October 18, 2013
For more information, please contact Craig Flanery, 510-219-4104 (West Coast) or Maria Maisto, 216-262-4375 (East Coast).
Campus Equity Week Events to Raise Awareness Of How Contingent Faculty Inequities Affect Quality of Higher Education
WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2013—A broad coalition of organizations working on student and faculty issues on U.S. college campuses announced today that Campus Equity Week, Oct. 28-Nov. 2, will feature more than 125 events to raise awareness about the nation’s increasingly stratified higher education system.
Organizers said more than 100 campuses in at least 20 states plan to participate in the week of education and activism, with more added daily.
Campus Equity Week events will all focus on various issues raised by the increased reliance on contingent faculty employment by U.S. colleges and universities. Adjunct or contingent faculty, the majority of whom are paid poverty-level wages and receive no benefits, make up more than 70 percent of faculty at colleges and universities nationwide—a situation that has pushed inequities to a crisis level at many institutions.
A central principle of the week is that high-quality education depends practically and ethically on professional and just working conditions for all faculty.
Members of this adjunct instructional workforce face many labor and equity issues, including changes in work schedules and the denial of healthcare benefits in response to the Affordable Care Act; student loan debt; issues for students, staff and faculty of color; misguided curriculum “reform”; institutions’ blind faith in massive open online courses (MOOCs) and other online education; and the disinvestment in public higher education.
So far, events are planned for campuses in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, with additional events added daily. More than 50 California campuses will participate, including 23 community colleges.
Nationwide events range from a statewide higher education summit to a LGBT wedding reception to a forum on equity to showings of the solo play FOR PROFIT, which highlights student debt. Rallies, petition drives, workshops and speakouts are also planned. An updated list of all events is available on the Campus Equity Week website.
Campus Equity Week, also known as Fair Employment Week in Canada where it is held Oct. 21-25, began in 2001 under the auspices of the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor to highlight the appalling working conditions of the majority of the faculty—who have adjunct or contingent status—and the impact of those conditions on the quality of education.
Campus Equity Week Sponsoring and Supporting Organizations
New Faculty Majority is the central coordinator of Campus Equity Week 2013, with support from the NFM Foundation, the Service Employees International Union, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and United University Professions. The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education is also a sponsor with support from the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty, the California Faculty Association, and theProfessional Staff Congress of the City University of New York.
The American Association of University Professors, the AFT, the NEA and SEIU are also providing staff support.