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October 10, 2007
According to IHE, adjuncts at Pace University in New York City had their bargaining unit certified three years ago, but are still without a contract. The union is accusing the university of foot-dragging, and the university is claiming that 'first' contracts are harder than subsequent contracts. I find both sides' claims credible.
October 9, 2007
"[T]here is an emerging concern about double standards," writes a University of Sydney professor to an array of university leaders. Unlike some elite American universities, this Australian university contains at least one faculty member principled enough to make a fuss when his institution ignores plagiarism among high-ranking professors.
October 9, 2007
You probably know people who expect instant loyalty to their causes. Any hesitation suggests to them the work they’ll need to do to sell you or else to wheel their flanks and attack.
October 9, 2007
A Western correspondent writes:I work at a community college in northern California. I was hiredfull time after working part-time for three years and am in the third yearof a four year tenure track position teaching art.
October 8, 2007
"Several passages in Yale Law School professor Ian Ayres ... new book are unattributed verbatim reproductions or nearly identical paraphrases of passages from various newspaper and magazine articles published in the last twenty years, an investigation by the [ Yale Daily] News has shown."
October 8, 2007
When The Wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I gave some of the usual answers, and a new one. The new one: I wanted a day off the grid.A day without my job, childcare, errands, laundry, house stuff, or anything else. A day in which I could return, even if only for a little while, to the unstructured time I used to have, back in my twenties. Time alone, not 'on call,' to do with as I pleased.Bless her, she went for it. So for several hours on Saturday, I was off the grid. (A full day is simply beyond reality, at this point.)It was wonderful.
October 5, 2007
One of the policies my cc works under is a rule about “ability to benefit.” Basically, it means that we can only admit students who have demonstrated the ability to benefit from college-level instruction. We usually interpret that to mean a high school diploma or GED, plus a minimal level of performance on placement tests (if they haven't already placed out with high SAT/ACT scores).
October 4, 2007
One of the two best college teachers I ever knew—an older Ph.D. candidate who became an adjunct himself here for a while—once told me we’d never know how we’d affected students’ lives; the students themselves wouldn’t know for 20 years. Coming from anyone else, it might have sounded like a defense against student criticisms or justification not to teach, but with him it was grace under pressure. I’m starting to understand what he meant.
October 4, 2007
A new correspondent writes:I'm a sophomore at a snooty-but-trying-not-to-be Private Liberal ArtsCollege who has recently discovered your blog and is tearing throughthe archives. I'm afraid I'm one of the folks from the kind of town(bedroom community where all the parents have grad degrees) wherepeople only go to CCs to get ahead in high school, for summer credit,or because they didn't get in anywhere else. After reading, however,I'm starting to understand the idea of getting cheap Gen-Ed credit andthen transferring.
October 3, 2007
Dear Mayor Daley,I've seen some idiotic pronouncements over the years. “The insurgency is in its last throes,” “The Segway will change everything,” “Ladies and Gentlemen – Britney Spears!” Among the consolations of middle age is the realization that the worst-laid plans of mice and men at least occasionally go astray.Still, you've really outdone yourself. Even a jaded academic like myself stands awestruck.

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