“The debate over working conditions for adjunct faculty was recently reignited by the death of Margaret Mary Vojtko on September 1. Vojtko, who had a long career as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, died penniless after being fired from the university in the last year of her life. Her story served as a reminder of what has become a massive underclass of underpaid contingent labor in academia.” Interview with an Adjunct Organizer: “People Are Tired of the Hypocrisy” by Moshe Z. Marvit in Dissent.
by Justin Podur: “…another shock is coming to the university community: the SHARP budget model, or “activity based budgeting”. Like other damaging shocks to the community, this is being prepared in secret, away from the eyes of those who will be affected by it. Details of the budget model are embargoed, and faculty are told only vague promises that the model will provide additional transparency. Units have been threatened that when the new model comes in, there will be huge new deficits that are an artifact of the new way of accounting for things.” More…
“…a major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education [US] data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.” The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much by Paul F. Campos on The New York Times.
“Teach Higher is a company which will effectively outsource hourly paid academic staff, whereby they will no longer be employed directly by the university but by a separate employer: ‘Teach Higher’. Teach Higher has been set up by Warwick University-owned ‘Warwick Employment Group’, and is about to be piloted at Warwick University. But it is a national company, which intends to be rolled out across UK universities.” Warwick University to outsource hourly paid academics to subsidiary on Fighting Against Causalisation in Education.
“My biggest concern as I face down another 25 years or so in this profession is not that I will become disaffected or stalled in my research. It’s whether or not I can convince my fellow tenured colleagues to agree that we not pull the ladder up behind us and abandon the others in the interest of careerist gain.” Tenured and Happy by Cynthia Wu on Inside Higher Ed.
Government mandates and university administrative demands force graduate enrolment to grow at unsustainable rates, despite departments’ inadequacy to support such enrolment. Academic career opportunity upon graduation is increasingly dismal. The use of graduate and sessional labour for cost-cutting in course delivery is deeply troubling and shameful. The corporatization of Canadian universities is resulting in increasing economic inequality between high-level administration and academic staff, as well as rising tuition rates despite stunted education quality. Amidst this environment of inflated tuition and decreasing quality of education, graduate funding remains relatively stagnant in the face of the steadily-rising cost of living in cities like Toronto.
The following are brief statements from York units and departments regarding remediation and return to classes.
Once considered a radical institution, York now pursues aggressive divide-and-conquer strike-breaking tactics. On March 9, the university made a ‘final offer’ that largely appealed to senior contract faculty, a clear attempt to split the union. Teaching assistants and graduate assistants rejected the offer and remain on legal strike More…
On March 24, 2015, the STS Graduate Program Executive unanimously passed the following motion:
Having reviewed the graduate courses and consulted with current course directors, STS Graduate Exec has determined that under present conditions it is impossible to maintain academic integrity; therefore graduate classes are suspended until a settlement is reached and the strike is over.
It is with the greatest respect and a full appreciation of the complexities and difficulties you face that I write to express my concerns about the current situation we are all coping with. I am a member of the York contract faculty (CUPE 3903 Unit 2) and teach in the Faculty of Education. I am also a former secondary school teacher and department head with many years of classroom experience at that educational level. York University has been a significant part of my life – academically, professionally, and even personally – since I first entered Glendon College as a member of its founding class in 1966. Over my years as an undergraduate and graduate student, I earned the majority of my degrees including my doctorate from this great university, where I had the honour and privilege of studying with some of its finest professors.