MLA Urges Chairs to Focus on Adjunct Issues
The Modern Language Association is sending a letter to all English and foreign language department chairs urging them to organize discussions and activism to draw attention to the treatment of adjuncts. The letter follows on both reports and policy positions issued by the MLA, and urges discussions with department members and administrators, publicizing "best practices" on the use of non-tenure-track faculty members (including minimum per course payments), urging the conversion of part-time positions to full-time and so forth. The letter also urges chairs to raise these issues when they sit on external review panels on other campuses. "Especially in these difficult economic times, we must vigorously make the case for the relevance of an excellent humanities education," the letter says. "Students need to be multiply literate, flexible, keen in their interpretive capacities, and prepared to change career direction several times over the course of their working lives. They deserve well-trained and adequately paid faculty members who, working under good conditions, are committed to teaching and learning, have time to prepare classes and provide adequate feedback to students, and have opportunities and support for professional development and advancement. Those students are our future. And those who stand before them in the classroom are our future as well."