Jennifer Ruth, from Portland State University, raises the most important question facing higher education faculty. http://utotherescue.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/why-are-faculty-complicit-in-creating.html?m=1
This is the question that compelled me to speak out about reversing adjunctification. Adjunctification is the first step in the corporatization and privatization of higher education. Jennifer Ruth, in this piece, addresses our complicity in this woeful trend. We are complicit because it is easy. Tenured faculty do not wish to risk their comfortable position. Adjunct faculty lie to themselves. We are all complicit together. And it is together that we will need to reverse the trend. But we will not be able to do it within the same paradigm. That ship has already sunk. Or is sinking. Adjuncts are swimming and tenured faculty are watching (or looking the other way) in their lifeboats. If we want to reverse adjunctification and thereby reverse corporatization, we need to prioritize the empowerment of adjuncts. The best way to do this is for tenured faculty to pull adjuncts into the lifeboats. The old-fashioned, labor intensive search for the “best candidate,” is a lie. The “best candidates” are already teaching at the institution. Why shouldn’t adjuncts be transitioned to full-time, tenured positions? At community colleges, it is obvious that this should be the way things work. Otherwise, we must conclude that adjuncts are not as good as tenure-track faculty, and students, and therefore society, is being cheated. Even at universities where research agendas play a role in the selection of tenured faculty, the institutions owe contingent faculty full-time status.
I will go further than Ruth, and assert that we need a radical paradigm shift which should be the priority of our unions and professional associations. For this to happen, tenured faculty need to be willing to rock the boats at the risk of capsizing all the boats.
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