Archive for Affordable Care Act

Tri-C adjuncts to meet Feb. 21

Tri-C adjunct faculty will meet at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at Panera, 6700 Rockside Rd, Indepedence, just off I-77. The event is open to adjunct faculty at all Tri-C campuses.

Issues of equity for adjuncts will be on the agenda. This will include how the recently announced IRS regulations regarding calculating adjunct hours will affect their workloads, as well as their their ability to obtain health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

For more details on the IRS regulations, visit our News page and read these stories:

For more information about the Feb. 21 meeting, email optfa@newfacultymajority.info.

NFM President testifies before House committee on ACA effects on adjuncts

Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority, testified at the House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on “The Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Schools, Colleges, and Universities.”

Maisto was one of four witnesses invited to testify at the Nov. 14 hearing, and the only one whose statement focused on the efforts of colleges and universities to avoid providing health benefits under the Affordable Care Act by cutting the workloads of adjunct faculty.

“Since the ACA has become law, some college and university administrations have been in the news for reducing part-time faculty work assignments or by redefining their work in order to avoid providing insurance.  Some people would have us believe that the ACA is giving the managers of colleges and universities no choice but to enact these policies.  I am here to correct that misperception,” Maisto said.

“It is not the ACA but rather these colleges’ interpretation of and response to the law that is hurting adjuncts and their students. Colleges have lots of choices, and unfortunately for their students, too many have chosen not to support or invest in faculty. The faculty members who do not have access to healthcare — or to the other professional supports that all faculty need in order to do their jobs consistently well — are being set up for failure, as are their millions of students,” she said.

After Maisto’s testimony, committee members from both parties asked probing questions about adjunct faculty working conditions and agreed that adjuncts should have healthcare benefits.

George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democratic member on the committee, said the hearing was the first to cover adjunct issues in any substantial way. He and committee chair John Kline (R-Minn.) agreed a committee hearing should be scheduled to focus on the adjunct situation. Miller also proposed setting up a website to collect adjunct data.

Maisto was invited to testify before the committee after committee staff members read her op-ed, “There’s Something Sneaky Going On At Colleges Across America,” published April 23, 2013, on TakePart.com.

On Wednesday, Maisto also testified at the Department of Education’s open forum on the Obama administration’s plan to address college value and affordability at George Mason University. Deputy Under Secretary Jamienne Studley moderated the forum.

View the Archived Webcast. Read the testimony.

Read coverage in the Chronicle of Higher Education: Lawmakers Told of Health-Care Law’s Harmful Effect on Adjuncts and CollegesNov. 15, 2013

Higher Ed & the Affordable Care Act: Take the survey

“Part-time” contingent faculty, along with “part-time” workers across the nation, are being directly affected by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the colleges and universities for which they work.

In order to gain more insight into the impact on higher education faculty, The New Faculty Majority Foundation (NFMF and The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE) are collecting information about how colleges and universities are responding to the Employer Mandate of the ACA as it applies to contingent faculty in “part-time” positions.

We are interested in understanding both the extent to which institutions are implementing the ACA to expand health care coverage to faculty who have previously not received health care benefits, as well as understanding the extent to which institutions are redefining the workload of “part-time” faculty to fall below the cutoff for provision of health benefits (29 hours per week).

TAKE THE SURVEY

To help us understand faculty experiences, we encourage you fill out a short survey which will take between 10-15 minutes. People who are not “part-time” faculty may respond to the survey if they have knowledge of policies related to ACA implementation on campuses. Please note that we ask you to upload any official documentation surrounding the ACA from your campus. Such documentation is extremely important to understand what is happening.

Your anonymity as an individual respondent to the survey will be preserved and only researchers with NFM and CFHE will be responsible for the analysis and security of the data. Your survey responses will be kept separate from the institutional information that you provide and the data will be stored on password protected files and on password protected computers.

If you do not have access to official documentation but know of news stories that have reported on your employer’s policies on part-time faculty and the ACA, please provide the link or upload a PDF or JPEG of the news story.

