Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year from New Faculty Majority!

2012 was an important transitional year for us, and 2013 promises even more progress. (Watch your email inbox for the launch of our new e-newsletter, and stay connected daily through our blog and extensive social media.)

Our January 2012 Summit firmly established NFM on the national stage, identifying us as the leading organization working to secure academic excellence through faculty equity and launching new national leaders and projects, like Josh Boldt and The Adjunct Project. Our work this year has concentrated on educating the public and policymakers within and outside of higher education on the state of faculty working conditions in higher education and the need for reform.

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. 

NFM Membership is not restricted to faculty. Students are among our fastest growing category of supporters, especially as we have begun forging alliances with student groups. These include the US Student Association (USSA), United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), and local/regional student groups like the inspirational students who helped adjuncts at American University secure collective bargaining rights in 2012. This coming year, 2013, will be the Year of the Student for NFM, as we work to build even stronger relationships with the students who, after all, are at the center of the work we do as faculty.

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.

Best wishes,
Maria Maisto's Signature
President, New Faculty Majority; Executive Director, NFM Foundation
maria.maisto@newfacultymajority.info or maria.maisto@nfmfoundation.org
Ph: (216) 262-4375; NFM Web: newfacultymajority.orgNFMF Web: nfmfoundation.org

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