Monday, October 10, 2011

CC President is Hardly a Tireless Advocate for Faculty

My title here is in regard to a recent article in a local on-line paper about Dr. Joseph Hankins, President of Westchester Community College, one of my workplaces.  Dr. Hankin is a very nice man, with a terrific sense of humor—let's see how all that works out—who is now being celebrated for his 40-year tenure as chief exec at WCC.  
My strong view is that, whatever his other virtues, he cannot count among them that he's been a tireless advocate for faculty, least of all the adjunct faculty who do most of the teaching at WCC. Indeed, Dr. Hankin has presided, in his decades of leadership at WCC, over a continuous decline in the professional status of the faculty—the core of any college or university. When he arrived, there were roughly as many full-time as part-time faculty teaching at WCC. At this time there are perhaps 15% of the total faculty who enjoy full-time employment status and the professional courtesies and benefits that go along with that fast-disappearing status.
None of this, of course, is any surprise to NFM members and friends: I invite any and all who have suffered from the continuing degradation of the faculty, and especially the exploitation of adjunct/contingent labor, to share in this space or elsewhere their stories. Dr. Hankin is surely not the only community college—or university—president who is being celebrated for his many achievements even while the status of the key contributors—faculty—continues to be undermined.
Some attention to such matters is particularly appropriate as Campus Equity Week (October 24-30) approaches.
Cheers,  Dr. Al (Trevithick)
Westchester Community College, LaGuardia Community College, and Fordham University; New Faculty Majority, and blogger at http://cringingliberalelite.blogspot.com/.

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