right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Upcoming changes to the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.

If there is a strike for non-tenure track faculty members,.....

2»

Replies to: If there is a strike for non-tenure track faculty members,.....

  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7044 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Addendum to #20 - just checked and that person who quit did so because his/her pay was actually REDUCED after they unionized. The job titles and pay categories were re-done and the most talented and highly paid were downscaled (and probably the opposite for the lowest paid). So this senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies for the department - someone who had been a staple for a number of years - is no longer there. So much for higher quality. How many other departments experienced the same, I wonder?
    · Reply · Share
  • caesarcreekcaesarcreek 131 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Next you're going to tell me that they should die and decrease the surplus population.
    · Reply · Share
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7044 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Anyone who equates leaving a profession because it doesn't pay enough or you can't advance to your satisfaction to "dying" is taking "up or out" to a whole new level. Probably watching a bit too much "Survivor".
    · Reply · Share
  • FStratfordFStratford 495 replies11 threads Member
    "However, their chances of competing successfully for an adjunct position are smaller now because the union protects the current field. "

    I don't see them being protected from the increased competition if their contracts are renewed every year or every two years. One to two year contracts are not sticky enough. In theory, within a year or two, all adjuncts can be replaced. Are they also asking for longer contracts aside from higher pay? That would be the ultimate move - almost like a mini-tenure. No job exists like that - except in academia, or the C-Suite.
    · Reply · Share
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7044 replies24 threads Senior Member
    @FStratford - not sure how the contract would work. But firing for cause would most likely involve the union. Over the years I've seen some pretty fireable offenses and behavior in unionized employ with very little that Management can do till a crisis happens (which is exactly what happened in the two - three cases I can recall). This isn't just reality - it's common sense: that employee was paying union dues

    However, it's not just that firing individually is harder - it's that the number of adjuncts will be fewer than before because, again, the wage is above the market-clearing level. That's just Micro 101. The university will claim budget cuts and eliminate some instructors as a result. The sad thing is that some good ones will be eliminated and some not-so-good will be retained because it's based on seniority, not on competence. I've seen that as well.

    There's a good argument for how any of this differs from the tenure system, of course, and we all can recount stories of deadweight faculty who are really crappy instructors - or worse. Thoughts?
    · Reply · Share
  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    edited March 2018
    @JBStillFlying : I am pretty sure all of those "post doc fellows" are the bulk of what we are talking about: Recent PhDs with non-tenure-track positions teaching Core courses. They, and some "lecturers" -- often talented teachers and first-rate minds, without first-rate publications -- make up most of the full-time, non-tenure track faculty at Chicago, as far as I know. I don't think there are a lot of true "adjuncts" teaching in the College, although there are probably a bunch in the professional schools.

    Also, I don't think seniority necessarily plays a big role in academic union contracts.
    edited March 2018
    · Reply · Share
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7044 replies24 threads Senior Member
    @JHS - Ah, ok. So the College has full time lecturers, part time lecturers, and post-doc fellows? Are the latter full time or part time? (guessing the former). Of the 2,800 or so "faculty and other appointees" approximately 1,000 are 'other' as of Fall 2016 - maybe that's the number of non tenure track? An academic I know at a state flagship told me that they have about a 2:1 ratio of tenure-track/non. So 1800 in the tenure stream or tenured at UChicago vs. 1,000 not on that track sounds consistent, although for some reason 1,800 faculty members seems low (to me anyway).

    Aren't post-docs also temporary positions - say, for a few years duration - to allow for additional research before going on the faculty job market? How many courses are they expected to teach? D's instructors were fairly young/had joined within the past year or two. She has really enjoyed getting to know them. While no doubt each course requires a bit of prep on the instructor's part, it seemed that most of the seminars were assigned to a student either to present something or to kick off the discussion. Very little, if any lecture prep, though admittedly running a couple classes per quarter will take away from research time. Of course, tenure-track faculty tend to have both teaching AND administrative (departmental) duties. The post docs probably get to avoid the latter.
    · Reply · Share
  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    edited March 2018
    I don't know for sure, but I think they are hired on four-year contracts. They have all probably been on the job market, unsuccessfully so far. Or rather, this is part of the job market, but neither the favored end of it nor the worst.

