NEWSLETTER OF THE UMKC CHAPTER OF THE
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS
Vol. 2, No. 4
Missouri Legislature Attacks Academic Freedom, by Patricia Brodsky
UMKC-AAUP Statement of Support
UMKC Senate Resolution
The Rise and Decline of Faculty Governance in the College of Arts and Sciences, by T. F. Thomas
PRIDE Encroaches on Faculty Governance, by Susan Adler
UMKC-AAUP E-Com urges College to Address the Role of Non-regular Faculty in Governance
Food for Thought, by Pat Brodsky
Muddying the Waters: the Senate Election and Reasserting Independent Faculty Self-Governance, by Patricia Brodsky
Public Debate on the Condition of Part-time Faculty, by David Brodsky
Charles Hammer Reply to Steven Ballard
Petroske Letter to KC Star
Opinion Column for KC Star, by Beth Huber and Stuart McAninch
Annual Meeting of the Missouri State Conference of AAUP
Corporatization, Its Discontents and the Renewal of Academic Citizenship, by Richard Moser
Three Forums Round Out the Year for Successful Series
News of the Chapter
Education for Democracy Network News
New York Times Editorial: Protect Public Universities from Corporate Influence
Education Workshop at International Conference against Deregulation and Privatization
AAUP Dues Information
The April 2002 Faculty Advocate is a special double issue, to accommodate reports on accelerating crises occuring since the February newsletter, primarily threats to academic freedom and faculty governance. It also chronicles the Chapter's burgeoning proactive work: sponsorship of public events, participation in local, regional and national meetings, publications, and a grant. Here is something you can chew on over the summer.--Ed.
Missouri Legislature Attacks Academic Freedom
by Patricia Brodsky
The first most of us knew about the controversy over Political Science Professor Harris Mirkin's research came with an article in the April 1 issue of the Kansas City Star. The Star's education correspondent, Lynn Franey, reported that Mirkin had been receiving threatening phone calls and e-mails in response to statements he had made in scholarly publications concerning pedophilia, in particular in an article published in 1999 in the Journal of Homosexuality. In his research Mirkin asserts that differences do exist between cases of adult-child sexual contact, depending, among other things, on the age of the child involved and the era and culture in which the event takes place. Franey pointed out that Mirkin is not alone in his field in insisting on a more nuanced discussion of the issues.
The immediate larger context for this outpouring of aggression against Professor Mirkin is the child abuse scandal in which the Catholic Church has been embroiled in recent weeks. An environment of outrage short-circuits rationality and encourages lashing out at dissenters. The very fact that Mirkin does scholarly research into questions such as child pornography, homosexuality, and pedophilia was misinterpreted as advocacy--as if studying a subject automatically implied approval, or conversely, as if ignoring it would make it go away. This kind of "reasoning" completely, and conveniently, misses the point of what a University is all about.
The controversy escalated on Wednesday, April 3, as members of the Missouri House of Representatives singled Mirkin out for condemnation. In the context of deliberations on the University budget, House members engaged in a heated discussion of the merits of Mirkin's research. Several members demanded he be disciplined or asked for his resignation, on the premise that he was advocating illegal and "repugnant" acts. Only one member (Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson from Columbia) spoke out in defense of Mirkin's right to free speech and pointed out that his statements had been taken out of context.
By law the House cannot call for the dismissal of a state employee. But having vented its ire, by a vote of 102-29 the membership went on to cut $100,000 from the University budget, supposedly to represent Mirkin's salary. "I wish," Mirkin responded, noting that he makes nowhere near $100,000. UMKC professor Jakob Waterborg later pointed out that since the state does not pay 100% of our salaries in any case, $100,000 was not even an accurate symbol. The House decision also included other cuts to the University System budget amounting to $620,000, as punishment for policies or behavior on the MU and UMSL campuses of which the House disapproved.
After several weeks of deliberation, on April 24 the Missouri Senate demonstrated that it was as willing as the House to ignore principles of academic freedom and free speech. In a 19-12 vote, the Senators called for a $100,000 budget cut, and once again Mirkin's research was at the center of the debate. Echoing the pontifications of his colleagues in the House, Senator John Loudon (R-St. Louis County), who proposed the cut, declared that Mirkin's articles were a "perverse and dangerous attempt to make our children prey." Mirkin is "'not some Berkeley professor. It's someone from the heartland' using the state's flagship university to promote disgusting views, Loudon said" (KC Star , April 26, 2002, p. A 14).
It is significant that the Senate restored $620,000 of the House budget, thus implicitly defusing House attacks on UM Columbia and UMSL, which were the pretexts for cutting this amount. At press time the budget was on its way to conference committees for resolution. But it seems clear that unless the Governor vetos the appropriations bill, the University is going to be poorer by $100,000.
Campus and UM system responses to Mirkin Case
News of the House vote reached Kansas City and the UMKC community in the April 4 Star. Statements defending Professor Mirkin and the principle of academic freedom were immediately forthcoming, from both the campus and outside the University, including former students, faculty in other states, and the Star editorial page. The Faculty Senate met in emergency session on Thursday afternoon and passed a unanimous resolution of support. The UMKC AAUP chapter circulated a statement in defense of academic freedom and urged members to contact politicians and University administrators protesting the attack. Both statements (included below) were also distributed to members of the national Education for Democracy Network.
Chancellor Gilliland, President Pacheco, and the UM Board of Curators likewise issued statements. While distancing herself from Mirkin's research, Gilliland concluded, "The University of Missouri-Kansas City supports the fundamental principles of a free and open society. Among these principles are the right to independent thought, the right to criticize, and the right to hold unpopular views."
In a letter to the UMKC Faculty Senate, Pacheco wrote: "I have tried to make the distinction between personal views about the issues and the right and responsibility of faculty to conduct their research unfettered by political or unpopular considerations. Unfortunately, that distinction is not often made by legislators and many of the citizens of the state. It is difficult for many to understand that everything is always open to both discussion and research. Please thank your colleagues for their expressions of support for this basic tenet of academic freedom."
John A. Mathes, President of the UM Board of Curators, wrote to the Secretary of the UMKC-AAUP chapter on April 19: "The Board of Curators is in receipt of your correspondence dated April 8, 2002. We appreciate the UMKC Chapter of the American Association of University Professors' statement on academic freedom and freedom of speech."
Unfortunately, because the mass media declined to publish or air any of these statements, the public at large and their elected officials remained unaware of public support for Professor Mirkin and the principle of academic freedom. Likewise, the NBC TV affiliate in Kansas City, KSHB-41, never aired an interview with Pat Brodsky, Harris Mirkin, and two opponents, which it arranged on its own initiative and taped on April 8. As an AAUP spokesperson, Pat Brodsky focussed on the issue of academic freedom.
The many interviews the media did with Harris Mirkin himself were a good sign. But to be effective, the voice of a single person must be supplemented by numerous other voices indicating a public consensus. If those voices are denied a broad public hearing, the public consensus remains invisible, as if it never existed. Thus the Missouri Senate, for example, could proceed with its punitive vote, unimpeded by knowledge of the alternative view.
The Larger Picture
The Missouri House attack on Harris Mirkin and on academic freedom attracted the attention of national news media.
There were numerous radio and TV interviews, and newspapers from both coasts covered the story. Many people recognized immediately the significance of the attack for writers, teachers and researchers all over the US. At press time, media response to the Senate attacks is as yet unknown.
The assault on academic freedom in Missouri is part of a larger national pattern of violations of freedom of speech. Particularly since 9/11 academics and others have been censored or disciplined because they expressed unpopular or critical views. At the University of South Florida Computer Science Professor Sami Al-Arian has been harrassed for a number of years because of his outspoken positions on Palestine. Most recently, after an appearance on the right-wing talk show, "The O'Reilly Factor," which was disseminated widely through right-wing internet groups, he was suspended from teaching and threatened with dismissal (in violation of his tenure).
The official reason was that Al-Arian's presence on the USF campus was a threat to campus security. The real reason was a well-coordinated right-wing pressure campaign, in which Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, concurred. Later, O'Reilly himself publicly regretted his own remarks and declared his opposition to dismissing Al-Arian. But the damage was done, and his regrets came too late to deter the USF Board of Trustees. In the current climate of opinion, which is hostile to thought outside the political mainstream, groups with various religious right agendas have also felt encouraged to renew their "moral" attacks as well, as in Mirkin's case. Such assaults are very real threats to civil liberties.
The many strong statements made in defense of academic freedom and civil liberties have been gratifying. As Mirkin remarked at an Arts and Sciences faculty meeting on April 9, it makes him proud to be a university professor. But even had the Missouri Senate not added fuel to the anti-Mirkin campaign, we could not relax, nor assume that this attack is an exception, or will be the last. The lines have been drawn. We are clearly being targeted. We must remain alert to the anti-intellectual and vindictive forces in our society, and be prepared to counter them each time. We also need to educate the community about the meaning of academic freedom and show the public that, in our exercise of it, we are protecting their free speech as well.
Sources: Lynn Franey, "Scholar's Views on Pedophila Rile Many," KC Star (April 1, 2002), p. B1; Kit Wagar, "Professor's writings draw lawmakers' ire," KC Star (April 4, 2002); "A Legislative Tantrum" (editorial), KC Star (April 8, 2002), p. B4; and Kit Wagar, "Missouri Senate trims university budget over pedophilia article," KC Star (April 26, 2002), p. A14.
UMKC-AAUP Statement of Support
The official handbook of the American Association of University Professors, AAUP Policy Documents and Reports (1995 ed.) states: "Freedom of thought and expression is essential to any institution of higher learning. Universities and colleges exist not only to transmit knowledge. Equally, they interpret, explore and expand that knowledge by testing the old and proposing the new.... Views will be expressed that may seem to many wrong, distasteful, or offensive. Such is the nature of freedom to sift and winnow ideas" (p.37). A University professor also possesses the right to freedom of speech as provided under the First Amendment.
We, the members of the AAUP Chapter of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, protest in the strongest possible terms public statements by certain members of the Missouri House of Representatives which attempt to censor and intimidate Professor Harris Mirkin, and the punitive vote by the House based on these statements severely reducing funding to the University. Such actions constitute a reprehensible attack on the principles of academic freedom, freedom of speech, and the integrity and probity of university faculty. They affect not only Professor Mirkin but all his colleagues at UMKC and all faculty in the University of Missouri system, at other Missouri schools, and throughout the U.S.