We thank you in advance for your participation in the survey. Please feel free to post and circulate the survey as widely as possible. This information is vital for educating the higher education community and the public about this urgent matter.

Initial results will be publicized during Campus Equity Week, October 28 – November 2, 2013.

Many thanks for your participation! Any questions or communications about the survey should be sent to: Gary Rhoades: grhoades@email.arizona.edu Maria Maisto: maria.maisto@nfmfoundation.org

KSU student paper covers adjuncts & ACA

dksApril Freely and Katherine Burke, two members of the Organizing Committee of the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association, are quoted in an Oct. 2 story in the Daily Kent Stater, Part-time faculty face cuts before new health care law.

The story describes Kent State’s response to the Affordable Care Act, which involves a combination of cuts to adjunct course loads as well as increasing the number of full-time appointments by combining adjunct positions, according to KSU administrators.

Last year, more than 50 percent of Kent State’s faculty members at both the Kent and regional campuses were adjuncts, the story notes.

I have felt very alone in this. I don’t feel that there is anybody that I can turn to that has my interests as an adjunct in mind. – Jennifer Ray-Tomacek

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

 

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.

A case study in systematic oppression: UA’s Women’s Studies Program

The majority of faculty at colleges and universities are now part-time, also known as adjunct or contingent. The majority of part-time/adjunct/contingent faculty are women. Both are Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 9.40.19 PMtreated inequitably.

Here’s a look at what happens when two forms of inequitable treatment — classism and sexism — intersect within the academy to create what feminist theorists define as systematic oppression.

Let’s take a look at the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Akron. We’ll consider the status — or class — of those who teach in the program, as well as their gender.

Classism, sexism and the two-tiered system

Like other departments and programs, UA’s Women’s Studies Program has what can be described as a two-tiered faculty system. The upper tier consists of a full-time faculty member who receives a nine-month salary of about $50K and full benefits that cost the institution about $8K per year. She teaches 24 credit hours per academic year, not including summer term. If she teaches during the summer, she receives additional compensation.

poverty levelsThe lower tier is comprised of three part-time faculty members and two graduate assistants who teach the majority of introductory classes within the program. The part-time faculty are paid by the credit hour at a rate ranging from $700 to $950.

They do not receive paid benefits such as healthcare, life insurance, etc. Neither are they likely to receive a summer teaching assignment, so they are unemployed during the summer term. Despite this, the university’s standard practice is to dispute all unemployment compensation claims by part-time faculty, including those filed by women’s studies part-timers.

Up until fall 2013, part-time faculty could teach a maximum of 21 credits during fall and spring terms, which would give an adjunct teaching the maximum load an annual wage of between $14,700 and $19,950 per academic year.

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 that adjuncts in the Women’s Studies Program can only teach two three-credit courses per semester, as all women’s studies courses carry three credits. That brings the annual pay range of women’s studies adjuncts at UA to between $8,400 and $11,400, wages well below the poverty level.

Graduate assistants receive the lowest stipend UA offers, $663.51 bi-weekly, along with a tuition waiver. In return, they teach two women’s studies courses per academic year. They do not receive paid benefits.

This two-tiered system — where an elite group of faculty receives wages and benefits commensurate with their education and experience, while another group of qualified faculty is paid poverty wages — promotes classism as well as sexism, since — as we have already noted — the ranks of part-time faculty have been feminized.

Marginalized by the report

The two-tiered system, with its inherent classism, was reinforced when UA’s Women’s Studies Program hired Ohio State University’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies to conduct a review of its existing Women’s Studies Program and its Women’s Resource Center, which is currently without a director or support staff. During that process, which took place May 10-11, 2012, individuals who play key roles in UA’s Women’s Studies Program were overlooked. That’s because they belong to the lower tier.

Notably and predictably, adjuncts were not included in the agenda for the review until the last minute. YWCA-blog-earnings-ratio-chart1Then they were given a 15-minute slot on the two-day schedule of events. While at the table, they were asked to discuss Women’s Resource Center programming, not academics.

