Sociology Panel Seeks Changes for Adjuncts

MONTREAL -- The American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Contingent Faculty released its interim report ahead of the association’s annual meeting this week. The report includes an overview of the existing literature on non-tenure-track faculty members and recommends various policy changes. “Contingent faculty often report feeling invisible to tenure-system faculty,” says the study. “Their low pay and poor working conditions, along with disrespect, make many financially precarious … and chronically stressed emotionally and physically.”

The interim report pushes for equal pay for equal work among all faculty members and reasonable job security and academic freedom for adjuncts, among other general goals, stating that some changes are difficult to "operationalize" yet crucial nonetheless. At the departmental and university levels, suggested actions include making adjuncts part of governance and inviting them to social and intellectual events. Suggested actions for the sociological association include creating new awards designed to recognize the work of contingent faculty and possibly including them in governance, such as by designating seats on the ASA’s governing council and committees.

The report also suggests that ASA’s member newsletter, Footnotes, include a regular column on adjunct employment and that the association otherwise create ways for contingent faculty members to network and connect with one another. The task force is soliciting feedback on its preliminary work, and a final report is expected by 2019.

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Study suggests big difference between how college men describe affirmative consent and apply it to their own sexual experiences

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Study suggests a big difference between how college men describe affirmative consent and how they apply it to their own sexual experiences.

New Role for Adjunct Fired After Fox News Appearance

Lisa Durden, the pop culture commentator and communications adjunct who was effectively fired by Essex County College earlier this summer after her appearance on Fox News, is running for lieutenant governor of New Jersey. Durden announced last week that she’s joining the Green Party ticket for governor under candidate Seth Kaper-Dale, a local pastor, according to "I've never heard of a politician who stood strong on the angle of social issues in addition to crime, education and health care," Durden reportedly said of Kaper-Dale.

Essex terminated Durden over her comments in support of Black Lives Matter protesters’ right to hold an all-black gathering over Memorial Day. She tried to wage a media campaign to regain her position, pointing out that she’d never affiliated herself with the college on Tucker Carlson Tonight, but Essex eventually doubled down on its decision; President Anthony Munroe said in a public statement that "Racism cannot be fought with more racism."

Durden has never before run for public office, but she said Kaper-Dale’s platform includes issues of import to her, namely Black Lives Matter, women’s issues and fighting mass incarceration. "What's right sometimes isn't always comfortable," she said.

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Charlotte School of Law missed deadline to remain open

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The Charlotte School of Law missed two deadlines set by state regulators and has asked for an extension to stay open.

A new journalism degree from Columbia, with a $150K catch

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Cost of Columbia’s new graduate degree in data journalism slammed by journalists.

Indiana Backs Purdue-Kaplan Deal

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education on Thursday approved Purdue University's acquisition of Kaplan University, Purdue announced. The decision, which was widely expected, marks the first of three approvals Purdue needs for its boundary-testing deal, which would result in the creation of a new public online institution. The U.S. Department of Education and the Higher Learning Commission, which is the regional accreditor for both universities, also are reviewing the arrangement.

“The action taken by our commission today is the culmination of a thoughtful, deliberative process to meet the Legislature’s charge, and it reflects our strong support for new, innovative approaches that ensure Indiana is well positioned to meet the needs of more students,” Teresa Lubbers, Indiana commissioner for higher education, said in a written statement.

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Mixed Prospect for Growth of Competency-Based Ed

Most competency-based education programs remain nascent, highly localized and of limited size, according a new report from Eduventures, Ellucian and the American Council on Education.

Last year the three groups surveyed 250 institutions that either offer competency-based programs or are working to create them. This version featured qualitative research on seven institutions from the survey. It explores barriers to program growth, including technology and platform challenges, financial aid processing, and scheduling. Those obstacles are far from resolved, the report concludes.

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New presidents or provosts: Chicago School Dickinson Elmira Sage St. Joseph's SIUE Sonoma Stevenson Wright York

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  • Christopher Ames, provost at Shepherd University, in West Virginia, has been selected as president at the Sage Colleges, in New York.
  • Donald R. Boomgaarden, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania, has been chosen as president of St. Joseph's College, in New York.

Experts react to Harvard-2U online certificate agreement

Online program management advocates applaud as Harvard and 2U work to create an online business analytics certificate program. Others worry about corporate encroachment on teaching and learning.

Georgia Tech plans extension of undergraduate online computer science course

University uses model from closely observed master’s in computer science on undergraduates for first time, finds notable success and sees path to shaving a year or more off in-person instruction.


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