    I think most of them teach two sections of the same Core course, Hum or Sosc. So they don't have to prepare two different courses, but they have to read a bunch of papers. Others seem to teach the Art core courses, or creative writing. (I think all of the creative writing teachers are adjuncts or other types of non-ladder faculty. That may be the case with the drama courses, too, I know my son had a course on set design with an adjunct who was a well-regarded set designer.)

    Anyway, I looked and there are 14 of them teaching Hum sections. We know all first-years and transfers take Hum, so that's about 1650 Hum slots. Fourteen of these "fellows" would only represent about 532 of those -- less than I thought, but about a third.

    On the university web site, they have bios and attractive pictures of the current people and a bunch of recent ex-fellows. It looks like most (but far from all) of the alumni have ladder positions somewhere.

    https://societyoffellows.uchicago.edu/directories/full/collegiate-fellows https://societyoffellows.uchicago.edu/directories/full/recent-alumni-fellows
    edited March 2018
    · Reply · Share
  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I bet the overall numbers are distorted a lot by the medical school, which will have a ton of people with faculty titles but not a tenure track. All the professional schools probably have a high number of non-tenure lecturers and adjuncts. I don't know what business schools or policy schools look like, but I know law schools and social service schools will have lots.
    · Reply · Share
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7044 replies24 threads Senior Member
    @JHS they break out the Med. School as a subgroup. There appear to be 1,025 tenure/tenure-track, including 810 clinical/BSD and 1,015 non-clinical. Then there are 1,018 "other faculty". Some of these presumably are "part-time" but not sure. Anyway here's the webpage:

    https://data.uchicago.edu/at_a_glance.php?cid=16&pid=2&sel=atg


    Both Huma and Sosc. instructors for D taught only one section in the winter.The Huma instructor is actually a "post-doctoral researcher and instructor" listed under "affiliate faculty" of the History department. That explains why D loved Huma - he's a historian - oh whoops make that "an historian". The Sosc. guy is a "Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences Division and a Lecturer in Political Science". Maybe if affiliated with a department you get a lighter teaching load and are doing even more research.

    I was mistaken earlier about European Civ. being taught just by history faculty, as it appears that a collegiate fellow teaches two sections while regular faculty teaches just one. European Civ is one of the teaching responsibilities of those applying to this type of fellowship (although on the website it's mismarked as a Sosc. course - it's currently a Hist. course that meets the Civ requirement).

    So, to recap: there are 35 collegiate fellows, some as-yet-uncounted number of post-doc teaching fellows and post-doc instructors, and then other lecturers of various full-time/part-time status. You are probably correct that "adjuncts" at the university are properly in the prof. schools - perhaps these are some of the the part-timers?

    So just to clarify, which of all these different classes of non-tenure-track instructors are the ones who are unionized and threatening to strike?
    · Reply · Share
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7044 replies24 threads Senior Member
    ^^Correction to #30: 1,825 tenure/tenure track, not 1,025.
    · Reply · Share
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7044 replies24 threads Senior Member
    To answer # 30, it appears that the collegiate fellows (AKA Harper-Schmidt fellows AKA Collegiate Assistant Professors) are a separate bargaining unit which ratified their own contact last fall, per the Maroon. This particular kerfuffle was with the full- and part-time lecturers, making up anywhere from 170 - 300 employees in a given quarter. It makes sense that these two groups are separate bargaining units as their job descriptions are different (even if they end up teaching some of the same courses).

    But - no matter because, at least for the time being, the strike was averted:

    https://www.chicagomaroon.com/article/2018/3/19/non-tenure-track-faculty-union-reaches-agreement-a/
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity