Saturday, September 22, 2012

Reading Room: the latest academic

…of particular note: Wilson's AAUP ideas#NFM should implement more than a fewTNR review recalls latest round of shady edupreneurial sites. Remember tenure-denied Amy Bishop? Nor can I resist the opportunity to cast another caution about analytics and the power of algorithms. GIGO is still good advice.

Algorighmic art
From TNR, Blaine Greteman reviews The Shadow Scholar: How I Made a Living Helping College Kids Cheat by Dave Tomar. Felix Salmon on the necessity of a college education. John K. Wilson ideas for improving the AAUP that don’t require radical changes in the organization or massive amounts of funding....With guilty plea, University of Alabama shooter Amy Bishop writes her own ending....Fellow humans, pay attention: algorithms are reshaping research from the inside out and we have barely noticed, warns David Beer. 

There's more. I even have a few waiting in drafts. Read the rest of this batch at the latest academic on the BookForum.com blog, Omnivore

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday ramble

…masquerading as a blog post. Mercifully brief, I keep promising but rarely succeed. Rambles are like that. You never know how long they will turn out to be  or even if you can find your way without getting lost, going off track. Most of these are or should be separate posts and may even be someday. Not today though.

Noted along the way

MLA 2013 coming up, Boston, Jan 3-6. NFM Board and other members eligible for MLA membership are urged to join and attend the meeting. Nov. 1 is the deadline to apply for travel grants of $300 to attend. New Faculty Majority is already well represented on contingent faculty committees and would like to see a strong board and member turn out. The 2013 meeting will have a strong focus on contingent faculty. Maria Maisto is on the PT Faculty executive committee discussion group with Sue Doe and IHE "kinder campus" columnist my friend Maria Shine Stewart. The panel will focus on the pedagogy of the precariat -- teaching students about contingency. Josh Boldt (NFM board member, The Adjunct Project) and Maria are on the Presidential Panel.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dismantling the professoriate

On Campus Current Issue Cover
View digital version of this issue
On Campus' September/October 2012 feature story, "Dismantling the professoriate" describes how "institutions are failing to support their instructional staff" and asks the same question we keep asking, "What message does that send students?"


The article is primarily about and to remind readers about the report,"A Portrait of Part-Time Faculty Members," conducted by the Coalition for the Academic Workforce (CAW) during the fall semester of 2010. Peter Brown, NFM founding board member, president SUNY New Paltz UUP Chapter and editor of Bullhorn brought this iteration to our attention, drawing our attention to "among other things, it states the following":
Currently, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education, 1.3 million of the 1.8 million faculty providing instruction in two- and four-year institutions are part-time or adjunct faculty, teaching off the tenure track.” [Peter's emphasis] 
Since some of us are still using the 800,000 figure, I thought we should be aware of this number, which is considerably higher, even factoring in TAs. We may want to update the number we use.
Also note, 
The survey's key findings include:
  • The median pay per course, standardized to a three-credit course, was $2,700 in fall 2010, and ranged from a low of $2,235 at two-year colleges to a high of $3,400 at four-year doctoral or research universities.
  • Part-time faculty respondents saw little, if any, wage premium based on their credentials.
  • Professional support was minimal for part-time faculty members' work outside the classroom and for their inclusion in academic decision-making.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Media 101 Webinar free to #NFM members


…from Maria Maisto, New Faculty Majority and NFM Foundation are proud to invite NFM members to participate in an interactive one hour webinar, Alert the Press: Media 101 for Contingent Faculty Activists and Allies on Monday, September 24, 2012 at 12 noon EASTERN time (11 am Central/10 am Mountain/9 am Pacific).


Description:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Joe Berry's Sept6 COCAL Updates

 in brief & links. Edited for length (omitting extensive "see below" items), redundancy (previously appearing in another post), time and formatting considerations. To subscribe to complete list by email, see information at bottom of page. 

Adjuncts... dba "you're not essential"
Good local newspaper op-ed adjunct unemployment insurance rights, Kansas City MO

IHE blogger (a CC dean) asks for free work from adjuncts (Ed note: a questionable characterization I disagree with after reading the post)

Near Emmaus responds to anthropologist Sarah Kandizor's Al-Jazeera article on adjuncts, plus links to other ensuing online discussion among anthros and other posts referenced, commenting.

Resources On The Chicago Teachers Strike

…from Larry Ferlazzo, who writes, "Here are the newest additions to A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On The Chicago Teachers’ Strike.

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates also cover the strike but Larry's are, in my opinion, even more comprehensive and come already formatted, ready to reblog. Surf-by blogging is a great time saver and has fewer calories than fast food, No links were injured in reposting...(image from CTUnet.com; more on NYT strike slideshow)

Reading Room redux: Thorstein Veblen's rant à clef

…More #highered history: CorporateU is nothing new to US. Revisit Veblen, an early Reading Room entry, with commentary, a treat from L.D. Burnett at US Intellectual History, 

I have been keeping company with Veblen.  He may wince not, but I sure do -- that is, when I'm not laughing out loud at his mordant wit.  His savagely brilliant sarcasm has a bite far worse than its bark.  I would not want to be on the receiving end of such a scathing polemic as he delivers in The Higher Learning in America.*  This has been a fierce, fun read. 

What’s Eating Public Education?

not just #highered eitherK-12 is in a state of siege. It's issues are our issues. Look at Chicago, teacher bashing, charter schools, de-funding and more. The problem is complex: solutions possibly more so. Understanding is a start. Perspectives on background and history  abound. Here's one set among many. Robert DeWitz writes,
page imageOur public education is under attack! K-12, Adult Ed, Community Colleges, Cal States, and UCs are undergoing systematic destruction to make way for privatization. The failings of public schools can largely be attributed to external pressures, largely from the corporate world, at the national, state, and local levels. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the attack on Public ED and our common struggle to save it. For the sake of simplicity I will focus on California.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September, UUP's The Bullhorn, SUNY New

BULLHORN, September 2012.pdf Download this file

  


…Attached please find the September issue of The Bullhorn. Past issues available in archives, http://www.uuphost.org/newpaltzwp/?page_id=78
--
Peter D.G. Brown, Chapter President
United University Professions, New Paltz, NY 12561
Office:  845-257-2783 / Mobile: 917-886-1925
http://www.newpaltz.edu/uup



Posted via email from Academentia

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates. Sept6

…a proverbial tip of the hat to Wayne Ross and Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor (and its Facebook incarnation linked below)… and a peek at what they look like before I spend an hour or so reformatting, checking and embedding links, adding images, etc. This may be less aesthetic but sure saves a lot of time, plus does double duty as a reminder to to revisit Workplace (and blog where updates appear) again for the first time.
Wayne Ross posted in Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor (Facebook)
Wayne Ross6:21pm Sep 6
COCAL Updates
COCAL Updates Updates in brief and links 1. Kaplan faculty in Liverpool, England, UK unionize! From ...


Friday, September 7, 2012

our gig and bookstore sitting

Serendipity. I left the computer after opening this link and now can't remember where from, but the story, Bookstore-sitting gig: Not so charming? and cautions, have a familiar ring to them. Wendy Welch of Tales of the Lonesome Pine bookshop in Virginia is looking for a bookstore-sitter. Gushing book columnists from LA to NPR adore the advert for bargain basement help...



Another bookstore proprietor, Scott Brown in Eureka CA disagrees with the sentiment, writing...
"I reject the notion that going into bookselling should be like taking a vow of poverty," he writes. "The editor who bought the book gets a paycheck, health benefits, paid vacation, and a retirement contribution, as does the publicist, marketing manager, etc. They aren't working for love." 
"Nor is the company that will print the book, nor are the employees who work the presses. Nor is the company that manufactured the paper. They all expect to get paid. And rightly so."
Brown writes that the idea that a bookstore-sitter should be an unpaid serf at the bottom of book lovers' food chain is "an insulting and intellectually bankrupt view." That's a good point.
 The idea he rebuts is a familiar one...
Ms. Welch's basic idea is that bookstores are idyllic community resources free from the taint of lucre. "What WE booksellers do is important...WE represent an open market of free ideas, with value tied to meaning more than money," she writes (emphasis added, to show that she pretends to talk for all of us). In another post she says, presumably implying vows of poverty and years of penance done at the store, "Bookslinging is a hard way of life, but boy it’s a good one....WE’re like nuns and monks..."
Shades of Chaucer's Clerke... "And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."

Monday, September 3, 2012

In Honor of #LaborDay

…A message from Ana Maria Fores Tamayo, 

Image result for adjunct justice
Friends,

Tuesday, August 28, at 4:39 pm, two days into the fall semester, my college fired me without due process, claiming they were "rearranging my classes." My indentured servitude was not enough: they wanted me to bow down to their every whim. I would not. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Joe Berry's COCAL Updates

...links & news on #COCALX in Mexico City, #ContingentFaculty & #HigherEd + an appeal to support the Chicago Teachers Union, AFT local 1, to their solidarity fund in their fight and possible fall strike to preserve and improve public education (and against the privatizers). He writes, "I personally urge us all to contribute and get further donations from your union and organization. No foundation will fund this fight. The rich and their foundations (Gates, Lumina, et al) are all on the other side." (image from JournalMex)

More about Chicago Teachers (because our history matters): A wonderful article on the revolt of the Chicago teachers, in 1933, when they, through massive direct action, and over the objetions of many union leaders, directly attacked the banks to get the money to pay them and keep the schools open. Every teacher unionist should read this. The best telling of this story that this labor historian has ever read. Not optional! Big lessons for us now.

COCAL news...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Reading Room: Omnivore's Choice

…sans explanatory or exculpatory head note of substance, a bit dated  (the last one was more recent). Trying to get back on daily post regimen (bless you Bill and Alan), resorting to working my way through hitherto neglected drafts. Joe latest COCAL Updates were on the schedule for today, but they take rather a bit of reformatting and link checking and I passed my coherence timeline before getting to them. Tomorrow maybe. Also simmering: a piece on injustices and not forgetting them when they drop below the fold or off the monitor. Looking after and calling attention to individual injustices matters as much if not more than surveys, participating in studies, conferences and strategic alliances. Save a life and save the world. 

From THES, Alan Ryan on the faith in education that inspired “Great Books” collections. From Slate, which pop culture property do academics study the most? Bound for glory: A look at academic terms misused and overused in popular vernacular. From TLS, a review of Debates in the Digital Humanities

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