Resolution Review

8 thoughts on “Resolution Review”

  1. The problem of Adjunct and part-time employment in today’s academic world, in the United States, represents a sea change in the cultural and social commitment by the public and society to higher education. I founded a group on LinkedIn in 2009 entitled The Adjunct Network ( } as a professional forum in which individuals in the United States who are or have held adjunct teaching positions could gather and share their experiences and questions about the life and career of adjunct teaching at the post-secondary level.. We are about to celebrate our 6th year and today number 9,226 members and three sub-groups.

    I am happy to see that the AAA has proposed a resolution on part-time and adjunct employment. However, as I’ve seen in our group, there are a number of issues which are far broader than anthropology here and certain actions which would be required by the institutions that control the access, certification, employment, and governance of post-secondary educations and the careers of the students who are the products of these institutions.

    A major element in all of this is the oversupply of cheap unregulated labor who are available to the institutions who hire as teachers. There is a real irony here in that the student who is trained to become an academic is asked to go into debt to earn a degree (MA, PhD) level and in return MAY be lucky enough to get an short term contract that will pay less than the debt interest they have incurred.

    I suggest that adjunct anthropologists join the Adjunct Network and see what their adjunct colleagues have been dealing with as well as tips on how to solve problems encountered in the classroom, online, and with their full time counterparts.

  2. The preamble is well-written but the principles are incredibly vague. What is the definition of “job security?” Who counts as the “academic workforce?” How do we define “academic freedom?” These concepts are too critical to be left un-defined. Leaving them undefined takes the force and importance out of this resolution.

    1. I agree that the concept of the “academic workforce” needs to be clarified. Perhaps one could say, someone who has a higher degree and teaches at a college or university, whether part or full time. If the normal teaching load of a tenured or untenured professor is six courses per year, and the substitute teaches three courses in a year, the sub should receive half of what a full time tenured professor receives.
      “Job security” means all academic employees should be told clearly what they can be dismissed for, and what they must achieve to rise in rank. The criteria must be clear and transparent, and must apply equally to all teaching and/or research workers, regardless of rank or seniority. Compulsory student evaluations must be abolished. The tenure system must be abolished. Individual students may be allowed to submit evaluations, first to the teacher for in-person discussion, and next if necessary to a mediator. Constructive dismissal must be disallowed by policy and by law. All employees should know what constructive dismissal is, and all should have generous unemployment insurance.
      All employees should be provided with medical insurance and paid time off if they work full time. All employees should be provided with the same travel allowances for conference attendance and presentation, and for distant research.

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