By Dr. David V. Hill
December 10th, hundreds of faculty and students on Jesuit campuses across America came out to let their administrations and the Association for Jesuit Colleges and Universities know what it means to be #JesuitEducated. As educators at Jesuit campuses in addition to teaching our respective subjects we are held to a high standard of values. As stated in Traditions: Our Intellectual, Ethical and Religious Foundations by Richard W. Dunphy S.J. published by Regis University, “Jesuit colleges and universities must strive for high academic quality and encourage rigorous study of crucial human problems and concerns meaning to life and provide motives for action, and they involve one’s mind and heart, one’s whole person.”
How do the above principles of education expressed by Regis University where I teach square with lived experience? I am an Affiliate Faculty member. We make up roughly half of the faculty at Regis University and at other Jesuit universities across the United States. We are paid on a course by course basis and have no idea what courses, if any, we would teach from semester to semester. Although I oversee the work of several graduate students, at their request, I am paid less per hour than my grandson who works at a local fast food restaurant. So I must put together a living teaching at other educational institutions as well. Affiliate faculty have no employee benefits; there is no medical insurance or retirement. As an Affiliate faculty member I am not allowed to develop new courses, apply for grant-funding, sponsor field-trips or receive funding for professional development. Professional development is important in order to keep current in my field as an archaeologist to be a better educator and to identify opportunities for students
Our message is clear: While Jesuit universities talk about a strong commitment to social justice, their actions indicate otherwise. Faculty and students won't back down in our movement to hold Jesuit schools accountable to their mission and yesterday's events are a testament to that. Jesuit universities need to kick the “Affiliate Habit” and once again bring honor and respect to their respective communities. . The dependence on Affiliate faculty at Regis and other Jesuit universities has created a two-tiered educational system that adversely impacts students and faculty alike.
Dr. David V. Hill, holds a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Tulsa (concentration in
Anthropology and Spanish), an MA from Wichita State University (concentration in Anthropology and Geology) and received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin (concentration in Anthropology). He is a currently an Affiliate Faculty member of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver and at Regis University where he teaches courses in anthropology and museum studies. His research interests include science-based archaeology, ceramic technology and the archaeology of the indigenous peoples of the American Southwest. He has also worked in China and Mexico. He has analyzed ceramic collections from across the United States, China, Ecuador, the Caribbean, Oman, Iran, and from the ""Tekta Bernu"" a Classical Period ship wreck. Dr Hill has published in numerous archaeological journals and edited volumes.