COCAL Updates

by E Wayne Ross on October 29, 2012

Updates in Brief and Links
1. Former Obama aide now doing communications for Kaplan U, among other corporations.

2. Debra Leigh Scott on Washington DC radio show about us
Hey everyone —

Just wanted to give you a heads up that I’ve been invited to be on a radio program tomorrow morning at 11:00 am, “Clearing the FOG: Speaking truth to expose the Forces of Greed.” It airs live on 1480 am in Washington, DC, is livestreamed on WeActRadio.com and is archived on our website,ItsOurEconomy.us. Kyle McCarthy is guest hosting (he’s one of the movers and shakers in the student loan debt push back), and I’ll be second on the show, from about 11:15 to 11:30. One of Kyle’s associates from his organization will be first. I’ll be second. Then there’s someone named Steve Horn — does anyone know him? – who will be talking about the privatization push K-16.

I’m not sure if there is a call in part to the show, but if anyone is around and can call in, that would be great.

Best,
D

3. New blog on academic work and us

www.debraleighscott.com
Other Likely Stories by Debra Leigh Scott
http://www.amazon.com/Other-Likely-Stories-Debra-Leigh/dp/0984472711
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4. Article from America Mag (Catholic) about Duquesne adjuncts fight to unionize

5. Some updated analysis of the Adjunct Project’s accumulated dates by the originator, Josh Boldt

6. Unemployedworkers.org seeking stories about employment and benefits for presentations to Congress regarding renewal of UI extensions for 2013. Se below for details.

7. An interesting update on the fight at City College of SF. and also a letter from the union president, AFT 2121, Alisa Messer. See below.

8. Nippon TV of Japan looking to do a story on people with post-grad degrees who are on public aid or otherwise have trouble economically. See below for details.

9. Campus Equity Week report from U of Colorado. see below

10. Story about Freelancers’ Union Jill Horowitz

11. Draft declaration on student tuition and fees by Higher Ed section of Education International (the international organization of education unions world wide, which unions in the US, Canada and Mexico are part of) issued at the their September Buenos Aires conference

12. American U adjuncts nearing agreement on first contract

13. Results of new faculty study by Higher Ed Research Center at UCLA

14. Global Education Strike called for Nov. 14-22

15. Very good Angry Adjunct comic about austerity on campus

16. U of Phoenix Reloads

17. New blog entry on Adjunct Project, worth looking at

18. More remembrances of labor hero Jerry Tucker, these from Labor Notes.

Updates in full

6.

Dear Joe,

Are you currently unemployed? Have you been unemployed in the last few years and now back at work? Are you engaged in a long, tough job search?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, your stories are needed right now. We are compiling these stories for a campaign we’re ramping up to do two things:

1. Renew the current federal unemployment insurance extensions for 2013, and

2. Expand and strengthen reemployment services for unemployed workers, including those who may have exhausted unemployment benefits as well as current recipients.

Right now, more than 2 million unemployed Americans are facing an abrupt and total cut-off of federal unemployment insurance between Christmas and New Year’s if Congress fails to renew the current Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits program before it expires December 31st. Another 2.8 million currently receiving regular state unemployment benefits will not have access, if needed, to those federal EUC extensions in 2013 — unless Congress acts.

This is a looming disaster we just cannot let happen. Here’s how you can help right now:

There are three specific kinds of stories we are looking for:

• If you among the millions of Americans currently unemployed and receiving either federal EUC or regular state UI benefits, please click here to tell your story. We urgently need these stories from workers who would be cut-off of unemployment insurance if Congress fails to renew the federal extensions for 2013.
• If you were unemployed but are now back at work, and thankful for having had unemployment insurance to help sustain you and your family during your job search, please click here to tell us your story. Some who have opposed benefit extensions have falsely asserted that unemployment insurance discourages people from actively seeking or accepting new work. They say it’s a “disincentive”. We want to counter that false assertion — with stories from people who have found new jobs before their benefits ran out.
• If you are looking for work and experiencing a long, tough job search, please click here to tell us that story. Federal EUC benefit weeks were reduced in many states this year even as unemployment remains high and the average unemployed worker’s job-search still lasts about nine months. Finding new work is so tough for many unemployed workers that millions remain jobless even after unemployment benefits are exhausted. We need to renew federal EUC benefits for 2013, and make effective, expanded reemployment services readily available to more job-seekers, including benefit recipients as well as those who have exhausted benefits.
With your help, we’ll bring as many stories as we can to the halls of Congress over the coming weeks. But please, don’t delay — send us your story today!

