Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Got Letters?

I'm not (living as an adjunct) anymore but colleagues still are. The title comes from Betsy Smith's subject line in a post to the adj-l listserv urging adjuncts to write Martha Kanter, Under Secretary of Education.

Speaking at the Saturday lunch, Martha Kantner, also a former adjunct, assured all present that she reads all of her e-mail personally - and gave her e-mail address. I know of at least one that she has read and answered.  As Raye Robertson at the The Adjunct Voice might say, It's good to have a voice.

if you haven't written yet, go to the Inside Higher Education article about adjunct issues at the 2010 NEA/AFT higher ed conference in San Jose. To get the email address, scroll down to Comments or just text search the page for "Write Martha Kantner."  Then write Martha and, if you will, please share with us. 

Letters can be posted as comments or emailed to me at to post as separate entries. Please be sure to note if your prefer your name and/or institutional affiliation to remain anonymous. If you prefer the contents of your letter to remain private, that's your choice, but do let us know so your letter can be counted.

This blog is for the letters of anyone willing to share, without or without your names. Nor is it the only place to share. COCAL's Contingent Faculty email list (subscription only) invites subscribers to cc the list. No doubt other adjunct groups, organizations, blogs etc will post letters as well. The more the merrier... the louder, the clearer and the more polyphonic that voice the better.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

NFM out and about

Executive committee members, l-r: Ross Borden, Matt Williams, Maria Maisto, Anne Wiegard

March 12-13: Retreat and Strategic Planning meeting, Akron Ohio: Employment Insurance Initiative; budget and fund-raising; membership drive ~ chapters, "Toolit for Members" with provisions and suggestions for members to work on projects and/or in chapters; Chicago meeting planned to coordinate UI initiative; Yvonne Bruce to coordinate her faith-based initiative (Catholic universities' treatment of contingent faculty) with NFM; developing timeline and medium and long range goals for strategic plan, to be develped in time for COCAL 2010, August 13-15, Quebec City, Quebec 

Webpage housekeeping... out of date news items have been "unpublished" and other minor housekeeping. Link to Facebook page added, Twitter link still MIA   

June 3-5, How Class Works Conference, Stony Brook, Maria Maisto and Steve Street present in contingent issues in academic labor (maybe we can shake a preview out them to blog here...)

August 13-15, COCAL 2010, Quebec City, Quebec 

Tentatively, immediate (and interconnected) priorities are:

1.     Brochure
2.     Newsletter
3.     Fund-raising
4.     Membership development

(Note: original post edited 9:45pm, Mountain Daylight Time ~ I'd put the newsletter ahead of the brochure but that's probably just the community news blogger and former newsletter editor speaking)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dew U UCube?

UCubed Catching Hold and Gaining Momentum, by Kiley Hernandez, Feb 25, 2010

"Ur Union of Unemployed" or UCubed, generated record-breaking numbers over the last 24 hours, with membership jumping from almost 480 job activists yesterday to well over 800 today. Ninety-six new cubes were created within the same time period, adding to the 84 cubes already created (six people within the same zip code make one cube). UCubed is now up-and-running in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

The UCubed website, at, is creating an outlet for the 30 million-plus unemployed, and out-of-work America is beginning to speak loud and clear about the jobs crisis.

Since its launch in January 2010, UCubed’s steady increase in media presence and social networking is building a movement, and people are noticing. “This thing could hit critical mass pretty quick. Fire it up!” said one post on Common Dreams.

UCubed is committed to providing resources to the unemployed and providing a way to build strength in numbers via a unique web-based, grass-roots platform. In addition, UCubed allows members within their area to connect with other individuals who are unemployed and provide service and support for each other while spearheading legislative notices on critical jobs issues.

Learn more by visiting UCubed at