Monday, May 12, 2014

#adjunct miscellany…#BCCAgora, Mary-Faith, Kilgore & #academicfreedom

…so I fell off the daily post wagon, not the first timewon't be the last either. The adjunctiverse did not stop turning to wait for me, although end semester grading slowed social media fire hose flow somewhat

Saturday was #BCCAgora, which, not withstanding occasional tech glitches, an encouraging success for organizer Fabian Banga. Glitches go with the online conference territory, so anyone bothered—get over it. The conference and video open with Audrey Watters on Robots and Education Labor; the adjunct session starts at 2:18:06 ~ I tried but couldn't figure out out how to key the embed to start then. All (coffee breaks excepted) are worth watching.

As for a full dress review post, it's just as well I don't have time today anyway because I'm still gathering and waiting on materials. Margaret Hanzimanoulis' presentation ppt will be archived on the website. Fabian promises video editing for separate, shorter segments for each panel, and Ana Fores sent me a copy of her presentation. I asked other adjunct panelists for comments for impressions too but what I already have, plus twitter embeds should be ample for a full post. Jeffery Keefer also has a discussion thread on his #AdjunctChat Facebook group. I'm not sure whether it will be a post or a Storify. If I'm lucky, at least some panelists will blog it, and then I'll have links. 

CerasoliRemember #adjunct Mary-Faith Cerasoli's protest at NYS DeptEd, Albany? ICYMI she's still homeless. Media didn't get her medical care or a room of her own. Is anyone even listening? She's upping the ante with a hunger strike. I don't know if that is the answer, but it's definitely time for more than selfies. We couldn't get adjuncts to write letters about Nassau CC's threatened mass firings. Maybe they will for this...and in time not to cost Mary-Faith her life.

I rounded up links for a thorough recap all the way back to Frank Reiser blogging about her and even to the September 2013 Nassau CC strike since her support of that as well later "homeless adjunct" coverage are likely to have contributed to her losing that gig. That hit Sunday morning with email tagged URGENT from Keith Hoeller. Since Washington state and New Mexico are a ways from NYC, and Mary-Faith needed help there, Keith called around and I emailed Anna Spiro and T.L who hadn't heard from Mary Faith recently. By now word is out and spreading. Articles are being collaboratively researched and penned. Actions contemplated. Plans made. 

Last on the list, chronologically, is the UIUC's dismissal of adjunct James Kilgore, publicly supported by Board of Trustees Chair Christopher Kennedy. It has all the elements: high profile, politically charged, culture wars history and potential for long range consequences. This case marks further erosion of academic freedom, a more public than usual dismissal of adjuncts as beneath consideration, trustees overruling faculty and possibly even a new high water mark for neoliberal sentiment in higher education management. Is that possible anymore or just more shocking coming from a Kennedy? Nothing about the unfolding holds any real surprises except for the extreme display of cavalier attitude, blatant and without pretense. Politics have always been there. Any difference between Nassau CC trustee and University of Illinois one is scale not kind. This merits another stand-alone blog post: the whole nine yards of back story in linked articles and any developments between now and then. The AAUP academic freedom flying squad will, as my farrier used to say, earn their beans and biscuits on this one. 

Some days the robots seem like the least of our worries.

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