Saturday, March 31, 2012

Legislative Triumph in Colorado!

A giant step forward for #ContingentFaculty everywhereHB 1144 passed the Senate, now awaits expected signing. The good news story we've been following has the ending we hoped for. In my opinion, it also speaks to future possibilities for Program for Change, authored by Jack Longmate and Frank Fosco. "Colorado Adjunct Project" team member and long time contingent faculty activist, Don Eron of the Colorado AAUP writes [emphasis and links added], 

Dear Colleagues,

You will be interested to learn that on Tuesday Colorado House Bill 1144, the so-called "Contingent Faculty Bill," was passed by the Democratic-controlled State Senate, 22-12. This followed on the heels of a dramatic, and surprising, 36-29 victory last month in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. House Bill 1144 is now on the desk of the Democratic governor, who is expected to sign it.

The law will give state universities and colleges the option of engaging in binding employment contracts with NTTF for up to three years. Previously, all faculty not on a tenure track had been declared by Colorado law to be at-will employees.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates 27March12


 in brief, with links
A great quote  "Capitalism teaches the people the moral conceptions of cannibalism are the strong devouring the weak; its theory of the world of men and women is that of a glorified pig-trough where the biggest swine gets the most swill." - James Connolly 1910.

Mundo Precario

Another, this time international, conversation of what to call ourselves. [I personally have come to favor "precarious" even over "contingent"]. Hyperlink Academia blog

Yet another article about overpaid and underworked professors (WaPo) that ignores the contingent majority [written by a former college president who assuredly knows better, since his old institution, New School U, spent big bucks fighting an adjunct unionization campaign] and discussion of his article on IHE

  • CHE on bad court decision regarding U of IL Chicago petition for joint (TT/NTT) bargaining unit and open letter from union to administration offering to accept two separate units in same local union.
  • Accreditation as a means to aid adjuncts by considering staffing ratios and working conditions as factors in accreditation. CHE

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates 23Mar12


Email joeberry@igc.org, to subscribe to regular updates in brief and links by email. More about Joe Berry.   

Updates in brief and links

ADJUNCTIVERSE
Adjunct problem is every professor's problem, on More or Less Bunk 
Idaho adjunct with bipolar disorder fired after gun incident 
A "nosey" philosophical contribution by our fellow precarious faculty (and author) Alex Kudera, on his blog
Adjunct Nation,  about "one of the fastest-growing job titles in America ... ‘adjunct professor’ (an ill-paid, overworked species of academic).” IHE

Article about College of William and Mary adjuncts 

ORGANIZING

Change

~  is what we are working for. This time it refers to changes in the NFM social media network, that is. Changes include Already Done, More2Come and Works In Progress.


The main Already Done has to do with our twitter stream. Where once there was just one, now there are three.

When I was the lone NFM tweep, it made sense for my user name, NewFacMajority, to identify 100% with NFM. Now Prez Maria Maisto tweets under @MariaMaistoNFM. Other board members are giving it a try too.

So which/who was/is/will be the "the" voice of NFM?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What's in a name?

Following a recent "what to call ourselves" conversation (yes, it's that season again but this time with a global turn) on Twitter, Australian sessional (one of us by any other name) blogging as "Sessional Academic" at Hyperlink Academia decided to explore the matter further and asks "What's in a name?


SA writes,  "I think the challenge here is to seek a better term for casual teaching and research staff - what is a title that sets us up for a greater, more secure position at our universities?  Something more specific, with agency and meaning about the contributions we make to higher education" and invites your suggestions

Also, take a look at @UniCasual's (University Casual or adjunct) Casual Voices, analogous to the Adjunct Project, http://www.unicasual.org.au/casual_voices 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates 20March12

Email joeberry@igc.org, to subscribe to regular updates in brief and links by email. More about Joe Berry.  

Updates in Brief and Links

CHICAGO
What does it mean to do progressive work today? What are the core qualities of successful organizers? How do we build the organizations and movements that these times call for?

