Today is National Adjunct Walkout Day
Today is National Adjunct Walkout Day (NAWD). There was some discussion of this here last week. Some information about the day and planned activities is at this Tumblr site, as well as on Facebook. The Chronicle of Higher Education interviews Ellen Schrecker (Yeshiva University), whose research includes academic labor and the broader labor movement, about the day. The map below gives a sense of some of the schools at which activities are taking place. Feel free to share information about NAWD events happening at your school in the comments.
I talked to my students for just 5 minutes at the start of each class. When I talked about the conditions under which contingent faculty work, there were literal gasps. If students aren’t supporting adjunct faculty calls for better conditions, it’s just because they don’t know the conditions under which we work.
Very telling was a comment after class from one student, who said that he had assumed that all faculty were (and he didn’t mean to be insulting) “fat cats”. That’s the image that certain forces want students to have of their instructors, because it allows us to become scapegoats for all manner of social ills.Report
Spent the whole day discussing this in my seminar today (luckily it is political philosophy so no real hard choices about deviating from the normal course content). I also got gasps. It is amazing to think that the consumers of higher education actually have no idea what they are paying for. My students at least seemed to appreciate learning about this. It also did double duty as my speech to prospective grad students because some of those in the class are interested in grad school.Report