After being told that she would have a course for the fall at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, Jayme McLellan found that her adjunct position disappeared. Officially the course was canceled. But as The Los Angeles Times noted, the college had recently confirmed plans for her to offer the course. And as the article explained, many are furious about this development because McLellan has been a leader of opposition to a current plan to merge the college into George Washington University.
Arts and sciences faculty members at Columbia University are increasingly complaining about inadequate resources, The Wall Street Journal reported. Among the concerns: facilities that need to be updated, sabbatical support that isn't complete, and insufficient staffing levels. Professors complain that professional schools at Columbia seem to be benefiting more from ongoing resource allocation. Administrators say that they are talking to faculty about the concerns.
St. Augustine's University, a historically black college in North Carolina, has announced that 70 adjuncts will not be rehired for the coming academic year, The News and Observer of Raleigh reported. The university has been struggling financially. The institution will furlough all employees for a week in December.
An agreement between the City University of New York, the Professional Staff Congress (its faculty union) and state and city officials has provided a long-term financing plan for providing health insurance for CUNY adjunct instructors. Through the union's contract negotiations with CUNY, funds were provided to the union's Welfare Fund in the past, but the fund has been unable to keep up as more adjuncts were hired, and both faculty and university leaders have feared that the adjuncts could lose coverage. Under the agreement, the adjuncts will be covered through the City of New York benefits program. The university and the union issued a joint press release announcing the shift.
To qualify, adjuncts must have at least a six-credit courseload and not be covered by another plan. About 1,800 adjuncts will receive benefits through the new program.
The University of Colorado at Boulder has moved to fire a tenured philosophy professor, David Barnett, saying that he retaliated against a graduate student who reported that another graduate student had sexually assaulted her, The Daily Camera reported. The victim accused Barnett of preparing a report that depicted her as "sexually promiscuous," and saying that she made up the allegations. The Boulder philosophy department has been the subject of intense scrutiny and criticism over its treatment of women. Barnett declined to comment, but his lawyer said he would fight the dismissal. "Every male member of the CU philosophy department already has had his reputation damaged as a result of the administration's selective release of information," the lawyer said. "Now, even though professor Barnett is not accused of harassing anyone, the administration is attempting to make him the scapegoat." (Note: This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect that the graduate student, not the university, has publicly accused Barnett of preparing a report that was damaging to her reputation.)
Adjunct union organizers at the University of LaVerne, outside Los Angeles, have pulled their petition for a union election from the National Labor Relations Board. The election took place in February but ballot-counting was on hold for several months, as the board considered numerous unfair labor practice claims filed by the Service Employees International Union.
The NLRB dismissed those claims last week. But organizers decided that ballot-counting should not go forward, saying that administrative interference in the election process could not have made for a fair election. Organizers said they would most likely file for another election again in the future.
Alisha Rosas, university spokeswoman, said via email that LaVerne had “consistently stressed the importance of counting the ballots so that our adjuncts’ voices can be heard. Unfortunately, because of the union’s efforts, that will never occur. In deciding to withdraw, we can only assume that the union believed that it would lose the election if the ballots were counted.”
The Montana senator accused of plagiarizing his final paper for his master's degree has ended his election campaign. John Walsh, a Democrat who was appointed by departing Sen. Max Baucus, and who was running for a full term this fall, came under fire last month after The New York Times reported he had apparently plagiarized large portions of his final paper at the U.S. Army War College. National Democrats initially supported Walsh, who attributed the flap in part to post-traumatic stress disorder from a deployment to Iraq with the National Guard. But public sentiment against the senator, including from Montana veterans, continued to grow. On Thursday, Walsh released a statement to supporters, reported by the Billings Gazette, saying "I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator." Walsh will serve out the rest of his current term, through 2015.