Archive for July, 2014|Monthly archive page

Meet a Member

In Hub Features, Philly Blog on July 31, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Photo by Anna Neighbor

Anna Neighbor interviews Naomi Levine

When did you become a member and why?

I became a member in May. I believe in having a unionized work force. Also I feel a real sense of urgency to improve what is a pretty criminal employment situation for a highly educated and dedicated work force. It’s hard to stomach knowing that each of your students is paying thousands of dollars for your services and yet you are only making a fraction of what a single student pays to take your class.

When not juggling day jobs, where are we most likely to find you?

I am currently editing a documentary film about Armenia, and doing my best not to watch hours of singing competition auditions on youtube.

 If you had a personal mascot what would it be?

I think Rosie the Riveter is a pretty great mascot.  

 When you cook us all dinner, what will you prepare for us?

I will make Armenian food. It’s delicious, I have great family recipes, and it’s cheap to prepare.

The Ideal Adjunct

In Philly Blog on July 29, 2014 at 11:15 pm

ideal adjunct

post by Jennie Shanker

When adjuncts point to their inability to thrive on the low salaries they receive from their work, they are often met with the same argument:

This work is meant to be part-time. We never intended for anyone to make their living from it!  

Indeed, there are some people who teach as adjuncts who don’t particularly need the work or the money. They may have their own business, a well-paying job elsewhere, or another breadwinner in the house whose income covers the family needs. These are the professionals the administration will assert as their consummate adjuncts. They are the ideal candidates, receiving pay as a token of thanks for their generous service.

This faculty member, however ideal, is not representative of the vast majority of adjuncts. Any administration even minimally engaged with its educators knows this. The extensive number of courses taught by part timers cannot be filled with these outside professionals. Read the rest of this entry »

On Campus: We Are All Contingent

In Hub Features on July 9, 2014 at 8:10 pm


 This post was originally published in the American Federation of Teachers’  higher ed publication: On Campus, Summer 2014 issue.

by Gary Rhoades

The shape of higher education, as of society, is changing. In our not-for-profit institutions, policymakers and managers are working to reorganize academic employment to at-will, just-in-time, pay-for-“performance” work. They are reorganizing colleges and universities to operate like businesses seeking to maximize institutional revenues and minimize investment in instruction. This model serves corporate business’s needs. But it’s a disservice to a large portion of our student populations, particularly the growing number of low-income, underserved populations that are seeking educational opportunity. Read more

AFT and the Freelancers Union Partner to Support Contingent Faculty

In News on July 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm


Today, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Freelancers Union announced a new partnership that will enable contingent faculty across the country to access tailored benefits and connect, share and learn with others in their professions.

The partnership brings together the nation’s largest union of contingent faculty and the nation’s largest union of freelance workers, with a mission to support the lives, needs and opportunities of this growing new workforce.

Today’s announcement was made at the AFT convention and follows Freelancers Union’s earlier announcement of its National Benefits Platform at the Clinton Global Initiative’s CGI America 2014 meeting last month. The National Benefits Platform enables any independent worker in America to search by ZIP code for a suite of tailored benefits available to them.

You can read more about the new partnership in The Chronicle, and from the AFT’s Press Release.


We’re Cooking!

In Events on July 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm


We’ll be out in the backyard of our UAP office on Wednesday, July 16th for the first-ever United Academics of Philadelphia cookout! If you’re a new member or someone interested in learning more about UAP’s work in higher education, come join us for food and drink and meet fellow academics from across the Philadelphia area. Feel free to bring friends, family and colleagues.

Please RSVP and join us from 4pm – 7pm on July 16th at 1215 N. 29th Street, just above Girard Avenue.

Through open public events, we build community and support for all Philadelphia faculty, with a focus on organizing contingent academics. In April we held our first Adjunct Symposium. Check out a re-cap of the event here.  In addition to formal events such as the symposium, we hold regular happy hours and gatherings to listen, learn and share.

How Higher Education has Changed

In Philly Blog on July 2, 2014 at 1:00 am

by Paul Dannenfelser

When I started teaching as an adjunct, more than 20 years ago, schools of social work were bringing professionals who were actively engaged in practice into the classroom. It made good sense as university social work programs had always worked closely with agencies.  Internships for credit were a critical part of the education of social worker students on both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Read the rest of this entry »