Archive for August, 2014|Monthly archive page

Adjuncting Over Time

In Philly Blog on August 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Post by Elizabeth Spencer

This fall I will return to the classroom after a year’s break. During this year, students continued to contact me, no doubt assuming that I continued to hold positions in the two universities I worked at. They asked what I was teaching in the spring, or for me to write them recommendation letters to different graduate schools or even serve as a reference for a potential employer.

“Please forgive my delay in responding,” I’d write them, “I’m on maternity leave this semester. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.” And then I did. In between feedings and diaper changes, in a haze of sleep deprivation, I wrote recommendations for employers, study abroad programs, and graduate schools.

Of course, you know—or maybe you don’t; my students did not, and they are in many ways very familiar with the ins and outs of higher education, though not of employment prospects in many cases (either theirs or mine)—there are no sabbaticals and no paid or unpaid official absences for adjuncts.

In the final weeks of my pregnancy I didn’t know how long I would be away from my job. It’s not dissimilar to the position all adjuncts are in at the end of every semester as they wait for an email inviting them back. Read the rest of this entry »

The Part-timing of the Economy and the Academy

In Philly Blog on August 15, 2014 at 8:10 am

parttime clock

By Paul Dannenfelser

The conversion of full-time jobs into part-time jobs is a convenient way for employers to cut their costs. They don’t have to offer health insurance, retirement plans, or steady predictable hours. In many cases, they do not offer sick days, holidays or vacation. This is a disturbing trend in the current economy and has now been adopted by higher education.

College and University administrators have taken to this strategy with great enthusiasm. They are all in, replacing full-time tenured/tenure-track professors with part-time adjuncts and full-time, non-tenure-track instructors on short-term contracts. That’s right –even if you can get full time employment in the academy, it is now likely to be temporary.

It seems as though business (and I include higher education in this) wants to keep its work force permanently insecure, if not permanently employed. Of course there are exceptions: presidents, provosts, deans, and other high-level administrators negotiate tenure when they get hired ensuring that they will have a permanent faculty position when they leave administration.

So what is the message that the academy is sending to its students and employees? Well, for one, Read the rest of this entry »

Considering Copyright in the Classroom

In Hub Features on August 11, 2014 at 7:00 am

cc-by-nc-nd by Adam D. Zolkover

What you probably already know about copyright in the classroom is that there are some special rules, a little bit more permissive, that allow teachers and students to use protected intellectual property for the purposes of education.  As an instructor at a university, for example, I am permitted to show an excerpt from my favorite production of Hamlet if the purpose of the exhibition is to illustrate some point about the text, show it might be staged, or generate a discussion among my students that forwards the purposes of their education.  And likewise, my students are allowed to share excerpts of copyrighted materials in papers that they write for me, or in presentations that they give to the class.

The rules for doing this have been widely disseminated and are available, among other places, from here at the Indiana University library website.

If you haven’t read those rules carefully, however, what you may not know about using copyrighted material for educational purposes is just how restricted that usage remains.  If you plan to disseminate a copied text to all of your students or for your students to disseminate copies among themselves, the recommendation of the U.S. Copyright Office is that it be no more than: Read the rest of this entry »