Thursday, November 11, 2010

NFM Newsletter, Issue #4, now out

Members have already received their copies of News from New Faculty Majority by email. Back issues are available online here and on the New Faculty Majority website's newsletter page. The address for online viewing will remain active for 90 days ~ not indefinitely. It will still be available archived at a different link. Once archived, that link will be added to both back issue sites noted above. In the meantime, I'll be adding the temporary link to the blog's newsletter archive. 

Yes we have no targeted anchors in the menu to navigate a long page. Sorry about that. I keep asking. Until then, use ToC keywords + page search function. It's that or scroll. scroll, scroll your cursor (or the arrow ke y) merrily down the page.  

Table of Contents 
  • On adding more voices: President's message
  • Our collective voice will be heard: Tracy Donhardt, Board member, Newsletter Editor 
  • Noteworthy adjunct activism: Board member Steve Street 
  • Me and UC: unemployment filing narratives
  • Gaining support and benefits at UI filing party: Peter Brown
  • Part II: Non-tenure track researchers: Paul Erlich
  • How to file a Freedom of Information Act request
  • Announcements
  • (Passing the Mortarboard)
And now jump to the newsletter...

Issue: #4 - New Faculty Majority E-NewsletterNovember 10, 2010
New Faculty Majority 
 The National Coalition for Adjunct & Contingent Equity
On adding more voices . . .    
by Maria Maisto, NFM President

Dear Colleagues,

In this issue of the newsletter, I am happy to share the introductory message with Tracy Donhardt, who co-edits the newsletter with Paul Ehrlich. We plan to alternate these introductory letters so members learn a little more about and from those who serve on the NFM Board. Please read her letter and other articles of interest below.

I'd also like to share some thoughts about the recent White House Community College Summit. In spite of all we did (talking to the higher ed press; encouraging adjuncts to post and vote at the Summit web site; behind-the-scene efforts that included contacting the White House -- no response -- and some of the few invited participants whose names were revealed before the event) to express our concern about the exclusion of faculty, it was hard not to be disappointed, or cynical, about the outcome of the October 5 event. The administration's treatment of adjunct faculty mirrored that of higher education more generally: we were ignored, dismissed, and our centrality to higher education completely overlooked.

But NFM refuses to succumb to disappointment or cynicism. The Summit certainly proved that we have our work cut out for us (as if we didn't know that), but it also showed that when we mobilize, we CAN be effective. Reading the Summit blog, from the anonymous posts by those who told incredible stories of the hardships they and their students are facing, to the bold, strong voices of activists like Betsy Smith and Robert Yoshioka, I was inspired.  It was exciting to watch the number of votes for posts dealing with contingent faculty racking up the numbers. And don't think that it didn't have an effect: as hard as they tried, they could not completely ignore contingent faculty. The defensive public statements of administration and other officials in the higher ed press, and the eleventh-hour summit blog post by a faculty attendee who declared her intent to represent the interests of "all" faculty -- indicate that had we been even more organized and vocal, we might have actually broken through. And we do know that someone was listening: at the very last breakout session focusing on "the community college of the future," the need to "support" adjunct faculty more effectively was, apparently, discussed, at least enough to merit mention in the report to the final plenary. While not nearly enough (what we really need is a summit that focuses exclusively on this issue), it's a start on which we can build. 

Now that the Summit is over, we are trying to contact participants to try to find out where and how the issue of contingent faculty was discussed and to remind organizers that any follow-up events must not repeat the mistake of the original one by continuing to marginalize adjunct faculty.  We intend to communicate with all of the Summit organizers and participants to let them know that their responsibility to community colleges is not complete without attention to contingent faculty.  And as for us:  NFM's biggest assets are our determination and our collective voice -- and like any muscles, the more we exercise them the stronger they will become.  Let's ensure that the "virtual march" on the White House Community College Summit was just a dry run!  

All the best,
Maria Maisto's Signature
Our collective voice will be heard  
by Tracy Donhardt, NFM Board Member
As Maria mentioned above, as co-editor of the New Faculty Majority newsletter, I'm happy to get this opportunity to introduce myself and give you an update on our health insurance initiative at the same time.

