Archive for June 29, 2013

Highlights of OPTFA June meetings

Current Priorities for OPTFA, as discussed at our June meetings, include the following:
 
Unemployment + Adjunct Lecturer status: We’re focusing on information gathering in the coming ScarletAmonths regarding several appeals for unemployment compensation by part-timers. (See Paula’s recent post on our discussion list.) If you have filed, please be sure that Maria Maisto has your contact information. Also, there is growing concern that the trend of pushing out adjuncts who have achieved Senior Lecturers status is ramping up on campuses that have such a designation. If you have a story like Paula’s or Michelle’s, we want to know about it.
Campus Tours: OPTFA is planning to tour Ohio campuses in the Fall 2013. On the tour, the goal is to get the word out that OPTFA exists and showcase what adjuncts in the state have accomplished so far. We also hope the tour will serve as a local mobilizing force to bring together all stakeholders (like students, other part-time campus employees, parents, tenured fac) who are impacted by contingency.  We also want to help catalyze the organizing of adjuncts on local campuses so that people aren’t so isolated from the other adjuncts that walk the same halls they do.  We need people to serve as points of contact, so we can set up dates, so if you want to help arrange a visit to your campus, please email David Wilder at david.wilder.optfa@newfacultymajority.info.
 
Campus Equity Week 2013: This will take place the last week in October. Lots of folk on the Survey suggested some sort of conference–we would love for Campus Equity Week (and/or the Campus Tours) to be a place where we can hosts panels, teach-ins, events on different campuses across the state in the same week. We’re also looking into figuring out how to simulcast Ohio events so that we can be networked into the Campus Equity Week events going on around the nation that week. If you are looking for a committee to serve on for OPTFA: this is what’s hot.
Aaron Calafuto + “For-Profit”: This is super exciting. We’re looking for more ways to cross-for profitpollinate our organizing between fac + students and this is one sure way to do it. Aaron’s a founder of Student Debt Crisis–working with student organizations on campuses nationwide to organize around the issue of student debt.
He is also a playwright of a critically acclaimed play, For Profit, about the cycle of student debt and the corporatization of higher ed, which you can find out more about here.
The plan is to synch our Campus Tours with some showings of his play–to highlight the connections between contingent faculty members who are working for poverty wages with thousands of dollars in debt they can’t pay back at these rates, while the students themselves take on thousands of dollars in debt in the hope of making a living wage, but the only work available, if they can get that degree, may be a minimum wage job in the service sector–so they won’t be able to pay back that debt either. Average student loan debt in recent years is something like $27,000 per student.  Also remember that only 56 percent of our students in Ohio graduate in six years. Student load debt (in number of dollars) has quadrupled just in the past 10 years. Ohio is seventh in the nation for highest student loan debt load. Etcetera etcetera.

survey

So these kinds of events and panels should surely increase solidarity on our campuses and gather crowds/community interest/publicity. If you’d like to have the play and panel discussion come to your campus–please talk to Maria Maisto. Some dates have been set already.
For more details on the other things the group worked on Wednesday–including that OPTFA Summer Survey (preliminary results are in!) please see the June 2013 Meeting Report.

 

Take the OPTFA survey

Attention adjuncts throughout the state of Ohio! Please take a few minutes to fill out the new OPTFA Summer Survey, which will give us thesurvey valuable information needed to gauge member priorities, participation, background, etc.

At 10 questions, it’s pretty brief, but your responses will go a long way!

WKYC takes on Tri-C administrative costs

WKYC-TV took up the topic of the growth in administrators — at the expense of academics — at Cuyahoga Community College inWKYC a two and a half minute report by Kim Wheeler that was broadcast on tonight’s evening news.

In it, April Freely, co-chair of the OPTFA organizing committee, helped answer the question, “Should tax dollars go to administration or the classroom?” She pointed out that the growth of administrators is outpacing tenured faculty hires.

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Tri-C’s executive leadership structure

“I think that we owe it to our young people to put the money into things that are going to help them succeed,” Freely said.

