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Equality for Contingent Faculty

Overcoming the Two-Tier System

Keith Hoeller

Publication Year: 2014

Vice President Joseph Biden has blamed tuition increases on the high salaries of college professors, seemingly unaware of the fact that there are now over one million faculty who earn poverty-level wages teaching off the tenure track. The Chronicle of Higher Education ran a story entitled "From Graduate School to Welfare: The PhD Now Comes with Food Stamps." Today three-fourths of all faculty are characterized as "contingent instructional staff," a nearly tenfold increase from 1975.

Equality for Contingent Faculty brings together eleven activists from the United States and Canada to describe the problem, share case histories, and offer concrete solutions. The book begins with three accounts of successful organizing efforts within the two-track system. The second part describes how the two-track system divides the faculty into haves and have-nots and leaves the majority without the benefit of academic freedom or the support of their institutions. The third part offers roadmaps for overcoming the deficiencies of the two-track system and providing equality for all professors, regardless of status or rank.

Published by: Vanderbilt University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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Keith Hoeller

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pp. 1-6

It has long been assumed that a college education is just the ticket for admittance into the middle and upper classes. High school students are routinely advised to apply to several colleges, and to choose the one with the most prestige. While financial aid is important, students are told they should go to...

Part I: Case Studies of Progressive Change

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1: Organizing for Equality within the Two-Tier System: The Experience of the California Faculty Association

Elizabeth Hoffman and John Hess

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pp. 9-27

On November 15, 2006, a sunny day in Long Beach, California, 1,500 faculty and students marched across a bridge and assembled in front of the entrance to the chancellor’s headquarters on Golden Shores. We had come to harass the California State University (CSU) chancellor and board of trustees, and that is what we did. The marchers carried banners large and small and...

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2: The Case for Instructor Tenure: Solving Contingency and Protecting Academic Freedom in Colorado

Don Eron

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pp. 28-64

Beginning in the late 1970s, university administrations at Colorado and elsewhere began waging what can be seen, with the benefit of hindsight, as a revolution against the academic freedom protections of higher education faculty. In order to achieve a more flexible workforce in times of budgetary constraints...

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3: Online Teaching and the Deskilling of Academic Labor in Canada

Natalie Sharpe and Dougal MacDonald

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pp. 65-74

Athabasca University (AU) is an accredited research university founded in 1970 as the first open distance education university in Alberta, Canada. It was modeled on the prestigious British Open University, founded in 1969, which offered each registered student an assigned academic instructor called...

Part II: The Two-Tier System in Academe

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4: Organizing the New Faculty Majority: The Struggle to Achieve Equality for Contingent Faculty, Revive Our Unions, and Democratize Higher Education

Richard Moser

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pp. 77-115

The increasing exploitation of contingent faculty is one dimension of a new employment strategy sometimes called the “two-tiered” or “multitiered” labor system. This new labor system is firmly established in higher education and constitutes a threat to the teaching profession. If left unchecked...

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5: The Academic Labor System of Faculty Apartheid

Keith Hoeller

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pp. 116-155

In 2009, Money Magazine published a survey titled “The 50 Best Jobs in America.”1 Their reporters analyzed job data and conducted an online survey of thirty-five thousand people, taking into account such factors as salaries, flexibility, benefit to society, satisfaction, stress, job security, and growth prospects...

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6: The Question of Academic Unions: Community (or Conflict) of Interest?

Jack Longmate

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pp. 156-172

A union is a fraternity of workers seeking to benefit one and all. Members are presumed to share a “community of interests.”1 This was assumed by an Olympic College (Bremerton, WA) financial officer who, when explaining why the administration would be reluctant to question the union’s prerogative...

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7: Do College Teachers Have to Be Scholars?

Frank Donoghue

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pp. 173-188

A fascinating op-ed piece from the March 6, 2009, issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education prompted me to ask my title question: do college teachers have to be scholars? The editorial, by Douglas Texter, is brashly titled, “No Tenure? No Problem: How to Make $100,000 a Year as an Adjunct English...

Part III. Roadmaps for Achieving Equality

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8: The New Abolition Movement

Lantz Simpson

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pp. 191-199

The major crisis festering in American higher education today, in terms of both academic freedom and teaching conditions, is that about 75 percent of the almost 1.8 million higher education faculty in the United States teach on contingent employment contracts. This means that most of these faculty...

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9: The Vancouver Model of Equality for College Faculty Employment

Frank Cosco

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pp. 200-226

In most North American advocacy forums concerned with the rights of post-secondary faculty, the disparate categories of part-time and full-time are set in solid stone with a next to impassable chasm between them. Those on the part-time side of the chasm are often not deemed to be real employees, while...

Selected Bibliography on the Contingent Faculty Movement

Keith Hoeller

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pp. 227-234

Appendix: Trends in Instructional Staff Employment Status

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pp. 235-240

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pp. 241-242

I would like to thank several people for their help with this book and with the contingent faculty movement in general. I wish to express my gratitude to Terry Knudsen, who joined me in co-founding the Washington Part-Time Faculty Association in 1997. She has...


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pp. 243-246


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pp. 247-249

E-ISBN-13: 9780826519528
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826519504

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2014