For folks in and near Chicago, Eric Mann of the Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union in LA will be in Chicago March 22, 5:30 - 7:30 PM, at the Jane Addams Hull House on the UIC campus to do a talk   on Transformative Organizing: A Theory and Practice for a Social Justice Revolution. He will talk about his new book, Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer, a very good book distilling his 40 years of organizing experience. He has been very supportive of contingent issues and one of his children is a contingent faculty person.

 About: Eric Mann is the director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles and a founder of the Bus Riders Union. The Strategy Center is a "think tank/act tank" that trains organizers and initiates high visibility environmental justice, mass transportation, and civil rights campaigns. The BRU is the largest mass transportation group in the U.S. and the subject of Haskell Wexler's feature length documentary: Bus Riders Union. 

He has written seven books and is the co-host of the weekly radio show, Voices from the Frontlines, on KPFK Pacifica 90.7FM in Los Angeles. He has published more than 200 articles that have appeared in the New York Times, L.A. Times, Boston Globe, Boston After Dark, Worldwatch, Socialist Register, Black Agenda Report, Black Commentator, AhoraNow, and The Nation. 

Union staff job opening (organizer) for grad union, AFT 6300, at U of IL, Chicago

WEST COAST
More on CA Fed Of Teachers deal with Gov. Brown on dropping the Millionaire's Tax for a compromise with his less progressive initiative, Labor Notes

INTERNATIONAL
Research Project, Teacher Unions, Outsourcing
  • Appeal for info for research project on grad employees:  Nancy Poole, LIS/Educational Studies, UNC at Greensboro, is collecting stipend.tuition/responsibilities information for graduate assistants at all levels, nationally. I would like to include our Canadian colleagues as well. Please visit the The Graduate Assistant Project site and fill out the form (it can be as anonymous as you want ;=) You can see the results of all the data collection at once by clicking on the spreadsheet link.  Please pass this on to all of your graduate assistant contacts.  This information is open to all who may have a need to be informed.


  • Universities moving to outsource instruction to outside private entities, not just hiring contingents internally on second tier. [This is a serious threat, which Fox, of course, really likes. No longer having the institution as the employer would make organization of these faculty much harder] Fox Business News  
Email joeberry@igc.org, to subscribe to regular updates in brief and links by email. More about Joe Berry.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#OccupyColleges: #LeftForum footage, hooray?

So much going on or about to that I have been covering on Facebook ~ our page and others ~ or @NewFacMajority, plus working up into posts. There is more on CCCC 2012, upcoming conferences, assembling the team (or posse) for an NFM panel for MLA 2013 (no it's not too early to be working on that), more Virtual Meet & Greet, our counterparts in other countries, another set Joe's Updates to edit and format (which can takes longer than most posts) and more. Almost too much to think about let alone get to.

So with all that, when this came in, I couldn't resist. That's part of the story. The other part is the hour and the day's coherence fading fast. Embedding a video clip and writing a few paragraphs will use it all. Hooray for the rescue! Tomorrow is another day.


No, this not the polished, exquisitely edited footage we'll be seeing in the final cut of 'Junct: the Trashing of Higher Education. Rougher than rough cut but still exciting and enough to show you some of Chris LaBree's and Debra Leigh Scott's Left Forum session, hear from participants (Brianne, Nathan and Monica) and give you a sense of what to expect. 

As Chris explains, a friend shot some footage with a small mobile "flip cam," like what I'd been hoping someone would show up with at the Summit. The above clip below is only about 14 minutes of speakers talking about their causes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates 17Mar12


Email joeberry@igc.org, to subscribe to regular updates in brief and links by email. More about Joe Berry. 

Updates in brief and links

LABOR*ED
The war on teachers (by a very good labor historian Mark Naison). WaPo.

