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Archive for September, 2014|Monthly archive page

Investing in Our Students

In Philly Blog on September 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

Antony Gormley, Field for the British Isles, 1993

 

by Sam Allingham

Imagine you’re a college freshman at Temple University. You arrive on campus in late August, say goodbye to your parents, learn to tolerate your roommate, endure the rush of orientation, and before you can consider the astronomical amount of money you’ve spent on books, classes start. You discover that many, if not most, of your classes are taught in large lecture halls. The TA’s in your discussion sections are there to answer questions, but you get the sense that everyone is a little too busy to take much interest in you. You often have to remind people – your professors, your TA’s, even your advisor – of your name.

But one class is different: a required composition class. You weren’t looking forward to this class when you signed up for it, but the syllabus is all about the city of Philadelphia, which you’re interested in – it’s one of the reasons you came to Temple – and the professor, a woman named Hannah, seems excited about teaching. Hannah learns your name by the first week and goes out of her way to make class engaging. One day you form groups to dream up your ideal street. Another day you debate the purpose of public art: who should create it, where should it go, who should pay for it?

Halfway through the semester, you meet with Hannah during class time to discuss your writing. You’re nervous – you were never a very good writer in high school – but she’s patient, encouraging you to support and expand your ideas, outlining ways you can improve. Read the rest of this entry »

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Contingency: The Open Secret of Higher Ed

In Philly Blog on September 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm

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The Higher Ed division of the American Federation of Teachers has new site that includes a section with important information that they  have compiled on adjuncts in academia. It’s a great resource to bookmark and share

Temple University Needs an Adjunct Union

In Events, News, Philly Blog on September 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

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By Paul Dannenfelser, Ryan Eckes and Jennie Shanker

Adjunct professors have been organizing across the Philadelphia region for over a year, with the support of the American Federation of Teachers, building the United Academics of Philadelphia. Collectively, we’ve had thousands of conversations with faculty across the region, and our membership has increased dramatically since the end of the Spring semester. Our efforts most recently have focused on Temple University.

Today we are launching a card drive at Temple University to authorize an election to form a collective bargaining unit of adjunct faculty. It’s clear we have overwhelming support for this union at Temple.

As part of the Temple University family, we have many reasons to be proud, but unfortunately the rewards are few for the important work we do. The last minute re-appointments and class cancellations, the seemingly random changes in enrollment minimums, the lack of decent compensation, security and benefits for people who have served Temple’s students year after year are some of the issues that we can address only by forming a union. Representing half of the faculty, our union will benefit the entire university community. Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.

Senator Barney Frank once famously said “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” We need representation just as the university’s graduate students and full-time faculty have. Our issues need to be heard, and we need to negotiate with the administration. We are forming this union to have a place at the table. Join us.