Campus Equity Week, Contingent Faculty’s First Try at a National Strategic Action


By Joe Berry

This is the first in a series of Academe Blog guest posts arranged by the AAUP Committee on Contingency and the Profession in celebration of Campus Equity Week. For information on and resources for CEW, see the national website at


The year was 1999 and all over the Internet and the mass media something approaching panic was building over the predicted collapse of all digital databases and Internet communications, due to what was named Y2K or “the millenium bug.” Many IT “consultants” made a lot of money off this panic, which turned out to be a total nonstarter in terms of a crisis.

However, as Y2K entered the common vocabulary, inspired part-time contingents in over 100 California community colleges and their various organizations had a brilliant idea. Why not use the Y2K rhetoric to dramatize the need for more equitable pay for part-timers–who, by law, are…

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