Labor Heritage Foundation presents its own Great Labor Arts Exchange, Conference on Creative Organizing, and Camp Solidarity June 22-25, 2012 located this year at Conference Center at the Maritime Trades Institute, just outside of Baltimore, MD.    

We are looking for presenters, workshops, and participants for our June annual gathering now in its 34th year and shaping up to be a very exciting program.  Register now for the early bird special rate of $99.00 (regular) and $75.00 (for students, youth, and seniors). The Great Labor Arts Exchange is a gathering of union and community activists, rank and filers, organizers, cultural workers, artists, labor educators, and youth who use, or support the use of, songs, art, poetry, theater, skits, posters, cartoons, and film to strengthen the labor movement.  You don't need to be an artist or performer to attend or perform! 

Registration information, now being taken online. Follow us on Twitter at @GreatLaborArts ~ Strengthening the labor movement through the use of arts and culture...and creative organizing 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

#Junct at #LeftForum

The continuing adventures of intrepid filmmakers, Chris the Nomad and Debra the Homeless Adjunct, as they traverse the wilds of campuses, conferences and other treacherous corners of the uncharted adjunctiverse...

Storified by · Vanessa, Mon, Mar 19 2012 01:24:16
Video will be posted sometime this week: #LeftForum #OccupyColleges #Junct http://t.co/3yRk7rld
My friend Scott shot some footage of the  OccupyColleges panel at the @LeftForum yesterday. Currently rendering it out. Post will follow.
Liberal Scholars and Activists Take On the Corporatization of Academe - The Chronicle of Higher Education
In the shadow of marches and small pockets of Occupy Wall Street activities that have continued despite the protestors' eviction from Zuc...
2255 FILMS: It’s good to be a panelist2255 FILMS: It’s good to be a panelist
This year's panel went much better than last's. I should have known it was going to be a good day between the impeccable weather...
2255 FILMS: It’s good to be a panelist http://t.co/Onw2QqBI #LeftForum
But back to the beginning...
Left ForumLeft Forum
A unique phenomenon in the U.S. and the world, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progress...
Last Call: @LeftForum #OccupyColleges: Rescuing #HigherEd from Corporatized Uni. Mar17, 12PM Room E323. http://t.co/uLqq1V1V #Junct
Waiting on my partner in crime @DebraLeighScott to review the 30 minutes I have of #junct. Need to trim down to 10 for the #LeftForum
Here at @LeftForum 30 minutes until our panel #OccupyColleges room E323 at noon. #Junct #2255Films
This is us looking official @LeftForum http://t.co/as5kYIII
Occupy Colleges: Rescuing Higher Education from the Corporatized University | Left Forum
The panel will investigate some of the many ways we are pushing back against the corporate colonization of academic culture. Fighting to ...
Panel @LeftForum http://t.co/Q2JwESlX
Audience @LeftForum #Junct #OccupyColleges http://t.co/K5rktbR8
First up Brianne. Student from temple university http://t.co/VOWov6qR
edudebtorsunion.orgedudebtorsunion.org
Click to Listen - Student Debt, A Necessary Evil The sun was shining all day as folks came out to Occupy Wall Street NYC to discuss and d...
Got a packed house! #LeftForum #OccupyColleges http://t.co/xt38NOOq
Brianne talking about the point of solidarity amongst the students #LeftForum #OccupyColleges #Junct

There's more! Read the rest at #Junct at #LeftForum on Storify

Friday, March 16, 2012

NFM members on #LeftForum Panels

There may be other NFM members presenting in addition to Debra Leigh Scott and Joe Berry. If so, please let me know. Looking for panels to follow? A number of the Education track panels should be interest. The Left Forum page also has search for tracking down topics and speakers. For those not in attendance, I'll be following as best I can on twitter, hoping for both good turn out reporting back and presentations being available post-conference. 

 

Occupy Colleges: Rescuing Higher Education from the Corporatized UniversityFeaturing: Debra Leigh Scott, Chris LaBree, Nathan Kleinman, Kyle McCarthy. Session 2, E323, Sat 12:00pm - 01:50pm

The panel will investigate some of the many ways we are pushing back against the corporate colonization of academic culture. Fighting to raise awareness of the issues through documentaries and art-making will be discussed by the writers and filmmakers on the panel. Working to return professional stature, governance and economic justice to the migrant adjunct faculty within traditional academic institutions will be discussed by members of NFM. Creating new models of higher education - like the free university movement, open sourceware opportunities and peer-to-peer educating - will be examined for its benefits and game-changing possibilities. 

About panelists: Debra Leigh Scott and Chris LaBree Co-Producer of 'Junct: The Trashing of Higher Ed. in America, will talk about the 'Junct project, our goals and intentions in the making of the film. Nathan Kleinman, The Free University of Philadelphia Working Group, and candidate for U.S. Congress, in Pennsylvania's 13th District. Kyle McCarthy, Producer of Default: The Student Loan Documentary.

For-Profit Universities: The Corporatization of Higher EdFeaturing: Susan O'Malley, Joe Berry, Richard Ohmann. Session 4, E321, Sat 05:00pm - 06:40pm

For-profit universities have been in the news a lot recently, chiefly for sleazy and sometimes illegal practices. Since they now enroll more than 10% of college students in the U.S., since their rapid growth parallels the commercialization of traditional universities, and since their competition is hastening that process, they should be understood as one thread in the fabric of gonzo capitalism, not a marginal aberration. 

The Spring 2012 issue of Radical Teacher is about the commercializing of higher education. Susan O'Malley and Richard Ohmann edited the issue and Joe Berry, who has taught at a for-profit and is involved in organizing for-profit faculty, wrote for the issue. Confirmed speakers will be Joe Berry, Richard Ohmann with Susan O'Malley chairing the panel.

Peter Fettner recommends two panels hosted by Dissent Magazine on debt serfdom (Friday night, Schimmel, Opening Plenary) and organizing precarious labor (Session 2, E307, Sat 12:00pm - 01:50pm; co-hosted by Verso Books). 

precarious labor  

Work in the 21st century has been described as unstable, decentralized, precarious. How can workers organize under conditions of "flexible" employment, or gain leverage against an ever-changing boss? What will organizing look like in the face of massive shifts in risk to the backs of workers? All kinds of workers face these conditions, from home care workers, whose recent victories in New York State have challenged the impossibility of rallying those particularly vulnerable to hidden exploitation, to the "knowledge workers" who make up the Freelancers Union. These panelists will discuss the changing face of organizing in the face of the changing nature of work.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates 13Mar12

Email joeberry@igc.org, to subscribe to regular updates in brief and links by email. More about Joe Berry. 

Updates in brief and links

Joe Berry issuing report card to Chicago college 

[COLORADO] tops today's list

[NORTH ATLANTIC] 
  • Boston College adjunct let go over his criticism of Church for failure to ordain women
  • Unionization bill  (for contingent faculty) pulled from Maryland Legislature  (AFT Maryland accused of back door deal)
  • More  on American University since the successful election

Virtual Meet & Greet: CPFA, NTT Faculty of the California #CommunityCollege system

... because getting to know one another ~ individuals, groups, networks ~ is part of building an NTT academic labor network and connecting existing networks for contingent academic labor. The fragmentation that has isolated us can become our strength as nodes on distributed networks, interconnected, sharing information and learning from one another, with no single organization, central hub, network or even ring to rule them all. 
I'm starting with CPFA because I grabbed the information when working a recent post. The overflowing feed reader, social media and correspondence make for a sizable if incomplete scratch list, which should be the next post. Feel free to add to it ~ tell us about community online or off in your corner of the adjunctiverse. Suggest new ways to meetup or new twists on old ways. 

California Part-time Faculty Association

Serving over 46,000 Non-tenure Track Faculty in California Community Colleges.

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