Category Archives: Adjuncts

New Workplace Issue: Academic Bullying & Mobbing #academicfreedom #ubc #aaup

New Workplace Issue #24

Academic Bullying & Mobbing

Workplace and Critical Education are published by the Institute for Critical Education Studies. Please consider participating as author or reviewer. Thank you.

Academic job market decimated, crashing #highered #edstudies #criticaled #caut #aaup #bced #bcpoli

Oftentimes, the academic job market for full-time (FT) faculty is inversely related to economic recessions. Not anymore. In this prolonged Great Recession, turned Great Depression II in parts of North America and across the world, youth have been particularly hard hit, more pronounced by race. The most common description for this current economy for youth is “a precipitous decline in employment and a corresponding increase in unemployment.” In Canada and the US, unemployment rates for the 16-19 year olds exceed 25%. At the same time, one of the most common descriptions for postsecondary enrollment and participation in Canada and the US is “tremendous growth at the undergraduate level… the number of graduate students has grown significantly faster than the number of undergraduate students over the last 30 years.” With “school-to-work” and “youth employment” oxymoronic, corporate academia and the education industry are capitalizing on masses of students returning to desperately secure advanced credentials in hard times, but no longer does this matter to the professoriate.

If higher education enrollment has been significant, increases in online or e-learning enrollment have been phenomenal. Postsecondary institutions in North America commonly realized 100% increases in online course enrollment from the early 2000s to the present with the percentage of total registrations increasing to 25% for some universities. In Canada, this translates to about 250,000 postsecondary students currently taking online courses but has not translated into FT faculty appointments. More pointedly, it has eroded the FT faculty job market and fueled the part-time (PT) job economy of higher education. About 50% of all faculty in North America are PT but this seems to jump to about 85%-90% for those teaching online courses. For example, in the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Master of Educational Technology (MET), where there are nearly 1,000 registrations per year, 85% of all sections are taught by PT faculty. In its decade of existence, not a single FT faculty member has been hired for this revenue generating program. Mirroring trends across North America, support staff doubling as adjunct or sessional teach about 45% of MET courses in addition to their 8:30-4:30 job functions in the service units. These indicators are of a larger scope of trends in the automation of intellectual work.

Given these practices across Canada, in the field of Education for example, there has been a precipitous decline in employment of FT faculty, which corresponds with the precipitous decline in employment of youth (Figure 1). Education is fairly reflective of the overall academic job market for doctorates in Canada. Except for short-term trends in certain disciplines, the market for PhDs is bleak. Trends and an expansion of the Great Recession predict that the market will worsen for graduates looking for FT academic jobs in all disciplines. A postdoctoral appointment market is very unlikely to materialize at any scale to offset trends. For instance, Education at UBC currently employs just a handful (i.e., 4-5) of postdocs.

To put it in mild, simple terms: Universities changed their priorities and values by devaluing academic budget lines. Now in inverse relationship to the increases in revenue realized by universities through the 2000s, academic budgets were progressively reduced from 40% or more to just around 20% for many of these institutions. One indicator of this trend is the expansion of adjunct labor or PT academics. In some colleges or faculties, such as Education at UBC, the number of PT faculty, which approached twice that of FT in 2008, teach from 33% to 85% of all sections, depending on the program.

Another indicator is the displacement of tenure track research faculty by non-tenure track, teaching-intensive positions. For example, in Education at UBC, about 18 of the last 25 FT faculty hires were for non-tenure track teaching-intensive positions (i.e., 10 courses per year for Instructor, Lecturer, etc.). This was partially to offset a trend of PT faculty hires pushing Education well over its faculty salary budget (e.g., 240 PT appointments in 2008). Measures in North America have been so draconian that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was compelled to report in 2010 that “the tenure system has all but collapsed…. the proportion of teaching-intensive to research-intensive appointments has risen sharply. However, the majority of teaching-intensive positions have been shunted outside of the tenure system.” What is faculty governance, other than an oligarchy, with a handful of faculty governing or to govern?

Read More: Petrina, S. & Ross, E. W. (2014). Critical University Studies: Workplace, Milestones, Crossroads, Respect, TruthWorkplace, 23, 62-71.

Equity, Governance, Economics and Critical University Studies #criticaled #edstudies #ubc #ubced #bced #yteubc

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor
Equity, Governance, Economics and Critical University Studies
No 23 (2014)

As we state in our Commentary, “This Issue marks a couple of milestones and crossroads for Workplace. We are celebrating fifteen years of dynamic, insightful, if not inciting, critical university studies (CUS). Perhaps more than anything, and perhaps closer to the ground than any CUS publication of this era, Workplace documents changes, crossroads, and the hard won struggles to maintain academic dignity, freedom, justice, and integrity in this volatile occupation we call higher education.” Workplace and Critical Education are published by the Institute for Critical Education Studies (ICES).

