Category: Blog

Dr. Miranda Merklein, In Remembrance

Dr. Miranda Merklein, In Remembrance

With deep sadness and appreciation, we honor the life and work of Dr. Miranda Merklein who passed away on October 14th, 2017. Miranda is a former adjunct professor with a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, and a BA in Political Science from College of Santa Fe. She worked as a faculty organizer in higher education with SEIU 925 in Seattle, Washington and was a Faculty Forward Network member. Miranda was a fierce adjunct a ...

Labor Day 2017: Taking Back Power and Transforming Higher Education

Labor Day 2017: Taking Back Power and Transforming Higher Education

There are so many ways that my experience in Washington D.C. attending the August 10-11, 2017 Faculty Forward Conference, “New Thinking for New Times,” changed my life in extraordinary ways. For two very full days I attended presentations, panels, workshops, and lectures. It was exhausting, but thrilling to have so many different faculty organizers in one room plotting and scheming all the ways we can improve working conditions for precarious faculty, graduate students, and campus and student wo ...

We Will Defend Civil Rights

We Will Defend Civil Rights

In post-Charlottesville U.S.A., everyday is a fight for civil rights. University of North Carolina System students and faculty realize this acutely, as the ongoing battle to remove the Confederate statue of Silent Sam illustrates. It appears that UNC cares more about protecting a racist statue than it does defending civil rights. This is the time for visionary leadership and action. We look to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to avoid undue political influence and protect stud ...

Organizing Love as a Political Practice: Strategies for Labor and Antifascism

Organizing Love as a Political Practice: Strategies for Labor and Antifascism

We have all seen the frightening resurgence of a hateful right wing emboldened by the election of Donald Trump, culminating most dramatically and terribly in the Charlottesville rally attended by the KKK, neo-Nazis, other white supremacists, and other elements of the so-called alt right. We all remember the savage murder of Heather Heyer, the young activist who lost her life when a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd of protesters. And we have responded with militancy and counter-prote ...

We won't sit by idly while students face rule rollbacks that signal "open season"

We won’t sit by idly while students face rule rollbacks that signal “open season”

Faculty Forward Network signed a joint coalition letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on July 12 expressing opposition to “the delay, dismantling or weakening of the gainful employment regulations finalized in October 2014 and the ‘borrower defense to repayment’ and college accountability regulations finalized in November 2016.” Students and taxpayers should not be on the hook for fraudulent and deceptive business practices that fail to deliver quality education at a reasonable cost. In man ...

Summer is the cruelest month for adjuncts but there’s a glimpse of hope

Summer is the cruelest month for adjuncts but there’s a glimpse of hope

Summer is the cruelest month for adjunct faculty. For many part-timers, the months between the spring and fall semesters mean week after week with no income. For those adjuncts given summer classes, that one assignment can make enough money to get through June, July and August. However, that one assignment is likely to be elusive because it is common practice for full-time faculty to take all available summer courses, shutting out their part-time brethren. Who can blame full-timers who can ma ...

Countering the 'Countering Violent Extremism' Narrative

Countering the ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Narrative

What’s at issue? In 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security implemented a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Grant Program “seek[ing] to develop and expand efforts at the community level to counter violent extremist recruitment and radicalization to violence.” While these are noble and important goals, and areas of focus for grant projects are indeed appropriate aims for combatting violent extremism, the Department of Homeland Security’s approach is flawed on enough levels that faculty p ...

Movements United to Fight Racism, Raise Pay

Movements United to Fight Racism, Raise Pay

Two of the largest movements focused on improving the lives of Black people and other people of color, Fight for $15 and The Movement for Black Lives, are joining forces April 4 for a national day of protest: “Fight Racism, Raise Pay.” Faculty are united with the social movement because we know firsthand, as I say here, “how racial and economic inequality are interconnected social problems and how they're working in higher education to perpetuate those inequalities in society at large.” Protests ...

Faculty for Civil Rights

Faculty for Civil Rights

Faculty Forward Network members expressed their concerns to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors regarding a board policy proposal that would bar the UNC–Chapel Hill School of Law’s Center for Civil Rights from providing legal representation to people in need. In particular, this policy would limit the preparation of law students to practice civil rights law. An attack on UNC’s Center for Civil Rights will hurt the students and people the center serves, but it bears national signi ...

Protests Are Effective: Keep It Up

Protests Are Effective: Keep It Up

It was a couple of weeks after Donald Trump's election as president and we were feeling demoralized after a victory for plutocracy and white male privilege. Hate crimes committed in Trump's name were increasing. So on Nov. 27, I published a piece titled: "Friends, Even This Cloud Has a Silver Lining." Despite these defeats, there really is something to be thankful for when we consider all the ways in which the previously apolitical and disillusioned among us have decided to activate. Here we ...

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