Journalists from outlets ranging from campus newspapers to The New York Times to National Public Radio to national college parent blogs now have our name in their address books. Our members are being elected to leadership positions in unions and disciplinary organizations. Additionally, we have begun establishing relationships with policymakers at federal agencies and with state and national legislators in order to help them understand the centrality of NTT faculty treatment to the quality and future of higher education. Thanks to our leadership in creating new coalitions of faculty advocates, the Department of Labor has begun to focus on the need to secure adjunct faculty access to unemployment compensation and is being made aware of other administrative problems surrounding colleges' disingenuous definitions of faculty work.
Our Foundation was granted official 501c3 status this year, securing our ability to receive tax-deductible donations and to continue producing important, nationally recognized research like our report, with the Center for the Future of Higher Education, on back-to-school hiring practices, "Who Is Professor Staff and How Can This Person Teach So Many Classes?" NFM and its Foundation now have critical roles in national projects and coalitions like The Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW), The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE), and The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success. This means that in national conversations about the future of higher education, NTT faculty increasingly have a recognized and respected place at the table.
But we can — and must — do more! As Adrianna Kezar has noted in her research on change efforts in higher education, mobilization is critical but it is only the first step in any successful reform effort. NFM continues to mobilize adjunct and contingent faculty and their supporters across the country, including as part of some exciting new metro-wide organizational efforts — but without your support our movement will not continue to grow.
So: if you are not yet a supporting member, please join today! If you are a member, recruit colleagues, friends, and other allies committed to the principle that faculty working conditions are student learning conditions. Only by working together will we be able to effect the change that is needed now more than ever.