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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Let’s Start an Adjunct Revolution!

Everybody complains about the substitution of tenure lines with adjunct positions but nobody is actually doing anything about it.

So here is what I suggest: let’s stop whining and start acting. We need to inflict a lot of hurt on any department that cuts a tenure line. We need to heap shame and scorn on any administrator responsible for destroying scholarship and responsible teaching in this country.

Administrators are terrified of bad publicity. The moment you make the first Google search result with an administrator’s name reflect his or her destructive behavior, said administrator begins to grovel. (Here is an example of how easy it is to make an administrator come to her senses and stop bullying educators. And here is how this story got resolved.)

Here is what you need to do from now on: when your department decides / is forced to cut a tenure line, make that shameful fact public. If you are afraid of doing that under your own name, let somebody else do it for you. Let me know anonymously, and I will make the news public. Send the information to some fearless blogger. Send it to Rebecca Schuman. Send it to College Misery. Start an anonymous blog, give me a link, and I will make sure people read what you have to say.

And when you see a post or an article condemning a specific college for cutting a specific tenure line, help spread the news. Tweet it, link to it, post it on Facebook, send it by email to trusted friends.

No excuses should be acceptable. Is anybody listening to your excuses why you didn’t manage to get a tenure-track job? Is anybody interested in the challenges you face? Does anybody care about the hardship you experience?

It’s time we tell the administrators to stop covering up their incompetence by sacrificing our interests. Cutting a tenure line and hiring an adjunct instead is not the only way to save your program. That is a lie, and anybody who proffers this egregious falsehood should become a pariah in academic circles. It should become dangerous to one’s career even to think it, let alone say it.

There are many of us: contingent, tenured, adjunct, visiting, associate, full, assistant, graduate, post-doctoral, part-time, full-time. Together we make an army. Together we can win.

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9 thoughts on “Let’s Start an Adjunct Revolution!

  1. I am about to send you something. More to come after our departmental meeting tomorrow. There will be blood.

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  2. Evelina Anville on said:

    Love this idea!

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  3. I have tried to hire adjuncts from the fancy school in this state to come here on FTE or TT over here and they prefer to remain adjuncts there. They might not be wrong; the one we did manage to get lived to regret his decision.

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    • Individual decisions and policy are different things. I’m glad there are people who are happy being adjuncts but that isn’t an excuse to close down tenure lines.

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      • No. But what I am worried about isn’t adjuncts who choose to stay in nice places as adjuncts rather than go to bad TT jobs, I am worried about the downgrading of those TT jobs to instructorships and non TT lectureships … FT, with benefits and raises, but still not TT, terminable at any time. Reason: faculty governance and academic freedom.

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  4. Reblogged this on As the Adjunctiverse Turns and commented:
    a good idea followed by more of them…specific ones, a characteristic we ask for in our students’ writing but too often neglect when calling for action

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  5. For a while there was a Wikileaks-inspired organization called Unileaks which was about whistleblowing upon the academy. Their domain name unileaks.org appears to be on the auction block, unfortunately. Here is a write-up on what they were trying to accomplish. Perhaps you can continue their work or something like it.

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