Graphic
|

American University Adjuncts Vote to Unionize With SEIU

Adjunct faculty at American University voted to unionize Thursday, following the lead of their peers at George Washington University and Montgomery College.

Adjuncts are the temps of higher education. They make up more than half of all college faculty nationwide, but most work part-time “for very low wages with no benefits, job security, administrative support or academic rights,” the labor union SEIU said in a press release. About 30 percent of the courses taught at AU in the fall semester were taught by adjuncts, according to university officials.

University officials said they would not challenge the vote.

At AU, according to the union, an adjunct with a doctorate teaching three classes a semester could make as little as $18,000 in a year. Adjuncts at AU are capped at three courses per term.

In response, AU spokeswoman Camille Lepre wrote, “It’s not a fair comparison to hold an adjunct that teaches a course up to a tenured or tenure track faculty member who is generally teaching four courses a year, conducting research on an area of new knowledge, advising students, supervising theses, dissertations, and internship experiences, and providing service on university committees and to the community on behalf of AU.”

A full professor at AU earns $152,000 a year.

Federal data show AU employs 688 full-time and 547 part-time faculty. The university reports that it employs 1,672 adjuncts on three-year contracts, but not all of them teach at the same time. Adjuncts view unionization as a path to the middle class, according to the union. Some have already arrived. “Many AU adjuncts are professionals employed elsewhere, with salary and benefits,” Lepre said in an e-mail.

“This is a major step in reforming higher education, not just at American University but across the country,” said Mark Plane, an adjunct in the anthropology department at AU, in a statement.

Adjuncts often are hired “at the last minute, so it is harder to prepare for their courses.” the union release said. “They do not have office space and many work additional jobs to make ends meet so there’s less time to be available to students after class.”

Plane: “The reality is that, except for a lucky few, anyone trying to forge a career in academia will serve an indefinite time as an adjunct. The university too often treats this as business as usual, but for my fellow adjuncts, it can be a real struggle to get by.”

 

Short URL: http://www.adjunctnation.com/?p=4134

Leave a Reply

Keep in Touch With AdjunctNation

Graphic Graphic Graphic

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Archives

Graphic

From the Archive

  • Prof Punks Chem Students—Sends Imposter to Teach First Day of Class

    This prank is proof that any professorial-looking man with a bald head and khakis can walk to the front of a freshman chemistry class on the first day of college and have his way with the ignorant newcomers for as long as his gravitas will carry him. Or until the real professor walks in. The […]

  • In Uganda Faculty Association Backs Firing of Part-time Lecturers

      Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) has backed the university’s new reforms, saying they will strengthen the quality of education and reduce wastage of resources. Speaking to AdjunctNation.com, MUASA Chairman Tanga Odoi, said laying off part-time lecturers, will allow the university to save more money to enhance salaries of full-time staff. “There are some […]

  • Using Humor In The College Classroom To Enhance Teaching Effectiveness

    by Neelam Kher Humor is a valuable teaching tool for establishing a classroom climate conducive to learning. This article identifies opportunities for incorporating humor in the college classroom, reviews the impact of humor on learning outcomes, and suggests guidelines for the appropriate use of humor. Of particular interest is humor in “dread courses” which students […]

  • Digitizing for Distance Education

    contributed by the University of Fairbanks Center for Distance Education Migrating information from paper to electronic form—and being able to access those items in their electronic forms—is a regular concern for both instructor and student in any web-enhanced or web-delivered course. Finding the Right Tools • Office Software. The first and most obvious method is […]

  • Union Rep Calls Yuba Cuts Inevitable

    Pay cuts for instructors are inevitable, a union representative of part-time faculty at the Yuba Community College District says of trustees asking for a 3 percent reduction in pay — which full-time professors oppose. “I don’t see any other way out of it,” Jim Schulte, vice-president of the Yuba College Adjunct Faculty Teachers, said Monday. […]

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Recently Commented

  • Rick: If your looking for non-academic jobs, or “menial” jobs do not even mention your graduate...
  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...