Archive for Ohio colleges and universities

Take action for Campus Equity Week, Oct. 28 – Nov. 2

Take action for Campus Equity Week, a week of education and activism that draws attention to the working conditions of faculty working on temporary, low-paid contracts, who now constitute the majority of college instructors.

In fact, there are one million contingent faculty nationwide, and they make up 75 percent of all faculty.

Here are some simple things you can do to raise awareness about equity issues on your campus. You can also download this information as a handout from the Campus Equity Week Tool Kit page.

  • Wear scarlet or red on Wednesday, Oct. 30, during Campus Equity Week.CEW13-Button-Art
  • Use social media and online resources to raise awareness of CEW. Post links on Facebook. Send out tweets. Use hashtags #cew2013 and ##iammargaretmary. Change your Facebook profile photo to the CEW logoGet more tips on using social media.
  • Plan a Campus Equity Week event on your campus. Ideas: A candlelight vigil in memory of Margaret Mary Vojtko. Tabling to collect signatures on an online petition, pass out information, etc.
  • Attend a Campus Equity Week event, including several planned for Ohio, listed here.
  • Sign and share a petition.
  • Send a letter to the editor to your local and/or campus newspaper.
  • Follow the Campus Equity Week Facebook Event page.
  • Tell your adjunct story on the Adjunct Stories Tumblr page.
  • Submit a photo of your adjunct contract to the Adjunct Justice Equal Pay for Equal Work Tumblr page.
  • Take photos of adjunct faculty or others wearing the shirts and buttons, then post your photos on social media.
  • Include a simple line about Campus Equity Week in the signature line of your emails: October 28 – November 2 is Campus Equity Week. Learn more at
  • Send a letter to the editor to your local and/or campus newspaper.
  • Wear T-shirts and buttons during Campus Equity Week.
  • Serve Fair Trade in Education Coffee at your CEW event.
  • Participate in an online survey conducted by The New Faculty Majority Foundation (NFMF and The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE) about how colleges and universities are responding to the Employer Mandate of the ACA as it applies to contingent faculty in “part-time” positions. 
  • Blog for Campus Equity Week.


State Sen. Turner contacts ODJFS about unemployment compensation concerns

State Senator Nina Turner has sent a letter to Michael Colbert, director of the Ohio Department of State Senator Nina TurnerJob and Family Services, asking him to address “inconsistent judgments in claims for unemployment benefits” for part-time faculty in the state.

In her letter dated Sept. 30, 2013, Turner maintains that “the main challenge arises from the lack of a clear, workable definition of what constitutes a ‘reasonable assurance’ of employment, as mentioned in Section 4141.29(I)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code.”

Nina Turner letter

As a result, one adjunct faculty member at a university can find his unemployment claim approved, while his colleague, teaching under the same insecure conditions, has hers denied, even after filing appeals.

Some fight every claim; others don’t

Some colleges and universities in the state do not fight the unemployment compensation claims of adjunct faculty. Others, such as the University of Akron, fight every claim that is filed.

This term, UA’s human resources department 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 characterization of the offer of a class for the next term as “reasonable assurance,” is disingenuous, as any class could be cancelled or reassigned to a full-time faculty member due to lack of enrollment.

UA’s definition — 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, which Sen. Turner cited in her letter, 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.

Help with your unemployment compensation claim


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.” 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


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


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 <> Aug 29 (1 day ago)

cc: McDonald, Dannita <>,
Northcraft, Sarah <>


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 Tramble Richard Vice President and General Counsel
Cuyahoga Community College
700 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2878
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)



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

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.

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 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.

Help with your unemployment compensation claim

Within the past six weeks, the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association sent two public records requests to seven Ohio institutions of higher education.

As of now, we have received documents from Lakeland Community College and the University of Akron. We have uploaded these to our website.

You can find all public records we received by clicking on the Campuses tab, then on the link for the individual college or university. We will post more as we get them.

Among the documents we already received were a response letter from legal counsel at UA and an email from legal counsel at LCC that said a list of part-time faculty who have been assigned courses for fall semester 2013, as well as contracts for those faculty, will not be available until October (at UA) or the tenth week of the semester (at LCC).

If you are an adjunct at UA or LCC, these documents may help bolster your unemployment compensation claim and/or its appeal, if your claim has been denied because the university has argued you have “reasonable assurance of employment” in the fall term. These documents appear to indicate otherwise. Please consider downloading them and including them in your unemployment compensation appeal to help bolster your case.

We also recommend that you read this post about a UA adjunct who won her unemployment compensation appeal after a telephone hearing was conducted. We have posted the documents she included in her successful appeal, which made a cogent argument regarding the difference between the “possibility of employment” and “reasonable assurance of employment” using wording from the Federal Unemployment Tax Act and UA policies.

You can find the documents she used on the University of Akron page on this site. They are located under the heading “Documents for your unemployment compensation claim or appeal.”

You can find the public records we received at these links:

More unemployment compensation resources: