That Petition You’ve Been Hearing So Much About

Read about and sign the petition to the US Department of Labor calling for an investigation of the exploitation of adjuncts.

The Consulting Editor

Can we convince David Weil of the US Department of Labor to investigate working conditions, adjunct (mis)treatment, and student learning conditions in higher ed? So far, 1,705 (and counting) people hope so. Remember, anyone can sign it. Anyone.

The petition I cowrote with nine fellow activists is going strong. This time last week, we’d just starting getting signatures. Now, we’re approaching 2,000 signatures faster than any of us thought possible a week ago. A big, big thanks to such tireless retweeters as Victoria Scott, New Faculty Majority, Citizen Academic, and Fabián Banga.

Reporter Justin Peligri just wrote a great piece for USA TODAY College, as did a reporter for Inside Higher Ed. We’ve also gotten some nice write-ups from fellow activists (say, here and here), as well as a short piece on Daily Nous.  We’re hoping for more media attention in the next few…

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Flow Chart: How Privateers Undermine Our Education System


Advancing the Quality of The Common Core Flow Chart

Many thanks to Karen Bracken for painstakingly clarifying Morna McDermott’s original chart.

Video explaining the Flow Chart:

Walking the Labyrinth of the Corporate-Owned-Common Core

This chart shows the insidious web of assault on our public education system. While the chart reveals the system behind privatizing our primary and secondary schools, many of the same groups are actively involved in similar takeover of our higher education system. The goal in all this at every level of education is to access public funds and bust unions so as to have more control over the entire operation.

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On Talking to Parents and Students about Debt, Misadministrated Funds, and other College Issues


If you’re a parent or guardian of someone debating or entering into college, I, an adjunct faculty member at a Chicago private, non-profit art school, have a few words of advice and some issues to consider for you and your new students, to accompany the recent article by Joe Fruscione at PBS NewsHour’s Making Sen$s:

Make them think long and hard about whether they’d rather set themselves up a cozy little bunker in case the shit goes down (or they just can’t find full-time work, which is exceedingly likely), or piecemeal work together like a patch on an Ellis Island jacket while owing tens of thousands of dollars. Tell them you aren’t kidding.

Then tell them about principle, interest, and how debt breeds when you go through deferment, forbearance, or default, because the concepts are in a language foreign to them. But the answer is easy, they’ll understand—like rabbits.

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How American Universities Have Destroyed Scholarship in the U.S.

This brilliant essay gives many examples of what we will lose as a result of adjunctification and corporatization: we will lose a great part of our civilization. The first to go, it has been said, when fascists take over, are the intellectuals. We aren’t being shot, but one of the effects of corporatization is to render intellectuals, through deprofessionalization, incapable of attending to knowledge, and to education, which extends culture over generations. That this process is “invisible” makes it that much more insidious. And, the public doesn’t have a clue.

The Homeless Adjunct

Put simply, universities traditionally have pursued a three-prong mission: 1) to provide excellent educational opportunities, 2) to support scholarly research and study, and 3) to encourage both professional and community service.

There has been a lot written recently about how the adjunct situation has negatively impacted our students’ education – and this blog will be addressing that extensive problem in a future post. But it is the second of the three-prong mission I’d like to talk about now, since I’m not seeing as much attention focused on this equally serious problem.

The adjunct labor abuse problem is becoming more widely reported: Seventy-five percent of America’s college faculty earn less than $25, 000 a year. Often hired one semester at a time with no healthcare or retirement benefits, paid per course an average of $2700, faculty are now academia’s migrant workers.

Historically, it has been the responsibility of our institutions of…

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