Students interviewed in the broadcast said funding should be used for academics, not administration, while Tri-C defended its administrative structure as well as its cost.

Tri-C has more than 52,000 students on multiple campuses. It has 15 vice presidents and 20 executive directors, among other administrators.

 

OPTFA summer schedule

Spring term is over, but the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association will hold regular meetings throughout the summer — and we have a picnic on the schedule as well.

OPTFA Picnic

Who: Part-time faculty and their families. Children are welcome.DLQ-collage-09

What: Are invited to attend a picnic sponsored by the OPTFA

Why: So that part-time faculty from our area and beyond can meet to share information, experiences and opportunities as they engage with our organization and each other.

When: Sunday, June 30, 1-4 p.m.

Where: Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park5779 Riverview Rd., Peninsula 44264 Get the park map.

What to bring: OPTFA will provide beverages and snacks for all. If you want to take advantage of the park experience, pack a picnic meal to enjoy with your family/friends.

RSVP: We ask that you RSVP to optfa@newfacultymajority.info with the number of people who will attend so that we can have enough beverages and snacks on hand. Please respond by Friday, June 28

Summer OPTFA meetings

OPTFA meets on the fourth Sunday of each month at 6 p.m. and on the fourth Wednesday of each month at noon, unless otherwise noted. Read OPTFA Meeting Reports.

All meetings are held at the office of New Faculty Majority and the OPTFA, unless otherwise noted. The address is Copley Commons, 2830 Copley Rd., Suite 26, Copley, Ohio 44321.

June OPTFA meetings

Location: Copley Commons, 2830 Copley Rd., Suite 26, Copley, Ohio 44321

Options for joining the meeting remotely by telephone or online will also be available. Details will be posted on our Events page.

  • Sunday, June 23, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 26, noon

July OPTFA meetings

Location: Copley Commons, 2830 Copley Rd., Suite 26, Copley, Ohio 44321

Options for joining the meeting remotely by telephone or online will also be available. Details will be posted on our Events page.

  • Wednesday, July 24, noon

August OPTFA meetings

Location: Copley Commons, 2830 Copley Rd., Suite 26, Copley, Ohio 44321

Options for joining the meeting remotely by telephone or online will also be available. Details will be posted on our Events page.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 28, noon

Plain Dealer readers call out higher ed on adjunct treatment

Cleveland area readers don’t like how universities and colleges are treating part-time faculty — or how that treatment affects students — and they have put their opinions in writing.

Plain Dealer readers responded to the newspaper’s May 26 story on the inequitable workingScreen Shot 2013-06-07 at 12.46.51 AM conditions of part-time faculty — and how adjuncts are fighting back — by writing letters to the editor.

The newspaper published the letters Sunday, June 2, under the headline, “While adjuncts do the work, administrators multiply.” The letters took up a full page of the opinion section — and all were sympathetic to the plight of adjuncts.

The May 26 Plain Dealer story, written by Harlan Spector, is one of many written or broadcast about the effects of the Affordable Care Act on the working conditions of adjunct faculty and the learning conditions of students.

Many colleges and universities are placing limits on the number of credit hours adjuncts can teach to avoid providing adjuncts with health care benefits. Others are underestimating the number of hours adjuncts put in outside of the classroom.

Both approaches, cutting adjunct hours and inventing a false ratio to institutionalize the status quo, are wrong and show that colleges do not consider students, faculty or the quality of education a priority.

Has our educational system become corporate? Has it forgotten its mission to educate and to set examples for fair and equal practice? – Gloria Lucshesi, Cleveland Heights

 

Professor Staff takes to the WCPN airwaves

If you missed today’s WCPN Ideastream show, “Professor Staff Dominates Today’s Colleges,” professor staff wcpnyou can add your comments about adjunct working conditions and more at this link.

Guests were:

Maria Maisto, president, New Faculty Majority 
Evan Chaloupka, adjunct professor, Lakeland Community College
April Freely, adjunct professor, University of Akron
Susan Albertine, vice president, Office of Diversity, Equity,and Student Success, American Association of Colleges and Universities