There's no getting around the fact that health insurance companies move slowly. In the last newsletter I indicated we were close to having three or four medical options that members can enroll in and perhaps several ancillary benefits as well (life, dental, etc.). We're still close but as you might imagine, finding medical options for a national health care initiative is complicated (just ask President Obama). Insurance companies want one thing and we want another but the negotiations continue and again, let me assure you we are close.

In the meantime, let me give you a little background about me and how I came to NFM, which will also explain why I am helping to lead this health insurance initiative. First, in a prior life, before I started teaching part-time at an Indianapolis university, I spent 20 years in corporate Human Resources, specifically, employee benefits. So that's where my knowledge about insurance, benefits, and group coverage came from.

After teaching for five years at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and growing more and more frustrated with my university's continued exploitation of its adjuncts, on the advice and with the blessing of the Director of the Writing Program for which I taught, I formed a Coalition of part-time faculty and we began raising awareness of the exploitive conditions under which we worked. This was the fall of 2009 and the group started small, literally a handful of adjuncts in the English department who thought the 54 composition adjuncts of writing in the 115-person department should be included in our School's online faculty and staff directory. We had the same records as full-time faculty and staff; our records were simply deliberately omitted from the directory. The reason given for this slight? There were too many of us to manage the administrative task of keeping the directory updated from one semester to the next. Right. Those same administrators who were refusing to let us in the directory because there were too many of us to manage the workload were the ones who hired us all and created the workload. (This would be the same reason the university does not keep track of our education credentials.)

But we didn't give up; in fact, one of our mantras is "patience, persistence, and professionalism," because that was the mode of conduct we adopted then and is one we have not lost sight of to this day.

Of course we wanted more than to be listed in the directory (which we ultimately obtained). We wanted higher pay, benefits, access to professional development, inclusion in faculty governance, and respect, to name the ones most of you are likely also seeking. So our little group grew and became louder and bolder. We expanded beyond the walls of the English department and into the halls of the School of Liberal Arts. We recruited a board member from World Languages and liaisons from other areas of Liberal Arts. We held a week-long Teach-in to educate full-time faculty and students about adjunct issues. We created a documentary called Part-time Faculty. Full-time Impact. playing on the university's advertising campaign slogan, "Where Impact Is Made." But our greatest achievement was getting our own health insurance plan (because I knew how to do that from my years in HR) for adjuncts in Liberal Arts, for which we needed no IUPUI funds nor resources. We did ask for their help in identifying others who could benefit from this though because what was good for part-time faculty in Liberal Arts would be good for all part-time employees on campus, right?. That's when our greatest achievement became our greatest frustration and disappointment. We were informed by university administration that we were violating university policy by getting our own group health insurance plan. We were shot down. We were forced to halt that initiative or perhaps risk being fired.

But life is funny, right? Our greatest frustration and disappointment of that first year became our greatest awareness-raising opportunity. We informed the media about the university's blatant unwillingness to open dialogue and find a creative solution to the problem its administrators created in hiring more than 1,000 adjunct faculty and an unknown number of part-time staff.

The media can be a powerful ally. Within a week, we were blogged about in a local alternative paper and written about in Inside Higher Ed. Less than a week later, the local business journal also ran a full story about our plight, reaching an entirely new audience. And a month later, the local alternative paper followed up with a full profile about us and our issues, also connecting us to the national story. Links to those stories were passed around and other bloggers blogged about us. Who could believe that a university would shut down its faculty's attempt to obtain their own health insurance, especially when these faculty were excluded from the university's benefits plans?

That's when NFM entered the picture, asking me to join the board and try to get insurance for members as I did for adjuncts at my university. And here we are.

Since the media attention last year, my group has continued to grow and get louder. We're now a campus-wide group working to improve the conditions and the culture for all part-time faculty. Indiana has no bargaining laws on the books so we're moving along a non-union path. Luckily for us, we receive help and advice from adjunct organizers like Joe Berry and our state and local (campus) AAUP chapters. We also have a strong voice of a tenured faculty member as our advisor and liaison who comes to our meetings and our demonstrations; when he shoots down administrators' excuse of "no money," he's much more credible than when we attempt the same rebuttal. And we became the first chapter of NFM.

