I'm a professor in the PA State System of Higher Education, one of many public employees dedicated to maintaining a tradition of quality, affordable education. As the new academic year approaches, we should take time to remember that nearly 2000 faculty across our 14-school system are adjunct, designated "temporary" in our contract language.
While the labels used for this segment of our faculty--"temporary," "contingent"-- are limiting, adjunct faculty are actually a vital part of our workforce. They have challenging teaching schedules, serve their campuses beyond the classroom, and maintain their own agendas of scholarship or professional development. Without them, the work of our colleges and universities would not get accomplished.
I'm proud of the fact that the collective bargaining agreement between our faculty and coaches' union, APSCUF, and the PA State System acknowledges the professionalism and value of adjuncts with better pay, benefits, and access to resources than are found at many institutions. But these conditions aren't set in stone! APSCUF and the State System are currently in contract negotiations. APSCUF wants to see adjuncts treated fairly in the next agreement.
Students, parents, tenure-line and adjunct faculty all have a stake in this issue.
When all faculty are treated as valuable professionals, the quality of education improves.
When we all share fair and equitable working conditions, we can focus on serving our students and our campuses.
You can help! As one means of reminding the State System Chancellor and Board of Governors of the importance of adjunct issues in our contract, APSCUF created a petition at Change.org. The petition thanks the chancellor and board for their past investments in the working conditions of adjuncts, and encourages them to maintain their support in the next contract.
Adding your name lends the petition weight, showing the State System that their constituents, employees, and students care about and pay attention to adjunct issues.
Please click here to read our letter / petition and sign!
Thank you for your time and consideration.
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