And if you know of others who can help with their stories, feel free to forward this email to them.

Many thanks.

The UnemployedWorkers.Org Team

Mitchell, Chris, Maurice, Judy, Mike, Rick, George, Claire and Norman

www.Unemployedworkers.org

This email was sent to: joeberry@igc.org
To unsubscribe, go to: http://www.nelp.org/page/unsubscribe/.
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7. On Oct 21, 2012, at 3:00 PM, steven Miller wrote:

The San Francisco Chronicle continued its role as Patron of Austerity and Popularizer of Privatization on Sunday, October 21, 2012 in their lead front page story. The full story is attached below these comments:

“The Mess at CCSF – how it all began”
Subheadline — “Faculty influence many have gotten too strong”

Strange conclusion, since it states later in the article: that CCSF has lost “$25 million… since 2008”.

The scolding tone of the article is full of similar statements, damning the school for successfully putting the faculty in leadership, actually paying them well, and then blaming them for the collapsing economy:

“The story of what brought a vast college to its knees could fill a business course syllabus or, better, a novel.”

In 1990, Chancellor Evan Dobelle, “rewrote the way the college was going to be governed.” Dobelle had a different vision that the corporate privatizers, their political minions and the corporate press, “There can never be a faculty that is too empowered.”

Dobelle cut back on administrators and gave the faculty lots of power. The Chronicle even states, “ ‘Problems with the system might have emerged sooner if money had been tight. But that wasn’t the case.’ ”

In other words, everything was fine until Wall Street broke the economy in 2008. It really isn’t about a strategy that didn’t work. The problem is with cuts and choices that California state government has made in implementing Austerity. We know these policies all too well as the “slash and burn” policies that government enforces against working people, against the poor, even as they refuse to raise taxes on corporations a single dime!

As with attacks on K12 public schools, the privatizers always go after the governance first. They have to break to control of the public, otherwise they cannot turn public education into private corporate profits.

The article also details significant underassessments of financial issues and the interesting conviction of past-Chancellor Phillip Day in 2011 for “diverting college funds into bond campaigns”. This crime was so severe that “a judge reduced the felonies to misdemeanors”. Wouldn’t it be nice if the criminal system was so kind to protestors who sit down in the street! This is just a diversionary tactic.

Governors Schwarzenegger and Brown both get for the Oscar for handwringing in public, while dispossessing the public in practice. They are unified in the typical Austerity lie, pronouncements that “there’s just no money” and “there’s nothing we can do.”

Well, there actually was a lot that people could have done, there’s a lot they still can do. Instead of protecting corporate loopholes and turning more of the budget over to guarantee corporate profits (high speed rail, cutting pensions, diverting water through the Delta Tunnels, maintaining corporate tax loopholes), either governor could have taken a simple step that would, just by itself, guarantee that budget cuts did not need to happen at all.

Every Californian pays more than 9% in sales taxes. However, corporations in California make vast purchases every day that run to many billions of dollars, and these are not taxed at all. We are talking about the hyper-mega market for speculation, accessed by banks, investors, hedge funds and financiers.

Every day these unsavory elements borrow money to speculate in financial markets. They make billions of dollars in purchases every day. These are computer-driven speculations, bets that can be made over the change of a price by a millisecond, a second, a minute, hour, day, week, month – whathaveyou. They can make money betting that the price will go up or go down.