Our main initiative this year is growing our membership base. We were told by administrators we need to "prove" we represent part-time faculty across campus and aren't just a handful of complainers, and so we've begun a major membership drive and are gaining members from other Schools on campus - science, art, education, and others - every week. Staff and students are joining in solidarity; one student has volunteered to form a student delegation. And yes, full-time and tenured faculty also are joining. Ultimately, this is about equity for all faculty.

In addition, we've held two "quiet demonstrations" during the university President and campus Chancellor's annual speeches during which we held signs to remind them of the large population of adjuncts on their campus. We submitted an endorsement we received from the AAUP for a pay increase for adjuncts to the administration and all deans on campus. That brought a bit more media attention.

Most recently, we were invited by the university's faculty governance body to present our issues. With that, we gave them several tasks: form a task force to uncover and understand the adjunct situation on our campus; draft policies or recommendations to address the issues adjuncts are facing; and create an office dedicated to protecting and advancing part-time faculty at IUPUI. The ball is in their court. But clearly, our voice, still getting louder, is being heard.  

In this newsletter are other stories and references to rising adjunct voices and the increase in adjunct activism on campuses. Add your voice and send us your own stories so we can run more stories in this newsletter.

Tracy Donhardt, co-editor
Noteworthy adjunct activism is recognized

This fall NFM Board member Steve Street received an award for courageous service from his union, United University Professions, for which he is the elected representative for part-time concerns on his State University of New York campus. 
Steve Street accepts award for courageous adjunct activism

In this photo, Steve is on the right; UUP President Phil Smith is at the center; and Fayez Samuel, for whom the award is named, is on the left; Samuel was an adjunct professor at SUNY-Farmington and an early advocate for contingent faculty.

After the ceremony pictured here, Steve returned to his local chapter to continue the inside/outside strategy, i.e. advocating for contingents in a union dominated by non-contingent faculty. At the very next labor/management meeting, he was silenced by his chapter president and told by another member of the chapter's Executive Board that hearing about part-time issues "gets old. Maybe you should find another forum." Still, he'll go to the next meeting and do his best to represent his constituency. That's the inside/outside strategy at work.

Steve continues to speak up in such national publications as Academe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Thought & Action. NFM is proud that Steve has recently taken a leadership position on its Board of Directors. 
Me and UC

With apologies to Janis Joplin, below is the second installment of what will be a regular newsletter feature: a place for you, our members, to share your stories, if not your blues, about your process of filing for Unemployment Compensation.

Whether or not you've been successful, the particulars of your situation in your particular state are invaluable to NFM members and adcons across the country who are or might soon be in similar situations, pursuing similar processes in filings of their own. As most of us already know from serving institutions without really being considered a part of those institutions, one of the benefits we often have to do without for a long time is the knowledge that we're not alone.

These stories are meant to convince you otherwise: far from having "nothing left to lose," as Janis sang it, we have everything to gain and many ways of gaining it.

Thanks to Jessica Burke for being our latest UC storyteller. Her story, which highlights the challenges faced by adjuncts who file for unemployment benefits and follows Steve Street's story in the last newsletter, reaffirms NFM's need to step up our efforts with our National Unemployment Initiative in challenging schools and the laws.

Surviving an Unemployment Hearing
By Jessica Burke, Adjunct Lecturer, Dept of English
The College of Staten Island

Claiming unemployment between semesters takes gumption and guts. So if you don't want a hassle or don't feel up to challenging the system, I'd say don't do it. But, for everyone else, here's my story.

I was scared. I had no income for the summer and, after working a temporary job that had expired, my husband's unemployment insurance was suspended. If we didn't have helpful relatives and a somewhat understanding landlord, we would have been out of a home. Because of our earnings for the prior year, we were ineligible for public assistance. If we hadn't had the foresight to pay for a share in a local community shared agriculture, we wouldn't have had food for the summer. I borrowed rent money and wrote letters to creditors and my utilities.

Heeding the call of New Faculty Majority, I filed for unemployment, thinking I had nothing to lose. But an investigation into "reasonable assurance" was begun and my claim was halted. I requested an appeal hearing. I telephoned my union but got no response. I emailed, again no response. I sent an irate letter to my union chapter, of which I am a member, and was eventually pointed to the Worker's Defense League. All this took two months.