The former long-term director of the program and a strong advocate for adjuncts during her Women’s Studies Program tenure, was not asked to participate in the campus discussions at all, even though she is a tenured faculty member at UA and maintains her interest in the program.

The report OSU issued after the review continued to support the two-tiered system. In it, adjunct faculty were invisible. The report’s recommendations regarding the future of the Women’s Studies Program and the Women’s Resource Center marginalized adjuncts, ignoring their important contributions to the success of the program and the ongoing relationships they build with UA students. Adjuncts who teach solely in the Women’s Studies Program — and teach the majority of women’s studies courses — were mentioned in passing. Although they and graduate teaching assistants are the mainstay of the program, teaching at least 500 students per year, adjuncts were described in one paragraph as “occasional lecturers who teach in the Program.”

Meanwhile, full-time faculty members who teach mainly in their own disciplines, but teach an occasional course that is also cross-listed as a women’s studies course, received accolades for their “labor of love” and sympathy for their inability to obtain release time from their academic departments to teach in women’s studies.

Even graduate students, who, like part-time faculty, experience exploitative working conditions, got more attention than adjuncts. The report criticized the pay of graduate teaching assistants in the program as being “at the lowest pay scale level.” Adjunct compensation, however, was never mentioned.

Report recommendations ignored

Kathryn Feltey

Kathryn Feltey, interim director of UA’s Women’s Studies Program

The report, for which UA paid paid $1,640, has not been implemented and was not distributed beyond a handful of top administrators. This is despite the fact that it described the program as being “greatly under-resourced” and “in a state of disarray” and recommended that UA strengthen both the Women’s Studies Program and the Women’s Resource Center “to address the needs of women on campus.”

The critique of the Women’s Studies Program also included these points:

  • Program bylaws are not approved.
  • There is no oversight of courses.
  • Holes exist in the curriculum.
  • Few students graduate with a minor or undergraduate or graduate certificate.
  • Few women’s studies courses are offered each semester, making it difficult for students to complete the program requirements.
  • There is little promotion and visibility of the program on campus.
  • There is inadequate advising of students who are potential minors.
  • The program does not have a dedicated, visible space on campus.
  • The program does not have adequate leadership or office support.

The report recommended hiring a full-time director of the Women’s Studies Program, and a national search to fill that position was conducted earlier this year. But despite the search committee’s recommendation that it bring its top candidates to campus for in-person interviews, the search was scrapped by the College of Arts and Sciences. A new search for the position began this fall, with a salary line of $70-$100K, but it was cancelled due to budget constraints, according to an email sent today.

Meanwhile, the program has been without a permanent director since the summer of 2010. Since spring term of 2011, Kathryn Feltey, associate professor of sociology, has served as interim director.

During her tenure, she has refused to assign available classes to part-time faculty with experience in the program. Instead, she has filled all available graduate assistantships and adjunct positions with students and faculty from her own discipline, weighting the program toward sociology and away from its natural interdisciplinary focus.

This semester, two Introduction to Women’s Studies classes were still listed in the university’s online schedule as being taught by anonymous “Staff” on the Friday before the semester began, a practice that does not serve the best interests of students.

The walk must match the talk

imgresThe classism and sexism inherent in the two-tiered faculty structure supported by both UA’s Women’s Studies Program and the report it commissioned goes against the underlying principles of feminism and women’s studies. For it is in women’s studies classrooms and offices and hallways that the slogan “The personal is the political” is heard as a daily mantra. And it is in the women’s studies classroom — and program — that actions should speak louder than words.

UA’s Women’s Studies Program Web page includes a quote from a student who graduated with a minor in the program.

Engaging with women’s and gender studies classes promotes complex thinking and the development of a theoretical orientation that encourages an intersectional perspective as well as the deconstructing and challenging of social inequalities, hierarchies as well as many normative academic discourses and ideologies.

At UA, that is all theory and no praxis. And students and faculty of women’s studies know that theory without praxis is worth nothing at all.

UA’s top 50 earn $10 million-plus. Adjuncts? $8.90/hr.

Question: How many full-time students at the University of Akron have to fork over nearly $10K in annual tuition and fees this fall to cover the salaries of the institution’s 50 highest paid administratorsAnswer: 1,040.

At $9,734 a pop, it takes the tuition of roughly five percent of the university’s 20,547 full-time students (according to fall 2012 enrollment figures) to pay the $10,127,487 a year that UA’s top 50 administrators earn. That figure covers just the salaries for their 12-month contracts. Bonuses, retirement benefits, health benefits and other perks are additional.

The problem is called administrative bloat. And according to the U.S. Department of Education, about $1,000 to $5,000 per student, per year is spent on administration costs. That’s roughly six to 14 percent of a pupil’s annual tuition bill.

Diversity, pay equity issues

However, when one analyzes the UA data, another issue appears. Only about 15 percent of those in the top 50 at UA are women, and the top 10 earners are all men.

These facts raise questions regarding UA’s record on diversity and gender-based pay disparity, although the institution touts its commitment to “creating a framework for excellence that incorporates diversity at its core.”

Top 10 earners at UA:

  1. Luis A. Proenza, president, $500,000, effective Jan. 1, 2014. This amount does not include $125K in bonuses.pay disparity
  2. William Sherman, provost, $291,600. Sherman retired and was rehired this summer and will collect his STRS benefits, along with his salary. See the full list of UA employees who retired since 1999 and were rehired, thus double dipping by simultaneously collecting both a pension and a salary.
  3. Stephen Z. D. Cheng, dean, College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, $285,492
  4. Chand Midah, dean, College of Arts and Sciences, $279,246
  5. George R. Newkome, vice president, research; dean, graduate school, $266,717
  6. George K. Haritos, dean, engineering, $264,594
  7. Thomas Wistrcill, director, athletics, $243,477
  8. Robert A. Weiss, department chair, polymer engineering, $242,034
  9. Ravi Krovi, dean, College of Business Administration, $239,789
  10. David J Cummins, CFO, $236,900

At the same time as the University of Akron is paying its administrators top dollar, it is facing a $30 million budget deficit. And the majority of its faculty, its part-timers, earn fast food wages.

Administrative bloat = increased tuition, student debt, adjunct abuse

Nationwide, tuition and room and board costs at public institutions have increased 42 percent since 2000, while administrative costs have zoomed upward 60 percent. Likewise, the number of administrators on college campuses has grown. By 2008, there were more than twice as many administrators as tenure-track faculty at institutions nationwide.

These statistics have produced a nationwide outcry against the practice, including a Wall Street Journal series on the problems of university systems across the country. It featured a chart detailing how administrative spending boosts college costs.

At the same time as the number of administrators has ballooned, institutions have significantly increased their use of non-tenure-track full-time and poorly paid part-time faculty. UA has the second highest percentage of part-time faculty in Ohio and one of the worst graduation rates in the state at 14 percent.

Less than 40 percent of students nationwide are now taught by tenure or tenure-track professors who earn a wage commensurate with their education and experience. The remaining 60 percent are taught by part-time faculty who make poverty level wages.

Meanwhile, total student debt in the U.S. is approaching $1 trillion, and the average college senior in the U.S. now carries $25,000 in student loan debt at graduation. In Ohio the average is $28,683, seventh-highest in the nation.

Poor pay for the new faculty majority at UA

UA’s approximately 1,500 part-timers make up more than 70 percent of all faculty on campus, receive no benefits and earn about $2,400 per three-credit course. Each of them will earn $9,600 for the 2013-2014 academic year, if they teach six credits per semester. That makes the wages of an adjunct faculty member at UA roughly 50 percent less than that of a fast food worker.

Nationwide, part-time faculty members make an average of $8.90 per hour, despite having earned advanced degrees.

uakron infographic large

Hours cut to avoid providing health benefits

Always poorly paid, UA adjuncts are in worse shape this academic year. That’s because UA is limiting adjuncts to eight credits per semester to avoid paying health benefits.