Either way, none of these purchases are taxed. If they were taxed, say at 4.75% – half of sales tax – there would be billions of dollars in excess revenue for the state. Nothing would have to be cut! This form of tax is currently called the “Robin Hood Tax”, even though it hardly “robs” the rich to help the poor.

Forget the “Millionaires Tax” – this generates incredibly more amounts of money for people. We could easily return to the hallowed days of yore that prevailed in the early 1960s,when there were no tuition or fees at all in the state. This of course is exactly in line with the higher-education Mission Statements that the corporate boys tell us we now have to change.

So it’s a choice. It’s straight up just a choice. There is no getting around it. These are the only conclusions it is possible to draw from the Chronicle article. Of course, we are not supposed to consider what this all means.

Actually though, addressing this question is kind of urgent. As soon as the elections are over, the Democratic and Republican Parties have conjured up the on-going drama of the dreaded “Fiscal Cliff” soap opera. This will hit on January 1 and 2 when the “perfect storm” of federal automatic trigger cuts hits. The Bush tax brakes for the ultra-rich, as well as the so-called “Middle Class Tax Breaks”, will end. At the same time, the federal government will start getting smashed with automatic trigger cuts for every sector of the budget, supposedly even including the hallowed Defense Department.

These triggers are reversible only by legislation, something the new Congress and President might or might not take up. Thank Gawd that “Patriotic Americans” are already working on legislation to exempt the Defense Department from the barrage!

The cuts to social programs will be perhaps the greatest in the history of the United States – all in the name of Austerity! No one has yet calculated the devastation that they will cause across the country to public programs.

Of course, we could tax all the financial transactions in the country and then the only problem is how to keep spending the surplus to benefit people in new and exciting ways.

This option is could be a reality, but it is only a dream since the capitalist system cannot make the choice to reduce private corporate profits by a single penny. This is not “corporate greed” and goes way beyond “corporate personhood”. It is mandated and guaranteed by the Rule of Law: corporations must legally maximize their profit. Period.
Does anyone really think it is possible to reform this???

Since this train wreck is headed right at us, maybe we should consider what we, the public, can do. We can continue the never-ending discussions about quick fixes; we can keep hoping that somehow a new hero will appear; we can exhaust ourselves, running around the endless maze of electoral politics; we can keep hoping that the old days will return.

But when all is said and done, Austerity is a policy, a set of choices that we allow government to make that directly and openly benefit corporations. We can allow that choice to happen; in fact, we can’t stop it – even though it does appear as a set of legislative policies. We can’t stop it because the working class does not yet have the political power to do so.

This “choice” is a concerted part of a strategy of an entire class of capitalists, financiers and corporations that operates consciously and for-itself. This is the class that holds political power in this country. They are using their political power to make Austerity happen. This leads to privatization of every governmental function as a profit-making venture and fuels the Wall Street speculative market.

We can however begin to discuss how to enforce a program that attacks this head on. This program must go in the other direction: in a rich country, when it’s the choice of eliminating a program, make it free to all, with completely equal access, instead. Who cares if the corporations say they will not afford this?

Government in America is still based on the assumption that it’s value is to benefit people, not corporations. That too is still law. We must hold every politician accountable to the public good. They are forcing us to take up the issues of transformation. Let history not say that we were not up to the challenge.

CCSF is the college where the working people of San Francisco send their children for their one chance at education. How dare any politician work against this! Put every politician on the record on this one. That is the strategic direction to break the stasis and hold their feet to the fire.

Steven Miller
October 21, 2012

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SF City College money woes have long history

Nanette Asimov

This originally appeared on the SF Chronicle front page as:
The Mess at CCSF – how it all began

Subheadline — “Faculty influence many have gotten too strong”