During the same time, I reached out to NFM for advice and within hours, I was contacted by about half-a-dozen folks and spoke to some via phone, despite the fact that they were off to a conference. I received support and advice on how to proceed, but above all, I got information. Meanwhile, I looked for work and was lucky to find a couple independent jobs (not even turning away from babysitting gigs, just to pay the electric bills). I decided I couldn't afford to take my GRE, much less the admission fees for a doctoral program. Besides that, how could I in all good conscience move ahead in a career that treats its employees like this?

I went to my hearing where I learned the CUNY representative wasn't there because she was on vacation but had demanded a denial of benefits on the grounds that the 'reasonable assurance' rule applied to adjuncts. Luckily the judge refused the rep's demands. Still, I was unprepared for the information the judge wanted, like the times I was on campus, details about each class, how much I earned each term, and more. I discovered my university had underreported my earnings. Due to a mailing mixup by the Appeals Board that gave me some leverage power, my next hearing date was moved up. I prepped as much as I could by reading "Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty," by Joe Berry, Beverly Stewart, and Helena Worthen. I corresponded with my new brethren at NFM. 

I spoke with someone at the Workers Defense League, an arrogant, brusque man, who refused to represent me because he felt that despite the fact that I earned more last year than I am currently earning this year, I had no case.

I turned back to NFM for some sound and supportive advice. I was told I was being intimidated. I spoke with my union chapter fellows, who pledged further support. I resolved to stand firm knowing I was supported by my fellows at NFM and my union chapter. I also spoke with a union rep, who meant well, but had no further advice other than to tell me to tell the truth and to apply for food stamps.

I went to the appeal hearing early to view my file. I was met with yet another demand by the CUNY rep to adjourn my hearing because neither she nor my department chair were able to attend. The judge waited nearly 30 minutes for the CUNY rep, but when she didn't, continued the hearing. We talked about the discrepancies in my reported earnings, which she still seemed confused about. I was reminded of something in Joe Berry's handbook that often times the administrative law judge is just a glorified secretary who may feel intimidated by the so-called academic elite (read adjunct). I decided to play it humble and simply stated what my earnings had been reported and gave her the most recent statement of earnings sent to me by the Department of Labor, which she did not have. She entered my pay information into the record. The hearing was adjourned and she said I'd receive her ruling within a week.

I received a very confusing ruling three days later. It was in legal lingo. After reading it four times and with the help of my husband, we decided the letter meant she disagreed with the initial decision of denial. I went to the computer, logged into unemployment and saw that a rather large payment had been released. My fortitude had paid off. I won. No thanks to the Workers Defense League. Small thanks to my union, save for my union chapter brethren. Large thanks to NFM.

My advice through all this: do NOT allow the judge to get a rise out of you. Don't go in to court thinking you're an educated person and up against a glorified administrator. Be as humble as you can. Answer truthfully and don't take no for an answer. If your union won't help you, find someone who can offer advice (talk to the folks at NFM). Read Joe Berry's handbook and bring your paystubs and every other shred of paperwork you receive from your school regarding your employment and from the Department of Labor regarding your claim. Get to the hearing early and READ everything in your file. Take notes. 

I'm a new adjunct, having started at CUNY in Fall 2008. I started at the usual one course for new adjuncts, but was up to three a year later. I had good reviews. I was liked by my students. I had a reasonably high rate of remedial students passing their exams. I earned much needed health insurance by the spring of 2010, for myself only since it's too expensive to cover my husband. I applied for summer work and thought I had a good chance at since I'd taught the summer before. But, I wasn't given a summer class to teach and heard the department was having difficulty filling fall courses. 
I received a notice that my unemployment decision is being appealed by the Commissioner of Labor. The appeal was filed on 10/6 but they didn't notify me until 20 days after. It has no instructions for me. No court date to reappear. Nothing.

Read a longer, more complete version of Jessica's story at the UCI web site.

Gaining Support -- And Benefits at a UI Filing Party
By Peter D.G. Brown

The State University of New York is anything but small. With 465,000 students and 88,000 faculty members on 64 campuses across the state, SUNY is the largest university system in the world. All full-time and part-time faculty employed at SUNY's 29 comprehensive and specialized colleges, graduate schools, and health centers are represented by one comprehensive union, United University Professions. With some 35,000 members, UUP is the largest higher education union in America.

