Monday, December 7, 2009

Checking in

I've made my peace ~ after a fashion ~ with the administrator at another (blog) I write for. He's given up on bullying me and may even have clued in ~ finally ~ to my not being that impressed with either his position in the particular world being blogged or having a column in . Best perhaps that he remain unawares that I'm more likely to consider that gig as selling out, something I suspect most prominent figures in this microcosm, with few but notable exceptions, have sold out as well, albeit unawares.

I have admin privileges ~ clever twigging onto my not posting being a sign that concessions better come my way. Apologizing would have gone further. Why I really prefer being my own boss.

To some extent, that takes away the purpose of this particular blog started as backup and asylum. Or I can make it more about life. What I really need is another blog account and pseudonym to let 'er rip. But I hate hiding behind a name mask and not being myself even more than self-censorship.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yet another blog welcome

Here's another. I dare say the process should prove to be Darwinian: throw them all in the shark tank and make book on which blog survives.

None of my blogs are particularly personal, although I like to think that my personality comes through even if more like barge, insinuate, gate crash, etc than shine" (cliché of choice, as in "shining through" ~ yeah, like The Shining, eh?).

What distinguishes this from others? Tentatively, it is more about work, although to go by Mountainair Arts, that does not it will stay about work ... maybe "life" ~ a broad blanket to cover any topic.

And what inspired this latest spin-off? What is its foundation myth? More myth-hap than myth. I'd been guest blogging elsewhere - an academic labor thus work related blog, as if I did not have enough of my own blogs to write for, and learned that the owner/administrator had deleted a handful of posts without giving me a heads up ~ not giving me a reason, not asking me to edit, delete or remove them myself. Nor any response, let alone an apology, when I brought the matter up. Despite other matters on deck this a.m., I created a new blog (this one) to have some place to stash surviving posts as none fit other blogs. Now I can pause, publish (saved in drafts for now), perhaps delete on the other blog and remove myself as a guest contributor.

Unfortunately, the most interesting (in my not so humble opinion at any rate) posts were the ones to get the axe. They were also, for the most part, ones I had invested research time in preparing. Although not so invested as to retrace research and recreate the posts, I may insert a brief synopsis.

That an academic either did not understand or understood but did not think it mattered that my words belong to me speaks volumes.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Majority Faculty Day - now on Facebook

Post imported from New Faculty Majority Day blog:

No kidding. This is April 5 not 1. New Faculty Majority Day is now a group on Facebook. Are you on Facebook? If so, go directly to group (via link posted here) or search groups for "New Majority Faculty Day" and join. If not, then join, search & join. Post links, videos, post a comment, start a forum topic. Invite your precariously contingent friends & colleagues to join.

And while you're at it, visit other (Bob's) NMF Day blog, Changing Universities. More NMF Day ideas and links right here

Comments imported from New Faculty Majority Day blog:


Professor Smartass said...
Post your story of life as an adjunct, part timer, non-tenure track, temporary (or all of the above) faculty here:
Barry R. Bainton, PhD, MBA said...
There is another resource developing for adjuncts who are members of LinkedIn. This is the The Adjunct Network.

This is a recently established information sharing site. In this time of economic challenge and class discrimination within higher education, it is critical that all adjunct and temporary faculty unite. We fill in the gaps of between institutional capacity (commitment) and student demand (for quality and quantity of classes). There is no price differential between what a student pays for a class and what the status of the teacher is. Equal pay for equal work??? Or discount classes for discounted teacher?? APRIL 23, 2009 10:54 AM
Vanessa said...
LinkedIn's Adjunct Network sounds promising, possibly more professional, less social - if I still were, I would. As promising & affordable as social networking apps are, we can't tell which ones will best suit w/o using them more than just cursorily. Just a hunch, but I rather suspect we'll end up with series of overlapping networks - maybe something on the semantic web. APRIL 30, 2009 3:18 PM

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Higher Ed in The Nation

Post imported from New Faculty Majority Day blog:

More visibility ... not just trade pubs, student & local press... there's an article in The Nation, Higher Education Takes a Hit, about "contingent labor" in higher education, "positions that have increasingly replaced full-time, tenure-track jobs" but "pay only about a fourth as much, per course, as tenure-track positions, seldom come with benefits and offer little job security or possibility of advancement."

Yes, we already know all that - old news to us - but how nice to read it in a national magazine. And even nicer for
The New Faculty Majority (The Coalition) to get a tip of the hat:
Despite these organizing successes, some adjuncts say that under the sponsorship of some national organizations, like the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, which also represent full-time faculty, they often get short shrift.

That may soon change, if fourteen adjunct activists from across the country succeed in forming the New Faculty Majority: The National Coalition for Adjunct and Contingent Equity. The group, whose organizers first connected on a list-serv, is still in the planning stages. But co-chairs of the organizing committee Deborah Louis and Maria Maisto said they have already received membership requests.
What next? Get the word out. Even 'juncts can go viral.

Read the article, forward it, share it on Facebook, bookmark, review & rate it on the social bookmarking sites (Digg, BuzzFlash, Reddit, Delicious, StumbleUpon & so on). After all, to cite NFM co-chair Deb Louis (from the article), "
Now, with all the Internet potential, it becomes a whole different ballgame."

While you're at it, write a
Web Letter about the article. According toThe Nation's Web Letter page, "Web Letters are continuously published e-mails from real people, signed with their real names. No registration is required. Each article page on The Nation includes a Web Letters link."

(no Comments to import)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Adjunct Solidarity

Post imported from New Faculty Majority Day blog:

OK so you've probably already seen this but just in case, here's Scott Jaschik's report, Adjunct Solidarity, for IHE on the Weber U letter writing campaign.
"Given that Weber State isn't known for its activist professors, administrators there were surprised recently when letters and e-mail messages started to arrive -- not from adjuncts or their tenure-track colleagues at the university, but from New York, California and elsewhere -- as far away as Japan.....And the Weber State plan struck many adjunct activists at other campuses as salt in the wounds -- enough so that they needed to let the university know that someone was watching. The Coalition for Contingent Academic Labor organized the letter writing to the university's senior officials, and distributed a sample that said, of adjuncts at Weber State:...the letter-writing campaign is part of an effort to let colleges know that people are watching the decisions they make about adjuncts."
Steve Street commented on the adjunct listserv adj-l:
A clap on the back to John [Hess, COCAL-CA] for starting this campaign and to all who emailed, as well as to IHEfor breaking the story and keeping on top of it.
That & New Faculty Majority Day are not the only campaign stops for the Visibility Express...

Comments imported from New Faculty Majority Day blog:

vlorbik said...
i don't read IHE regularly and have dropped off the adj-l list so this was indeed news to me. i probably oughta check there more often.
probably would too if they didn't spam me. MARCH 25, 2009 4:23 AM

SMStreet said...
Spam or not, IHE seems committed to adjunct issues, judging from its coverage. It's easy to check every morning, and it's easy to post comments on articles that affect us. In fact, I think the number and passion of such comments on previous articles has emphasized publications to the extent of the contingency crisis, if not alerted them to it. MARCH 25, 2009 4:31 AM

Vanessa said...
or was the reference to adj-l? The list can generate a lot of traffic not always characterized by optimum netiquette (eg snipping messages, changing subject line when subject changes). Send them to their own folder without supper. That's what filters are for. Setting for digest is another option. Also, you could add a keyword news feed widget to blog (so could we). MARCH 25, 2009 2:10 PM

Vanessa said...
But whichever - Steve is bang on about comments. I'd like to see a massive commenting campaign - moderately coordinated but minus attempts to micromanage or keep comments "on message." MARCH 28, 2009 3:00 PM

Friday, March 20, 2009

Press Release: New Faculty Majority: the National Coalition for Adjunct and Contingent Faculty

Post imported from New Faculty Majority Day blog:

From the Organizing Committee for
New Faculty Majority: the National Coalition for Adjunct and Contingent Equity, March 18, 2009:


Co-Chair Maria Maisto - - 216-262-4375
Co-Chair Deborah Louis – - 828-206-0128

In their third conference call since their establishment as an organizing committee in early February, faculty activists from across the country agreed on the name New Faculty Majority: The National Coalition for Adjunct and Contingent Equity for the organization, which will represent the interests of and advocate for non-tenure-track faculty at colleges and universities nationwide. During the two-hour call on Sunday, March 15, the committee also referred a draft of their mission statement back to subcommittee for refinement, reviewed a rough outline of the proposed organizational structure, voted to approve the establishment of a temporary web site until a permanent web site is constructed, and approved the formation of new subcommittees on research and fundraising. The committee also decided to seek 501(c)3 status after incorporating later this year.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Faculty Majority Day Flyer

click for larger (8 x 11+) version to view or print

Here's just the graphic in case you want to put it on 1000 tees marching across the campus:

Got a knack for photo editing? Try your hand at adding text (i.e. NFMD + name of institution or group) to the image. Add the graphic to your own institution or group specific flyer.

Let us know what you do with it. Share your ideas for New Faculty Majority Day on April 30. Brainstorm here...


lost online said...

is there a place here for online adjunct?

SMStreet said...

How so, a place, and where? You're free to comment, yes: an adjunct is an adjunct is an adjunct (except for such as Jill Biden, I guess!).

Vanessa said...

How online adjuncts can participate in New Faculty Majority Day raises a whole new set of questions - but ones imo we must address. Lost, your numbers are growing - and even more invisible among the already invisible.

There is no quad, no public space. Platforms for virtual classroom are subject to undetected monitoring - not like being visited and seeing that body sitting in the back of the classroom, occupying physical space. Welcome to the panopticon.

Is the institution proprietary (for profit) or public, the clicks side of institutional bricks? Would an email signature line with logo get you in trouble?

Is there an off-site (not on the system platform & sans management lurkers) for getting together online?

Anonymous said...

... but april 30 is after the semester's over in most places :(

Anonymous said...

That would be possible if a forum was set up. I'm actually looking into that for my own union.

SMStreet said...

If the 30th is too late on your campus, schedule activities for earlier. Consider the whole month of April a Campus Equity Month. This is purposely a U-Organize-It kind of event, since conditions as well as schedules on campuses vary so widely.

Bob said...

Vanessa, You pose an interesting problem. People should be encouraged to participate in anyway they feel comfortable.

Vanessa said...

in another sense, every day ia NFM Day...

Vanessa said...

No doubt showing my age with this one ... but I'm thinking happenings, street (or quad) theater... in addition to more mundane and easier to pull off...tees, bumper stickers, flyers, posters. And still thinking about what online adjuncts could. Perhaps the direction there is less digital (probably not wise to have a NMF Day signature line - albeit tempting - on emails to boss) and more on the street where they live local.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to distribute this flyer to my fellow adjuncts on campus, but the gif file you've provided here is somewhat low resolution. Is there any way you could post a high res pdf of the flyer?

SMStreet said...

The blog host won't take a .pdf file, but if you email Bob Samuels at the address above or me at, one of us can send you a .pdf (or even a .doc) version as attachment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reading Room: A Proposal to American Labor

Remember the reading tradition in US union history? Reading Rooms in hiring halls. Samuel Gompers' cigar rollers voting to have a member on the clock read great books to them as they worked.

Why not an online reading room right here? Hence, another topic area signaled by
Reading Room in the post title. I've been reading on four articles and was going to post links on all of them in this post but changed my mind. Instead, they will come one at a time, substantially excerpted, although I hope you will take the time click through and read each in its entirety. Now for the exercise in ellipisization

A Proposal to American Labor, by Richard B. Freeman & Joel Rogers, appearing in The Nation, June 24, 2002. discusses Open Source Unionism, its history, structure and current application. I was struck by the article's timeliness and relevance to our immediate concerns - and look forward to reading what you think. Please use the comment function to share your thoughts and reactions.

During [peak periods of union organization] ... another union formation... "minority" or "members only" unions, ... offered representation to workers without a demonstrated pro-union majority at their worksite. Such nonmajority unions were critical to organizing new sectors of American industry, providing a union presence in the workplace well before an employer recognized a collective-bargaining unit....

After World War II, however, unions effectively abandoned both "direct affiliation" and "minority unionism" as common practices....We believe his self-imposed limit on the meaning of membership today poses an unnecessary barrier to union influence and growth, and it should be reconsidered.... Today as in the past, nontraditional members in nonmajority settings can give labor an immense boost.... Adding nonmajority or otherwise nontraditional workers to union membership need not, moreover, conflict with the goal of traditional majorities-only organizing....

Friday, March 6, 2009

KUDOS: Scott Jaschik, EWA Award, Education Reporting

IHE editor and co-founder Scott Jaschik is among Education Writers of America's 2008 National Awards Contest Winners (in Education Reporting) for his series on adjuncts in academia, which earned a first place for beat reporting in the small media

Scott Jaschik won this award for a set of 2008 articles in Inside Higher Education (IHE) on the rising use of adjunct professors. His articles focus on issus such issues as how colleges treat their workers, the impact on students of being taught by professors without tenure, and the effectiveness of unions and other groups that say they protect faculty interests. Links to the articles can be found here.

winning entry included the following articles:
If you have not read them, now would be a good time. If you already have, there's always rereading...