Contingent Faculty

From The President: Campus Equity Year

A crisis, we often say nervously, is also an opportunity. But such opportunities are available to multiple, competing constituencies that may not share the same values, priorities, loyalties, goals, and sense of mission.

Such is the nature of the financial crisis now upon us. In higher education we confront the consequences campus by campus. The pressures vary according to each institution’s funding stream.

What We Can’t Say about Contingent Faculty

You can’t draw any conclusions about the conditions of contingent labor until you have the data on wages.

Meet Some Members

AAUP members from all types of institutions talk about budgets and other challenges in higher ed, the explosion in contingent appointments, the importance of new organizing, and why the AAUP's role is key.

The MLA Pulls No Punches

Academic Cultures: Professional Preparation and the Teaching Life. Sean P. Murphy, ed. New York: Modern Language Association, 2009.

Stabilizing Persons, Creating New Lines

At some of the fourteen campuses represented by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), there are a dozen or more tenure-track faculty who used to teach the same courses in the same departments but on contingent appointments.

The APSCUF contract features two unique contract provisions (11.G and 11.H) that permit the conversion of both persons and lines to the tenure track.

The Unhappy Experience of Contingent Faculty: The curious case of Boston University.

This article, like most of the others included in this issue, was submitted in response to the editor’s widely circulated call for papers that would present compelling stories about how different institutions have responded to the current financial crisis. It is not Academe’s policy to publish anonymous articles. However, it is an unfortunate commentary on the job insecurity and the limits on the academic freedom of contingent faculty in American higher education that the editor received several separate inquiries about the possibility of keeping the identity of contingent faculty authors confidential in order to avoid potential retaliation. Because the editor thought it was important to include at least one essay that would address the problems of contingent faculty in a time of economic crisis, he decided, in this particular case, to make an exception to the magazine’s editorial policy of not publishing anonymous articles.

 

As with all features published in Academe, the opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, not necessarily those of the Academe editor or of the AAUP. Comments on this article or any other article in this issue can be submitted online.

 

The Toll Road to Contingency

Off-Track Profs: Nontenured Teachers in Higher Education. John G. Cross and Edie N. Goldenberg. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009.

Unemployment Compensation Initiative

The AAUP supports the National Unemployment Compensation Initiative, designed to help eligible contingent faculty obtain unemployment compensation between academic terms. 

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