We urge that all those whose responsibility it is to protect academic freedom and freedom of speech, including Chancellor Gilliland, the Curators of the UM system, President Pacheco, and elected officials in and from the state of Missouri, join us by issuing strong public statements in defense of these principles.
UMKC Senate Resolution
We, the Faculty Senate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, deplore the attempt of the Missouri House of Representatives to reduce funding to the University because of articles authored by Professor Harris Mirkin. Open and free exchange of ideas, even controversial ones, is a fundamental tenet of all universities.
Affirming this principle, the University of Missouri Board of Curators has stated in its Collected Rules and Regulations (310.010): Institutions of higher education are established and maintained for the common good, which depends upon the free search for truth and its free expression. Academic freedom is essential for these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. The same themes are reflected in UMKC's core values which "encourage free, honest and candid communication" and "foster academic and intellectual freedom." We strongly support Professor Mirkin's right as a scholar to express his views and find reprehensible the attempt by the Missouri House of Representatives to stifle academic freedom.
The Rise and Decline of Faculty Governance in the College of Arts and Sciences
By T. F. Thomas
At the November 10, 1998 meeting of the College of Arts and Sciences the faculty after extended discussion adopted three resolutions directed to then Chancellor Eleanor Schwartz. They called for: (1) a reorganization of the campus's administrative structure, including the creation of the position of chief academic officer [Provost]; (2) a re-examination of projects for campus expansion [in response to controversial plans for demolition of houses south of 53rd St. in order to build a temporary parking lot]; and (3) provision of working audio-visual equipment in all classrooms, retention of four floors in the Spencer Chemistry Building for use by the Department of Chemistry, and retention and renovation of the buildings at 4747 Troost and 4825 Troost [which were reportedly scheduled for demolition].
A common theme to all the motions was that the campus administration had failed to seek meaningful faculty input on matters which vitally affected them and their students. After the elected chair of the faculty, Prof. Timothy Richards, presented these resolutions to the Chancellor and her response was considered to be inadequate, the faculty at its December meeting voted to put a motion of "no confidence" in the Chancellor and her Vice Chancellors on the agenda for the next regular meeting in February, 1999. The Chancellor was to be invited to attend the meeting to present a defense before a vote would be taken.
However, to the surprise of many faculty, the Chancellor and her Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs resigned before the meeting occurred. An interim Provost was appointed in June 1999, followed two years later by a permanent one. The two buildings on Troost still stand, as do the houses south of 53 St. But the motion to retain the Chemistry Department's space in the Spencer Chemistry Building failed to attain most of its objectives. Only the teaching labs on the second and third floors and several research labs on the first floor were retained.
In contrast to the apparent triumph of faculty good sense over administrative incompetence reflected in the above capsule history are the recent meetings of the faculty of the A&S College. At its February 2002 meeting the faculty adopted a new set of bylaws, which, among other things, deleted the detailed procedures for triennial review of Department chairs by their faculty, added a quorum requirement which will likely prevent the faculty from acting on any motions--given the typical attendance at the six monthly meetings--and changed the election procedure to one that potentially empowers the existing Steering Committee1 (dominated at the moment by former deans, associate deans, and Department chairs) to become a self-perpetuating governance body.
For example, the March meeting of the A&S Faculty, scheduled during spring break, contrary to the statement in both old and new bylaws that meetings should be on the second "working" [not calendar] Tuesday of each month, was attended by only six faculty. At its April meeting attendance was much larger, but still below the new quorum requirement. Thus the new election procedure, which requires nominations from the floor for candidates for faculty officers, could not be followed. Although "suggestions" were made for candidates for a number of faculty offices, the Steering Committee is empowered under the new bylaws to pick its own candidates to fill the remaining slots for all offices.2
The previous bylaws of the A&S College, adopted in the late 1960's to replace an advisory committee appointed by the Dean and consulted whenever he felt so inclined, called for a nomination ballot distributed by mail, followed by an election ballot sent out in a subsequent mailing. The procedure may have become cumbersome, but it had the advantage of giving all faculty the opportunity to participate in the nomination and election process. None were excluded due to scheduling conflicts (teaching assignments or other obligations) preventing them from attending faculty meetings. The new process, as indicated above, is likely to result in control of meeting agendas and committee activity by a small, non-representative group of faculty.
The position of department chair in the A&S College is a very powerful one, although the actual power exercised varies. In some departments the chair determines the annual raises (if ratified by the Dean), sets the agenda at faculty meetings, decides final teaching assignments, makes the hiring and firing decisions for staff, graduate teaching assistantships, and part-time faculty, and controls the budget (which can be of crucial importance to faculty doing laboratory research). Thus the deletion in the new bylaws of "Article XI. Rules for Retention and Selection of Departmental Chairpersons" drastically reduces the role of individual faculty in decision-making at the departmental level, and makes them much more subject to retribution in the case of a dispute with their departmental chair.
Since one of the arguments made at a recent college faculty meeting to defend the deletion of this article was that there already is a similar procedure in the university's regulations, both Article XI from the previous bylaws and the relevant sections from the university's Governing Practices are reproduced below for comparison. Clearly such key components as the triennial vote of confidence in the chair and the requirement that the procedures for selection and retention be determined by a majority of the departmental faculty are missing from the vague statements in the university's "Governing Practices."
Another justification for the deletion of Article XI stated at a recent faculty meeting was that it was "irrelevant" because the current interim dean and his predecessor had ignored the Article in any case. That may be true, at least for some departmental chairs, but for the preceding two decades or more deans of the College had generally followed its provisions.
In order to reverse the loss of faculty role in governing the A&S College, the faculty of the College must quickly revise the newly adopted bylaws by:
1) Removing the new quorum requirement.Further, the faculty need to pay particular attention to the election ballot which they should be receiving shortly. If no candidates known to take seriously the role of faculty in governing the College are listed for an office, you should write in the name of a suitable candidate.
2) Restoring the previous provision for nominations, as well as elections, by mail ballot. Paragraph 5 of Article Six in the new bylaws which mandates the Steering Committee itself to make nominations (especially for its own membership), should be removed.
3) Article XI of the previous bylaws, or the equivalent, should be added to the new bylaws.
Finally, all faculty need to make an effort to attend the last meeting of the current academic year and the first meetings next fall--both to initiate the changes in the bylaws listed above and to demonstrate support for the role the faculty should play in shaping this institution, to which we are all dedicating most of our lives.
1 The Steering Committee consists of nine faculty members elected from the three divisions of the College to staggered three year terms, plus the chair of the faculty and the secretary of the faculty, which are also elected positions. It sets the agendas for the six monthly meetings of the faculty, appoints ad-hoc committees, develops policy recommendations to the faculty, and communicates the views of the faculty to the administration.
2 Offices to be filled in this year's election include: Chair of the Faculty, Vice-Chair/Secretary of the Faculty, three members each of the Steering Committee, the Curriculum Committee, and the Academic Standards Committee, and one member each of the Rules Committee and the Budget Committee.
Tim Thomas is Professor of Chemistry and Vice President/ Treasurer of the UMKC-AAUP.
Appendix 1: Governing Practices of the University of Missouri Kansas City, Section 300.020E.3.e.
Selection of Department Chairmen, School Division Chairmen and Directors--As a general policy, the Dean shall recommend appointment or replacement of a department Chairman, school division Chairman, or Director only after consultation with the Faculty of the department, subdivision or sub-unit concerned. This consultation procedure shall not abrogate the final responsibility and authority of the Dean to recommend the appointment or replacement of a department Chairman, school division Chairman, or Director.
Appendix 2: Governing Practices of the University of Missouri Kansas City, Section 300.020E.3.f
Evaluation of Academic and Professional Administrators-- The voting Faculty of each school shall participate in the regular evaluation of their academic and professional administrators.
Appendix 3: Faculty Bylaws of the University of Missouri Kansas City, Revised 12/10/1991, Article XI.
Rules for Retention and Selection of Departmental Chairs
1. The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences shall use the following consultation procedure in selecting Chairpersons for the various College departments.
2. When a vacancy occurs, or a replacement of the department chairperson is desired by the Dean or by a majority of the full-time faculty members of the department, the Dean shall request that a committee of departmental faculty, acting with the consent of a majority of the full-time faculty members of the department, identify and recommend candidates for his or her consideration.
3. The Dean will recommend the new chairperson from a slate of nominees (or a single nominee) selected by majority vote of the full-time voting members of the department. A committee of departmental faculty, acting with the consent of a majority of the full-time faculty members of the department, shall forward names of nominees to the Dean along with all pertinent data that may assist the Dean in formalizing this appointment. This report will also include recommendations of consulting faculty in related fields, if such faculty have participated in the search process, and if such recommendations are requested by either the Dean or the department. Information contained in the department's recommendation shall also be made available to the full-time faculty of the department, so that any individual member who so desires may communicate privately with the Dean, at his or her initiative or upon the Dean's request, their views on the department's recommendation. Should the Dean reject the entire slate of nominees, reasons must be given by the Dean for the rejection of each nominee. If the entire slate of nominees is rejected, the Dean will request that the department resubmit a slate.
4. The Dean of the College will institute a formal review of each chairperson in the College every three years. The review will begin 30 (thirty) calendar months after the chairperson's appontment (or last re-appointment). Individual departments will be responsible for developing and conducting review procedures. However, department review procedures must include the following: (1) Provision for each member of the department to communicate confidentially with the Dean concerning the chairperson; and (2) A vote of confidence. A full report of the results of the Department Chair review will be provided to each participating faculty member within 30 days of the completion of the review process.
5. The Dean of the College will be asked to institute a vote of confidence on a departmental chairperson if one-half of the full-time voting members of the department not including the chairperson so desire. The Dean will be asked to institute the procedure for selection of a new chairperson for any department whose chairperson fails to receive an affirmative vote of at least a majority of the full-time voting members of the department, not including the chairperson.
