living wage? Or opened a university homepage to find a full-screen photo crowded with smiling non-tenure-trackers and the headline: Our students couldn’t do it without you? The commercial’s held up in casting, and the provosts of the land are still playing with the fonts. But make no mistake: both are in the pipeline, and the upcoming actions of 4.14 wil ...

Why Activism Matters

Why Activism Matters

Someone recently told me that the most radicalizing experience is to try to work inside academia to affect change. It’s taken me years, literally years, to come to an understanding about the corrupt corporate model of higher education that has so swiftly taken over public and private colleges and universities across the country. Now all the staff and student services employees at my university wear a special uniform, they look like they are ready to go to work at McDonald’s. It appears this happ ...

Spellings' First Day

Spellings’ First Day

As Margaret Spellings walked onto the UNC campus, hundreds walked out and rallied to demand accountability. We have the momentum to keep up the pressure this week. Students and faculty are traveling to Fayetteville for the next Board of Governors meeting at 8am March 4th. Can you join us? RSVP here to let us know! The Board of Governors fast-tracked the appointment of Margaret Spellings to be the next UNC President  to oversee 17 schools across the state. Given Spellings’ connectio ...

Dear Administration: Florida Faculty Raise Up

Dear Administration: Florida Faculty Raise Up

Dear Administration, It’s me, your professor. Yes, I know you’re not technically one of my students. But I think that we’re at a moment in history that we professors like to call a “teachable moment.” That is, an unexpected moment when we can all learn something very insightful. It is a fleeting moment that professors love and one that must be seized. You see, you’re on a path to failure. Not my class or any other. But on the path to failing your students. You, as administration of this colle ...

UNC Deserves More

UNC Deserves More

In our latest survey we sent out to faculty in the UNC system, the responses received  really resonated. 61% of UNC faculty respondents feel like their work is not valued or supported and 81% report that budget cuts have affected their department. It is clear that change is badly needed at UNC. After the appointment of Margaret Spellings, many faculty are concerned about the future of the UNC system and higher education at large. At the end of the day, the bottom-line is that many of these su ...

Financialization and U.S. Higher Education

Financialization and U.S. Higher Education

By Charlie Eaton With renewed attention to rising college costs, UC Berkeley researchers have just released a groundbreaking study on broad and growing financial inequalities in U.S. higher education. Entitled “The Financialization of U.S. Higher Education”, it’s available online here. Published in Socio-Economic Review, the study uses a unique new database an innovative theoretical framework for analyzing how non-profits, state agencies, and households have increasingly assumed multiple n ...

Higher Education Today: A Corporate Model About to Boil Over

Higher Education Today: A Corporate Model About to Boil Over

The Facts Illustrate a Need for Dramatic Change in Faculty Pay Once a middle class job, many college and university faculty are now working part time for very low pay, isolated from colleagues without job security, benefits or even office space. Students are increasingly saddled with crushing debt that could take a lifetime to get out from under. Parents are struggling to stay afloat in the face of skyrocketing tuition bills. The past few decades have seen a dramatic shift away from investme ...

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