Dear Alma | Confused By Posters ?

Dear Alma, Suddenly, posters appeared in our departmental mail room saying that the American Federation of Teachers has submitted a “majority interest petition” to represent full-time non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty in a union. But I thought the CFA was organizing a union. Are you guys competing with each other, working together, or what? Confused? Dear Conn,Continue reading “Dear Alma | Confused By Posters ?”

Dear Alma| On Excessive Secrecy

Dear Alma, When a scholar interviews for a job in my department, all the faculty can meet her, read her work and give feedback to the hiring committee. So why is the search for our new President so top secret? Isn’t that search more important than for a mere faculty member? Signed, Jess Sayan DearContinue reading “Dear Alma| On Excessive Secrecy”

Dear Alma| What Happens Next?

Dear Alma – That was big news last week about the non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty filing cards!  What’s up now?  Are we a union yet? Impatient! Dear Impatient, Yes, that was big news. Now the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board will examine the signed union cards, and compare the signatures with a full list of NTTContinue reading “Dear Alma| What Happens Next?”

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””

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”

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””

Dear Alma| Strange Things Happening

Dear Alma, I’m  amazed at the confusion of the anti-unionists on campus.  First they say that a faculty union is going to destroy shared governance and the Senate – then, when they see the UI Chicago contract,  they say they’re thrilled and reassured to see that it affirms the University statutes and upholds the traditionalContinue reading “Dear Alma| Strange Things Happening”

Dear Alma| On Academic Freedom and Due Process

Dear Alma, What due process protections does the University offer to non-tenure-track faculty?  Can an NTT be fired for reasons that have nothing to do with job performance or departmental planning? Signed, Specialized Faculty. Dear SpeshFac, Alma took a thorough look at the Provost’s new Communication #25, on the treatment of non-tenure-track “specialized faculty.”   ItContinue reading “Dear Alma| On Academic Freedom and Due Process”

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| More Help for “Scared”

Dear Alma, You answered me about union membership (March 29, 2014), but “fair share” dues still seem so unfair. Do I really hafta? Signed, Still Scared of Jimmy Hoffa.   Dear Still Scared, The law requires the union to represent you and all other members of the bargaining unit fairly and to pursue your rights through the grievanceContinue reading “Dear Alma| More Help for “Scared””

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””