Adjunct activism at the MLA

A number of New Faculty Majority members and other advocates have strengthened the Modern Language Association’s already leading role on behalf of the majority of the faculty over the last year. 2012-13 MLA president Michael Berube and executive director Rosemary Feal, new NFM members in 2012, kept contingency on the front burner throughout the year.

An unprecedented number of faculty members on contingent appointments were nominated for leadership positions; Berube made contingency the major theme of the 2013 Boston convention (including featuring an all-adjunct presidential panel); and the organization rolled out its powerful Workforce Data Center and helped unveil the Coalition on the Academic Workforce’s Contingent Faculty Salary Survey.

In an unprecedented collaboration, the radical caucus, the executive committee for the part-time faculty discussion group, and the committee on contingent labor in the profession collaborated to introduce a motion directing the organization to work even harder on behalf of the most vulnerable of their colleagues — which passed decisively on January 5, 115-1. Oh — and Michael’s reflections on our January 2012 summit inspired member Josh Boldt to start The Adjunct Project — and the rest, as they say, is history!

Note: This report appeared in Issue 3 of the New Faculty Majority E-Newsletter, published on Feb. 13, 2013.

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