Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education


Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education


Article excerpt


Feb. 25 marked the first "National College Adjunct Walkout Day." In California, Arizona and some other states, nontenured part-time college faculty marched and demonstrated to "call attention to their low pay and tenuous working conditions." As the nation's middle class increasingly depends on community and state colleges for their children's postsecondary education, the plight of the majority of professors at these institutions is being noticed. Part-time adjuncts teach the courses all students depend on, but often have to work out of their cars and meet their students in the cafeteria because they have no offices. Most adjuncts get no benefits. Many teach in multiple institutions but still earn far less than tenured faculty who teach only two or three classes a semester on one campus with full benefits. Adjuncts have to pay for their own training on new equipment and substitute for the full-time faculty at far less pay when the FTers take off for paid sabbaticals and conferences. When an adjunct develops a popular course, it is almost always grabbed by the full-time faculty the next year. Public service unions are conflicted about representing adjuncts along with the full- time faculty. There is no equality. But the Service Employees International Union has begun a campaign demanding adjuncts be paid $15,000 per course - up from just a few thousand dollars on most campuses.


You never know how these discrimination laws are going to evolve, but this one is making news. Title IX is the landmark ruling that allowed women's sports to flourish, since schools and colleges were no longer allowed to offer more athletic opportunities to boys than to girls (with the exception of the football industry of course) on the basis of sex discrimination. But now Harvard University has used Title IX to make explicit, in writing regulations that no romantic relationship between a faculty member and a student is allowed because it is deemed to be "sex discrimination" in an unequal relationship.


The Republicans took over the Senate this year and little differences are apparent already. Some subcommittees have been renamed. For example: the Senate Judiciary subcommittee that deals with immigration legislation used to be called by Democrats the "Immigration, Refugees and Border Security" committee. Now it's been renamed the "Immigration and the National Interest" committee. …

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