Faculty across the nation are joining together to improve the quality of higher education for our students, our professions, and our families. We all have different professional backgrounds, ranging from our fields of expertise, to our job titles.
Some of us are seeking secure positions with academic freedom so that we can dedicate ourselves fully to the students we teach. Others of us currently have or have had other successful careers, and enjoy the opportunity to contribute to our professional fields in the classroom. What we all have in common is the desire to make a lasting contribution to society by advancing our fields, and mentoring the next generation of talent. We are educators, artists, and professionals. We are the face of higher education.
Yet, we are in the midst of a crisis in higher education. With the constant rise in tuition, we – along with our students – have taken on more debt than any generation before us. All the while, a new model has evolved in higher education that relies on a large workforce of contingent faculty, who are marginalized in our academic communities, with no guarantees to academic freedom, teaching under substandard conditions and with inadequate compensation. We have become the majority of faculty in higher education (1).
This is why we are building a movement. It is time to reverse the trend. It is time to raise the standards in higher education. It is time to make our voices heard.
Faculty at nearly 20 universities have already made the choice to stand united in this movement, including Dominican University, St. Mary’s College, Whittier College and Otis College of Art and Design.
In other parts of the country, faculty at Howard University and Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Tufts University and Northeastern University in Boston, Champlain College, Burlington College, and Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and Washington University in St. Louis have all voted for unionization in order to strengthen their voices and improve their working conditions.
At George Washington University and American University, contingent faculty who formed a union have won across-the-board salary increases, access to retirement benefits, increased job security, and a voice in methods used for evaluating and assessing faculty members’ performance.
Join us in raising the standards of education and make sure your voice is heard.
(1) Adrianna Kazar, “Changing Faculty Workforce Models,” TIAA-CREF Institute, 2013.