Monday, December 18, 2017

Broward College Adjuncts Form Union

Inside Higher Ed
By Colleen Flaherty
December 18, 2017

Adjunct faculty members at Broward College in Florida voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced Friday.  The new unit has approximately 1,700 eligible members, and some 92 percent of those who voted approved of the union bid, according to SEIU.

Read the original post at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

NLRB Ruling May Block 'Micro-Unit' TA Unions

Inside Higher Ed
By Scott Jaschik
December 18, 2017

A ruling Friday by the National Labor Relations Board may make it more difficult for unions seeking to organize teaching assistants at private universities to do so on a department-by-department basis, as recently happened at Yale University.  Some refer to such unions as "micro-units."  The ruling was on a case related to a healthcare business, and generally made it more difficult to unionize subgroups of employees rather than all employees in similar positions.

Read the original post at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

Petition to Overturn Net Neutrality Repeal

AAUP
December 18, 2017

The AAUP shared an online petition declaring its support for net neutrality and asking Congress to act to protect it.  The decision by the FCC to dismantle net neutrality is a giveaway to telecom companies and large corporations that, if allowed to proceed, is likely to have detrimental effects on higher education.  Net neutrality is rooted in the principles of fairness, and preserving it is essential for ensuring equitable access to online information, resources, and services.  Without net neutrality, internet service providers will be free to slow down or block websites that do not serve their commercial interests.  This could make it more difficult for faculty, students, and the public to access educational resources.

Read the full post at sign the petition at the AAUP website here.

With an Employee Facing Deportation, Wesleyan's President Speaks Out

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Vimal Patel and Brock Read
December 15, 2017

Among campus presidents, Wesleyan University's Michael S. Roth is an uncommonly active blogger.  He typically uses his corner of the university's website to offer holiday tidings, celebrate sporting successes, and salute professors' accomplishments.

But occasionally Mr. Roth adopts a sharper tone.  On Friday he did so in a brief message.  Its headline: "Stop the Deportation of Francisco Acosta!"

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Friday, December 15, 2017

'A Complete Culture of Sexualization': 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Nell Gluckman
December 12, 2017

Karen L. Kelsky founded The Professor Is In, a consultancy that gives academics career advice.  In 2014 she created an online survey about graduate-student debt that received hundreds of responses, with some students reporting that they owed in the range of $200,000 to $300,000.  Respondents found sharing the information therapeutic, and, as Ms. Kelsky says, it changed the conversation around graduate school.

Now, as news breaks daily about sexual harassment in seemingly every industry, including higher education, Ms. Kelsky decided to apply the approach again.  She created a survey in which academics and former academics can submit their stories about sexual misconduct, and their responses will be shared anonymously online.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

House Republicans Press for Higher-Ed Overhaul in 2018

The Chronicle for Higher Education
By Adam Harris and Eric Kelderman
December 12, 2017

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives began in earnest on Tuesday to finalize an ambitious bill to reauthorize the main federal law governing higher education.

The House's Committee on Education and the Workforce, led by Rep. Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, kicked off a marathon session lasting nearly 14 hours - until just before the stroke of midnight - to consider amendments and other changes in a draft of the Higher Education Act Legislation that she introduced this month.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

What's a Fair Wage for Adjuncts?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Audrey Williams June
December 7, 2017

The impending negotiations between the City University of New York's faculty union and administration may come down to a fundamental question: How much is adjunct labor worth?

The union's answer is $7,000.  That's the minimum pay per three-credit course that it's seeking for the roughly 14,000 adjuncts it represents - about double the minimum that adjuncts there now earn per course.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Educations's website here.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Reversal on Graduate Lending

Inside Higher Ed
By Andrew Kreighbaum
December 11, 2017

The GOP's proposed update to the law governing higher education would force a U-turn for long-standing federal policies on graduate student lending.

Students who pursue graduate degrees have been allowed to take out an unlimited amount in federal student loans since Congress authorized the Grad Plus program in 2005.  But the legislation proposed last week by Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the House education committee, would cap annual borrowing amounts for grad students at $28,500 annually.  The bill also would change benefits for borrowers by altering income-driven repayment options and eliminating Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Read the full article at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

Friday, December 8, 2017

National Security, Assault on Science, and Academic Freedom

AAUP
December 7, 2017

Assault on science and academic freedom threatens the public good and international stature or US.

Washington, DC- A new report, National Security, the assault on Science, and Academic Freedom, released by the AAUP details troubling threats to academic freedom in the physical and natural sciences that have been exacerbated by the Trump administration's hostility to science.

Read the full post at the AAUP website here.

Letter Regarding Summary Dismissal of Nebraska Lecturer

AAUP
November 28, 2017

"A suspension which is not followed by either reinstatement or the opportunity for a hearing is in effect a summary dismissal in violation of academic due process." - 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure with Interpretive Comments

The AAUP sent a letter to University of Nebraska-Lincoln administrators today regarding the dismissal of a sixth-year doctoral student with a part-time appointment as a lecturer in the English department.  She had been suspended in September for protesting the presence on campus of a recruitment table for Turning Point USA, a right-wing organization that maintains the Professor Watchlist website.

Read the full post ans a copy of the letter at the AAUP website here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

8 Grad Students Are Arrested Protesting the GOP Tax Bill on Capital Hill

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Adam Harris
December 5, 2017

Ben Groebe was frightened when he read that a tax plan recently passed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives included a provision that would effectively tax as income the tuition waivers graduate students receive to help pay for their studies.

So Mr. Groebe, a graduate student in astrophysics at Washington University in St. Louis, traveled here on Tuesday, along with dozens of graduate students and supporters from across the country, to protest outside of the office of the House speaker, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Ed website here.

Friday, December 1, 2017

What You Need to Know About the GOP Bill to Bring Sweeping Changes to Higher Ed

Chronicle of Higher Education
By Adam Harris
December 1, 2017

After a flurry of movement this week on the reauthorization of the federal law governing higher education, which is overdue for an update, the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday introduced its bill to overhaul the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Summary details of the legislation, including plans to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, cap the amount that graduate students may borrow, and end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, were reported on Wednesday.  But the release of the full text fleshes out the details of those proposals.

Read the full article at the Chronicle for Higher Ed website here.