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Re: [SACC-L] Affordable Care Act and Adjunct Courseloads

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  • Andrew Petto
    Thanks to examples from Jo and Mark and many others on the situations with adjuncts on their campuses. All of this (along with many other points) goes to my
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 30, 2013
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      Thanks to examples from Jo and Mark and many others on the situations
      with adjuncts on their campuses.

      All of this (along with many other points) goes to my original post:
      these are long-term issues in the use (abuse, misuse?) of adjuncts. The
      complaints about the ACA are a smoke screen to pretend that there is
      some new exigency out there. As many others have also pointed out, this
      pattern of under-scheduling adjuncts just below the threshold that
      generates benefits goes back at least to the 1980s.

      If a student argued in a paper that some law that was supposed to take
      effect in 2014 was responsible for a pattern of behavior that began at
      least 30 years old BEFORE even the conception of that law, we would fail
      the paper. Why accept this lame excuse from higher ed administrators now?

      So, yes, ACA may be the proximate issue---it has certain requirements
      that WILL go into effect in 2014 that did not exist in the past---but it
      is just another in a series of proximate excuses that serve to hide the
      basic intent ... get as much work out of as many people at the lowest
      cost possible. Does your campus lower the tuition or other costs to
      students commensurate with the lower costs of adjuncts ... or are they
      charged exactly the same amount as they pay for courses taught by full
      faculty members?

      At our university, the adjuncts (known here as 'ad-hoc' instructors) are
      *supposed* to be used to fill positions that were unforeseen or that
      arose unexpectedly due to a variety of circumstances that prevented
      regular faculty and instructional staff from meeting the needs of the
      students enrolled. And yet, in more than one institution where I have
      served, the freshman writing courses, for example, have been staff
      mostly by adjuncts .. even though the university KNOWS that it requires
      this course of all incoming students AND it gives those students a
      placement test to know at which levels how many sections need to be
      taught. It is difficult to imagine that this need is unforeseen and
      incalculable in the longer term...especially given the strategic plans
      of the campus on future enrolments and so on.

      This does not meet the requirements of the 'ad-hoc' appointment by a
      long stretch. And I am pleased that the faculty union---before it was
      decertified by the governor---got on the administration to convert those
      semester-by-semester appointments to "probationary" appointments (which
      lead to tenure or its equivalent).

      The argument was, of course, that the result would be that there would
      be fewer ad-hocs hired. That is true, in one sense: the English dept
      went from staffing its 1st-year writing courses with 19 ad-hocs to
      having 8 full-time instructors (with a few ad-hocs each term for the
      fluctuations in enrolments). But that is only half of the story. Those
      ad-hocs were able to give up adjunct positions on other campuses, which
      were now available for those who had been displaced from our campus. So,
      in sum, we reduced misery and improved conditions for about half of the
      people affected by this on our campus, and if other campuses followed
      suit, then these adjuncts would be better across the board.

      Should we not have done this because other campuses and colleges did not?

      And, in the end, we got 8 full-time instructors who are able to make a
      decent living working at one campus for one program in one department.
      Is that not better for the students? Is that not better for the
      outcomes? Is that not better for the brand?

      On another list I have argued that higher ed has been tainted by a
      business culture that views education as a commodity like automobiles:
      students pay for the commodity and it is delivered. But a lot of what we
      do is nothing like delivering a commodity. And those aspects that are
      not like delivering a commodity are what suffers when the people
      responsible for adding value to the "product" (i.e., students who will
      become educated adults) are put into a situation where they are
      under-resourced and overstressed (for example, the life of any "freeway
      flyer" who has to stitch together a living by teaching at several
      different institutions).

      So, again, because this has been going on for at least 30 years, I am
      hard pressed to find any good rationale for blaming ACA for the state of
      affairs. ACA may be the immediate excuse for not treating the adjuncts
      decently in the coming academic year (and going forward) ... but it
      cannot account for the fact that the situation has existing for at least
      30 years (and perhaps has gotten worse in the last 10 years or so).

