New resource aims to fulfill faculty’s higher ed dream, too

Adjunct faculty now have access to services, programs, and community online

adjunct-AFT-facultyThe treatment of contingent faculty in higher education today has not only been called the “corporatization of higher education,” but through increasing exploitation, has also led to a weakening of the university status, the devaluing of education, and the stripping of campus democratic values.

It’s an issue that at its least understood may sound like work gripes, but at its most nuanced understanding could undermine the promise of the American Dream through higher education…not only for faculty, but students as well.

According to data released by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), there are more than 1 million contingent faculty across the country, making up approximately 75 percent of the college teaching workforce. Seven in 10 are part-time, and most lack employer-provided benefits.

Thankfully, with increasing awareness and information dissemination, more national organizations are taking up the cause; including the AFT and the Freelancers Union’s creation of a new online web portal for contingent faculty support.

In a speech delivered last Friday (July 11), newly re-elected AFT President Randi Weingarten emphasized that the promise of the American dream is out of reach for too many—both faculty and students included—and highlighted the innovative organizing work being done by contingent faculty in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, where the AFT is helping adjunct faculty organize at 53 colleges and universities.

(Next page: The adjunct web portal and more)