02 July 2011

Contingent faculty

As reported in the SF Chronicle, the Academic Council recommended last week that the University expand the use of contingent faculty "where appropriate" across the system, in the words of system-wide senate chair Dan Simmons. We have not seen any official announcement, or document such as meeting minutes to confirm this. But this would appear a major shift in the official position of the faculty: since when does the Senate recommend the expansion of non-senate faculty? It's enough that the administration has become addicted to the use of exploited, under-paid, and over-worked lecturers. It's a completely different position for the system-wide senate to come to the same conclusion. The senate should be in the business of expanding (at least some of) the benefits of the tenure system to contingent faculty – not sell our collective soul to satisfy the administration's appetite for a flexible workforce.