The New Paltz UUP chapter's Part-Time Concerns Committee organized an Unemployment Insurance (UI) party in May. About a dozen part-timers showed up, were treated to pizza, and discussed the ins and outs of applying for UI with NFM-member Yvonne Aspengren, the UUP chapter's Vice President for Part-Timers, and me. The group decided to form a common-interest e-mail group and share their experiences as they moved into the summer. Some were applying for UI for the first time, while others had regularly been receiving benefits during teaching breaks for years. About half of the group received benefits without a hitch, while others needed to appeal an initial negative verdict before being awarded UI payments. The last person to win an appeal was notified in October, with benefits being awarded retroactively to May.

The New Paltz chapter plans to organize a similar group next May. We hope that more adjuncts will join and benefit from the experience gained from this year's group. Some adjuncts lack the knowledge needed to apply for unemployment benefits. Others fear they might be vulnerable to retaliation from their employer. We therefore asked UUP headquarters to explore the possibility of providing us with more informational support. On October 5, UUP President Phil Smith attended a meeting of the New Paltz chapter's departmental representatives and assured us that he is exploring how NYSUT or AFL-CIO can assist our adjuncts as they negotiate the UI maze. Below are excerpts from individuals who formed this year's support group e-mail list:

"I followed your advice and I'm into my third week of receiving unemployment benefits.  It's only about $100 a week in my case, but it helps. They told me that I have to go online 1x a week for unemployment re-certification in order to get the week's $. It only takes a few minutes. I've been in receipt of unemployment benefits since the first week of June."

"If I am approved, I will get $152 per week."

"I am one of those "permanent adjuncts" (and have been for 10+ years); I have a history of always getting 2-3 classes per semester (and am always on the website listed with such), However, right before each semester there is a flurry of great uncertainty as the final class counts are calculated and tenured Professors are then first taken care of... These are all issues of contingent job security and I therefore have applied for UI and I expect to get it..."

"I have been at SUNY for 10 years and every semester it's the same. It's very stressful worrying every semester if I might lose my benefits. Also, we are so poorly paid for what we do, I feel I deserve the unemployment compensation, even if it is small."

"Thank you all for sharing your experience. I was denied, but kept claiming. I sent an appeal and in my letter used some of the language that I borrowed from this email list, like 'non-enforceable contract' and I just noticed that I received my first UI payment.  I thought an appeal would be harder than that but as far as I can tell, I was approved. Don't be discouraged, appeal!"

Basic information on how to file in New York can be obtained from the NYS Department of Labor website; other states have their own websites, and the process differs widely from state to state. You should file your claim in the first week you become totally or partially unemployed. It is important to file timely because your first week is unpaid, commonly referred to as the "waiting period". Any delay may cost you benefits.

Non-tenure-track Researchers in Science and Technology, Part II: Competition for Employment, Working Conditions, and Career Progression
By Paul Ehrlich

In the last newsletter, I discussed non-tenure-track researchers. In this second article, additional aspects of their employment will be described, including the major cause of their problems, current working conditions, and likely career paths.

Competition for Employment: Oversupply of Scientists.  Scientists with doctoral degrees face fierce competition on a global scale for non-tenure-track positions. Despite overwhelming evidence that there is an oversupply of scientists in the United States, panels of distinguished scientists and prominent industry representatives have routinely issued reports that predict the demise of research and development due to a shortage of trained workers. These documents include: "The Path Forward" (2010); "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" (2007); and "Tapping America's Potential" (2005).  Demographers, labor statisticians, and other academics who study labor markets come to the opposite conclusion with evidence provided in, for example, journal articles and Congressional testimony. One key statistic sums up the situation: "The overall STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] workforce totals about 4.8 million, which is less than a third of the 15.7 million workers who hold at least one STEM degree." [testimony before a Congressional subcommittee by H. Salzman in 2007].    

