Archive for September 30, 2013

Show FOR PROFIT on your campus

As part of its contribution to Campus Equity Week 2013, the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education has sponsored the filming of:

The film version of the performance is being offered for screening at college campuses and other venues around the country exclusively during the week of Oct. 28 – Nov. 2.

The play provides a wonderful opportunity for students, faculty, staff and community members to discuss a wide range of current issues in higher education—not just the for-profit college industry, but also the broader “for profit” mindset towards higher education today that is behind so many problems facing us, our students, and our society’s educational future.

For more information on sponsoring this event on your campus or in your community, contact:  info@futureofhighered.org.

Promote the performance

Download the FOR PROFIT Promotion Posterwhich is designed so you can print it and customize it by hand with the specific time, date and location of the showing of FOR PROFIT on your campus. We also suggest adding this tagline underneath the title before you make copies:

A Solo-Play about the 1 TRILLION DOLLAR STUDENT DEBT CRISIS & the Exploitation of the American College Student.

See other CEW resources on the Campus Equity Week 2013 website.

Adjunct faculty hit hard by healthcare mandate

Adjunct faculty are paying a heavy price because colleges and universities are cutting hours to avoid providing benefits under the Affordable Care Act, according to Investor’s Business Daily.Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 2.55.32 PM

A story posted today on the publication’s website says that “cuts in adjunct faculty hours now extend to nearly 200 college and university campuses attended by about 1.6 million students.”

The story also reports that “All over the country, adjunct teaching loads are being limited to nine credit hours — just below the 30-hour threshold at which Affordable Care Act employer penalties hit. That’s the equivalent of nine hours per week in the classroom and 18 hours of work preparing, grading, etc.”

Investors.com has compiled a list of 313 employers that have cut hours to avoid providing health benefits for employees. Among them are 54 colleges and universities.

Here is a list of those located in Ohio. It includes links to sources documenting the cuts, including documents and posts on the OPTFA website.

Ohio colleges and universities that have cut hours for part-time faculty and staff
  1. Sinclair Community College – Public – Reduced hours for part-timers to maximum of 28 per week and cut course loads for adjunct faculty
  2. Cuyahoga Community College – Public – Capped hours for 1,559 part-timers at 20 per week
  3. University of Akron – Public – Cut course loads for part-time faculty
  4. Columbus State Community College – Public – Reduced hours for adjunct faculty and hourly wage earners to fewer than 30 per week
  5. Lakeland Community College – Public – Limited course loads for adjunct faculty
  6. Baldwin-Wallace University – Private – Limited course load of adjunct faculty
  7. Kent State University – Public – Limited course load of adjunct faculty
  8. Lakeland Community College – Public – Limited course loads for adjunct faculty
  9. Bowling Green State University – Public – Capped part-time hours at 24 per week and student work hours at 28
  10. Shawnee State University – Public – Reduced maximum teaching load for adjunct faculty
  11. Stark State College – Public – Capped hours of adjunct faculty at 29 per week
  12. Youngstown State University – Public – Capped hours of part-time employees and adjunct faculty
Ohio colleges and universities that have cut hours for student workers
  1. Bowling Green State University – Public – Capped student work hours at 28

 

Two meetings for adjuncts at YSU

YSU Part Time Faculty Association 2013 Fall General Meetings and Open House

Who: For All Limited Service Instructors. We have no dues, just come.

When:  Monday, Sept. 23, or  Tuesday, Sept. 24   Take your pick.

Schedule:

6:30 p.m. – Welcome and Open House Format

7 p.m. – Presentation: Update on what we have been up to since spring and preview our survey

7:30  p.m. – Continue open house till 8:30

Where:   Coffelt-Pugsley Rooms,  Kilcawley Center, on the YSU campus

For  information or just to indicate some interest, contact Jim Zupanic, Limited instructor in Engineering Technology, at jczupanic@ysu.edu or jczupanic@yahoo.com

Visit ysuparttimefaculty.blogspot.com

Watch segment on “For Profit” on Al Jazeera

Aaron Calafato’s solo performance of “For Profit” at Kent State University earlier this month was Aaron on Al Zazeerafeatured in a three-minute segment on the Al Jazeera show “Real Money” last night.

The evening also featured a panel discussion on student debt, part-time faculty and other issues in which Katherine Burke, KSU adjunct faculty and a member of OPTFA’s Organizing Committee, participated.

You can watch the segment and get a glimpse of Katherine here and view photos from the KSU performance on our Facebook page.

Calafato’s play, which includes a post-performance panel discussion on equity issues, will be part of Campus Equity Week. It will be performed at campuses around the country both before and after that week.

Upcoming Ohio performances of “For Profit” include:
  • October 28: University of Akron, Akron, Ohio.
  • November TBA: Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio. With Evan Chaloupka, member of OPTFA Organizing Committee and doctoral student at CSU.

