Category: Blog

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 ...

The Disparate Truth of Debt in Higher Education

The Disparate Truth of Debt in Higher Education

At the outset, I knew that I would have to overcome systematic racism, transphobia and homophobia. I knew my learning disabilities would make it difficult as well. Yet, the most forbidding boundary in my way is the tremendous debt I have accrued, a fact compounded by the prospect that my calling is not known for being financially lucrative. … I have grown to fear that the pursuit of my passion, which is ultimately to help and liberate others, has doomed myself and my family to captivity; working ...

Faculty are Taking a Stand to Defend the American Dream

Faculty are Taking a Stand to Defend the American Dream

All across America, faculty are uniting to advocate for students and the profession—and the future of higher education is brighter thanks to heroic efforts to bring about authentic structural change and preserve the integrity of our public institutions. ...

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 ...

To Lead or Not to Lead: Spellings' Hesitation is Questionable

To Lead or Not to Lead: Spellings’ Hesitation is Questionable

Newly appointed University of North Carolina (UNC) System President Margaret Spellings has sided with what may fairly be described as an absurd and discriminatory state law, North Carolina House Bill 2 (H.B. 2), rather than take a stand for transgender students, which negatively affects the entire campus community. Spellings’ lack of leadership is apparent when compared with Duke University President Richard Brodhead’s decisive leadership that calls for a full repeal of H.B. 2. Brodhead did not ...

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 ...

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