Will Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Occupy the MLA Convention?

by E Wayne Ross on December 19, 2011

The Chronicle: Will Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Occupy the MLA Convention?

Feeling downsized, disrespected, and exploited, disgruntled members of the Modern Language Association—seeking to capitalize on the Occupy Wall Street movement’s messages about income disparity—have called for action in advance of the group’s annual meeting next month.

Those members, mostly faculty who are off the tenure track, have turned to blogs and a Twitter feed called OccupyMLA to air grievances about deteriorating labor conditions on their campuses for part-time instructors. Among their list of complaints: low wages; no health insurance; lack of access to office space, phones, and computers; abrupt decisions by administrators to cut programs and courses; criticisms of unions; little or no openness about spending; job insecurity; and fear of retribution if they speak out.