      And that is all I have to say about that.

      Anj



      On 2013-06-30 00:46, Mark Lewine wrote:
      >
      > Jo makes an important point, most of which I agree with...full-time
      > faculty and their associations in MOST cases have either ignored
      > part-time or adjunct faculty status and role, as well as anything else
      > that happens to any other group in the college system. In fact, during
      > my last twenty years, faculty stopped paying attention to anything but
      > salaries and benefits for them...allowing a total take-over of what
      > used to be called by the
      > AAUP, the “Red Book Principles” on faculty rights and responsibilities
      > in the academy: curriculum and instruction. College presidents and
      > Boards subscribed to those principles and called it our
      > “responsibility” as faculty.
      >
      > During the 1960’s and ‘70’s with this academic culture of community
      > colleges we had a Faculty Senate that was more powerful and respected
      > by the Board and administration than any union that we had in
      > subsequent years...context is the key, Jo, and most of it can be
      > viewed first in California, where it first took hold! The open door
      > community college mission was respected by most, and the key role of
      > the faculty as central and as leaders for curricula and instruction
      > was expected by all...we did not need an AAUP “Red Book” statement of
      > principles. Our first President, Charles Chapman,
      >

      --

      Andrew J Petto, PhD
      Senior Lecturer
      Department of Biological Sciences
      University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
      PO Box 413
      Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
      CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
      Telephone: 414-229-6784
      FAX: 414-229-3926
      https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

      Could you be a teacher?
      <https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/Be_a_teacher.mp3>

      *************
      Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
      https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
      *************



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    • Dianne C
      South Carolina is also a right to work state. (I have been know to use other terms.) Unlike many places, our faculty association has very little say in how
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 1, 2013
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        South Carolina is also a "right to work state." (I have been know to use other terms.) Unlike many places, our faculty association has very little say in how things go.

        Our school, too, is limiting adjunct teaching loads. We have been told that we won't cut down on the number of classes offered, therefore, we have uncovered classes because of a lack of adjuncts and those we have are limited. The word going 'round is that full-time faculty will be asked to pick up the slack and that we will either volunteer or be "voluntold" to cover the classes. That would bring our teaching loads back up to 6 per semester and, if we are "voluntold" there were be no renumeration for teaching the added class. (I haven't been told this directly, but many folks think this will happen.) This was also done a couple of years ago when the budget cuts hit SC pretty hard. All full-time faculty in Arts & Sciences taught 6 classes as a normal load for a few semesters, again without compensation.

        Sigh. The law of unintended consequences strikes again.

        --Dianne









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      • Anthropmor
        This is exactly the problem, though- the work needs to be done, but the state doesn t think it needs to be paid for. Mike Pavlik ... From: Dianne C
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 1, 2013
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          This is exactly the problem, though- the work needs to be done, but the state doesn't think it needs to be paid for.
          Mike Pavlik



          -----Original Message-----
          From: Dianne C <dianneky@...>
          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <sacc-l@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Mon, Jul 1, 2013 1:20 pm
          Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Affordable Care Act and Adjunct Courseloads





          South Carolina is also a "right to work state." (I have been know to use other terms.) Unlike many places, our faculty association has very little say in how things go.

          Our school, too, is limiting adjunct teaching loads. We have been told that we won't cut down on the number of classes offered, therefore, we have uncovered classes because of a lack of adjuncts and those we have are limited. The word going 'round is that full-time faculty will be asked to pick up the slack and that we will either volunteer or be "voluntold" to cover the classes. That would bring our teaching loads back up to 6 per semester and, if we are "voluntold" there were be no renumeration for teaching the added class. (I haven't been told this directly, but many folks think this will happen.) This was also done a couple of years ago when the budget cuts hit SC pretty hard. All full-time faculty in Arts & Sciences taught 6 classes as a normal load for a few semesters, again without compensation.

          Sigh. The law of unintended consequences strikes again.

          --Dianne



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