Massachusetts community college adjuncts overwhelmingly approved a three-year contract guaranteeing a 3.5 percent pay bump and increased job security, the Massachusetts Teachers Association announced Tuesday. The agreement covers some 5,000 adjuncts at the state's 15 community colleges, who are affiliated with the National Education Association. Under the contract, which promises a 3.5 percent pay raise for two years and 4 percent raise in the third year and establishes a systemwide salary scale, adjuncts will receive extra pay for attending campus meetings and lab instruction.
Veteran instructors also will have greater access to additional course assignments. Grievance policies for adjuncts have been enhanced, as have performance reviews procedure. The Massachusetts Community College Council did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Hawaii Pacific University is eliminating the jobs of about 7 percent of full-time faculty members to deal with a 10 percent decline in enrollment, Hawaii News Now reported. University officials said that they needed to realign resources to focus on programs that could grow.
Some students at Laney College -- a community college in Oakland -- protested before and during commencement because the main speaker was Janet Napolitano, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Napolitano is currently the president of the University of California system, but the protest focused on what students said were hostile policies toward immigrants when she was U.S. secretary of homeland security. During her talk, some heckled to the point that some in the audience said that they could not hear Napolitano. One protest organizer said that this was a victory. "No one could hear her as she was speaking, the whole time.... It was a very proud day for Oakland -- we made it clear that she was not welcome at Laney College. It was an insult, it never should have happened."
A spokesman for Napolitano said that the heckling was "particularly disappointing" because the speech started with a reference to the killings near the University of California at Santa Barbara Friday night.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has fired a tenured professor of physics, Paul Frampton, who has been serving jail time in Argentina on drug charges, The News & Observer reported. Frampton is about to be freed from jail. He has said he was duped by a woman he met online, and that he believed the suitcase he carried with him (that had cocaine in it) was a gift for her. Frampton's dismissal -- on grounds of misconduct and neglect of duty -- follows the recommendation of a faculty committee.
In today's Academic Minute, Arun Bhunia, professor of food microbiology at Purdue University, is working on new techniques and technology that will more quickly identify the infectious strain. If you missed Monday's Academic Minute, about "sexy" fruit flies, you can read it here. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.