Letter of Solidarity with Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Educators
Composed by the Kentucky College Faculty Association (KYCFA)
Today, February 25th, marks the first National Adjunct Walkout Day. Adjunct faculty, also known as part-time or contingent faculty, constitute an overwhelming percentage of instructors at colleges and universities across the nation. As of 2014, contingent labor make up approximately 75% of all university and college faculty. Furthermore, adjunct faculty teach an overwhelming majority of core courses at college and universities, and are therefore integral to collegiate academic success.
As part-time employees, contingent faculty rarely receive benefits, such as health insurance or contribution to retirement funds. They have little to no job security and work for minimal pay. Many live below the poverty line. Adjunct instructors’ work conditions are their teaching conditions, and are, in turn, their students’ learning conditions.
As “adjuncts,” contingent faculty lack the professional benefits they deserve. Despite being indispensable to the day-to-day operations of their department, they lack professional standing and representation. Despite over 50% of adjunct instructors completing their doctorates, most are silenced in regards to departmental matters. Adjuncts instructors are unable to fight for their academic department, and thus unable to fight for their students.
Given these conditions, faculty nationwide are standing to raise awareness about the growing concern of inadequate teaching conditions and the devaluing of the academic profession at two- and four-year institutions of higher education.
These contingent faculty believe that bettering their teaching conditions will raise success rates for their students in their own classes and beyond. They believe that bettering their working conditions is a profound investment in academic excellence in higher education. They believe that providing contingent faculty a voice will strengthen academic departments across colleges and universities, empowering educators and students alike.
In order to raise these concerns publicly, our colleagues across the city, and as far away as San Diego, Montréal, Miami, and Seattle, are staging walkouts, teach-ins, grade-ins and demonstrations. At the University of Louisville and Jefferson Community and Technical College, contingent faculty have decided to educate students and other members of the community on the issues adjuncts face, and how their jobs affect the academic community as a whole.
Teach-ins will be held at:
JCTC -“Lunch Talk” being held at Hartford Hall Auditorium (in basement), 12-1 pm
U of L - “Lunch Talk” being held at the Chao Auditorium from 11:30-12:30 pm