PRIDE Encroaches on Faculty
Faculty Committee Expresses Concern, Demands Answers
by Susan Adler
In the fall of 2001 members of the PRIDE (Blueprint) Committee began an examination of issues surrounding faculty rewards. This inquiry led a PRIDE sub-committee to focus on promotion and tenure. Late in the fall semester they released a working document with recommendations for promotion and tenure. These guidelines were an effort, based in part on the work of Ernest Boyer, to recognize the diverse talents and activities of faculty in the promotion and tenure process.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure was hard at work doing its annual review of applicants. (This is a campus-wide committee composed of representatives from each of the Schools and Colleges; its function is to review all applications for Promotion and Tenure on campus and to make recommendations to the Chancellor.) The members of that committee were surprised to learn that the work of the PRIDE committee had gone on without our knowledge, and certainly without our input. On December 4, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee passed a resolution expressing concern with the process by which new P&T criteria were being developed. We sent a memorandum to Provost Ballard stating that the promotion and tenure decisions involve academic affairs and urging that the process of revising promotion and tenure criteria should be under the direction of Academic Affairs and the Provost, rather than the Blueprint process. We further urged that any committee involved in the development of new promotion and tenure criteria should have broad representation from the regular faculty of all academic units, department chairs, deans, directors and the Chancellor's Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee.
Our concerns were explicitly with the process by which new criteria were emerging, rather than the criteria themselves. In fact, we wrote that our concern should not be interpreted as criticism of the recommendations of the PRIDE committee.
On December 11, members of the P&T committee received a memo from Larry Kaptain, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs, inviting us to attend the January meeting of the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE), which would include sessions on promotion and tenure. The Office of the Provost was offering partial support for seven people to attend the meeting in Phoenix. No response was made to our concern about the process. On January 7, 2002, the P&T committee received a letter from Provost Ballard, thanking us for our work in reviewing P&T files, and indicating that he was attracted to the idea of a Provost's committee to improve promotion and tenure on a campus-wide basis. Provost Ballard went on to say that he was not convinced that the work of the PRIDE committee conflicted with the goal of ensuring that tenure and promotion review is well done. He assured us that conclusions from PRIDE will receive thorough review by this office.
Members of the P&T committee were also invited to a breakfast meeting with Brian Coppola on March 25 for discussion regarding his views on promotion and tenure. Coppola is a faculty member from Eastern Michigan University who was on campus to make a presentation in an open meeting about the ways in which his institution had revised their P&T expectations. There has, however, been no further discussion of the formation of a committee working through Academic Affairs, broadly representative of regular faculty. The P&T Committee has, once again, expressed concern with the process to the provost. This is an important issue of faculty governance; we are still awaiting a response from Provost Ballard.
For more on the PRIDE committee see "A Matter of PRIDE," Faculty Advocate 2.3 (February 2002) --Ed.
Susan Adler is Associate Professor in the School of Education, and At-large Representative for the AAUP.
UMKC-AAUP Urges College to Address Role of Non-regular Faculty in Governance
After discussion at the March 28 membership meeting, the AAUP Chapter Executive Committee drafted the following statement in support of Fred Lee's efforts to open a dialogue within the College of Arts and Sciences about faculty identity, rights, and roles.
Background and Rationale
In discussing the role of non-regular faculty (non-tenure track, whether part-time or full-time), AAUP Policy Documents & Reports ("Red Book") states:
"a sense of professionalism is derived from the significant role faculty members play in governing academic departments and in the governance of institutions of higher learning. Without access to the governing bodies, a faculty member's sense of professionalism is impaired, to the potential detriment of the quality of the educational process in which he or she is involved.
Universities and colleges should recognize that participation in academic governance is likely to enhance a faculty member's sense of professionalism and elicit a higher quality of performance than can otherwise be expected. Moreover, the institution would benefit from the part-timer's contributions" (p. 56).
The Red Book further recommends that these faculty be involved in decisions that "impinge on ... matters relative to courses taught by part-time faculty," and "should serve as participating members on such committees" (p. 57). It also recommends that non-regular faculty have access to regular grievance procedures and be represented on grievance committees pertaining to non-regular faculty.
The National [AAUP] clearly considers non-tenure-track teachers to be "faculty" and supports their limited participation in governance. In line with this principle the Executive Committee of the UMKC Chapter of the AAUP urges the College of Arts and Sciences to engage in a serious discussion of its definition of "faculty," and to consider ways in which persons with non-regular academic appointments can be included in faculty governance."
Food for Thought
by Pat Brodsky
Since the last issue of The Faculty Advocate, a number of attempts to undermine the principle of faculty governance have taken place. Several examples are presented below. While they indicate a disturbing and continuing trend, the faculty is alert to the necessity of defending itself and has begun to work together to protect its rights (see also the following article on Senate elections).
1. Show and Tell: or, Where has all the Money Gone?
Everyone is by now abundantly aware of the budget crisis in higher education in Missouri, at least in general outline, particularly the "bottom line:" that there will be no salary increases in 2002-03, except for promotions. Budget workshops offered by the Administration over the past few months have given faculty the opportunity of demanding hard answers about specifics. At the "All-Faculty Meeting" of the Senate on April 2, UMKC faculty, through carefully researched and plainly worded questions, challenged the administration to explain discrepancies between the cuts demanded by the governor and the amounts cut from UMKC units. Administration responses were in some ways astonishing, in others, depressingly familiar.
A flyer was distributed at the meeting with a timeline showing state budget initiatives, the UM system response, and UMKC actions on each of three occasions. Questions based on these data were then posed to the Chancellor. Although the data had been presented to the Senate by representatives of the Administration, Chancellor Gilliland's first response, after attempting to dismiss the questions as a personal attack upon herself, was that the "sheet of paper" was "totally untrue." Later she reversed herself and said that the data were correct but the interpretation was wrong. Beyond this, the answers provided by her and the Provost offered nothing new and simply repeated official statements of the past several months.
For the benefit of those who did not attend--and since no satisfactory answers have yet been given--a summary of information from the flyer follows.
1. In July 2001 the Governor requested 5% be withheld from the University budget. The UM System absorbed the cut by not funding proposed programs. There were no cuts to the campuses. At UMKC, the Administration reduced the unit budgets by 3% (approximately $5.8M) to fund the campus reserve.In summary, for FY 2002 and 2003, UMKC lost $1.65M of recurring state funding, but the units lost $15.8M of recurring funds to the UMKC administration.
2. In January 2002 Governor Holden withheld $1.65M from UMKC, equalling 2% of state funding, or 1% of the operating budget. The UM System took no action and UMKC lost $1.65M. The UMKC administration reduced the unit budgets by approximately $6M, or 3.6% of the operating budget.
3. In April 2002 there was no further request for cuts from the Governor. The System anticipated about 3% additional withholding, and responded by extending the deferral of funding, eliminating salary increases, and increasing tuition. There was no loss of existing UMKC funds. Nevertheless, the UMKC Administration then reduced unit budgets an additional 2.4% ($4M) for FY 2003.
Faculty are invited to draw their own conclusions. If anyone is able to get a straight and convincing answer from the administration, please share it with the rest of us.
2. A&S Bylaws: Going One Step Farther
Professor Tim Thomas, in discussing the deletion from the new Arts and Sciences Bylaws of all policies concerning the selection and review of Chairs (see p. 3), correctly regards this omission as a serious matter that leaves a potentially dangerous loophole in a crucial area of faculty governance. However, I think we can do better than merely reinstating Article XI unchanged, which has the serious flaw of placing inappropriate decision making power in the hands of the Dean. The article reads in part, "Should the Dean reject the [department's] entire slate of nominees, reasons must be given by the Dean for the rejection of each nominee. If the entire slate of nominees is rejected, the Dean will request that the department resubmit a slate."
This is like saying "keep voting until you get it right." The Dean should not be permitted to "reject the entire slate of nominees." The decision about who is to lead a department should be made by the faculty of that department. The faculty will have to work closely with that person, and it is the best informed on the needs of its specific unit. As AAUP guidelines state, the administration should "concur with the faculty judgment except in rare instances and for compelling reasons which should be stated in detail." (p. 184).
The faculty of the College should draw up and adopt as soon as possible an improved version of Article XI, which clearly and unequivocally mandates faculty authority in the hiring and evaluation of chairpersons. Each unit should develop procedures for selection, evaluation, and retention of its chair, and these procedures should be binding. Indeed, though this suggestion was made at the A&S meeting at which the new bylaws were initially discussed, nothing has emerged from that discussion. But this is a pressing issue that needs immediate attention.
Muddying the Waters: the Senate Election and Reasserting Independent Faculty Self-Governance
by Patricia Brodsky
Several issues involving threats to our integrity as a faculty have arisen surrounding the elections for the Faculty Senate just completed.
On April 5 an e-mail message was sent to members of the Chancellor's Extended Cabinet. Signed by two full-time teaching faculty members and an administrator (Lora Lacey-Haun, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, School of Nursing), the message was a campaign promotion for Kathleen Schweitzberger, one of the two candidates for Chair of the Senate. Without in any way criticizing Ms. Schweitzberger or taking any position in that election, many faculty regard the message as disturbing because it constitutes administrative interference in a faculty election.
Another episode in the election saga occured on April 12, when all faculty received an e-mail from the Chancellor stating she had just voted in the election, and promising to make the Chair of the Senate a member of her Extended Cabinet if over 50% of the faculty vote in the elections. Two issues are at stake here: the right of administrators to vote in faculty elections, and administrative interference in the electoral process.
AAUP guidelines on shared governance
In order to better understand these issues, a glance at AAUP guidelines on shared governance is in order. The chief criterion of shared governance, according to AAUP Policy Documents & Reports (1995) (hereafter referred to as "AAUP Documents ") is "initiating capacity and decision-making participation of all institutional components" (p. 180). One of the main institutional components is the faculty.
Allocation of authority and responsibilities, continues AAUP Documents, is the foundation of an institution's system of governance. "Operating responsibility and authority ... should be clearly defined in official regulations" (p. 180). "Allocation of authority to the faculty in areas of its responsibility is a necessary condition for the faculty's possessing that dignity and exercising that independence [emphasis PB]" (p. 188).
The faculty exercise their authority to initiate and make decisions through their own independent self-governing bodies. "Agencies for faculty participation in the government of the college or university should be established at each level where faculty responsibility is present. An agency should exist for the presentation of the views of the whole faculty.... Faculty representatives should be selected by the faculty according to procedures determined by the faculty" (p. 184).
Thus "the faculty's voice should be authoritative across the entire range of decision making that bears, whether directly or indirectly, on its responsibilities" (p. 187). Crucially, "allocation of authority to the faculty in the areas of its responsibility is a necessary condition for the protection of academic freedom within the institution.... the issue emerges most clearly in the case of authority over faculty status [emphasis PB]" (p. 188).