Working Conditions.  Non-tenure-track researchers have positions that typically differ little from that of post-docs with two years of experience, i.e., the mentor chooses the research topic, provides detailed guidance on carrying out the project, decides when and where to publish results, and usually presents the research at conferences and departmental seminars. While relationships with mentors and other senior faculty are of course quite varied, many adjunct researchers face small, or sometimes intense, indignities on a daily basis. Problems range from little consideration for their ideas and assignment of all credit to "the [mentor's name] lab" to excessive workloads (characterized, for example, by routine phone calls in the middle of the night) to personally degrading but non-work-related actions by laboratory directors, such as (in at least one lab) frequently and openly taking sandwiches from lunch bags stored in a hallway (it is illegal to store food in a laboratory desk).  

Medium and Long-Term Outcomes for Post-docs.  Due to the great excess of applicants for tenure-track positions, many scientists now go on to their second, third, or fourth post-doctoral position or to essentially equivalent non-tenure-track academic positions. Titles for the latter vary by institution-some use typical adjunct titles such as lecturer or adjunct assistant professor, but other titles such as assistant research professor, postdoctoral associate, and research associate are also frequently used. Tenured faculty usually consider scientists who have spent more than four or five years in a post-doctoral or related position to be employed in the research equivalent of adjunct teaching positions.   

Scientists who are doing well as non-tenure-track researchers can often keep their position for a decade or more, but in the past have typically moved to industry or government jobs. Economic conditions and the increasing oversupply of trained doctoral-level scientists are making these transfers less likely. [This conclusion is consistent with the experience of many scientists but statistics are not available.] A small percentage of non-tenure-track scientists, i.e., one or two positions for each senior faculty member with more than one research grant, are appointed to a university staff position that is theoretically permanent. In addition to research these positions typically entail supervision of a "core" facility, such as a laboratory that provides blood tests that are not commercially available (usually for clinical trials) or a computer laboratory. Even the lucky few with a university staff position are still likely to end up looking for a job in late middle age, a tough time for researchers to find new employment. This is simply a result of an emphasis on serving the research program, as well as relying on the goodwill and political support, of one senior, tenured faculty member who is typically twenty years older.   

Summary.  Most scientists with doctoral degrees face a dismal future due to the poor treatment of non-tenure-track researchers and an inadequate number of alternative positions in industry. Very poor working conditions, minimal intellectual input into research projects, and negligible credit for their work in the scientific community are the norm for non-tenure-track researchers. Thus, non-tenure-track research faculty will benefit from NFM efforts to achieve equity in academic freedom, faculty governance, and professional advancement (as well as improved job security as outlined in the previous newsletter). And just as they can benefit from NFM, non-tenure-track researchers have the potential to increase NFM membership and broaden the scope of its effect on universities thereby helping NFM to achieve its goals.

Filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request
By Matt Williams, NFM Vice President

For the adjunct activist, information can be quite powerful. Information about how your institution allocates government funding, for instance, may be quite compelling to a state legislator whom you are attempting to persuade to take a particular position on some piece of legislation that will benefit adjunct and contingent faculty. But how can you obtain this information?

Most of us are familiar with the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA is intended to provide greater transparency in government, but there is a catch: it only applies to organs of the U.S. federal government. According to the U.S. Department of Justice website, "The FOIA applies only to federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Each state has its own public access laws that should be consulted for access to state and local records."

The records of state universities are generally not covered under the federal Freedom of Information Act. Most states, however, do have provisions in law to permit citizens and organizations to request--even anonymously--information that is maintained by the state government. There are some limitations on this information, but most states permit extensive access to documents that can help you to establish your argument, make your case, and shed light on the inner workings of state universities. Links to a summary of these laws for every state and Washington, D.C. can be found in the "Open Government Guide" on The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press website. This guide is an invaluable tool for learning about the open government laws in your state.

I have had considerable success locating and subsequently publicizing information that my former employer, The University of Akron, would probably rather not have publicized. On one occasion I requested the salaries of all employees on campus. I then analyzed this data to arrive at the following shocking conclusions: 
  • Only 2.5% of The University of Akron's $400 million budget is spent compensating its 1,000+ part-time employees.
  • The mean salary for part-time faculty at UA is $800 per credit hour, or $16,800 per year at the maximum permitted teaching load.
  • UA's President Proenza and his 35 vice presidents earn in excess of half of what the 1,000 part-time faculty earn as a group. 
Since discovering this information I have become accustomed to repeating these statistics over and over again. Given the frequent abuses of adjunct and contingent faculty in higher education, you will likely find similar inequities at your state institution. The biggest challenge for adjunct activists is to sell the problem to those who are unaware that such a problem exists. Bringing these facts to light can help you to successfully make your arguments.