Commentary

  • Critical University Studies: Workplace, Milestones, Crossroads, Respect, Truth
    • Stephen Petrina & E. Wayne Ross

Articles

  • Differences in Black Faculty Rank in 4-Year Texas Public Universities: A Multi-Year Analysis
    • Brandolyn E Jones & John R Slate
  • Academic Work Revised: From Dichotomies to a Typology
    • Elias Pekkola
  • No Free Set of Steak Knives: One Long, Unfinished Struggle to Build Education College Faculty Governance
    • Ishmael Munene & Guy B Senese
  • Year One as an Education Activist
    • Shaun Johnson
  • Rethinking Economics Education: Challenges and Opportunities
    • Sandra Ximena Delgado-Betancourth
  • Review of Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think
    • C. A. Bowers

The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students: new issue of Workplace #occupyeducation #bced #yteubc

The Institute for Critical Education Studies (ICES) is extremely pleased to announce the launch of Workplace Issue #22, “The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students” (Guest Editors Bradley J. Porfilio, Julie A. Gorlewski & Shelley Pineo-Jensen).

 The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students

Articles:

  • The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students: Introduction to the Special Issue (Brad Porfilio, Julie Gorlewski, Shelley Pineo-Jensen)
  • Dismissing Academic Surplus: How Discursive Support for the Neoliberal Self Silences New Faculty (Julie Gorlewski)
  • Academia and the American Worker: Right to Work in an Era of Disaster Capitalism? (Paul Thomas)
  • Survival Guide Advice and the Spirit of Academic Entrepreneurship: Why Graduate Students Will Never Just Take Your Word for It (Paul Cook)
  • Standing Against Future Contingency: Activist Mentoring in Composition Studies (Casie Fedukovich)
  • From the New Deal to the Raw Deal: 21st Century Poetics and Academic Labor (Virginia Konchan)
  • How to Survive a Graduate Career (Roger Whitson)
  • In Every Way I’m Hustlin’: The Post-Graduate School Intersectional Experiences of Activist-Oriented Adjunct and Independent Scholars (Naomi Reed, Amy Brown)
  • Ivory Tower Graduates in the Red: The Role of Debt in Higher Education (Nicholas Hartlep, Lucille T. Eckrich)
  • Lines of Flight: the New Ph.D. as Migrant (Alvin Cheng-Hin Lim)

The scope and depth of scholarship within this Special Issue has direct and immediate relevance for graduate students and new and senior scholars alike. We encourage you to review the Table of Contents and articles of interest.

Our blogs and links to our Facebook timelines and Twitter stream can be found at http://blogs.ubc.ca/workplace/ and http://blogs.ubc.ca/ices/

Thank you for your ongoing support of Workplace,

Sandra Mathison, Stephen Petrina & E. Wayne Ross, co-Directors
Institute for Critical Education Studies
Critical Education

COCAL Updates

COCAL updates in brief and links from Joe Berry:

1. Faculty at U of OR get agreement on mixed bargaining unit recognition (it includes ALL contingents) joint AFT/AAUP affiliate
http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/newsroom/2012PRs/UOAgree.htm

2. Yet another article supports what most of us in the union movement have long said, as wealth goes up, empathy declines [or “the rich are different from you and me, they have more money…” and less empathy for others.]
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-wealth-reduces-compassion

3. Ad for adjunct job specifies that the person not be teaching anywhere else and reactions.
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/04/25/usc-job-ad-rankles-adjuncts
and http://www.nationalreview.com/phi-beta-cons/296957/adjuncts-alarmed-over-usc-job-posting-nathan-harden
and http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/mandatory-monogamy-adjuncts

4. More on union recognition at U of OR
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/04/25/faculty-union-advances-u-oregon

5. Very interesting contrast in US press coverage between French and US elections. Are there lessons here for how the press frames our issues in higher ed? (such as making the extreme privatization and casualization trends of US seem normal here, but covering them differently, if at all, overseas.) The question, of course, is how to change or challenge this press frame.
http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=10095

6. Student veterans group revokes charters of locals at over 20 for-profit colleges
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/04/26/veterans-group-lists-profits-where-it-revoked-charters

7. Capella U (a for profit) to offer college credit (classes) online to higher school students for a fee. [Is there anything not for sale if one has enough money? Didn’t Marx say something about “All that is solid melts into the air?”]
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/04/26/capella-posts-25000-free-tutorials-through-sophia

8. The for-profits’ war on philanthropy
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/04/26/essay-profit-colleges-undermine-traditional-role-philanthropy
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/04/26/capella-posts-25000-free-tutorials-through-sophia

9. Ten Ways for a non-tenure track faculty to get fired [some of these are good, some obvious and some just plain wrong IMHO, especially the one about not trusting (some) “help” (clerical staff). They can be our best allies, individually and collectively.]
http://chronicle.com/article/10-Ways-to-Get-Yourself-Fired/131630/

10. New memo reveals union suppression at Kaplan U in NYC
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/19/1084585/-BREAKING-Kaplan-University-Suppressing-Union-Organizing-In-NYC

11. Blog from union organizer at East-West U in Chicago
http://academeblog.org/2012/03/21/shooting-itself-in-the-foot-east-west-universitys-anti-union-campaign/

12. More on new play about for-profits
http://www.campusprogress.com/articles/theatre_of_the_absurd_former_for-profit_college_advisor_takes_his_stor/

13. Update on massive Quebec student strike agains huge tuition increases
http://www.marxist.com/quebec-revolt-analysis-april-2012.htm

14. Kaplan and other for-profits were part of ALEC and their ED task force
http://truth-out.org/news/item/8766-washington-posts-kaplan-and-other-for-profit-colleges-joined-alec

15. AAUP summer institute http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/about/events/si2012.htm

16. More on Gren River CC (WA) adjunct apartheid event and disposable teachers
http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/04/disposable-teachers/