Here is the link to the video “Dirty Little Secrets of Colorado Community Colleges: Impoverished Eduators = Impoverished Education” that Caprice Lawless shared during her presentation at the NYSC AAUP Fall 2020 Conference. While it discusses the situation in Colorado, the information is comparable to NYS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC786wDQ4Og.
It is just under seven (7) minutes and could be useful in starting discussions about adjunct/contingent labor at your AAUP Chapter meetings.
“To be a perennial adjunct professor is to hear the constant tone of higher education’s death knell.” A story in The Atlantic, “The Death of an Adjunct,” tells the story of Thea Hunter (say her name). Ms. Hunter, a historian, earned her degree at Columbia University. She was also a Black woman in academia and “flying against a current.” The article shares that “She would arrive on campus at 7:30, for office hours…a black women in largely empty building…people would come by and inquire whether she was the janitor.” While it was made clear her students loved her, “their parents would call the school questioning whether she had a doctorate.” While the entire article is worth reading, please take special note of the following excerpt, “Thea was exploited by a system that consumes thoughtful, committed academics like our beloved friend, even as it is reluctant to admit it—color compounding the oppression one-hundredfold. Academia is not an easy road for anyone to take, but especially not for women of color, and especially not for those who have been consigned to the adjunct underclass.”
Thea and others like her must be remembered. They way we treat adjunct/contingent faculty as well as BIPOC must also change so we no longer need to long for things we wished we could do over.
Here is a link to the movie “Con Job: Stories of Adjunct & Contingent Labor”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlmWBEz4bfo.
The movie is 49:25 minutes long and could be shown during an AAUP Chapter meeting to stimulate discussion.