Finally, "the academic freedom of faculty members includes the freedom to express their views ... on matters having to do with their institution and its policies,... and to do so even if their views are in conflict with one or another received widsom" (p. 188). "In the case of ... institutional matters, grounds for thinking an institutional policy desirable or undesirable must be heard and assessed if the community is to have confidence that its policies are appropriate" (p. 188). "An inadequate governance system ... compromises the conditions in which academic freedom is likely to thrive" (p. 189).
Opposing Extension of the Administrative Monopoly to Faculty Self-Governing Bodies
Concerning the issue of the eligibility of administrators to vote in elections for the Faculty Senate, many faculty contacted Senator Ellen Suni, who acts as parliamentarian, requesting a clarification. According to Professor Suni, who cited the Collected Rules and Regulations 300.020(C) and 300.020(F), faculty eligible to serve on the Senate must have a "faculty appointment with less than half-time administrative responsibilities," but anyone with a "regular academic appointment" or who has been determined "eligible ... by the schools, to vote in the schools," can vote in campus elections.
The main problem is the blurred distinction between faculty and administration, and between faculty and administrative governance bodies. Several decades ago the working model of collegiality and shared governance was generally honored, at least to a certain extent, at US institutions of higher education. Administrators generally were chosen by, came from, and returned to the ranks of the faculty at their own institutions, everyone in an institution was assumed to have a broad range of similar interests, and the distinctions between faculty and administration were in practice much less sharp than they are today.
Today's administrative practice, on the contrary, exhibits a clear separation of interests, in which the administration expects to retain a monopoly on budget information and the power to make major institutional decisions. Faculty opinion, advice, consent, decision-making power, and allocated responsibilities in shared governance are treated as incidental, or as illegitimate, or as obstacles, or they are simply ignored.
The definition of "faculty" in the Collected Rules and Regulations is much broader when determining eligibility to vote than in determining eligibility to stand for office. The inclusion of many administrators--those whose appointment comprises 50% or more administrative duties--in the definition of faculty for voting purposes is very likely a product of a time when distinctions between faculty and administration were less sharp in practice.
Since today's administrative practice claims a monopoly on governance, it makes no sense to extend the administrative monopoly into faculty self-governing bodies. To do so would vitiate their independence and reduce them to mouthpieces for administrative policy, incapable of formulating independent views representing faculty opinion, and unable to act on those views.
To repeat AAUP guidelines, "allocation of authority to the faculty in the areas of its responsibility is a necessary condition for the protection of academic freedom within the institution.... the issue emerges most clearly in the case of authority over faculty status." What could be a clearer case of "authority over faculty status" than the faculty's right to define who is and who is not a member of the faculty? Thus the broad definition of faculty for voting eligibility should be restricted to cover only really existing faculty: those whose appointment comprises 50% or more faculty duties (e.g. teaching and/or research). The Faculty Senate and other independent faculty self-governing institutions should change their by-laws and rules accordingly.
Such a measure becomes an even more urgent necessity when administrators not only vote in faculty elections but also attempt to influence their outcome, for example, by campaigning for their favorite candidates. Such blatant interference in the faculty election process is clearly an abuse of already enormous administrative advantages in power, resources, and privilege, whose consequence can only be to weaken or terminate the independence of faculty self-governance bodies.
The Chancellor's promise to appoint the Chair of the Senate to a place in her Extended Cabinet raises issues which likewise threaten faculty self-governance. Making that appointment contingent on voter turnout may seem to be a solely positive initiative, encouraging faculty involvement in governance. But the product of faculty activism is being channeled ultimately into a body answerable to the chancellor.
In a different way, the new A&S bylaws, which appear to be motivated by the same concern to encourage faculty participation, are producing a similar result in the College of Arts & Sciences. The unrealistically high quorum established in the new bylaws channels power into the steering committee, an elected but very small body which by default can make policy for the entire College. In the case of both the Chancellor's promises of favors and the new bylaws, if the motives for encouraging broad faculty participation were genuinely disinterested, they would not result in the attenuation of faculty authority but in its enhancement.
The Chancellor's offer to appoint the Senate Chair to her Extended Cabinet is also a ploy to legitimate the Extended Cabinet as a faculty governance body, representing faculty opinion and exercising authority over the faculty. However, the Chancellor's Extended Cabinet is in no way a legitimate faculty body, in which "faculty representatives [are] selected by the faculty according to procedures determined by the faculty." Its members are not elected, it represents administrative opinion, and it answers to the Chancellor.
The Faculty Senate, on the contrary, is the largest and most representative faculty body on this campus. What makes the Faculty Senate a legitimate faculty forum is its independence, its self-governing character, and its answerability to the faculty.
If the Senate loses any of these attributes, its legitimacy and integrity are discredited. Co-opting the Chair of the Faculty Senate into serving on the Chancellor's Extended Cabinet would produce a clear conflict of interest, and the Senate would become tacitly subordinated to an administrative body. The Chair of the Senate, and the Senate itself, would then be transformed into a conduit for administrative policy.
Attenuating independent faculty self-governance also vitiates the principle of shared governance. Self-governance gives the faculty, one of the three major components of the university, the opportunity to develop its own voice and policies. The faculty voice is not independent if it never disagrees with or criticizes administrative policy, the most common source of "received wisdom" within the university. Nor is the faculty voice truly its own, nor authoritative, if it is subject to interference by the administration, or if it allows its own institutions of self-governance to be compromised. Without an independent faculty voice, shared governance collapses into administrative rule. So long as really existing distinctions between faculty and administration are disavowed, and faculty rights to non-token shared governance are disregarded, the faculty can be swallowed whole by the superior power and resources of the administration. The independence of faculty self-governing bodies is a fundamental requirement for the faculty to retain significant policy-making authority determining the direction and management of the university.
The principle of faculty self-government with allocated authority and independence from the administration is analogous to the separation of powers doctrine on which the US Constitution is based. Constitutional law establishes the legislative branch not as an appendage or organ of the executive branch but as an authority with its own delegated powers.
The Senate should politely but firmly decline the Chancellor's offer. The legitimacy and integrity of faculty self-governance institutions are at stake. And the Senate as a body should reaffirm its independence, in word and in deed, in no uncertain terms. It should also reject any future attempts at weakening its authority.
In the case of the e-mail message promoting a candidate for Chair of the Senate, that Associate Dean Lacey-Haun currently has the right to vote in the election as a faculty member is certified by the current Rules and Regulations cited by Prof. Suni. But since the letter is addressed only to a select group of faculty, those on the Extended Cabinet, which is not a faculty but an administrative body, Prof. Lacey-Haun was acting not as an individual faculty member addressing other members of the faculty, but as a member of an administrative body addressing its members.
In addition, since the letter was sent solely to Cabinet members via a dedicated e-mail list, and not all candidates for Senate office had access to that list, an unfair advantage was given to one candidate by the signatories, who chose to use the list as a vehicle for partisan politicking. Because the Extended Cabinet is an administrative body, not surprisingly the letter expressed a point of view rooted in loyalty to the Blueprint. The intent of Prof. Lacey-Haun's letter was clearly to use the privilege and power of an administrative organ to create a voting bloc influencing the outcome of a faculty election. That two faculty members co-signed the letter does not change the fact that they were representing an administrative and not a faculty body.
All across the country faculty governance is under siege. The tactic being used by the UMKC administration is to blur the line between faculty and administration, in order to persuade faculty that administrators are no different from those whose preponderant duties are teaching and research, and who occupy a clearly subordinate position at UMKC. Blurring lines of allocated authority and responsibility undermines the foundation of an institution's system of governance. So does establishment by the administration of competing decision-making bodies, such as the Extended Cabinet and myriad Blueprint committees. They include faculty but are accountable only to the administration, and they usurp allocated functions and responsibilities already exercised by self-governing faculty bodies accountable to the faculty (see, for example, the article on the PRIDE Blueprint committee, p. 5). The faculty lose control over their allocated areas of responsibility, including their own status, unless their self-governing bodies, which have responsibility for these areas, remain independent of administrative control. Administrative interference in faculty self-governing institutions is thus an abrogation of the faculty's academic freedom. As AAUP guidelines state, "an inadequate governance system ... compromises the conditions in which academic freedom is likely to thrive."
Let me remind you of a case close to home. At Maryville University in St. Louis, where an administrative coup has taken place, all faculty chairs and a number of faculty committees have been replaced by "a kind of super committee, which includes about half faculty and half administrators," and where "vice presidents and all the deans ... now have faculty status and voting rights, although it seems that voting will happen rarely now" (see "Frontal Attack on Faculty Governance at Maryville," Faculty Advocate 2.3 [February 2002]).
How to Strengthen Independent Faculty Self-Governance: A Proposal
Rather than allowing faculty governance to be undermined and subordinated to the administration, the faculty should reach out to their own unrepresented colleagues. It is in the immediate as well as long-term interest of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty to consider extending faculty voting eligibility to non-regular faculty members, with whom they share many common interests (see AAUP statement on non-regular faculty).
If tenured faculty demonstrate their bona fide commitment to improving the condition of non-regular faculty, make common cause with them, and support their rights, they can strengthen the protection of both tenure-line and non-regular faculty against arbitrary administrative action. Non-regular faculty currently serve at the pleasure of the administration and lack tenure, along with the job security and academic freedom protections tenure affords. Thus they are understandably hesitant to speak out, air grievances, and assertively pursue improvements in their condition. But if they know that the tenure-line faculty are their reliable allies, a more secure non-regular faculty would be more likely to practice the principles of academic freedom and retain independent judgment in policy-making. Thus energetically working for the improvement of non-regular faculty pay, working conditions, job security, and other rights, including extending the vote to them, could eventually contribute to broadening the power base and strengthening the integrity of independent faculty governance bodies.
Public Debate on the Condition of Part-time Faculty
by David Brodsky
Campus Equity Week (CEW) last October was an international educational campaign about the situation of part-time teachers, held on hundreds of college campuses throughout the US and Canada. Since that time questions of fair pay and decent treatment for part-time faculty have penetrated the mainstream media, and Kansas City is no exception. A debate has begun here with the potential for stimulating long overdue improvements for part-time faculty. This essay is a contribution to that debate.