Read more about the one-man play, For Profit, in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: Art imitates life and debt in play about for-profit school: Plain Dealing, Aug. 16, 2013

 

Share Margaret Mary’s story: Death of an adjunct

Margaret Mary Vojtko, 83, died of a stress-related heart attack on Sept. 1 after being fired from her position as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University where she taught French for 25 years. At the time of her death, she was living in poverty and without health benefits.

Read the full story and share it via social media. If you tweet, please use the hashtag #iammargaretmary. We want this to go viral.

Tri-C stonewalls public records requests, demands payment

When it comes to public records, all of the Ohio colleges and universities we have contacted have thrown up as many barriers as they could, despite the Ohio Sunshine Laws that give Ohioans access to government meetings and records — free and anonymously.

Some — like Youngstown State University — claim not to understand our request and then move at snail speed once we explain. Others — like Kent State University — claim they don’t have the standard documents we seek and send us hyperlinks to documents that are not responsive to our requests. And others — like Cleveland State University — do their best to ignore us, then provide an incomplete response.

But so far, the response from Cuyahoga Community College has been the worst and is apparently in violation of Ohio law. During the past three months, we submitted several public records requests to Tri-C. And we recently received the two replies copied at the bottom of this post.

Tri-C’s legal staff doesn’t follow law or its own policies

Tri-C’s response to our first request asked us to pay $650 because of “the volume of records responsive to your request” and asked us “to remint [sic] a payment.” The second response, with a subject line that began “Draft For Your Review,” said our follow-up request was “not specific enough for the College to reasonably identify responsive records.” It cited a section of Ohio law that did not support its objection.

So despite the fact that Tri-C employs several individuals on its legal staff — that staff is apparently unable to compose emails with appropriate subject lines or correctly cite the Ohio Revised Code. We suggest that Tri-C’s legal counsel’s office review the Model Public Records Policy posted on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

We disputed both of Tri-C’s claims with Tri-C’s legal counsel, citing Ohio law on the issue. And we have copied the Ohio Attorney General’s office on our emails. So far, we have not received a reply from either entity.

What the law says

In the case of Tri-C’s demand that we pay $650 for the documents we requested, Ohio law Sunshine lawspecifies that a public office may only charge its actual copying costs. It cannot charge for its own employees’ labor to copy or scan.

Despite that — and even though Tri-C’s own Public Records Request Form specifies that it will charge five cents per page for copies — Tri-C demanded 13 cents per page to cover “the cost to copy/scan the documents requested.”

In all of our public records requests, we have asked for digital copies, not paper copies, so there should be no copy charge. Most times, these documents are delivered by email. In the cases where the files were too large, they were burned to a CD and mailed to us at no charge, even though the institution could have asked us to pay for postage.

In the case of Tri-C’s claim that our request was “not specific enough,” on Aug. 30 we asked for clarification. The law mandates that public officials offer advice on how to revise the request so that it may be fulfilled. So far, Tri-C has not provided that, despite our request.

What we have requested

Between June 11 and Aug. 30, we have made a number of public records requests of institutions around the state. We will post all our requests on this page as time allows.

We have requested everything from lists of part-time faculty, their pay and their budgets; overall institutional budgets; sports budgets; lists of the top 50 highest paid employees; policies regarding part-time faculty employment; documents related to disputes of unemployment compensation; and more.

What we have received

So far, the institutions listed below have provided some of the records we requested. None has produced all of them. Some of the records are now posted at the links below; more will be forthcoming once we review them.

How we are using the documents

The documents we receive through our public records requests serve several purposes.

First, we are using them to help bolster the unemployment claims of part-time faculty.

Second, we are analyzing the data they provide to produce website posts such as the following, which we have publicized through Facebook and Twitter to generate hundreds of hits on our website:

FW: Public Records Request

From: Richard, Renee <Renee.Richard@tri-c.edu> Aug 29 (1 day ago)

cc: McDonald, Dannita <Dannita.McDonald@tri-c.edu>,
Northcraft, Sarah <Sarah.Northcraft@tri-c.edu>

VIA EMAIL ONLY

Dear Requester: Due to the volume of records responsive to your request there is a fee to produce the documents. We will produce the requested documents to you at actual cost (13 cents per page). See RC 149.43(B)(1) At your earliest convenience, please provide a check payable to Cuyahoga Community College District in the amount of $650.00 (approximately 5000 pages at 13 cents a page) to cover the cost of the copy/scanning. Should the cost to copy/scan the documents requested be less than the amount requested herein, we will provide you with a refund of the difference between the amount paid and the actual cost. Should the actual cost exceed the amount requested herein, we will provide you with a copy of the final invoice indicating the total cost to copy/scan the originals and requesting you remint [sic] a payment for the balance. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.

Renee

Renee Tramble Richard Vice President and General Counsel
Cuyahoga Community College
700 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2878
renee.richard@tri-c.edu
Office: 216.987.4865 Cell: 216.403.6822 Fax: 216.987.4895

DRAFT FOR YOUR REVIEW: Public Records Request

From: Legal Services  Aug. 29, 2013 11:52 AM (2 hours ago)

to OPTFA

VIA EMAIL ONLY

Dear Requester:

The below request is not specific enough for the College to reasonably identify responsive records.  See RC 149.011(A)

Please revise and resubmit the request.

Elizabeth Jones

Paralegal – Office of General Counsel and Legal Services
Cuyahoga Community College- District Office
700 Carnegie Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
P: 216-987-4860
F: 216-987-4895
Tri-C® Where futures begin SM
www.tri-c.edu

UA limit on faculty work hours doesn’t promote student success

The opinion piece below was written by April Freely, Co-chair of the Organizing Committee of the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association, in response to the Akron Beacon Journal story and column she mentions. Update: It was published as a letter to the editor in the Akron Beacon Journal on Sept. 10. 

I am writing in response to Bob Dyer’s Sept. 4 column, “Want fries with that master’s degree?” and Carol Biliczky’s article on Sept. 3, “UA to hire ‘encouragers’ to help at-risk students.”

I am one of the part-time faculty members on the UA campus, working without benefits for just above minimum wage, at around $8 an hour — a wage Jim Tressel acknowledged is comparable to the pay of an Academic Encourager in the Biliczky story.

This fall, a new restriction was written into the small print of the job proffer for part-timehours text faculty, who are 59 percent of all faculty campus-wide. While an Academic Encourager is expected to meet the needs of 20 students in a 25-hour week — for a three-credit course, part-time faculty members are now expected to meet the needs of 25 students in only 6 hours a week outside of class time. I had to tell my students that my job is at risk if I spend “too much time” in conference with them, prepping for class, or grading papers in their writing-intensive courses.

This is not a policy that promotes student success.

Our students deserve better. Our faculty deserves better. I care about issues of contingency because the faculty is the heartbeat of any campus. As long as we are not investing in our faculty, our students will not thrive.

As an African-American, first-generation college student who grew up in Cleveland’s inner city, I might have been one of those students assigned to an Academic Encourager. Around 70 percent of our students statewide are from vulnerable populations: veterans, resumed-education students, minorities, first-generation college students, students in poverty. These students need more faculty involvement, not less.

I wish everybody had an Academic Encourager—their investment in our students is worth more than this—which only brings into stark relief the poor University support for the majority of our faculty.

It is my hope that the University won’t just do something to encourage student success, but that they will take the most appropriate course of action. Faculty are a good investment—as they know the material, set the benchmarks, and most importantly, know the particular strengths and weaknesses of the students: when I tell my students they can accomplish a course goal, it is not an empty platitude.

More facts on adjuncts and wages

Adjunct wages at UA

As of this fall, part-time faculty at UA can only teach a maximum of eight credits per semester because UA is subverting the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014, to avoid providing adjuncts with health benefits.

That means adjuncts in most programs can only teach two three-credit courses per semester, as most UA courses carry three credits. That brings the annual pay range of adjuncts at UA to between $8,400 and $11,400, wages well below the poverty level.

At the same time, however, the university has not implemented a system by which part-time faculty can track their work hours.

Adjunct wages nationwide

Adjuncts nationwide typically earn an average annualized salary of $21,600 for teaching the maximum number of classes that research has shown to be acceptable without damaging the quality of education being offered. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with equivalent education, responsibility and experience average $65,000 per year.

Share your adjunct story with reporter

Update: Stephen Koff’s story, “Obamacare’s part-timer consequence: Limited work hours at colleges, municipalities,” was published at Cleveland.com on Sept. 6. April Freely, co-chair of the OPTFA Organizing Committee, and Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority and executive director of the New Faculty Majority Foundation, are quoted in the article.

A reporter from the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Washington Bureau has contacted us looking for stories about how the Affordable Care Act has affected part-time faculty in Ohio. Here is the message he posted on our Facebook page:

Stephen Koff posted on Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association’s timeline
“I’m trying to reach adjuncts in Ohio whose hours have been cut or restricted by universities that worry about the 30-hour full-time standard of the Affordable Care Act. Been affected already? Call me: Steve Koff, Washington Bureau Chief, Cleveland Plain Dealer. 202-567-2600. Or send me email with your info at skoff@plaind.com. Thanks!”Please contact Stephen Koff directly if you are willing to share your story.

Administrative bloat and the changing face of faculty

These graphs from Mother Jones tell the story, but you can read the full text for yourself: Charts: When College Presidents Are Paid Like CEOs
faculty graphScreen Shot 2013-09-05 at 4.12.00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we invite you to read our post on administrative bloat at the University of Akron.

For Profit tonight at 7 at KSU Kiva

Aaron Calafato’s solo play “For Profit” will be performed tonight at the Kent State University Kiva at 7 p.m. A panel discussion including part-time faculty member Katherine Burke, who also serves on the OPTFA Organizing Committee, will follow the performance.

About the play: “For Profit” is a vibrant solo-portrayal of the exploitation of the American college student and the $1 trillion student debt crisis, told through the lens of an unwilling admission adviser at a for-profit institution.

The play blends theatrical techniques of storytelling and acting, in the tradition of the late monologist Spalding Gray – The Chronicle of Education

Location:
800 E. Summit Street, Kent, Ohio 44240