Archive for May 30, 2013

Adjunct issues trend on Twitter, are voiced on MPR

Trending on Twitter this week is Maria Maisto, President of New Faculty Majority and her Trending on Twittertweet  on the Walmart strike.

Maisto also shares her thoughts on the new faculty majority — aka adjuncts — in this story on Minnesota Public Radio. In it, she talks about how adjunct working conditions are student learning conditions.

More recent media coverage of adjuncts

Who to follow on Twitter


OPTFA meets Wednesday in Mentor

Spring semester is over, but OPTFA is not taking a summer break. Join us for our May meeting as we take advantage of the momentum we built using our May Day Rally for Equity, our social media campaigns via Twitter and Facebook, and our involvement in the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education‘s 5th Meeting last weekend in Columbus.

OPTFA usually meets on the fourth Wednesday and fourth Sunday of each month, but due to the Memorial Day weekend, we will meet only at noon on Wednesday, May 22, this month. We will not meet on Sunday.

OPTFA May Meeting: Join us in person, online or by phone

  • Wednesday, May 22, noon. See in person, online, or telephone options below.
Join the Wednesday, May 22, meeting at noon in person

Location: Panera on Mentor’s east side, 9587 Mentor Ave. Mentor, OH. Get directions.

Agenda: TBA

RSVP: to

Join the Wednesday, May 22, meeting at noon online or by phone

Join the meeting online: Visit and log in using Meeting ID: 896-295-253. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended. RSVP: to

Join the meeting by phone: Call in using your telephone. Dial +1 (510) 201-0301. Access Code: 896-295-253. Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting. RSVP: to



Infographic shows adjuncts at U of Akron teach for fast food wages

uakron infographic large

UA changes rule on part-time faculty

The University of Akron Board of Trustees approved a change to University Rule 3359-20-06.1 regarding part-time faculty appointments.

The new terminology reads:

While many part-time faculty may be reappointed from successive academic terms, all part-time faculty are employed on an at-will basis.

The rule formerly read:

While many part-time faculty may be reappointed from successive academic terms, the appointment and any reappointments confer no expectancy whatsoever of continued employment.

UA board rule change

Text of UA rule on adjuncts

Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority, said UA’s move was a calculated one.

“It’s clear that this change is intended to make it more difficult for adjunct faculty to collect unemployment benefits. However, New Faculty Majority will simply bring this to state and federal policymakers as a good example of the ways that colleges are trying to have their cake and eat it too.”

We asked employment attorney Nancy Grim whether this rule change would make it more difficult for UA adjuncts to get unemployment compensation. Here was her response:

“Maybe a little more difficult. `Expectation of continued employment’ is a term in the unemployment statutes.  `At will’ means you can be fired at any time for any reason.

“It was convenient that the UofA expressly stated there was `no expectancy whatsoever of continued employment’  (though only useful if people brought that to the attention of the unemployment office or hearing officer in each case).

“Still, this remains a factual question for each case.  As we discussed, applicants should affirmatively submit facts that show they do not have a reasonable expectation of continued employment.”

Here are links to helpful unemployment compensation resources:

Revised on May 10, 2013.

File for unemployment at May 11 “Filing Party”

What: If spring term is over and you are without a teaching assignment, bring your laptop, if you have one, and join your peers to file for Ohio Unemployment Compensation. We will walk you through the unemployment compensation process online and answer any questions you may have.

steve street unemployment compensation initiative

If you teach at the University of Akron and have heard that UA disputes all unemployment compensation claims, you will be interested to know that the university appears to have changed its longtime policy on this issue. Here is what a UA spokesperson said in an April 11, 2013, Akron Beacon Journal story on the issue: “UA spokeswoman Eileen Korey said the university would not appeal claims for unemployment by part-timers who have an expectation of employment from term to term and whose jobs have been eliminated.”

When: Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: office of New Faculty Majority and the OPTFA. The address is Copley Commons, 2830 Copley Rd., Suite 26, Copley, Ohio 44321.

Join the meeting online: Visit and log in using Meeting ID: 664-710-805. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended.

Join the meeting by phone: Call in using your telephone. Dial +1 (404) 891-0552. Access Code: 664-710-805. Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting. Meeting ID: 664-710-805

RSVP: to

Download the event flyer to share with your colleagues.

Get more Event information.

Media coverage of UA Rally for Equity includes Chronicle

rally newsAs we reported yesterday, OPTFA’s May Day Rally for Equity at the University of Akron was a huge success, with about 100 adjuncts, full-time faculty, staff, students and community members coming out during a three-hour period to support a living wage & health care for adjuncts at UA.

Below are links to news media coverage of the event, including today’s story in the Chronicle of Higher Education. We also include a link to UA’s story posted on its website:abj

Turnout and media coverage make May Day rally at UA a success


Full-time faculty members at UA came out to support their part-time colleagues. Included among them were Patricia Millhoff at far right.

Today’s May Day Rally for Equity at the University of Akron was a huge success, with about 100 adjuncts, full-time faculty, staff, students and community members coming out to support a living wage & health care for the 70 percent of the faculty who teach 75 percent of general studies courses at UA.

Part-time faculty from UA attended the event, but they were also supported by adjuncts from area institutions such as Youngstown State University, Tri-C, John Carroll, and Lakeland Community College.

Students wonder what they can do

But that’s not all. The sunny skies and balmy temperatures brought hundreds of students outdoors. They milled about the Student Union plaza, stopping to watch, ask questions, collect information and share their thoughts about how their part-time faculty are treated at UA. Many had some familiarity with the inequitable treatment that adjuncts face. And some asked, “What can I do?”

The answer: Contact your university president and other administrators and tell them you want your faculty to be paid20130501_134335 a living wage and provided with health benefits. Contact UA President Dr. Luis Proenza, at or at 330-972-7074. Contact the UA Board of Trustees at 330-972-7873 or at You can also contact Bill Viau, Associate Vice President for Talent Development & Human Resources, at

Media coverage

Today, the Buchtelite ran a story about UA’s $26 million deficit, the plight of part-time faculty and the May Day rally.

The Buchtelite storyCleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, The Repository /, and 19 Action News were there to cover the event, so look for their news stories later today or tomorrow.

The Beacon’s story, “UA’s part-time faculty complain about cut in workload,” was already online this afternoon.

More photos

You can also find more photos of today’s rally on the OPTFA Facebook page.

May 2, 2013 Update: Get links to media coverage here.