faculty

U of Chicago Adjuncts File for Union Election

Non-tenure-track instructors at the University of Chicago have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to vote on whether to form a collective bargaining unit affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced Thursday. SEIU adjunct union drives also are under way at the University of Washington, the University of Southern California and Duke University. A spokesman for Chicago said the university had no immediate comment.

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Sanders Announces Group of Academics Backing Him

Bernie Sanders has been drawing large crowds of college students to his campaign events. On Wednesday, he officially announced a group of faculty supporters, including many prominent figures of the academic left. Higher Ed for Bernie will be organizing a series of campus events. An initial statement from the group calls for a bolstering of public higher education and renewed efforts to make higher education a tool for promoting social equality. Signatories include Cornel West of Union Theological Seminary, Frances Fox Piven of the City University of New York Graduate Center, Adolph Reed Jr. of the University of Pennsylvania, Walter Benn Michaels of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Jeffrey J. Williams of Carnegie Mellon University.

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Colleges award tenure

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The following individuals have recently been awarded tenure by their colleges and universities:

Bemidji State University

  • Heidi Hansen, mathematics
  • Marci Maple, nursing
  • Michael Murray, economics
  • Sheila Paul, nursing
  • Roxanne Pickle, health sciences and human ecology
  • Sarah Tarutis, nursing

Canisius College

Grove City Apologizes to Professor It Fired in 1962

In 1962, Grove City College fired Larry Gara, a history professor whose left-wing politics offended a powerful trustee. As recounted in an Associated Press article, the college brought various charges of incompetence against Gara and fired him. Gara went on to a successful teaching career at Wilmington College, in Ohio. But a Grove City alumnus, Steven Taaffe, a history professor at Stephen F. Austin University, did research on his firing and found considerable evidence that the charges were unfair. All the Grove City officials involved in the firing are dead. Based on Taaffe's research, a former president of the college, Richard Jewell, recently visited Gara and personally apologized on behalf of the college. Gara, 93, told the AP, "I never thought they would come around."

Grove City is the college that has been on the censure list of the American Association of University Professors for the longest time, due to this case. While all the information about the case was not available at the time, the AAUP noted a denial of due process to Gara, who was never given a chance to defend himself against charges now known to be false.

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A (quasi-hopeful) guide to being a visiting assistant professor (essay)

Internet tales of woe can daunt even the most optimistic faculty job seeker. But Kevin Anzzolin offers his own version of a visitor's guide for the visiting assistant professor.

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Working paper on interdisciplinary job ad analysis suggests some jobs aren't truly interdisciplinary

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Graduate students' analysis of interdisciplinary jobs ads suggest that many jobs aren't truly interdisciplinary, but those that are tend to be linked to dedicated centers or clusters.

Growing Criticism of Theory of 'Disruptive Innovation'

Clay Christensen, a professor at Harvard University's business school, has since his 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma been widely acclaimed in the business world for his theory of “disruptive innovation” to explain why upstarts derail established companies. A later book applying the ideas to higher education has led many administrators to feature Christensen at meetings and quote him to promote various ideas about change. But an article in The Boston Globe notes that his ideas are increasingly being questioned. A year ago, The New Yorker published a critique. But now an article in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan Management Review (summary available here) offers detailed academic criticism of the disruptive innovation theory. The article questions whether many of Christensen's examples actually prove what he says and cautions business leaders against relying on the theory. In another article in the Globe, Christensen explains why he thinks the theory is still valid.

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Ben Carson explains how he would have Education Department identify and end "extreme bias" by colleges

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Leading GOP candidate in Iowa presidential race explains how he would have Education Department prevent "indoctrination," and cites the "stomping on Jesus" case as an example.

Campus Equity Week 2015

Campus Equity Week, an annual week of events to draw attention to the treatment of non-tenure-track faculty members, kicks off today. A list of some of the activities -- including film viewings, panel discussions and protests -- may be found here.

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Advice for getting a job at a selective liberal arts college (essay)

They are different types of institutions than where most people will have gone to graduate school, write a group of contributors to a philosophy blog.

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