One for the Adjuncts

According to The Chronicle, there was a big adjunct faculty summit this weekend.

Leaders of the New Faculty Majority, an advocacy group for adjunct faculty members which hosted the summit, offered up a draft document laying out the goals and principles of what it hopes will be a broad-based effort by key players in higher education to improve adjuncts’ lot. Intended to secure contingent faculty members better pay and benefits, more job security, a greater role in college governance, and assurances of academic freedom, the document calls for colleges to undertake sweeping efforts to improve adjuncts’ working conditions, and for the adjuncts themselves to play a key role in guiding such change…

The goals listed in the New Faculty Majority document include drafting an agreement, similar to the climate-change commitment, obliging the people, colleges, and organizations that sign it to take steps to improve the working conditions of faculty members and the learning conditions of students.

The rest is HERE.

Looking Back on The Summit

I’m sure you saw the coverage of this week’s Community College Summit, especially as related to our Chancellor’s attendance (if not you can see some here or here or here). There was plenty of analysis, too, but I didn’t read much of it, since it all seems to say about the same thing (depending on whether it is coming from faculty or politician/administrator/business person).

Anyway, three pieces that didn’t seem like the rest and made for interesting reads (to me anyway), can be found here and here. The first one includes this section:

President Barack Obama’s administration has, as you well know, placed a big emphasis on boosting college completion rates. A worthy goal, without dispute. And yet I have heard some in the high school improvement arena worry that in zeroing in too much on college completion, we risk losing our focus on the tough work needed to make high schools work better (and thus boost students’ chances of success in college)…But even as heavyweight policy folks talked about improving community college outcomes yesterday, high school reforms that could help with that—such as increasing rigor and smoothing the transition to higher ed—didn’t even make the radar, Caralee noted in concluding her coverage of the summit yesterday.

Both of them focus on the idea that the best thing anyone could do to improve community college completion rates would be to make changes at the high school level. Not that I’m saying community colleges couldn’t be better–of course they can. But failing to forefront that part of the equation does the project a disservice. Anyway, it’s interesting material to think through and read if you find yourself sitting inside on this glorious October afternoon.

Really, though, you should go outside.