Updated 11:11 p.m., Saturday, October 20, 2012
On a brisk November day in 1990, the new chancellor of City College of San Francisco offered a rare gift to employees who had felt ignored or trampled by the previous chief just ousted.
“We stand by like jackasses in a hailstorm, and we take it, and we take it, and we take it. And, by God, we are not going to take it anymore!” ChancellorEvan Dobelle proclaimed in his inaugural address to enthusiastic applause.
With that he announced the promotion of 11 employees, mostly faculty, to administrative posts and told reporters: “You just saw the faculty appointed to run the district.”
Soon he would fire more than a third of the 71 administrators, paring them to 46 at the school of 65,000 students. The number of administrators fell to 39 in 2012, though enrollment neared 90,000.
Dobelle’s topsy-turvy move was the beginning of a transformation at City College, a seed that today’s administrators say helped cultivate, 22 years later, the field of managerial and financial troubles that now threatens California’s largest public school with the loss of accreditation and possible closure.
By the time the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges issued its sharply worded report in July giving City College until March 15 to fix its problems – including too few administrators – a psychology professor had risen through the ranks to become chancellor himself, committed to shielding the college from layoffs and course cuts even as the economy and his budget crumbled around him.
Complicated tale
The story of what brought a vast college to its knees could fill a business course syllabus or, better, a novel. It’s a tale of innovation and self-protection, against a backdrop of generosity.
“The college had a very big heart and tried to do a lot for a lot of people,” interim Chancellor Pamila Fisher told the state Board of Governors for the college system recently. But she acknowledged that that was her “elevator speech about how our wonderful college got into this mess.” More to the point, she said, Dobelle “rewrote the way the college was going to be governed,” and a subsequent chancellor, Philip Day, spent money to keep it going.
The system Dobelle started let certain faculty members – department chairs with their own labor union – for the first time make key decisions that had financial implications, such as who would teach what classes and when, and to influence hiring and tenure decisions.
The deans who formerly made those decisions retired and were not always replaced. As their numbers dwindled, they “could no longer make decisions without the approval of people lower in the structure,” said John Rizzo, the current board president.
Dobelle, now president of Westfield State University in Massachusetts, remains committed to the system. “There can never be a faculty that is too empowered,” he said. But he declined to comment on the transformation’s long-term impact on the college.
The trustees accepted the move to faculty-centered governance, said Bob Varni, a trustee until 2001.
“We on the board really didn’t understand the whole concept, so we didn’t do anything to slow it down,” Varni said. “It seemed like a nice family operation. What do they say? Kumbaya.”
By 1998, when Day took the chancellor’s job, the U.S. economy was robust and California was in the midst of the dot-com boom.
“We had a lot of money, and Phil Day used it,” said Natalie Berg, a trustee since 1996. “The department chairs got a big boost in their pay. The unions got raises, too. We had the money to give.”
Problems with the system might have emerged sooner if money had been tight. But that wasn’t the case.
Not only did City College begin paying its faculty more generously than other colleges, including 23 paid holidays, but the college also began accumulating employees. The accreditation team would later marvel that City College employed almost twice the number of tenured faculty for every thousand students as did comparison college districts, with many more part-timers as well.
Costly labor agreements in place since the 1970s also persisted: lifetime health benefits kick in for any 50-year-old hired before 2009 who has worked just five years. And employees still don’t contribute to their retiree health program, a condition that set up the college for what is today an unfunded liability of at least $180 million.
“Our problems started when we started overpaying, which was not sustainable,” Berg said. “We should have been forewarned. It was the staff’s responsibility to tell the board. People did say, ‘This is the budget,’ but not in a way that made the board understand that this was a problem.”
Ambitious plans
