Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NAAW Reminder: Survey Wednesday

Survey Wednesday
National Adjunct Action/Awareness Week at Fredonia

Please help the Contingent Faculty Subcommittee kick off their survey of contingent faculty at Fredonia, which gathers data on contingent working conditions and perceptions of campus culture to discern work patterns, compensation, working conditions, governance participation, and integration into the life of the campus.  It should help us all better understand the goals, needs, and desires of colleagues and instructors on appointments that are not eligible for tenure at Fredonia.

Dear Contingent Colleagues,

As you know, New York State law prohibits our participation in any job action or strike, so the organizers of Fredonia’s contribution to National Adjunct Action/Awareness Week wanted to come up with a constructive way to honor National Adjunct Walkout Day without participating in it.  Instead of walking out--something many adjuncts who aren’t represented by a union and are shut out of governance of their universities may well be doing today--why not provide key information to your union leaders and governance representatives so that they may better serve you?  Instead of risking your job, why not help us improve your working life?

This survey is for faculty on contingent appointments at Fredonia only.  It may be filled out any time before 5 pm on Friday, March 13, 2015.  It can be found at

This survey is anonymous and individual responses will NEVER be shared.  Only aggregate data will be made available.

Please take a small part of your day today--or any day before Spring Break--to help make a difference at Fredonia.  Thanks,

--John Arnold
Chair, Contingent Faculty Subcommittee

--Bruce Simon
Officer for Contingents

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NAAW Reminder: Open Letter Tuesday

Open Letter Tuesday
National Adjunct Action/Awareness Week at Fredonia

It’s time to get personal! Please post on your office or dormitory door or bulletin board a statement on what National Adjunct Action/Awareness Week means to you, and consider sending it to The Leader or The Observer and/or posting it on a blog or other social media.

The personal experiences of adjuncts are too often dismissed or ignored completely by tenure-stream faculty and administrators.  Here is an opportunity to express the value of these colleagues to academic institutions.   Many disciplines regard ethnography and qualitative research as valuable tools to explore life experiences and valuable contributions to the world at large; personal stories and reflections can supplement statistics and allow for understanding and identification.  Quantification of contingency is important, to be sure, but so is thinking through the particular structures of feeling that arise from working in a system of higher education increasingly reliant on contingent labor, whatever your place(s) in that system.

Many contingent faculty have decided there is great value in sharing their stories and views.  Some, like James Hoff, Amy Lynch-Biniek, and Elizabeth Salaam, have been doing it on their own.  Others have responded to calls for papers (cf. Hybrid Pedagogy) or calls for testimony (cf. “The Just in Time Professor” [compiled by the Democratic Staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in January 2014]).

There are many organizations collecting such stories even now:

So why not take the opportunity to write a short piece that might take on a life of its own after being posted on your office or dormitory door or bulletin board, on your blog or Facebook page?  Why not explore what it means to be a student?  Or a tenured faculty member?  Or a contingent faculty member?  Why not consider the pros and cons of National Adjunct Action/Awareness Week relative to tomorrow’s National Adjunct Walkout Day?  Beyond better understanding the system, why not help the Fredonia community consider what will change it?

Monday, February 23, 2015

NAAW Reminder: Scarlet Letter Monday at Fredonia

Scarlet Letter Monday 
National Adjunct Action/Awareness Week at Fredonia

We are encouraging everyone on campus
to make and wear a badge
like Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter,
using your A
to signify Adjunct/Ally/Awareness/Appreciation
all week—and beyond.

What Is an Adjunct?
An adjunct is a member of the faculty at a college or university on a contingent appointment type that is not eligible for tenure—an institution that guarantees academic freedom, due process rights, and peer review.  The implication from most dictionary definitions that adjuncts are unnecessary supplements does not apply to the growing number of faculty on contingent appointments today.  Organizations such as the American Association of University Professors, the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, and New Faculty Majority, among many others, have been sounding the alarm that roughly 75% of all faculty appointments in the U.S. are contingent.  For more information and background, please see:

AAUP’s overview (2015):
AAUP's background facts (2015):
CAW's portrait (2012):
CAW Members’ Policy Recommendations (2015):
CFHE’s principles (2011):
CFHE’s report (2012):
New Faculty Majority's website (2015):

What Are Adjuncts’ Lives Like in SUNY?
Over decades of collective bargaining with the state of New York, United University Professions has made progress in improving the terms and conditions of employment and access to benefits for SUNY faculty on contingent appointments (see the latest Agreement for details), but there is still a long way to go.  Fredonia is one of the few campuses in the system to have set a university-wide floor for starting compensation for part-time contingent faculty (others include Cortland and Oswego).  UUP’s New Paltz chapter ( has become a national leader in highlighting the value of contingent faculty members’ contributions to their students’ learning and success with their Mayday $5K Campaign and October 2013 forum on contingent employment.

If you see someone wearing a Scarlet A this week
outside of their classroom,
please ask them why!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fredonia's National Adjunct Awareness/Action Week Overview

February 23-27 is National Adjunct Action/Awareness Week.  To learn about the projects organized by members of the Contingent Employment Advisory Group of Fredonia's United University Professions chapter (a union body) and the Contingent Faculty Subcommittee of our Faculty and Professional Affairs Committee (a governance body), along with a firm caution against participating in any job action or strike associated with National Adjunct Walkout Day on February 25, please visit our overview.

We'll be sending out further information about each project each day of the week!

--John Arnold (Chair, Contingent Faculty Subcommittee) and Bruce Simon (Officer for Contingents)