However, since most courses at UA are three credits, adjuncts have effectively been cut to six credits per semester or 12 per year.

UA has no system in place for requirement that adjuncts track hours

While the University of Akron has put a new requirement into effect that limits the number of hours part-time faculty can work each week, UA has no system in place for monitoring or reporting those hours — and has not indicated when such a system will be implemented.

Neither does its new requirement take into account the extensive amount of time that part-time faculty spend before the term officially begins — preparing syllabi and other course materials; creating online content; answering queries from students; and attending orientation sessions, training, and departmental meetings.

The new requirement, distributed by email via an attached memo from Laura Moss, assistant director of human resources information services at UA, was sent to vice presidents, deans and department heads on Aug. 1.

It reads in part:

Part time faculty members are expected to work no more than twenty-nine hours per week in combination of all assignments at the University of Akron. Two (2) hours of preparation/grading time for each load hour assigned above can be credited toward the 29 hours per week limit.  Weekly hours in excess of 29 must be pre-approved by the department chair or immediate supervisor. Actual hours worked per week must be reported to the department chair or immediate supervisor on a regular basis. Part-time faculty load limits should not exceed eight (8).

This wording is also included on the Personnel Action Form for Part Time Teaching & Summer Session that part-time faculty are required to sign.

UA has limited part-time faculty to eight credit hours per semester in order to avoid providing them with health care, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

No details on how part-time faculty will report work hours

The memo from HR also states that part-time faculty will be required to “begin reporting actual hours worked to their supervisors on November 1, 2013. Additional information on this reporting will be communicated at a later date.”

The memo does not state how that reporting will take place. It does not explain whether part-time faculty will be required to report the “actual hours worked” prior to Nov. 1. And it does not explain what will happen if a part-time faculty member exceeds total allowable hours. For a three-credit course, that limit would be six hours outside the classroom.

Here is a screenshot of this portion of the memo:

hours text

Details on part-time faculty earnings

An attachment that accompanied the memo included a chart stipulating minimum pay per credit hour for part-time faculty teaching in three categories: Assistant Lecturer, Associate Lecturer and Senior Lecturer.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 11.03.07 PM

For more details about the compensation paid to part-time faculty, download the Excel spreadsheet listing all part-time faculty employed during 2012-2013 academic year, with title/status, department or program, number of credits taught and rate of pay. We received the document as the result of a public records request we submitted to UA.

UA “required” hiring guidelines not applied

UA has also established Part-time Faculty Hiring Guidelines that emphasize the “uniformly required, administrative aspects of the [hiring] procedure. Due to the decentralized nature of the process, hiring units have discretion over the size of search/review committees, advertising venues, and use of additional forms and letters to ensure the highest quality employee is hired.”

The components of the hiring process for part-time faculty, which are seldom applied despite their characterization as being “uniformly required,” include:

UA hiring process

UA, “reasonable assurance” and ODJFS

In addition, UA’s human resources department has provided its vice presidents, deans and chairs with a “Reasonable Assurance Memo,” warning them that “failure to give timely reasonable assurance of employment for the next semester can lead to the loss of valued faculty and increased unemployment charges to the department.”

UA’s human resources has also provided a sample memo that chairs and department heads can send to adjuncts in an effort to avoid paying unemployment compensation to part-time faculty who are without work between terms.

UA characterizes the offer of a class for the next term as “reasonable assurance,” despite the fact that the class could be cancelled or reassigned to a full-time faculty member due to lack of enrollment. UA’s characterization — and some Ohio Department of Job and Family Services rulings regarding part-time faculty’s eligibility for unemployment compensation — are contrary to information disseminated by ODJFS. One publication states, “Regardless of whether you are a professional or nonprofessional, if the offer of work is contingent upon sufficient funding or enrollment, you would not have reasonable assurance for the next school year or term.”

UA grad rate

Effects on student success

Meanwhile, adjuncts at UA are concerned about the effect these regulations will have on student learning and student success, particularly since UA has recently received extensive publicity regarding its low four-year graduation rate, which at 14 percent is one of the lowest in the state.