Archive for the ‘Philly Blog’ Category

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 »

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 »

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 »

Workers’ Comp Issues for an Injured Adjunct

In Philly Blog on June 25, 2014 at 1:00 am


Linda Lee, and adjunct from the Philadelphia region, wrote this article which was published in The Chronicle of Higher Ed’s Adjunct Project. After injuring herself on campus grounds, she learned that being an adjunct had repercussions for her treatment, and she shares the important lessons she learned.  

  Sign up here for the United Academics of Philadelphia

the city-wide union for academic faculty

Hunger Strike

In Philly Blog on June 25, 2014 at 1:00 am


post by Wende Marshall

I was recently invited to participate on an Anthropology Association of America panel about food and identity. I was slow in responding, and as I pondered the invitation over several days I realized that the idea of the panel was deeply disturbing to me. I realized that my experience as an adjunct struggling to survive without a full time permanent job had significantly altered the way that I think about the academy and about academic research and writing. There was a time when I might have jumped at the chance to be on the panel, when I would have been honored to have been asked to join colleagues working on issues similar to mine. But as I considered the invitation what I felt was a chilling sense of how inadequate the academic response has been to the crumbling structures of higher education and to the growing wealth and income gap. Read the rest of this entry »

UAP at the White House Working Families Summit

In News, Philly Blog on June 24, 2014 at 1:00 am

Anna and Ruthie


Yesterday the White House held an all-day summit focusing on labor issues with an impact on families. Anna Neighbor, a Philadelphia adjunct and member of the United Academics of Philadelphia, was invited to attend to represent adjunct moms.

Here’s a link to the AFL-CIO’s page which introduces the many union moms who attended.

Compensation in Higher Ed

In Hub Features, News, Philly Blog on June 23, 2014 at 1:00 am

Comix by Bugsy


Below are a number of sources for information regarding the salaries of faculty and administrators in higher ed:

The Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey conducted by The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).

According to the site, “Findings reflect the salaries of 54,853 job incumbents in public and private institutions nationwide. Salaries were reported by 1,247 institutions for 191 selected positions, mostly at the director level and above.” They report a range from a median salary of $42,400 for a Campus Greek Life Administrator to $539,537 for Chief Health Affairs Officer.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Adjunct Tightrope

In Philly Blog on June 19, 2014 at 1:00 am


by Michelle Martin

In Spring 2013, after 8 years of grad school, getting married and having twin daughters in the process, I finally finished my doctorate in English.  Along the way I taught freshman composition numerous times, business writing, intro to the short story, intro to fiction, Contemporary American Fiction, even History of the English Language, for which I wasn’t well-qualified but I gamely took on anyway because – as you might have guessed – I needed the money.  The latter class I taught in Fall 2013, the semester after I finished grad school when I began my adjunct career.  Prior to this, I had taught in the capacity of graduate teaching assistant. While that situation possesses its own set of exploitative complexities, since it is technically not contingent labor, I’ll begin my account with the Fall ’13 semester.  Read the rest of this entry »

Meet a Member

In Philly Blog on June 18, 2014 at 1:00 am

Jay Muhlin talks with Anna Neighbor

Jay Muhlin

When did you become a UAP member and why?

I became a member in April 2014 after my first union meeting because the issues facing adjunct workers effect so many people. I want to work towards fair labor practices that benefit teachers, students, and the higher educational system at large.

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

Around art in one way or another. I am an artist member of Vox Populi artist collective, so I might be gallery sitting, planning out an exhibit, pouring beer at an opening, painting a wall white, working in my studio, making photographs, or with my family.

If you had a personal mascot what would it be?

Read the rest of this entry »