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Posts Tagged ‘contingent faculty’

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Frustrated with My KU? Gotta story to tell? Now there is a place to tell it. The power of our stories can help end this black hole of resources and time.

My KU FAIL! Facebook Page is here!

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Chancellor Cavanaugh wants to cut temporary faculty salaries by 35%. That would move a temporary faculty member’s family from earning a living wage to qualifying for food stamps. Not in our house!

Here’s a great image from our colleagues at West Chester University. I think the Hand of Temps should make an appearance at Kutztown.  “Like” WCU Adjuncts facebook page and show your support! http://www.facebook.com/WcuAdjuncts

 

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APSCUF members are now in the 16th month without a contract. As each month rolls by, our paychecks buy less. Like many faculty, I live with the constant worry of a furnace breaking down or an unexpected car repair bill. I hadn’t imagined that 10 years into my tenure at Kutztown, I would still be living paycheck to paycheck.

I wanted to know more about what it means concretely to continue to go without a contract, no cost-of-living increases, no steps. I did some research and put together a little graphic that helps to demonstrate the persistent erosion of our economic conditions. So, here it is: Let’s Go Grocery Shopping!

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For those of you who don’t know, in the spring of 2011 I launched a progressive media site called Raging Chicken Press. While I described the site as a “side project,” it is really more of a place where my teaching and scholarship meet in practice.  For example, this semester I am teaching ENG 316 Rhetoric, Democracy, Advocacy and next semester I will be teaching a Special Topics class ENG 390 Activists Writing Media: Composing Democratic Futures. I’ve published on activist rhetoric in  Democracies to Come – co-authored with Rachel Riedner of the George Washington University, as well as articles on “Viral Advocacy” in Reflections: A Journal of Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing, and Service-Learning and rhetorics of labor advocacy in Seth Kahn and JongHwa Lee’s fantastic collection, Activism and Rhetoric. I’ve always had the need to do more than teach and write about rhetoric. I’ve found it critical to also be a practitioner. In fact, I would argue, my teaching, scholarship, and practice are all intimately related and in dialogue. Raging Chicken Press has been my latest site of practice and it has taken off faster than I could have imagined.

Last week I launched a new series called “Smashing Apples: Shock Doctrine for Public Education.” The series focuses on the attacks upon public education in PA and across the region and nation. I wanted to let readers of the XChange know for a couple of reasons. First, I am always looking for new writers, photographers, videographers, cartoonists, and podcasters interested in contributing to the site. Given APSCUF’s continuing contract fight, I thought there might be some of you out there who have got some things to say, and who are looking for a place to say it. While our APSCUF-KU efforts are currently focused on letters to editors and to the Board of Governors and Chancellor, Raging Chicken Press might give you a space to contribute in different ways.

Second, I wanted to let you know of some of the articles we have recently published in which you may be interested. Here you go:

Hope you find some these articles compelling and if you’re mad as hell and can’t take it any more, consider submitting to the Raging Chicken

 

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Inside Higher Ed‘s Scott Jaschik has an alarming story today, “The Shirley Sherrods of Academe?” Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbartis at it again, this time distorting videos in the classes of two teachers of labor history at the University of Missouri.  Breitbartis edited video posted to the course’s online site (accessed without permission) so that it seems as if the instructors were advocating violence.  What’s most frustrating is despite that fact that administration cleared the faculty of any wrong doing after reviewing the complete videos, one of the two instructors was still fired–the adjunct instructor. A sacrificial lamb to the conservative blogosphere’s imagined influence on funding.

Particularly disturbing is that this may only just be the beginning. Jaschik reports:

“Breitbart may be on the lookout for other academics. Appearing on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox last week, he said that ‘we’re going to take on education next, and go after the teachers and union organizers.’

While I like to push students to think critically and encourage in-class discussion of  controversial topics, I think we all, sadly, are now in the position of considering how our pedagogies may be used against us. I, for one, won’t be filming a class anytime soon.

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You can’t understate the critical importance of doing your research.  Now, if you cut funds to education and students don’t learn how to do critical research, then they’ll never be able to do what The Young Turks do here:

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