Tag Archives: Adjuncts

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.

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 X Conference in Mexico City

COCAL X Conference in Mexico City

August 9-12, 2012

The tenth annual COCAL Conference will be held in Mexico City, on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico from Thursday, August 9 through Sunday, August 12, 2010.

The host for COCAL X is the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (STUNAM). Contingent faculty activists and representatives from North America will participate in the conference. Presentations and plenaries will be translated into English, French, and Spanish.

unam01

UNAM

(Photo by David Milroy)

Mexico City is about a five hour flight from Washington, D.C.; four hours from Chicago, and three and a half hours from Los Angeles. The conference arrangements include a group hotel and bus transportation to and from sessions.

  • Call for papers

We are requesting submissions for presentations at the COCAL X Conference. The deadline is June 15, 2012. Click here for guidelines for submissions.

  • Conference Registration
  • Early Registration by June 15, 2012: $225
  • Registration after June 15, 2012: $250

Click here for online registration


Click here for a mail-in registration form

 

Below is information about registration and accommodations for planning purposes:

Conference registration fee includes:

  • All workshops, plenaries & materials
  • 5 meals (lunches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; dinner Friday and Saturday)
  • 2 cultural shows during Friday and Saturday dinners.
  • Visit to two museums on Sunday (Anthropology Museum and Chapultepec Castle)
  • Transfers on buses.

Optional tour: Thursday, August 9th visit to Pyramids of Teotihuacan, $50

  • Scholarship Fund
    A COCAL Scholarship can support attendees who may otherwise not be able to attend. Donations to the scholarship fund can be made on the registration form. Scholarship funds will be disbursed to recipients at the conference.
    Scholarships will be awarded in two rounds; the first from a modest pool of existing funds, the second from any leftover funds or additional funds received. For the best chance of receiving a scholarship, apply by the first deadline.
    May 31: first round scholarship applications due
    June 30: second round scholarship applications due

Click here for an application to the scholarship fund

Plenaries and workshop topics

cocal ix plenary

Plenary at COCAL IX

(Photo by David Milroy)

Plenary 1: Changes in academic work in the context of neoliberal globalization
1. Teaching, researching, and disseminating knowledge to the larger community, including academic management of e-learning
2. Gaining and maintaining health, unemployment, and retirement benefits
3. Supporting academic improvement, evaluation processes, and recognition

Plenary 2: Organization and new forms of struggle by academic workers; challenges and strategies for the 21st century
4. Forming and building unions, associations, federations, networks and coalitions
5. Expanding employment rights: hiring, retention, tenure, wages, health benefits, and safety
6. Strengthening union rights: institutional recognition, alliances and federations, collective bargaining rights, and labor laws and regulations
7. Supporting political rights, cultural rights, and academic freedom
8. Exploring forms of struggle and achievements: campaigns, negotiations, demonstrations, work stoppages, strikes, and use of new technologies and social media

Plenary 3: Culture and identity of the new academic citizens in North America and the world
9. Creating a sense of academic culture and university identity: freeway flyers and working with multiple assignments and institutions
10. New forms of academic citizenship, new work and the changing university community: finding spaces of resistance to the corporate model of higher education
11. Fighting discrimination and inequality: multicultural identity, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and different capabilities
12. Building connections between the contingent academic worker and the university community: tenure-track faculty, research faculty, students, staff, and administrators

Planned Social/Cultural Events

pyramid1

Teotihuacan Pyramids

(Photo by David Milroy)

    • Visit to the castle of Chapultepec and the National Museum of anthropology
    • Tour of Ciudad Universitaria facilities (UNESCO-World Heritage Site)
    • Friday and Saturday dinners organized by Mexican university unions with music and dance

Optional preconference excursion day ($50 extra):

    • Visit to the pyramids of Teotihuacan

 

Accommodations

Hotel Radisson Paraíso Perisur
Cuspide 53, Col. Parque del Pedregal, 14020 Mexico D.F.
$82 US, taxes included, each night for a single-bed or double-bed room.  Additional persons in room are $10 per person, up to 4 persons total per room.

  • Services included with this rate: Single or double room with free high-speed wireless internet for COCAL attendees.
  • This hotel is the closest to the university.
  • In rooms: a work desk with lamp, cable TV, mini bar and iron/ironing board.
  • At hotel: wireless Internet access, a fitness center, cell phone rentals, an American Airlines ticket office, and on-site car rentals.
  • Breakfast is not included in the room rate.  There is a hotel buffet from 7:00 AM to 12:00 noon which costs $15 US (taxes are included). There is also a big shopping center and a variety of inexpensive places to eat very near the hotel.
  • Suggested tips: bellboys $1.50 US and housekeepers $1 US.
  • To make reservations, call (011) + 52 55 59 27 59 59 extension 1286, and mention “COCAL UNAM” to get the special price. You can pay by credit card.
    You may also pay by interbank transfer to BBVA Bancomer 0164753755 (Standardized Bank Code 012180001647537555).  Be aware of extra fees for international bank transfers.
    If you have questions, please contact the Sales Manager, Mrs. Rocio Guzmán
    Telephone (011) +52 (55) 56 06 42 11, fax 55 28 16 33.
  • For photos of the hotel, click here: http://www.radisson.com/mexico-city-hotel-df-14020/mexicoci/locations

Hotel Royal Pedregal
Periférico Sur 4363, México, D. F.
$82 US, taxes included, each night for a single-bed or double-bed room.

  • In rooms: air-conditioning, satellite TV, telephone, mini-bar, tea/coffee and internet access
  • At hotel: arcade, children’s club, car rent, fitness center and full health spa offering a variety of beauty and massage treatments, sauna, steam room and spa tub.
  • Breakfast is not included in the room rate.  There is a hotel buffet from 7:00 AM to 12:00 noon which costs $13 US (taxes are included). There is also a big shopping center and a variety of inexpensive places to eat very near the hotel.
  • To make reservations call 1-866-332-3590 and ask for either Reservation Manager, Erika Ruiz or Nancy Carrillo
    They are available 9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday to Friday, and 9:00 AM-1:00 PM Saturday and Sunday
    Mention “COCALV” to get the special price (make sure you say it exactly like this: C-O-C-A-L-V).  You can pay by credit card.
    Special price for COCAL attendees is good only through August 3rd, 2012.
  • For photos of the hotel, click here: http://royal-pedregal.hotel-rn.com/?lbl=ggl

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/

BC Teachers Plan Strike Vote, Gov’t Prepares Bill

CTV: B.C. teachers plan strike vote, gov’t prepares bill

The ongoing contract dispute between British Columbia teachers and the provincial government is promising to heat up before it cools down, as each side prepares its next move. Teachers have been on a limited strike since September, and while they can’t legally walk off the job, they’ve been refusing to perform administrative duties like filling out report cards.

On Friday, the BC Teachers’ Federation, which represent 41,000 members, announced it will hold strike votes province wide, asking educators Tuesday and Wednesday whether they want to escalate limited teach-only action to a full-scale walkout.