AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment.
Declaring that “access to health care is a basic human right,” the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has issued a statement calling on colleges and universities to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and to calculate the hours of part-time and adjunct faculty in a fair and accurate way. Such calculations would take into account the full responsibilities of these faculty for grading, advising students, and so forth, and not just the hours they spend in the classroom. The AAUP is responding to news accounts of a few institutions that have threatened to cut the course loads of non-tenure track faculty in order to avoid offering them health benefits- a move the AAUP terms “reprehensible.”
Academics have talked about an impending mass retirement of baby boomer professors for decades, but young PhDs continue to wait for full-time, permanent positions to crop up. On Monday night, PBS NewsHour ran a short report on the “dilemmas colleges and universities face as their teaching work force is graying.” The report, part of an ongoing series from PBS about older workers, profiled a series of faculty in academia, some over the traditional retirement age and some not, in an effort to understand the issues colleges face as academics become a “graying workforce.”
After publishing a number of important columns highlighting the pay and working conditions of adjuncts, the Chronicle of Higher Education recently took a step from what one commenter called, “occasional ‘objective’ coverage to activism” with the launch of the Adjunct Project, a new tool for adjuncts and the people who hire them.
The tool, which employs a sleek, easy-to-use interface using icons from the Noun Project, supports three main tasks: submit salary data, searching salary data, and advice on teaching and working as an adjunct.
It will come as no surprise that faculty employed in part-time and adjunct positions are often underpaid and underappreciated, but a new report from the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) adds some hard numbers to back up the anecdotes. Drawing on responses from 10,331 faculty members employed in part-time teaching positions in the fall of 2010, the CAW report demonstrates the limited pay, support, and appreciation provided to most of those employed in those positions.
The results closely resemble findings from a very similar survey of history faculty conducted back in 1999 (see Robert Townsend, “Part-time Faculty Surveys Highlight Disturbing Trends”).