faculty

College: Cheaper Fast Food Is 'Benefit' of Being Adjunct

Looking for reasons to teach? What about a discount at Arby’s, Subway or Chick-fil-A? (That last one’s dine-in only.) Adjunct instructors at Motlow State Community College recently received a handout detailing the “benefits” of teaching there part-time. Among them are “recognition,” in the form of eligibility for a Faculty Excellence Award; free Microsoft Office 365 software; and discounts to a number of fast-food restaurants in the Tullahoma, Tenn., area. Goodwill also was on the discount list.

“Thank you so much to all of our adjunct faculty for all you do to support Motlow State! We are so appreciative of your time and effort,” Melody Edmonds, interim vice president for academic affairs, wrote in an email containing the flier attachment. “I hope you find this helpful. It is just some other ways we try and show our gratitude for the outstanding service you provide to our students every day.”

Though well intentioned, the flier struck a nerve with some adjuncts, who criticized it as patronizing and tone-deaf -- including one who wanted to remain anonymous, citing job security concerns. “Getting 10 percent off my (dine-in only!) meal at Chick-fil-A is a perk,” the adjunct said via email. “Health insurance is a benefit. The language in the email itself is also a problem. I thought I was paid to educate students, not serve them.”

Edmonds that the said the benefits flier “was sent out simply to make our adjuncts aware of what is available to them.” The same “benefits are also available to all of our full-time faculty, staff and students,” she said.

Advice for making the grad school experience a happy one (essay)

Luck may have played a role in Angela Heetderks’s positive experiences in grad school, but she also managed to cultivate happiness through trial and (a great deal of) error.

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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

San Jose State's Slow Response to Harassment Finding

A San Jose State University professor remained department chair for months after a campus investigation that concluded he had harassed a student, and he was placed on leave only after a journalist raised questions about the case, the Bay Area News Group reported. Mary Papazian, the university's new president, told the news group, "I think we can agree that there are things we can learn from the way it was handled."

The case involves Lewis Aptekar, a professor and chair of the university's counselor education department. He was found to have acted inappropriately by asking a student in class if she was single and commented that he would date her. Aptekar declined to comment, but his lawyer said the comments were made in a classroom discussion about romantic relationships and did not constitute harassment. The student said in class that "everyone leaves" her, the lawyer said, and when Aptekar said he would never leave her, he was trying to be supportive. The university's investigation found that Aptekar "is couching his questioning as educational inquiry, but he is inappropriately using this method to probe for more personal information than [can] possibly be related to an academic program."

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Latest on Long Island U Lockout of Faculty

Faculty members at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus -- who lost their jobs and benefits over Labor Day weekend when the university imposed a lockout -- on Tuesday rejected the contract proposed by the administration.

Also on Tuesday, the university's Faculty Senate, which represents professors at all LIU campuses, voted no confidence in the university administration.

A statement from Jessica Rosenberg, president of the Long Island University Faculty Federation, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, issued this statement: “The administration's decision to lock us out rather than negotiate has already damaged our students and our members. Over the weekend, our health insurance was cut off, with people finding out as they were filling prescriptions. We want to teach our students under a contract that affords us dignity and voice. That is why we're fighting back.”

Gale Haynes, vice president, chief operating officer and university counsel at LIU, released a statement saying that the vote of no confidence was tied to the “contentious” contract negotiations. As for the rejection of the contract proposal, Haynes said, “It’s disappointing that the LIUFF has rejected a contract offer that the university believes is generous and highly competitive. The university will continue to bargain in good faith, with the goal of welcoming its valued faculty back to the classroom upon timely resolution of the contract. During this time frame, we will remain laser focused on our students beginning the fall semester with little or no disruption to their academic studies.”

The American Association of University Professors also weighed in on the conflict Tuesday, issuing a statement condemning the lockout and urging the university to let faculty members return to teaching while continuing contract negotiations.

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Advising graduate students who are interested in an M.A., not a Ph.D. (essay)

Faculty members and administrators tend to forget that, for most undergraduates, grad school doesn’t mean a doctorate, writes J. H. Pearl.

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Northwestern bans a professor from campus and faculty members split on whether move is justified

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Northwestern orders professor to stay away. She says she is being punished for her activism. Some professors defend university, saying she made them fear for safety.

Survey finds decline in history enrollments

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From 2012-13 to 2014-15, undergraduate enrollments fell by 7.6 percent, survey finds.

Syracuse condemns action of professor to rescind invitation to Israeli scholar

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NYU professor who was invited to show his acclaimed film at Syracuse U conference is then told not to come because of his nationality. University vows to invite him another time.

Lafayette Professor Denied Tenure Ends Hunger Strike

Juan Rojo, the assistant professor of Spanish at Lafayette College who went on a hunger strike last week over the handling of his tenure case, on Monday suspended his protest. “I do so in good faith and in recognition of and in gratitude for the faculty’s significant, multifaceted efforts to redress the procedural error in my tenure case, and the even more pressing concerns related to faculty governance that tolerating this error would convey,” he said in a statement. “I remain committed to working with my colleagues, the administration and the board so that together we can address these and other areas of concern in an effort to strengthen our institution and our educational mission.”

Rojo announced his strike at a faculty meeting on Aug. 30, citing the fact that Lafayette’s president, Alison Byerly, rejected his tenure bid, against the positive recommendation of two faculty bodies (one was unanimous). Moreover, he said, Byerly’s decision was based largely on comments from student evaluations of Rojo's teaching, which some experts argue should not be used in personnel decisions because they can be unreliable.

Byerly said in a statement Monday that she had received faculty feedback about Rojo’s case, including the proper role of the president in tenure decisions. She said she looked forward to continuing the dialogue, starting at a faculty meeting Tuesday.

Regarding her rejection of Rojo’s bid, Byerly said that in “evaluating all cases, including this one, I rely most heavily on the evidence provided by faculty colleagues, through their own classroom observations and their informed analysis of candidates’ teaching evaluations.” In reviewing the recommendation provided by the collegewide tenure committee, she said, “I found myself largely in agreement with [the] committee’s characterization of the candidate’s teaching. Where we differed is that I could not concur with their conclusion that the record described met the standard of distinction and the elements of quality teaching outlined in the Faculty Handbook.”

Rojo planned to break his strike at a local Pennsylvania restaurant at 10 a.m. Monday, after informing the board of that intention over the weekend. “Those that know me know that I do not crave the spotlight,” he said. “But I felt it important to stand up for myself, my colleagues and my institution to redress a serious procedural error as well as to protect faculty governance. I remain committed to working with the Lafayette community to move forward in a productive and timely manner.”

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