Unemployment Insurance Compensation During Winter Recess: If your contract ends at the end of the fall semester and you don't have a binding contract or letter of reappointment for the spring semester, you may be eligible for UI benefits. If you're not sure if you are eligible, check with your union or on the website of the National Unemployment Compensation Initiative of the NFM (especially links on the tab labeled "Just the Facts").

A description of the unemployment insurance application process for each state also is available (click on the tab labeled "Apply for Unemployment"). NFM may be able to provide additional assistance. Click here for contact information.

Post Your Comments on the New Faculty Majority Blog and Facebook: The NFM blog and Facebook page, developed and managed by Vanessa Vaile, support the NFM mission and promote an open exchange of ideas and information about higher education and professional issues, especially concerning adjunct and contingent faculty. Your comments are welcome.

Got regional news you'd like to share?
Is there a local adjunct rally going on in your area? An education forum? An anniversary of your group's organizing efforts? Send us your calendar events or other regional news and we'll run them in the next newsletter (events generally must be two months out as the newsletter is published every other month, although we can acknowledge past events in celebration).
It's Not Easy to Ask for Money, But ...

In the last couple newsletters, we've been informing members that NFM's board of directors voted to solicit annual dues of $15 as a minimum suggested contribution. 

We at NFM are all volunteers, relying on one another. While it remains far more important for us to gather members than dues, every organization needs sources of funding - even to do work that is rewarding in itself.

Dues are payable online at New Faculty Majority or by check to

New Faculty Majority
1700 West Market Street #159
Akron, OH  44313-7002 

Those who join receive a free bumper sticker. To buy a bumper sticker, send $2.00 to the address above. Buy one for yourself and one for a colleague!


Inside this issue: 
- Noteworthy adjunct activism
- Me and UC: members' stories on filing for unemployment
- Gaining support and benefits at UI filing party
- Part II: Non-tenure track researchers
- How to file a Freedom of Information Act request
- Announcements
Simplified Web Logo 
New Faculty Majority Unemployment Compensation Initiative
Join NFM
   NFM Blog

Ross Borden
Peter D.G. Brown
Tracy Donhardt

Paul Ehrlich 
Eric Hultquist
William Lipkin (Treasurer)
Jack Longmate
Maria Maisto (President)
Sherryll Mleynek
Susan Raftery
Robert Samuels 

Steve Street
Alan Trevithick
Rebecca Trussell
Vanessa Crary Vaile
Anne Wiegard (Secretary)

Matt Williams (Vice President)
Earl Yarrington

Joe Berry
Marc Bousquet
Gwendolyn Bradley
Frank Cosco
Pablo Eisenberg
Judith Gappa
Elizabeth Hoffman
Deborah Louis
Richard Moser
Eileen E. Schell
Sandra Schroeder


NFM is dedicated to improving the quality of American higher education by advancing professional equity and securing academic freedom for all adjunct and contingent educators. For this purpose, NFM engages in education and advocacy to provide economic justice and academic equity for all college teachers. NFM is committed to creating stable, equitable, sustainable, non-exploitative academic environments that promote more effective teaching and learning.

Help in the collection  of data!
The Coalition on the Academic Workforce survey of Contingent Faculty is accepting  responses on its survey about working conditions of contingent faculty - salaries, benefits, assignments, etc. 
The survey, which closes Nov. 30, can be found here.
Add your voice to the collective one!

Your input is needed!
At the COCAL conference in August this year, NFM Board members Jack Longmate and Frank Cosco introduced the draft of a groundbreaking practical, long-term action plan based on exemplary -- and more importantly, existing -- conditions at Vancouver Community College.

We strongly encourage all NFM members to read and comment on this draft in preparation for a 2011 membership vote on whether NFM should officially adopt it
New Faculty Majority | 1700 West Market Street | # 159 | Akron | OH | 44313

No comments:

Post a Comment

pull up a soapbox and share your 2¢


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...