KC Star article, 11/23/01
On November 23, 2001, the Kansas City Star ran a front-page story, "More universities rely on part-time faculty" (pp. A1, A14). It appeared 24 days after the Campus Equity Week rallies held by the UMKC Part-time Faculty Association (PTFA). However, the article was minimally informative about part-timer problems and by no means even-handed. For example, only 3.75 column inches were devoted to quotes by or the viewpoints of part-timers, while the administrative point of view received 6.25 inches. Space favorable to part-time faculty viewpoints totalled 8.75 inches, while 11.5 inches concerned the excessive use of part-timers and the situation of full-time tenure-track faculty.
The lead-in to the Star article set the tone by questioning the quality of education provided by part-timers, not their exploitation. The student who is quoted complains about not getting his tuition's worth, rather than dedicated part-time faculty not receiving what their labor is worth. Administrators are cited to justify exploitation, using the specious arguments of "balance" (between full- and part-timers, a divide and rule tactic), "flexibility" (in course offerings, which does not apply to core courses, taught predominantly by the most exploited part-timers), "cost control" (i.e. sweatshop wages subsidizing administrative budgets), and job insecurity (intimidation that drives down wages).
In that article the existence of the UMKC Part-Time Faculty Association (PTFA)--referred to only as a "part-time faculty organization"--and of Campus Equity Week remained carefully guarded secrets. By contrast, CEW, for example, received major coverage in a number of local and national newspapers, e.g. Seattle Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, LA Times, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Hartford Advocate, Buffalo News, as well as the Chronicle of Higher Education and USA Today.
In addition, the Star article misleadingly reported the salary of one part-timer to appear 2/3 greater than it actually is. And the salary it chose for its example (even when deflated to its real size) is atypical of part-time pay in the UMKC English Department.
Instead of reporting annual wages, the story gave the teacher's weekly earnings, but carefully omitted the fact that it applies to only 32 weeks of employment, not 50, as readers might assume (thus the 2/3 inflation). More important, it failed to explain that part-timers in the College of Arts & Sciences at UMKC are paid by the course and the credit hour, not on an hourly or weekly pay scale.
That the part-time salary reported in the article is unrepresentative of average part-time pay in the English Department at UMKC is a fact which the Star ignored despite being alerted to it by the instructor. The average course load for part-time instructors in the English Department is four per year plus perhaps a summer course. Thus the average part-time English job pays annual wages of $9000, about half the real earnings of the instructor in the story and 28% of the inflated amount. Comparable averages for part-time lecturers in the UMKC Foreign Language Department are four courses per year and annual wages of $9600 (earnings are higher for fewer courses because first-year language courses meet 5 hours per week, as opposed to 3 hours for English Composition).
Because course scheduling makes squeezing extra teaching and earnings into the breaks between semesters (and between semesters and summer sessions) nearly impossible, annual earnings should be figured over the period of 50 weeks. Thus average weekly earnings for English Department part-timers would be $180, for Foreign Language Department instructors $196. These figures are a far cry from the $637 per week reported in the article. Even if a second part-time teaching job at another institution is factored in, average annual earnings for part-time teachers in this region still amounts to only $18,000 or $19,000.
At UMKC part-timers comprise 40% of the faculty. UMKC Provost Steven Ballard is cited as being sympathetic to part-timer concerns, but claims to be stymied by state "fiscal constraints" and the "market." The "market" is brandished as an all-purpose weapon to protect administrative policy from scrutiny.
The article cites unidentified "experts" claiming that "better-endowed or prestigious universities hire fewer part-time or nontenure-track instructors." But George Washington U., for example, is among the institutions with the highest use of part-timers. In fact, as a Modern Language Association survey indicates, the number of part-timers in English and Foreign Language Departments depends not on the institution's prestige but on the highest degree offered by the department (David Laurence, "The 1999 MLA Survey of Staffing in English and Foreign Language Departments," Profession [NY: MLA, 2001], pp. 211-224).
Another example, close to home, likewise refutes the endowment/prestige argument. As the Star article reports, the University of Kansas keeps 34% of its full-time faculty (including clinical) off the tenure track and 24% of all faculty in part-time positions. It also relies excessively on low paid graduate teaching assistants, a major reason why KU GTAs unionized seven years ago. But the crucial information suppressed in the article is KU's endowment of one billion dollars. KU is thus a "better-endowed" institution with an excess of part-time and non-tenure-track faculty, and is hardly alone in this regard.
Ballard op-ed, 2/17/02
Three months later, on February 17, 2002 the Kansas City Star ran a pair of opposing op-eds about part-time faculty at UMKC. The debate was a breakthrough in several respects. It was the first time that the position of part-time faculty was given adequate space to make its case in its own independent voice. And the UMKC administration, likewise for the first time, publicly stated its policies regarding part-time faculty.
In his February 17 column, UMKC Provost Steven Ballard states that UMKC is "committed to fairness." Part-time faculty are "an essential segment of the public higher education work force." That is, they are essential primarily to carry out the adminstrative agenda, since they "render valuable services and give colleges and universities the flexibility they need" in enrollment, curriculum, funding, and staffing. They are not particularly valuable in themselves.
UMKC, continues Ballard, is committed to "the highest quality of instruction." But that commitment is qualified by what "funding permits and ... taxpayers of Missouri will support." In fact, the taxpayers of Missouri are not making state budget decisions, nor have they indicated their desire to exploit part-timers to "balance the budget." State allocations account for only one half of faculty salaries. Part-time pay decisions are made at the upper administrative level on campus, through the technique of underfunding the disciplines with the highest number of part-time faculty. Unspecified "funding" avoids the question of where the money that UMKC receives actually is spent (see below replies to Ballard by Charles Hammer , Beth Huber, and Stuart McAninch ).
Ballard states that UMKC matches faculty with "the needs of the academic programs and institutional priorities." In practice UMKC institutional (i.e. administrative) priorities are to underfund programs and areas which the administration arbitrarily undervalues, such as humanities, education, social sciences, basic research in the hard sciences, etc. Underfunded programs are forced to overuse and exploit part-time instructors because budget support for full-time faculty positions in these disciplines is inadequate as a matter of administrative policy. Underfunding of administratively targeted disciplines (and thus exploitation of part-timers) is necessary to fund privileged disciplines and programs, as well as the extravagant waste so concisely summarized in Charles Hammer's reply (see below).
The English and Foreign Language Departments, for example, which have a high percentage of part-time faculty, did not ask to have their budgets slashed and full-time faculty positions reduced by a series of hostile administrations. Nor did they ask to make up the shortfall by exploiting part-timers. "Institutional priorities" likewise entail marginalizing and squeezing unprivileged disciplines unable and unlikely to turn a profit in the corporate university. Super-exploited part-timers provide great "surplus value" (profit) for the institution, thus their overuse (see Charles Hammer's data below).
Ballard states that UMKC intends "to compensate all faculty fairly based on performance and market conditions." But fair compensation "based on performance and market conditions" is a contradiction in terms. "Performance" is a stock market euphemism, and in the academic context means acquiring large external funding, e.g. to pay for university overhead expenses. Since very little funding of this sort is available to unprivileged disciplines, they are punished for not "performing." "Market conditions" and "fair compensation" are likewise mutually exclusive, since rule number one of neo-liberal economic practice is to maximize profits by minimizing labor costs. A minimized labor cost cannot be fair compensation. Thus these disciplines and faculty are trapped in a no win situation, one of whose predictable consequences is unfair compensation.
"Over the past thirty years," says Ballard, there have been "drastic reductions in financial support for public higher education." But, in fact, drastic reductions have been imposed only in the past year or two. Even in the past ten years of ideological warfare on the public domain, drastic cuts have not been the norm. "On average, state tax apropriations on higher education from fiscal 1992 to fiscal 2002 increased 59 percent. Thirty states increased their spending by over 50 percent during this decade, and another sixteen elevated theirs by more than 30 percent" (Mark F. Smith, "Economic Downturn Hits the States," Academe [March-April 2002], p. 101).
Today's assault on public higher education funding is based on plans to shrink and eventually terminate the public domain, to which public education belongs. According to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), a document now under consideration by the World Trade Organization, the public domain is viewed as an untapped source of windfall profits, if it can be successfully privatized, i.e. stolen from the public. The destruction of full-time tenure-track positions and substitution of low-paying, insecure part-time contingent jobs smoothly serves the goals of the GATS plan (see Frank Neff's article in Faculty Advocate 1.4 [April 2001] ).
Ballard refers to an NEA report, without title and date, which is summarized to the effect that "faculty members who have chosen part-time teaching achieve a high level of satisfaction," while those who are forced to are "somewhat less satisfied." But "what's surprising is that in both instances, the satisfaction of part-time teachers is higher on average than that of full-time faculty members."
Such unsupported and outlandish claims are contradicted by every other report I have seen. In addition, Ballard fails to mention that those who are forced to teach part-time significantly outnumber those who teach for pleasure and don't depend on teaching income to meet basic expenses. Most part-timers are forced to work multiple part-time jobs, which offer few or no benefits, no job security, no opportunity for advancement, etc., all of which are available to full-time tenure-track faculty. That's why tenure-track jobs are being eliminated and replaced with part-time ones: they are cheaper (lousy pay for more work, no benefit packages) and enhance managerial control over the workforce (no tenure, academic freedom, due process, etc.). Thus a typical desire of a large percentage of part-time faculty is for full-time tenure track positions and their associated advantages.
Suffice it to say that the NEA, along with the AAUP, AFT, and other national unions and major faculty organizations, all cooperated in organizing events and endorsing the demands of Campus Equity Week last October. The goal of CEW is to end the exploitation and undignified treatment of part-timers. During CEW thousands of part-time faculty on hundreds of campuses in the US and Canada publicized their great dissatisfaction and multiple grievances with their situation, and successfully pressured elected officials in a number of states for improvements in state policy. Part-timer union organizing has also accelerated in the past year (for examples see "News Flashes" on the AAUP chapter website). CEW would not have attracted such a high level of support and enthusiasm had part-timer satisfaction been high. The letter to the Star by Elizabeth Petroske (excerpted below) succinctly rebuts the claim of high satisfaction.
Ballard acknowledges that pay for humanities part-timers is poor and sets as a goal to "adjust the salaries of part-time faculty to be comparable with similar urban institutions." But an "adjustment" is not necessarily a pay raise, and comparability with "similar urban institutions" similarly guarantees nothing. UMKC pay is already "comparable" to PhD granting institutions listed at the very bottom in the US, as reported in the MLA survey (see below for vastly different wage scales depending on the selection of "comparable institutions"). Even worse, unspecified improvements promised at UMKC will be delayed for years, not taking effect, according to Ballard, until the year 2006.
It is highly unlikely that the NEA report stated, as Ballard claims, that total compensation for part-time faculty who have more than one job "compares favorably with the average total compensation of full-time faculty." Only professionals who teach part-time on the side could fit this profile. Typical total part-time earnings of $18,000-$22,000 per year are about half the entry-level salary for tenure-track faculty in English and Foreign Languages, and entry level salaries are well below average salaries in these disciplines. And since "total compensation" typically includes health, retirement, and other insurance benefits, which are unavailable to UMKC part-timers, the claim of part-time comparability to full-time compensation becomes even more absurd.
The Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) (http://www.theaha.org/caw/cawreport.htm ), is "a coalition of 25 academic societies with the opinion survey organization Roper Starch." The 1999 CAW survey found "solid evidence of the second-class status of part-time and adjunct employees in the academy," and reported that part-time faculty members, "particularly those paid on a per-course basis, receive so little compensation that they simply must take multiple jobs to maintain even a modest standard of living." Many part-timers, the survey continues, "could earn comparable salaries as fast food workers, baggage porters, or theater lobby attendants," and it concludes that "the pay and benefits for part-timers are inadequate for the mission of a college or university."
The CAW survey notes that the average pay per course in History departments that confer the Ph.D. is $3,628. The UMKC English Department pays half that much ($1800), which is slightly more than the average pay per course in community colleges conferring associate degrees ($1,694), the group at the bottom of the part-time salary scale.
Ballard then tries to shift blame to the individual academic units, claiming that they determine pay rates for part-timers. In fact, it is determined by the budgets allocated to units by the upper administration, which in no way support a fair and living wage for part-time faculty. Under such constraints the only way that departments can raise part-time pay is to lower their already mediocre full-time pay or eliminate full-time faculty positions. The latter, suicidal, course of action fits the game plan of corporatized higher education. The blame, in fact, lies squarely with the upper administration.
Ballard is simply wrong to assert that "faculty colleagues regularly evaluate the performance of these part-time teachers." The regular absence of peer evaluation and the opportunities for advancement which they afford tenure-track faculty is one of the major grievances of part-time faculty everywhere.
Ballard's assertion that UMKC "is already in compliance with most of AAUP's recommendations on part-time and non-tenure-track faculty" is patently false (see Beth Huber's and Stuart McAninch's reply below ). Likewise Ballard's claim that UMKC is "in compliance with AAUP guidelines and federal statutes" in giving "fair consideration to part-time faculty when full-time positions become available" is wrong. A standard nationwide grievance among part-time faculty is that they are almost never coinsidered for full-time positions, and UMKC is no exception.
Besides lack of compliance with AAUP policy specified in documented guidelines, the UMKC administration is also out of compliance with AAUP policy as represented by its current campaigns. The AAUP national organization for a number of years has been advocating for fair pay and working conditions for all faculty, has been heavily involved specifically in ending the exploitation of part-timers, and was one of the co-organizers and co-sponsors of Campus Equity Week. Many AAUP local chapters, including the UMKC chapter, are likewise committed to these goals.
Ballard's concluding claims, that the university is providing "adequate support services" to part-timers (undercut by the all-purpose qualification "as financial resources permit"), that UMKC "values the contribution" of part-timers, and that UMKC is "committed to their development and the improvement of the conditions of their employment" have yet to be confirmed in practice.
Nevertheless, the administration may soon have an opportunity to demonstrate its good faith and commitment toward part-time faculty, in the form of a committee established for that purpose on the initiative of Provost Ballard. Associate Professor Jeffrey Thomas of the Law School and Assistant Provost Larry Kaptain are currently doing preliminary work planning the committee. Committee members are to be drawn from part-time faculty, tenure-line faculty (among them five from the Senate), and the administration. The Provost solicited recommendations for members from Beth Huber, President of PTFA. The selection of committee members is to be completed by May 1, and the committee is scheduled to begin its work in May.
Models of part-time salary reform
At the March 5 Senate meeting the Provost mentioned "the Urban 13 (actually now the Urban 13/21) as a peer group for comparison on the part-time faculty issue" (e-mail 3/6/02 from Kathleen Schweitzberger, Chair of the Faculty Senate). The Urban 13/21 list of higher education institutions comes from "Portrait of Universities with Metropolitan Alliances (PUMA)," a consortium to which UMKC belongs (http://www.imir.iupui.edu/puma/). The PUMA website currently names 18 institutional members in the primary group of Urban13/21, and 22 other institutions joined in July 2001. However, one institution in the primary group of 18, and 19 institutions in the second group of 22 are not Category I Ph.D.-granting institutions, and therefore are not peer institutions of UMKC. In addition, a number of departments from these institutions refused to provide part-time salary data in their answers to the MLA Staffing Survey (http://www.mla.org/index.htm). Therefore, salary information from departments in these peer institutions is limited.
In the limited sample of 20 PUMA Category I urban institutions, part-time per course pay is well below the $3,628 average noted in the CAW survey. The highest per course wage in English, at Cleveland State, is $2850, the highest in Foreign Languages, in the French, German, Italian, and Slavic Department at Temple, is $3200. English Departments in eleven institutions of the Urban 13/21 answered the MLA Staffing Survey, and per course pay averaged $2120, or $350 above UMKC (4 departments pay less than UMKC). Fourteen Foreign Language Departments in 12 institutions in the Urban 13/21 answered the MLA survey, and 10 departments in this group paid less than UMKC, with the University of Memphis at the bottom reporting an astounding $550 per course. The average of this group was $2248, or $268 below the UMKC rate. (One problem in calculating foreign language course pay is the variation between departments in the number of credit hours assigned beginning courses.)
If we look beyond the small PUMA sample to other Category I urban institutions, which are likewise peers of UMKC, the average payment per course rises significantly. For 11 other English departments--UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Riverside, U. of Arizona, U. of Minnesota Twin Cities, U. Maryland College Park, U. of Pittsburgh, U. of New Mexico Albuquerque, U. of Kentucky, U. of South Florida, Florida International--the average per course pay is $3322, which is above the highest single pay rate in the limited PUMA group ($2850) and more than $1500 above the UMKC rate of $1800. For 16 other Foreign Language departments in 13 other institutions--U. of Minnesota Twin Cities, UC Berkeley, Ohio State, U. Maryland College Park, SUNY Buffalo, U. of Akron, U. of Louisville, U. of Kentucky, Rutgers U. Newark, U. Texas Dallas, U. of Pittsburgh, U. of South Florida, U. Texas Arlington--the average per course pay is $3327, which is above the highest single pay rate in the PUMA group ($3200) and more than $800 above the UMKC rate of $2516.
By comparison, the MLA Staffing Survey reports average per course pay for doctorate granting English departments across the US as $3210, about $100 less than the second urban "peer" group above, but still 78% above UMKC English Department wages. The highest degree granted by the UMKC Foreign Language department is the MA, and the MLA survey reports average per course pay for MA-granting foreign language departments across the US as $2603, over $700 below the second PUMA group, but about $100 more than the UMKC Foreign Language Department rate.
About 16% of all departments nationwide reported paying part-timers a fraction of full-time pay rather than by the course. This potentially much fairer method of calculating part-time wages is evident in reported average annual earnings of over $22,000 in English PhD granting departments and not quite $20,000 in MA granting Foreign Language departments. Annual earnings at UMKC for pay by the course and comparable course loads would be $9000 annually in English (5 courses) and $9600 annually in Foreign Languages (4 courses), or less than half of fractionally computed salaries.
The MLA Delegate Assembly passed a resolution in 2000 recommending a per course pay range of $5000 to $7000, plus benefits and cost-of-living increases. Based on a typical course load of four per year, average annual part-time pay under these recommendations would total $20,000 to $28,000, an improvement even over current fractional salary plans.
The various plans cited here are possible models for reform efforts at UMKC, and part-timers clearly would be served best by the plan with the highest salary and broadest benefits. But whatever plan and method may be adopted, we should accept the working assumption that the reform of part-time salaries should enable faculty to earn a living wage without exploitation of their time. Sixty or more hours of work per week plus commuting between jobs to cobble together a pinched, frayed, vulnerable, and anxious standard of living should no longer be the norm for part-time faculty. Contingent labor should cease being treated as throw-away workers. They should be able to earn a living wage at a single institution, putting in half the time they spend today. They should be protected by health and other benefits and cost of living raises. And they should be provided with good working conditions, dignity on the job, and recognition for their contributions. This is a minimal set of standards and a matter of elementary decency in a democratic society.
Charles Hammer Reply to Steven Ballard
Charles Hammer, who was a part-time lecturer at UMKC for 21 years, presented the case for contingent faculty in his counterposed column entitled, "Abusing Part-Timers" (KC Star, February 17, 2002). Hammer had used some of the same data a year earlier in a letter to the Star (March 28, 2001). The point he emphasizes in his reply to Ballard is that actual administrative practice, illustrated by mistreatment of part-timers, contradicts the mission of universities to educate students.
Hammer's main example is UMKC, where, he notes, a part-timer teaching an atypical ten courses a year (about 60 hours work per week) would earn an annual salary of $18,000, with no eligibility for benefits. Whether they earn that amount at UMKC or through several jobs at different institutions is immaterial. The most they can expect to earn for 60 hour weeks is about $18,000 (plus perhaps another $3600 in summer pay).
More revealingly, Hammer calculates UMKC's gross profit from exploiting part-timers, which amounts to over 80% of the tuition and fees paid by students for these courses. But his calculation, as he notes, leaves out state appropriations and other sources of income for the university budget. "UMKC administrators spend this money lavishly. In the 1980s they spent millions bulldozing homes north of Brush Creek to create a research park. Despite promised 75-year tax breaks, not one business was brought into the park, which failed utterly." Among other lavish expenses he mentions are: 1) the high cost of NCAA division I status for a sports program "that pays only 18 percent of its costs through ticket sales;" 2) $400,000 renovation of the chancellor's home in 1999; 3) "a new $6 million art museum on a campus that already has a gallery"; 4) large real estate purchases near campus, which serve no educational purpose, since enrollment has stagnated due to skyrocketing tuition. Finally, Hammer lists luxuries and perks at KU, paid for by state appropriations and tuition. To sum up, windfall profits from grossly underpaying part-time faculty subsidize extravagant administrative projects that have little or no educational value or benefit to the UMKC community and to the public whose taxes support the university.
Petroske Letter to the Star
A letter to the editor of the Star by Elizabeth Petroske (March 3, 2002) reads in part:
"I would like to thank Charles Hammer for speaking the truth in his column on the exploitive [sic] economics of replacing tenured professors with part-time adjuncts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (2/17, Sunday Opinion).
I must also mention that I have not seen such a self-serving argument for abusing workers (Steven Ballard's column on the same page) since the apologists for slavery in the antebellum South.
I spent three years as an overworked, underpaid adjunct until I realized I could easily make more money at a fast-food joint and get benefits, too....
By the way, what do you think happens to academic standards when you turn education over to the lowest bidders and replace independent scholars with insecure migrant labor?"
Opinion Column for the Star
by Beth Huber and Stuart McAninch
NOTE: Beth Huber, President of the UMKC Part-Time Faculty Association, and Stuart McAninch, President of the UMKC AAUP chapter, wrote a joint reply to Ballard's column. Given their knowledge of the issues and leadership positions, their voices would normally be entitled to a hearing by a wide audience. The column they submitted was accepted for publication over a month ago, but has yet to appear in print. As is its custom, The Faculty Advocate is publishing what is suppressed by the mainstream media.
In "Committed to Fairness," Steve Ballard, Provost of UMKC, espoused the virtues and commitment of a burdened administration attempting to deal fairly with its part-time faculty. There are a number of things about which Dr. Ballard was only partially correct. UMKC's part-time teachers are "an essential segment" of its workforce, consisting of well over the national average of 43% of total faculty, 48% to be precise. Part-time faculty, however, also teach from 50-53% of total courses.
Dr. Ballard is also correct, yet extremely understated, when he suggests that these hard-working professionals are making salaries that are "often low." Many at UMKC, in fact, are making half what their counterparts at Columbia are making for the same positions and few if any, are making anywhere near what many national organizations, such as the Modern Language Association, have determined to be a "fair" wage. But, again, Dr. Ballard is correct when he states that individual academic units determine their part-time faculty salaries. Yet, he glosses over the fact that these units can only pay within their budgets, and this is a decision made by the administration [which], in a pure contradiction to the previously mentioned premise, states that the university itself will begin to "adjust the salaries" of part-time professionals, but not until 2006. He fails to mention that many part-time faculty have not even had a cost-of-living increase since 1992, much less an "adjustment" toward "fairness." Dr. Ballard is correct again when he suggests that part-time faculty are "a rich resource" and "well-qualified." Some have the same Ph.D.s and research records as their tenured colleagues.
Finally, Dr. Ballard is just in citing the NEA study reporting [that] 79% of part-time faculty also work outside their institution, and those working two jobs sometimes make a comparable salary to their full-time counterparts. But again, what is not said is more important. Part-time faculty often, though not always, work full-time hours, sometimes double the amount of classroom hours and often at two or more institutions. Therefore working two jobs under these conditions is hardly "fair," and it does not bode well for "job satisfaction."
It is difficult to understand how the provost can argue that UMKC "is already in compliance with most of AAUP's recommendations on part-time and nontenure-track faculty." The provost's own column reveals that there are no regular procedures, as called for in the American Association of University Professors' 1980 recommendations on improving the status of part-time faculty, for devising "equitable scales for paying part-time faculty members." Rather, levels of compensation are determined by academic units, sometimes amounting to less than $2000 for a three credit-hour course. When time devoted by an instructor emphasizing student writing and thinking to course meetings, grading, conferences and e-mail communication with students, and preparation of a course syllabus, lessons, handouts, and assignments is taken into account, compensation is sometimes as little as $6 an hour or less with no fringe benefits. Nor is it clear how the provost could make a case for university compliance with AAUP recommendations for security of employment and involvement of part-time faculty in academic governance. What is clear is that the university is not in compliance with the organization's recommendations concerning fringe benefits and tenure for part-time faculty.
Moreover, while Dr. Ballard refers to a commitment of the university to adjust by 2006 "the salaries of the part-time faculty to be comparable with similar urban institutions," the manner in which this is to be done is not evident. In order to be meaningful, the pledge needs to be accompanied by a realistic process for ending long-standing practices of low compensation of part-time faculty in academic units--practices which the AAUP does regard as exploitative. As Barbara Gottfried stated a year ago in the Boston Globe, "Faculty working conditions are students' learning conditions." If the administration is really committed to students learning in this community, it must make an immediate commitment to its own faculty's working conditions.
Annual Meeting of the Missouri State Conference of AAUP
On Saturday, March 9th, the annual meeting of the Missouri State Conference of AAUP was held at Rockhurst University. The twenty-five participants came from ten institutions of higher education throughout the state: St. Louis University, St. Louis Community College, Maryville University in St. Louis, Truman State University in Kirksville, Westminster College in Fulton, University of Missouri Columbia, Southwest Missouri State in Springfield, Central Missouri State in Warrensburg, the host institution Rockhurst University, and UMKC, whose contingent numbered seven members. Aside from the formal program, the meeting gave participants a chance to get acquainted and to share problems and solutions.
The main topic of the meeting, "Corporatization of Education," was introduced by the keynote speaker, Rich Moser, of the AAUP National Staff in Washington, D.C. (see below for the text of his presentation). With special emphasis on the corporatization of the instructional workforce (replacement of full-time tenure-track with exploited contingent faculty), Moser's message can be summarized as follows. Pressures on higher education today are essentially political, and our response, if it is to be effective, must be equally political. Tenured faculty must support contingent faculty both out of a sense of solidarity with their colleagues and in their own long-term self-interest.
The discussion generated some telling comments. Charles Guenther of St. Louis Community College, whose essays on corporatization have appeared in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 2.14 (August 2001), and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Dec. 13, 1998, p. B7), links the process to friendly fascism, the title of Bernard Gross' study (NY: 1980). [Friendly Fascism was cited independently in David Brodsky's "'Brain Wash': a Review Article" in The Faculty Advocate 2.1 (October 2001).] One attendee also mentioned a not-so-friendly remark by a CEO of a higher education institution which he heard in person, to the effect that "change can be instituted by machine gun."
Following the discussion came reports by local Missouri chapters. The UMKC report was rather full, given that the chapter has been operating for only a little more than two years since its revival. Partial credit for its activism should be given to the UMKC administration.
The Conference passed a resolution urging adequate financial support for higher education by the state and opposing budget cuts. A question and answer session with Missouri State Representative Deleta Williams (District 121) concluded the meeting.
Corporatization, Its Discontents and the Renewal of Academic Citizenship
by Richard Moser
What is corporatization? It is the term now being used to describe a number of historical developments. For higher education it refers to the retreat of service to the common good as the purpose of our colleges and universities. In general it describes the decline of a social contract that prevailed in America during the mid-century and the reorganization of our great national resources, including higher education, for the purpose of maximizing profits.
Three decades of stagnant public funding for higher education and the long-term and dramatic reduction in corporate taxation has opened the door for increasing corporate influence on campus. The ascendancy of managerial authority and modes of thinking and operating influenced by the business world has led to a crisis of meaning for the contemporary university.
Corporatization is far from a perfect term, as there are many different approaches possible even in a corporate economy. Corporatization may well be viewed as the misapplication of a regressive corporate ideology to a non-market activity (education). As such, corporatization is as much an ideological project as it is a political or economic one. The Canadians call this process "commercialization" and the British "privatization," and those concepts capture important aspects of the changes we are experiencing.
Both resistance and alternatives to corporatization are possible. Corporatization and the new academic labor system are ultimately political effects and call for political solutions. The current crisis in higher education is not the inevitable working of the market. The academic community's most effective response to this system is to practice academic citizenship based on public education, collective action, AAUP principles, and democratic rights drawn from the American political tradition.
Commercial influence is nothing new in American Higher education and has been with us at least since the Morill Land Grant Act of the 1860's brought agriculture and engineering to the university. As David Noble has demonstrated, the industrial revolution of the early 20th century was an outcome of partnerships between campus and industry. The services and products the university provided have long been useful to business, but now educational institutions themselves are becoming more like businesses, or at least the claim is being made that they should be. This is not, however, just more of the same. Something distinctly different is afoot, and is at least in part characterized by the drive of the corporations to colonize all aspects of life that were previously non-corporate activities, such as health care, education, even religion and family life. Although contemporary corporate influences do date to the mid-20th century, the years between W.W.II and 1975 were characterized primarily by powerful government interventions in higher education that were a central component in what may be called the mid-century social contract.
In the wake of W.W.II America's unrivaled economic and political power allowed most Americans to enjoy a remarkable period of economic opportunity. Government promoted and sustained economic growth through investment in higher education. The GI bill, the shift toward service industries, and demographic trends dramatically increased student enrollment. Higher education underwrote the scientific, technical, and theoretical knowledge necessary for post war economic activity. Business and administrative leaders upheld their end of the bargain by permitting a rising standard of living for most working people that included such protections as pensions, medical benefits, job security and meaningful minimum standards set by law. Unions were reluctantly tolerated--even faculty unions in some states.
This period was also characterized by a high degree of respect for the AAUP's 1940 Statement. Tenure, due process, and shared governance became the almost universally accepted ethical foundation for higher education. On this basis we built the best higher education system in the world. This social contract prevailed until the mid-1970s.
In this so-called "golden era" the university was part of and dedicated to the public good. Part of what distinguishes the new corporate influence from the governmental one is its redefinition of the public good as the corporate balance sheet and tendency toward a more narrow, unitary, and imperious vision of the university that more aggressively seeks to remake everything in its own image. We experience this new aggressiveness more directly, because at the heart of the corporate agenda is the radical restructuring of the academic workforce.
By the late 60s the social contract had begun to come apart as a result of the multiple crises that came to a head during the Vietnam War. Not only did the war era lead to a crisis of faith in political and cultural institutions, including higher education, but we also look back at the early 1970s as a time when society's existing economic assumptions, this mid-century social contract, underwent profound revision.
Slower economic growth and heightened competition were evoked to change popular expectations concerning living standards and public expenditures. In higher education the changing times were characterized by decreased public funding. That occurred simultaneously with the ascendancy of a corporate style of management and the subsequent shifting of costs and risks to those who teach, research and study. Consequently, faculty have been slowly transformed into contingent and part-time employees without due process or economic security, and students increasingly carry a greater burden of the costs in the form of higher tuition, debt, and work.
