Still sick. Actually, I haven’t been struck down by a virus like this in quite a long time, so I suppose I was overdue. I wrote my letter from the editor yesterday, and chatted with two new writers. I am preparing to plan our yearly Colleagues Abroad issue. So, I need to find writers from abroad to contribute. I chatted with a writer from Cambridge, England, and another from Australia. I use a software from Gizmo Project, and with my broadband connection can call abroad for between 1.5 and 2.0 cents per minute. Put simply, I call using my computer and a Bluetooth headset. The technology works like a charm! I can call family in Italy, chat for an hour and it sets me back less than $2.00.
As for the Colleagues Abroad issue, I want to interview the head of the Part-time Faculty Union in India, get the scoop on part-time faculty working in Mexico (Here’s where I kick myself for not speaking Spanish fluently), find out about casual faculty in Australia, and check back with the Associate Lecturers in the UK. We’ll also have an update on the foreign lecturers in Italy, all of whom teach on temporary contracts.
I read a fascinating article from the Iceland Review that looked at the renaissance of higher education in that country. Iceland’s population is tiny, but administrators at the country’s flagship university, the University of Iceland, recently announced that by 2010 they want their institution to be among the top 100 universities in the world. They have their work cut out for them, as the University of Iceland doesn’t currently appear in the top 500 of the world’s top universities. In the course of reading the piece, I also learned about Reykjavík University, a newcomer to the higher education scene in Iceland, but an extremely successful institution nonetheless. The university employs many part-time faculty, and does not offer faculty tenure. I want to learn more about the use of part-time faculty in their system.
Finally, I have been catching up on my listserv emails. I belong to several listservs related to adjunct faculty. By far the most interesting discussion was on the adj-L listserv. There, members of COCAL (conference on contingent academic labor) have been discussing whether to take the group national as, perhaps, a union. Such an organization could change the face of higher education.
So, until my next entry, I am going to try to get some rest and not feel too awfully sorry for stuffed up, congested, feverish self. After all, I have a lot to be thankful for, and it’s important to accentuate the positive.
Yes, “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive” is the song I chose to accompany this entry. I couldn’t help myself. I chose Ella Fitzgerald’s version. Hope you like it.
Listen to my blog entry here.