I was asked to be a panelist at a CFT sponsored event on Oct. 31 at UCSB that dealt with the issues of contingent labor in higher education. The other two panelists were Katia McClain, a lecturer in Slavic languages at UCSB, and Randy Rightmire, who teaches at both UCSB and Santa Barbara City College. The panel was moderated by Chris Dean, a lecturer in the writing program at UCSB.
Mr. Dean asked questions of the panel such as, “How does being a part-time faculty affect your style of teaching?” He also asked questions having to do with pro-rata pay and the impact of not knowing whether you will be hired from one semester to the next has on the life of a part-time instructor.
The event also featured the showing of a documentary titled “Con Job—Stories of Adjuncts and Contingent Labor,” that consists of information about the plight of part-time faculty, interviews with adjunct instructors, and discussion of what can be done. You can see this video by following this link: http://vimeo.com/39425464. It is only 20 minutes long (a fifty minute version is due out next year) and is worth taking the time to watch. It is interesting to see people from different parts of the country dealing with the same issues we are dealing with.
Mark James Miller, President, Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College, CFT Local 6185, Santa Maria, CA