Dear Alma: If You’re “Auda DeLoop”

Dear Alma, The lecturers and research assistant professors in my department seem unusually happy this week. Is something special going on? Signed,  Auda DeLoop Dear Auda, Indeed — something is going on.  The UIUC full-time  non-tenure-track faculty (those with 51% or greater appointment) have filed for certification as a union. “Learning” and “Labor” are busting someContinue reading “Dear Alma: If You’re “Auda DeLoop””

Union cards submitted for Non-Tenure-Track faculty!

Today, non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, formally petitioned the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board for union representation. The union authorization cards, submitted from a majority of NTT faculty across campus (excluding Law and Veterinary Medicine as required by State law), point to a future that includes longer-term contracts, clear guidelines forContinue reading “Union cards submitted for Non-Tenure-Track faculty!”

Dear Alma| A “Friend of Mine” is Worried

Dear Alma, A friend of mine has been a full-time Research Associate Professor for twenty years. This year his appointment was reduced to less than full-time (0.90 appointment level).  Now he is afraid that the university might let his contract lapse next year without telling him in writing that he won’t have a job!  Can itContinue reading “Dear Alma| A “Friend of Mine” is Worried”

Raises in the UIC Union Contract: A Careful Look

A careful analysis of the raises in the faculty union contract at UIC shows that our colleagues in Chicago will make solid gains to their base salary: 6.75% over the past two years (2012-2014), and the campus salary program plus an additional 1% for next year (2014-15). Our analysis shows that the raise pool gainsContinue reading “Raises in the UIC Union Contract: A Careful Look”

Academic Freedom for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: A Union Makes a Difference

Who decides what academic freedom means for non-tenure-track faculty?  What options do non-tenure-track faculty have when they are evaluated on criteria other than their job performance? According to the Statutes of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees: The commitment of the University of Illinois to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality ofContinue reading “Academic Freedom for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: A Union Makes a Difference”

Dear Alma| “I Am as Shocked as You Are”

Dear Alma, Is it true that the President of the Board of Trustees thinks that non-tenure-track faculty are hourly employees, with no expectation of academic freedom?  Does Mr. Kennedy think he can fire whomever he pleases? Signed,  Shocked Dear Shocked, It is true.  I am as shocked  as you are, because those words have aContinue reading “Dear Alma| “I Am as Shocked as You Are””

Academic Freedom and Shared Governance: Support James Kilgore

Dear Colleagues, I am writing you to ask you to sign a petition in support of Dr. James Kilgore. James has been working as an adjunct faculty member in Global Studies and in the College of Fine and Applied Arts.  When he was hired to teach, James informed the University that he had served timeContinue reading “Academic Freedom and Shared Governance: Support James Kilgore”

Dear Alma | Scarey Hypothetical

Dear Alma, If we have a union, what’s to keep departments from reducing everyone from full time to part time? Signed, Wondering Dear Wondering, Alma can’t recall in her 85 years ever hearing of a university administration reckless or stupid enough to convert its entire NTT faculty to part-time, especially to thwart the formation ofContinue reading “Dear Alma | Scarey Hypothetical”

Dear Alma| “Should”, “Shall” and “Will”

Dear Alma, I’m an NTT teaching writing, and I could use some help with a lesson on the conditional mode  for my students.  Can you give me a good example of the differences between “should,” shall” and “will”?   Thanks, Alma! Stumped Dear Stumped, I should understand what you’re talking about. I shall support the NTTContinue reading “Dear Alma| “Should”, “Shall” and “Will””

Dear Alma | Help for “Frightened” and “Redecorating”

Dear Alma, I am a lecturer who supports the union of non-tenure-track faculty at UIUC, but I’m frightened that my decision might cost me my job. Can my colleagues and I be disciplined for talking about a union at work? Signed, Frightened in Freer Dear Frightened, The answer is No. You and your colleagues haveContinue reading “Dear Alma | Help for “Frightened” and “Redecorating””