Monday, May 27, 2013

convergences: coming together

"spiral" from convergences series by tom cartmill
this month has been a time of convergence for #adjuncts, precarious & #academiclabor issues. The adjunctiverse is buzzing; the flow, unrelenting.

The myriad issues and concerns related to and unforeseen consequences of the Affordable Care Act and preparing for the IRS contributed to the deluge (and still are) but are not its entirety. No doubt these have influenced, even initiated, other actions, and certainly contributed to increased coverage and thus public awareness.

Recent months have also been a period of active adjunct organizing, formally and informally,on the ground and online ~ as well as adjunct specific conferences. More attention from media and national higher education groups ~ professional and discipline specific organizations, unions, and advocacy coalitions such as Campaign for the Future of Higher Education ~ very likely not unrelated as well as also

Figuring prominently in the flow are narratives of leaving, staying, the willing and the unwilling, low wage strikers in other areas of precarious work, all bearing witness more often and more openly, taking a stand against comment trolls,  more coverage of adjunct issues in mainstream, local and niche media, groups forming online and by state or region. Neither one big union nor one ring to rule them by, instead a near spontaneous emergence wells up from multiple sources to flow toward convergence, connecting at multiple points, intersecting nodes.
There are murmurs of a(n east) central states association - Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania - supplementing state and metro organizations. Washington adjuncts may be coalescing despite massive efforts of public higher education tenure track dominated faculty unions to break their resistance, as shown at Olympia and Green River. Meanwhile, SEIU is working on private universities, i.e. PLU, and presumably a Sea/Tac metro strategy. 

Keeping up with all this (or trying to) means posting more to shorter form online media and has taken more time away from blogging than I had realized. Seeing just one post so far this month (two with this one) came as a shock. Eek! The two May posts in drafts don't count until posted. May 2013 will be the lightest since I started blogging here in 2009, closely followed by April 2013 with 5 posts. Something's got to give! So here's what I'm doing:

Syndicating blogs to our Facebook page and Twitter streams adds content, hopefully freeing me to blog (and read): the rss feed fetches and posts for me. Welcome blogging board members, advisory board members Bob Samuels and Joe Berry, and CFHE (also fulfilling their position statement distribution request/requirement with one fell swoop of a feed).
  • COCAL Updates (we're back to archiving Joe's (approximately weekly) link & news in brief updates
  • New Faculty Majority News & Links (for less than full blog post length link or image quickies)
  • Cringing Liberal Elite, board member Alan Trevithick's utterly delightful blog, chock full of prickly observations and intriguing image juxtapositions
  • akron adjunct, occasional lengthy issue analyses from VP Matt Williams
  • Changing Universities, Bob Samuels detailed pieces on higher ed funding and issues, focused on University of California but germane elseswhere
  • On the Issues, regular brief position statements from CFHE on national higher ed issues
Then there are the adjunct groups and pages on Facebook ~ for a preview, check out Ana M Fores' Adjunct Justice page. The rest can wait for a separate "Facebook adjunctiverse" post with links (so you can go like them). "Around the blog tour" of features, resources and new adds to the #NewFac Web 2.0 is yet another. With 35 feeds, it is about to split like multiplying cells. Did I mention the new board members to introduce, Ohio reports on the board meeting/retreat (still waiting!) and CFHE Gathering (but covered on Fb)? No shortage of material... just time and energy.

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