, 17 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
There are a lot of things that tenured (and some tenure track) #faculty can do to resist the decline of #tenure. This thread focuses on ways to formalize the hiring and retention of #adjunct faculty and other #lecturers in your department and at your school. #highereducation
1) Tenured faculty should ask to receive regular (at least annual) reports on what % of courses, and what % of students in their department’s courses are taught by non-tenure track faculty.
2) When your department hires new non-tenure track instructors, ensure that it uses a formal application process. This requires: a regional job posting, application, formal hiring criteria, and a teaching contract before school starts.
3) Relying only on student evaluations of non-tenure track instructors is inadequate. Their teaching should be observed by colleagues, and evaluated according to written standards shared with them before the school year begins.
4) All faculty in your department, including non-tenure track faculty, should have the opportunity to review and formally respond to evaluations of their teaching.
5) There should be a formal process in your department for the retention of non-tenure track instructors: notice, application, and evaluation criteria shared with instructors in advance.
6) Tenured faculty should establish rules in their department for determining how to assign classes to non-tenure track faculty (including for intersession and Summer terms), and work to lessen workload and schedule inequalities.
7) Where non-tenure track faculty are eligible for health benefits when they teach a certain number of classes, tenured faculty should ensure that their departments’ hiring policies maximize the number of faculty who receive benefits.
8) At schools where the hiring and retention of non-tenure track faculty is governed by a collective bargaining agreement, familiarize yourself with the agreement and evaluate how well your department complies with it.
9) If your college Dean expects your department to hire and fire “just in time” professors at the last minute, and refuses to give those teachers contracts until after they begin teaching, publicly oppose this practice.
10) Familiarize yourself with how much non-tenure track faculty are paid at your school and in your department. If it is less than the MLA’s recommended minimum salary, publicly advocate for a raise for your non-tenure track colleagues. mla.org/Resources/Rese…
11) Prevent your department Chair from taking away a course from an adjunct instructor at the last minute to give to a tenure track instructor. Protest when this happens, and push for policy changes to end the practice.
12) If non-tenure track faculty in your department are only hired on a term-to-term basis, advocate for them to receive annual or multiyear teaching contracts.
13) Though some non-tenure track faculty want the opportunity to attend department meetings, do not allow your colleagues to make unpaid departmental service a job requirement for adjuncts.
14) If your school depends upon activity-based budgeting, and your dept is encouraged to hire non-tenure track faculty to qualify for new tenure track lines, you are being encouraged to kill your own profession. Publicly criticize this practice, and demand more $ for instruction.
15) Ultimately, there’s only so much that one can do to improve #adjunct teaching lines. Most ongoing adjunct positions should be upgraded to full-time, teaching tenure track, or tenure track—which I hope to write about in the future.
Afterthought: I understand that Deans are unlikely to cough up extra $ for instruction when faced with departmental opposition to their manipulative labor exploitation schemes. But protest is better than fatalism. And what's the point of academic freedom if you don't use it?
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