HEY NED! What Good Colleges Do: Multi-Year Contracts for Adjuncts

Hey Ned (current Governor of Connecticut/Hartford Mansion dweller)!

Hope this finds you well, and in deep introspection following yesterday’s first edition of “Hey Ned!“. Today, we want to speak briefly (we know your time comes at a premium—we didn’t even get to see you when we dropped by the mansion a few weeks back!) about adjuncts, who as you know do the majority of the teaching at colleges in America for a fraction of the pay, plus no benefits, and little respect. It’s hard to be treated like a second-class citizen by your state, while trying to give students the best education possible.

So, today Ned, we’d like to highlight contracts, which in the CSCU system are given out semester to semester to adjuncts, giving us no job security and less dignity. Many systems offer one-, two-, and three-year contracts to their contingent faculty, even the CUNY system that recently employed your man Terrence Cheng:

Under the agreement, professors on these multiyear appointments may only be terminated for just cause. They’re also eligible for the same health-care benefits — including vision and dental — available to full-time faculty members and other New York City employees.

Professors who get on the three-year track may have “every expectation” to be reappointed at the end of their term, Bowen said. “This is a breakthrough. It’s not everything we hoped for, but it’s huge.”

To be eligible for a three-year appointment, adjuncts must have taught for at least six contact hours (typically two courses) per semester within the same department for the 10 previous semesters, consecutively. 

The appointment provides the assurance of at least six contact hours of work per semester, or its equivalent. So if for some reason the department can’t meet that commitment in terms of courses, the adjunct will perform other duties for which they are qualified.

Inside HigherEd

Woah, Neddy! See that!? The contract even includes benefits! Just like “real” employees. Ask President Cheng to call his old colleagues at CUNY and borrow the framework of this excellent contract provision, get it to the BOR, and let’s continue to build a world-class community college system for Connecticut!

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