Day, meanwhile, had big plans. Voters approved a $195 million school facilities bond in 2001, and another for $246 million in 2005, and Day laid the groundwork for new campuses in Chinatown and the Mission District, as well as a new athletic center and other buildings for the main campus at 50 Phelan Ave.
Those dreams coincided with a harsher reality. In 2006, it was City College’s turn for an accreditation review, which occurs every six years. An accreditation team identified eight major problems, including poor financial planning that kept reserves too low, gobbled too much of the budget on salaries and benefits, and jeopardized the college’s future with the ballooning retiree health obligation.
Although accreditation teams issue recommendations, not requirements, making the fixes are necessary for colleges to stay in business. California does not fund unaccredited institutions.
Had college officials taken the recommendations seriously, it’s unlikely that City College would now be in its desperate race for survival. But in April 2007, the first Chronicle article appeared revealing Day’s involvement in an illegal scheme to divert college funds into the facilities bond campaigns.
Instead of focusing on the problems cited by the accreditation team, Day found himself the subject of an investigation into money laundering by then-District Attorney Kamala Harris.
That wasn’t Day’s only problem. Rizzo, who joined the board in 2007, said he and trustees Julio Ramos and Milton Marks pushed for performance audits that uncovered $40 million of construction expenses unapproved by the board or approved after the money was spent.
“We found unfiled paperwork that filled 64 boxes – unpaid invoices, contracts the board never saw that we didn’t know existed,” Rizzo said. “It was amazing.”
Yet Day still enjoyed support from a majority on the board. He couldn’t be fired, so Rizzo and his allies hounded him out with unusual demands and nitpicking questions.
“We were making his life miserable,” Rizzo recalled.
Day left in 2008. Three years later he pleaded guilty to three felony counts of diverting $100,000 of college funds into the bond campaigns. A judge reduced the felonies to misdemeanors.
Day’s successor was Don Griffin, a veteran psychology professor who had risen through the ranks as department chair, dean of instruction and vice chancellor.
The state’s economic crisis hit just as he took office. Almost immediately, City College learned it would lose about $7 million a year in state funds earmarked for student services – Griffin’s former department – which included counseling and other nonacademic support.
Making one-time cuts
Mark Robinson, the new vice chancellor in charge of student services, presented a budget that proposed layoffs and across-the-board cuts to the many departments in his area. Griffin, however, balanced the budget with one-time cuts from elsewhere, in a move appreciated by faculty.
Robinson wasn’t the only administrator advocating for longer-term budget reductions.
But the short-term cuts continued.
“We cut everyone’s salary for the third year in a row,” said Peter Goldstein, vice chancellor of finance and administration. “We greatly restricted hiring, and we tried to save money through attrition.”
By 2011, that strategy blew up. City College faced a $13.75 million loss in state funding – part of $25 million lost since 2008. Trustees dipped into reserves, reducing the emergency fund to dangerously low levels that brought the college to the brink of bankruptcy.
Griffin, who retired in April to have surgery to remove a brain tumor, did not respond to requests for comment.
Fisher, the interim chancellor, took over in May.
Two months later, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges gave City College just nine months to repair all 14 significant problems that had been years in the making or lose its accreditation.
And because there was no guarantee that could be done, the accrediting team also ordered City College to prepare for closure.
“From the beginning, we’ve had people saying the accreditation report was part of a far-right conspiracy designed to take us down because we’re so liberal,” Fisher told the college system’s Board of Governors.
She said the intentions of those who led the college to this point reflect “San Francisco values of which we’re all very proud – but which sometimes get in the way of making good decisions.
“Yes, our board will have to make very hard, fiscal choices. Just making the fiscal decisions won’t save us. We’ll need the cooperation of all constituency groups.”
Nanette Asimov is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: nasimov@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @NanetteAsimov

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/SF-City-College-money-woes-have-long-history-3968316.php#ixzz29xvOycdr

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Friends,
Alissa hits it out of the ballpark here. FYI.
Bill

____________________________
Bill Shields
Chair, Labor and Community Studies
City College of San Francisco
1400 Evans Avenue, Room 224
San Francisco, California 94124
415-550-4473 (phone)
415-550-4400 (fax)
From: AFT 2121
Date: October 24, 2012 2:16:40 PM PDT
To: wshields@ccsf.edu
Subject: Progress? An open letter to the Board of Trustees, 10/24/12
Reply-To: aft@aft2121.org

October 24, 2012

To: Board of Trustees, City College of San Francisco

CC: Chancellor Fisher, Chancellor Scott-Skillman, college community

Re: Progress?

Despite what some naysayers predicted, the College has done it—produced a comprehensive document that maps out how CCSF will meet the gauntlet thrown down by the ACCJC. Because all constituencies have worked hard, a number of recommendations have already been met and the College has produced a progress report that should impress upon our critics how seriously the District takes this task. Even under a relentless timeline, the October 15 Special Report represents a significant response to the recommendations. It also represents significant changes.

As a College, we do well to remember that there are areas where we can improve. At an institution that has in some cases been too slow to make smart changes, we note that thoughtful, carefully implemented measures—and we do mean thoughtful, nuanced, and responsible measures—to improve enrollment and scheduling, streamline management, and implement improved technologies are possible. Such changes will make better use of shrinking resources and have less damaging impacts on students or the workers who serve them.

We are, however, fully concerned that some changes will have severely negative impacts on students and the education we offer them and on positive working conditions that support educational quality Change is not bad on principle, and maintaining our accreditation is essential, but reforms that are made thoughtlessly, too quickly, or without consultation will surely beget unintended, negative consequences. Some solutions are better than others, and some “solutions” are not solutions at all.

As we have said, even in these troubling times, we do not believe this College must wholesale shift its priorities away from quality education, the needs of our students and community, or care for the workers who serve those students. Some of the proposals the Board now has before it run just this risk, and in the extreme. The October 25 agenda item proposing drastic restructuring of our academic programs is an alarming example of an extreme and foolhardy swing of the pendulum.

This proposed restructuring has been made without consultation and without, as far as we can tell, necessary consideration of the education we provide. There has been no opportunity for discussion or understanding of these enormous changes that will affect every sector of the College. Questions abound. Whose “best practices” are these? What content knowledge and expertise will Deans and Chairs of multiple programs be able to bring to the day-to-day workings of our programs? Who will schedule hundreds of classes and faculty members, pursue and manage grants, and establish community links to employers and internships—just a few of the responsibilities our Department Chairs currently oversee? Without legally mandated oversight, how will our celebrated Career and Technical Education programs such as Nursing and Fire Science maintain their accreditations? And is the goal a more effective structure or to bust the Department Chairs’ Council, a certified bargaining unit? These questions necessitate bargaining, explication, and input from those who best understand the impacts.

This proposal needs to go back to the drawing board, so to speak; by no means should the Board approve it.

But this non-inclusive proposal is simply the latest and most extreme manifestation of a growing problem our college community is facing—the manner in which changes are being imposed at City College and the devaluation of the expertise of those doing the work of educating and supporting our students. This is not progress: unilateral, top-down proposals lead to deficient proposals.

Faculty expertise and students’ and workers’ concerns must be genuinely considered—at the bargaining table, on accreditation teams, in governance, and in all major decisions affecting the future of CCSF. Indeed the future of the college and the education we offer students depend on it. Decisions made without sufficient expertise and input can lead to disruption and confusion rather than improvement—and can jeopardize the College’s well-being.

We have already challenged the Board, collectively, to consider and address with integrity the task before you. We have called attention to the lack of transparency and the importance of constituency input. The wealth of expertise and dedication evident at CCSF should not be ignored or trampled.

We likewise reiterate our expectation that the Board respect collective bargaining and ensure that all negotiable items are brought to the appropriate bargaining tables. Labor and collective bargaining are not at fault here.

Even the CEO of FCMAT, Joel Montero, is clear on this point. “Labor is not the villain,” he pointed out to the Board of Governors earlier this month in speaking of City College’s difficult financial situation. “Those issues should not be laid at the feet of labor.” He went on to note that in public education “we spend most of our money in the category of people,” reporting that in the K12 system, for “salary and benefits, [districts are] spending in the neighborhood of $0.94 of every $1, up from $0.84 prior to 2007-2008.” That number is expected to rise “as the state’s issues continue to exacerbate funding and support programs at the local level.” We are hardly alone in our fiscal crisis; in fact, there is agreement among some that if Proposition 30 fails, the resulting trigger cuts would likely cause the demise—the actual disappearance—of several smaller community college districts in the state.

Faculty and employee groups have consistently stepped up to the plate in addressing the current crisis, yet we have been left out of any authentic decision-making process and unilateral changes are being implemented. We have also heard consistently from students that they are being excluded from the process. And it increasingly looks as though Board members, who say they invited a Special Trustee (rather than have one imposed) in order to retain their stewardship of the District, are nonetheless ready to abdicate their role in the decision-making process as well. Is it not our joint responsibility to maintain our accreditation, our fiscal solvency, and most importantly the ability to serve our students well?

We have been criticized for being “too generous” and told that we are flawed because we have “San Francisco values.” We reject these notions, and we reject the wholesale downsizing of a college that has done so much for San Francisco.

We have not been criticized for the quality of the education we provide to students or the dedication of those who do that work. It would be a tragedy beyond measure if the Accreditation Commission’s visiting team returned in March to find a College that was unrecognizable, a College no longer serving its community well, no longer able to meet the needs of its diverse and deserving student population.

Avoiding that tragedy depends in part on the outcome of November’s election—on passing Proposition A locally and Proposition 30 statewide. But it also depends on the “hard choices” this College makes and how they impact our students and those who do the work of educating and supporting them. It depends on the ability of the Board and administration to work with the entire college community collaboratively and with integrity to make smart—even if tough—decisions.

On behalf of AFT 2121,

Alisa Messer

President

Contact AFT 2121 at 415-585-2121 or visit us online at aft2121.org. Follow us on Facebook

To update your email address, please let us know at aft@aft2121.org. Click here to unsubscribe.

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8. Colleagues,

The AAUP has been contacted by a producer for Nippon Television (NTV), Japan, looking to do a story on individuals with advanced degrees who are receiving public assistance, specifically food stamps (technically now under the acronym “SNAP,” by the way). If you are interested in speaking with this producer, the complete request and contact information are below. On a personal note, I would counsel you to think twice about whether you are interested in pursuing this; it could be a platform for useful advocacy, but it might also be a negative personal experience.

Many readers of this list will recall the Chronicle of Higher Education article on the same topic: “The Ph.D. Now Comes With Food Stamps” (May 6, 2012). Available athttp://chronicle.com/article/From-Graduate-School-to/131795/ (link may require subscription). That article turned out to be pretty well presented, I would say, but that is not always the case with media coverage of complex issues.
Regards,
John W. Curtis, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Public Policy
American Association of University Professors
1133-19th Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 737-5900 Ext. 143
E-mail: jcurtis@aaup.org

“Academic Freedom for a Free Society”
Support AAUP by joining today! http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/involved/join/
AAUP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AAUPNational

From: Takuya Katsumura (NTV NY) [mailto:takuya@ntvic.com]
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 6:30 PM
To: John Curtis; ROBIN BURNS
Cc: NTV NY
Subject: Japan’s NTV’s Inquiry/Request: AAUP

Dear Mr. John Curtis and Ms. Robin Burns,

Hello, my name is Takuya Katsumura and I am a television news producer with Nippon Television (NTV), Japanese broadcaster.
NTV is the largest and oldest commercial television network in Japan and I am based in New York City.

I am contacting you because NTV is currently looking to cover a news story on the economy in the U.S. and it’s impact on people, especially those who have higher education degree.

In our story we will be talking about how regular Americans, even those with higher education, are struggling to pay the bills.
We understand that there is still a strong image that most media give their audiences that people that are on public assistance are dropouts or irresponsible.
This is why we are trying to show the reality of American society to our viewers.
We would like to fairly show that so many people are living on public assistance when they have a great education, career and jobs.
And it is our hope that our viewers can learn something out of our story and possibly break their stigmas against people receiving such aid. Moreover, I hope we all have an opportunity to think about how we can turn around the economy and the systems that allow defunding even higher education.

Mr. Curtis and Ms. Burns would you kindly be able to introduce us to someone who matches the criteria below?
We are looking for someone who has master/Ph.D degree and who is receiving food stamps, and who allows us to…
■ Film interview at home
■ Film him/her go shopping using food stamps.
■ Film him/her commute to the workplace (school/college/university)
■ Film him/her work at the school/college/university if it’s possible

We are looking to do this coverage by the end of this month. Hopefully this week.

I understand those people that are receiving assistance are having a tough time, but I hope you understand the possible learning opportunity this segment might be able to give our audiences to know what many people’s lives in America are like right now.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could kindly consider this request and reply this email.
You can always reach me on my mobile at 2016815127.

Thank you very much.

Best Regards,
Takuya


* * * * * * * * * *
Takuya Katsumura
NTV New York News Bureau
645 Fifth Avenue Suite 303, New York, NY 10022
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NTV has the largest cable television news network in Japan called NNN or Nippon Network News. We have around 30 affiliate stations in Japan, and our coverage and our viewers broaden out throughout Japan. NTV is a leading provider of news with more than 6 million people tuning into their news broadcasts on a nearly nightly basis.

Nippon Television also covers the entire world with bureaus in Washington D.C., Moscow, Cairo, London, Paris, Beijing, Bangkok, Seoul and others. Together with 12 bureaus throughout the world connected by a sophisticated satellite network, NTV is able to bring its millions of viewers the most comprehensive news coverage amongst Japan’s many commercial television networks.

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9. Jeff –

As is likely the case on most campuses, adjuncts here fear losing their jobs, making it difficult to organize. Nevertheless, we’ve been focusing on Campus Equity Week for months, ever since we learned about it through AAUP. It’s been energizing. I’ll list a few details here so other adjunct groups strapped for resources might use an idea like this.

Looking ahead to October, earlier this summer we researched adjunct titles and then asked our library to order them. In August, we worked with library staffers to develop what is now a permanent collection of titles housed in a new section of the reserve area devoted to “Professional Development.” We want them kept on reserve in case certain, er, un-adjunct individuals would accidentally on purpose check them out indefinitely. Our thought is to make them available for browsing, at least, and perhaps the reading of a chapter or two at a nearby table, as reserve books cannot leave the library.

In September, we designed and printed colorful bookmarks announcing Campus Equity Week, with the instructions for an online book blog on the reverse side. These were 4-up to a sheet, so we made 160 for around $40.

On Oct. 19th, to promote both CEW and the book club, we put on display in the library’s 12 foyer windows our favorite adjunct titles, accompanied by posters beside each one. On the poster (sheet of legal-sized paper) for each book, in 36-point type, is its title, and below, in 20-point type, the blurb from the back page or inside flap of each book. The titles of some of the books are edgy and compelling, so having the posters in the windows draws passersby to take a closer look.

In two of the windows we’ve put “Did You Know?” posters about the adjunct working situation, and another containing a tally of estimated hours unpaid labor (prep, grading, advising) adjuncts on our campus are donating to state taxpayers annually.

This week we are handing the bookmarks to adjuncts when we see them, as we are barred from any distribution of anything in faculty mailboxes.

By moving our campaigning online and by capitalizing on library protocols in regard to freedom of information, we have been able to offer adjunct faculty some ideas and a place (online) to converse about them.

This is our first attempt at Campus Equity Week. We are having a great time with it and look forward to its expansion.

Colorado Adjuncts

On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 7:01 PM, Jeff wrote:
I want to thank everyone who responded to me. I will present the idea of promoting CEW at our next council meeting. Even if there is not a national effort, it would make sense to do it locally.

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“Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty”, by Berry, Stewart and Worthen, published by Chicago COCAL, 2008. Order from

“Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education”. by Joe Berry, from Monthly Review Press, 2005. Look at for full information, individual sales, bulk ordering discounts, or to invite me to speak at an event.

See Chicago Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, for news, contacts and links related to non-tenure track, “precarious” faculty, and for back issues of the periodic news aggregator, COCAL Updates. Email joeberry@igc.org to be added to the list.

See for information on the Tenth (X) Conference on Contingent Academic Labor in Mexico City, August 10-12, 2012 at Univ. Nacional Auto. de Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City.

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