If society cannot even rally around an issue like universal healthcare, how could it rally around an issue like the destruction of higher ed?
--- tfast <tfast at yorku.ca> wrote:
> I must say that agree with what Andie has written
> below. I would add that
> adjunct faculty are often in a weaker position than
> PhD students. At least
> as a PhD student you are generally guaranteed a
> certain tenure of funding
> 4-6 years depending on the institution and the TA
> work tends to be related
> to your field.
> Adjuncts are really screwed. They require the same
> amount of education as
> their tenured counterparts to do the same job, sans
> very little job control,
> no certainty of contract renewal, and often working
> contracts at two
> universities to put a full time salary together. In
> practice this means
> that adjuncts have very little time to organize and
> are often spread across
> two or more institutions. They are very hard to
> organize and easily
> picked-off when they do attempt to organize.
> It is interesting that in Canada in many fields
> there is shortage of labour
> which has caused pressure on the universities to
> pump out more Ph.Ds in a
> shorter period of time. But even in the face of
> such a shortage the ratio
> of tenure track to adjunct hires is not increasing.
> At York we have worked
> hard in collective bargaining to mitigate this
> through insisting that so
> many adjuncts have to be converted each year. This
> along with tuition for
> Grads are the two perennial sticking issues in
> bargaining with the Admin.
> The full time faculty have been ambivalent with many
> characterizing adjuncts
> as failed academics; whatever that means. And if it
> means anything it would
> also mean that many tenured faculty are failed
> academics themselves.
> I for one consider myself to be extremely lucky to
> have made out as well as
> I did. I say luck because my hire was partly about
> timing, partly about
> contacts (information), partly about geography, and
> partly about my CV.
> That sounds about like life. But one should not
> infer too much from the
> happenstance and chance of life. Had I been born in
> 68 and had my parents
> stayed in the US, I would no doubt be writing to LBO
> from the adjunct
> > You are of course right that PhDs are vastly
> > overqualified for most extra-academic employment.
> > certainly the oversupply of PhD's in the academic
> > market creates a huge reserve army of the un- and
> > underemployed that depresses willingness and
> > to organize effectively; I erred in leaving out
> > crucial point, which is probably fundamental.
> > For the rest, I can't agree. I don't think that
> > professoriat is more organized than other groups.
> > "professional associations that wield more power
> > the average labor union," you mean what, the
> > Association of University Professors? Give me a
> > Woj, the AAUP is powerless and ineffective. The
> > American Philosophical Association or the American
> > Political Science Association? Excuse me, but if I
> > were running for office I'd rather have the
> > endorsement of Carpenters Local 59. At least then
> > could count on some votes.
> > I don't know, by the way, what bombastic rhetoric
> > are talking about with regard to unions. "Buy
> > American," maybe? Have you read any union
> > lately? Probably not, or you wouldn't say that.
> > soporific. Bombast would be an improvement.
> > In terms of defending the interests of their
> > any other-than-union academic professional
> > associations suck. Accordingly, and this leads to
> > next point, working conditions, pay, and job
> > opportunities suck.
> > Your notion that "professors have a greater degree
> > self-management, especially at the departmental
> > level," than most workers reflects the point of
> > of a tenured professor. Adjuncts and grad students
> > course can't even participate in departmental
> > decisions.
> > Tenured and tenure track professors are a bare
> > majority of teaching faculty in higher education,
> > proportion that has been falling steadily.
> > The Organization of American Historians Newsletter
> > says
> > 46 percent of college faculty today are
> > most in the thirty-five to sixty-four year age
> > and a quarter hold a Ph.D. Admittedly, adjuncts
> > from many ranks, but as one recent survey
> > demonstrated, a growing minority (29 percent) is
> > devoted to part-time teaching as a career. To this
> > group, especially those with Ph.D.s, denial of
> > research support becomes a professional glass
> > Granting agencies aggravate this problem by
> > full-timers. Excluded, part-timers face year-round
> > employment in multiple jobs with little time or
> > resources left for scholarly development.
> > http://www.oah.org/pubs/nl/2007may/rogers.html
> > See also from the Chronicle of Higher Education in
> > 2001:
> > >From 1975 to 1999, the proportion of full-time
> > members in non-tenure-track positions increased to
> > percent from 19 percent. Recent estimates suggest
> > 45 percent of all new hires in academe are on the
> > non-tenure track, including 65 percent at research
> > universities.
> > http://chronicle.com/jobs/2001/07/2001070601c.htm
> > Even at Yale, where elite teaching is a
> > priority only
> > 30 percent of classroom instruction in Yale
> College is
> > performed by "ladder faculty," a term that refers
> > professors with or without tenure. Part-time and
> > adjunct instructors do another 30 percent of the
> > teaching, the report said, with graduate students
> > accounting for the other 40 percent.
> > >From the point of view of tenure track but
> > faculty, a relatively privileged group because it
> > least is on the tenure track, there is indeed more
> > self-management than for average workers, and one
> > a written employment contract with, typically, a
> > terminal year rather an employment at will -- no
> > benefit, and other workers don't have anything
> > that as a rule unless they have a union. But the
> > from below is considerably less rosy than from the
> > perspective of tenured faculty.
> > Finally, "radicalize" is not a precisely defined
> > but it is not meaningless, neither does it
> > Oedipal attitudinizing. In the context it means,
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Dr. Nicholas Ruiz III Editor, Kritikos http://intertheory.org