The political influence of faculty, which had been growing for a decade, began to falter. The faculty at private institutions were not spared the fate of the public sector when the Supreme Court decided in the infamous 1980 Yeshiva decision that faculty at private institutions were managers, and therefore not eligible for collective bargaining rights.
The remaining bonds of the mid-century social contract were burst when Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers and staffed the National Labor Relations Board with those hostile to workers' rights. During the same years Republicans and Democrats passed new tax, budget, money, and debt policies that would lay the groundwork for an almost unprecedented redistribution of wealth from the vast majority of working people to the richest Americans, with the greatest gains being made by the top 1%. For example, despite twenty years of economic growth, the professoriate as a body does not, today, enjoy the purchasing power it did in 1972. These changes weakened the political and economic leverage of professional associations, trade unions, and the people they represented.
The cutting edge of the corporatization of higher education was the restructuring of the workforce around a multi-tiered structure into what I call the "New Academic Labor System." In the typical multi-tiered system new or younger employees are not offered the same level of compensation and job security as existing staff. A report on faculty appointments by the AAUP's Ernst Benjamin reveals:
The change since 1975 is striking. Part-time faculty have grown four-times (103%) more than full-time (27%). The number of non-tenure-track faculty has increased by 92%, while the number of probationary (tenure-track) faculty has actually declined by 12%. Adjunct appointments went from 22% in 1970 to 32% in 1982, to 42% in 1993, to a current level of about 46 percent of all faculty.Until the boom years of the mid-1990s the proportion of part-time faculty increased at about one percent a year. The most recent findings show, however, that the trend toward contingency continues unabated, with a rapid growth in the use of full-time non-tenure track appointments, which have risen from 22% to 26% since 1992.
This multi-tiered approach succeeded, because it blunted opposition by implicitly promising not to affect existing constituencies. Tenured faculty were enticed with short-term benefits. The faculty did cooperate in their own demise, but not by formal decree. No faculty senate, AAUP chapter, or union ever explicitly agreed to abolish tenure for the majority of future faculty in exchange for cheap replacements for introductory courses or sabbaticals, but such complicity is rarely formalized. The good news about our complicity in this new labor system is that, since the system depends on our complicity to continue, we can turn accommodation into resistance.
The over-use and exploitation of contingent faculty is the linchpin of this process of corporatization, because it has fragmented the faculty and weakened our ability to act as a constituency. Without due process the professoriate loses its ability to govern in the conventional manner and has no recourse to safeguards of academic freedom. Hence, the increasingly common resort to activism and unionization as a means to advance our values.
It is this political aspect which is decisive, because the multi-tier personnel system has produced classic "divide and conquer" effects. Once we are fragmented, set against ourselves, disenfranchised, and our noses placed firmly against the grindstone, then the rest of corporatization can proceed more smoothly.
The rest of corporatization is a rather dizzying litany of trends and initiatives. Let me touch on a few of the larger symptoms that results from running the campus like a business.
University resources have become concentrated in areas where wealth is created, and areas not conducive to the creation of wealth, like the liberal arts, have been marginalized. The likelihood of layoffs, program restructuring, and contingency faculty appointments is greater in arts, education, social sciences, and even some of the basic sciences, as opposed to math, biochemistry or engineering. This thinking limits the willingness of institutions to cross-subsidize less marketable but socially indispensable areas such as foreign languages or classics.
There is increased corporate funding and control over academic research, as we have seen in a number of cases such as the 1998 deal between Novartis and the University of California, Berkeley, and the often ethically murky relationship that has emerged when faculty or administrators become stockholders or have other ties to corporate partners.
Corporate influence has been redefining the nature and control of intellectual property, begun in earnest in the 1980s when the Bayh-Dole Act permitted universities to share in the funds generated by successful patents developed by faculty members.
Corporatization is also characterized by the fact that new ideas, technologies, and human capacities and talents developed at public cost have become the entitlement of the corporate sector. It is not a coincidence that the bio-tech industry just happens to be located in cities with significant higher education institutions. There is an office of "technology transfer' at almost all research institutions, where for a token fee technology is transferred to private concerns with few resources returning to the university. This has been taken a step farther, as campuses offer their publicly equipped laboratories and computer banks to become product incubators for business. As far back as the 1980s the National Science Foundation, that is to say, tax dollars, funded dozens of partnerships between business and engineering departments.
The corporate sponsorship of research raises the issue of ownership of knowledge. Is knowledge to become the trade secret of a few, or will there continue to be the free exchange of ideas? As academics we are committed to the idea that knowledge can only flourish as a result of open debate, unfettered discourse, and continual testing of and experimentation with received wisdom.
The university's entertainment venues have multiplied and grown larger, providing both mass entertainment and many business opportunities, without which professional sports certainly could not be so profitable. And these centers of wealth creation and entertainment venues need an increasing number of well paid campus administrators to run them. Everywhere campus resources have been redirected to corporate welfare, entertainment venues, and administration rather than to instruction.
Regarding the human capital of the university, we see the privatization and outsourcing of university functions and jobs, from food service to bookstores to instruction. Local entrepreneurs are booted out of the student center and replaced by Taco Bell, and campus workers earn so little that living wage campaigns and union drives have sprouted on dozens of campuses.
Tuition has outpaced inflation for over two decades, and debt loads for students have increased dramatically, narrowing their options after they graduate, but providing lucrative business opportunities for banks. Anxiety over mounting debt pushes students to embrace vocationalism and value training over education.
For faculty, corporatization means more authoritarian governance practices, not simply as reflected in handbooks but changes in the culture, as administrators get used to bossing around the majority of the faculty who have no hope of tenure or job security. The unbundling and segmenting of faculty work pulls at the foundations of the independent teacher-scholar by farming out admissions, then advising and mentoring and curricular work. Here we have a stark choice: either bestow on the new ranks of academic professionals the rights and duties of faculty, or endanger our own professional status. This segmentation of the work has also been part of a gradual intensification of the overall workload, which too often leaves faculty exhausted with little time for service activity or family life.
Corporatization has produced the strange effect that as the institutions take on new roles as product incubator, real estate mogul, and extravagant consumer of everything, including expensive and still unproved distance education technologies, our operating budgets remain in perpetual crisis.
Beyond the material effects of corporatization lies a political contest, a contest over leadership of our campuses, a contest over different visions of the future for higher education.
Managerial elites and corporate actors win people's support, in part, because they posit a compelling utopian vision based on the magic of the free market and a brilliant techno-utopia. In this future all social problems are solved by creating freedom, in the form of technological solutions and material abundance.
What coporatization actually reveals is that we have a mixed economy--one in which public and private resources are inextricably co-mingled, and government help and university services are absolutely essential to supposedly private enterprise. This mixed economy is the true nature of corporate capitalism, and this dense web of links between private and public has been given some needed exposure during the Enron scandal. The ideology of the free market is deployed very selectively. Faculty, staff, and students (and Argentina) are told to have faith in the free market and pull themselves up by their socks, while the corporations are leveraging public resources, intervening in public policy decisions, influencing electoral campaigns, and feasting on massive tax abatements.
We are told that this coming corporate-techno-utopia will provide jobs and be the engine of economic well being. But the real life exemplar of this new order, the corporatized university, has moved toward more contingent employment, a more highly skewed distribution of rewards, and cuts in benefits, including health benefits (thanks to an already corporatized health industry). The new university provides lots of new jobs, the only problem is that you need to have three of them to make a living. High levels of skill training and dedication do not guarantee knowledge workers a decent job. Only concerted activity and organizing can do that.
We are told the increasing use of contingent faculty and their low levels of compensation are a market effect, when the demand for college teachers has been up for two decades. Convert all the contingent positions, and you have full time jobs for almost every new Ph.D. This is a political effect, not a market one, and it reflects the political weakness of the faculty.
The discourses on "accountability" show similar politics. On the one hand, exit exams enforce the idea that faculty-assigned grades are not a sufficient measure of merit, and only some testing corporation can measure learning, or that quantifiable measurements or financial markers are the only way to gauge faculty productivity or student learning.
On the other hand, try to research the data on contingent faculty. Try and find out how many and who they are, what benefits they have, their credentials and titles, office locations, their pay and home addresses, length of service, ethnic and gender composition. Corporatization demands hard data for accounts receivable and ghosts for accounts payable. So-called flexibility creates the demand for accountability from faculty, and promotes the lack of accountability by the administration.
Perhaps most important is the issue of values. The search for the truth, intellectual creativity, scientific invention, the ideals of citizenship, and the liberal arts tradition have been discounted in favor of market values, expressed as vocational training, material success, and applied research.
I use these examples to assert that, rather than a free market based on competition and individual merit, we have a highly politicized market, with power being the decisive factor distributing rewards. In other words, for better or worse, the public and private sphere have been fused together, and the campus is one place where that fusion has been strategized and arranged.
The alternative is for the faculty to articulate a vision of the campus based on Academic citizenship and democracy. This view does not reject the public/private configuration of our campus and economy but swings the door the other way to push democracy and community into the workplace. Democracy is the soft white underbelly of corporatization, and it is there that we must begin by becoming better citizens.
Academic citizenship means activism in our associations and unions and participation in governance, but it is also about renewing and enlarging the institutional framework of campus democracy. If we place academic citizenship within the context of American citizenship, we can reinvigorate the debate about campus governance and lay claim to a potent arsenal of ideals and principles.
The problem in articulating academic citizenship for the public is that historically the whole structure of citizenship does not apply to the world of work, with slight modifications for the public sector that were achieved during the 1960s. The campus has been an exception, and, along with strong union shops, higher education remains an island of democracy in a sea of managerial authority. Despite the fairly free exercise of rights and liberties in the public sphere, the Bill of Rights stops at the workplace door. At work Americans are arguably the least free people in the industrialized world, but nonetheless are told that democracy in the workplace is a privilege for an elite rather than a right they should strive for.
American citizenship has always depended on a protective shield of due process between government and life, liberty, and property. That was assured by trial by a jury of your peers and the concept of innocent until proven guilty. Tyranny was kept in check by a distribution of power between different branches of government that functioned as a system of checks and balances. Rights were also anchored by protections for individual property, and in earlier times ownership of productive property by American citizens was widely dispersed.
Not only could the government not take property away without due process, but it provided a sufficient degree of economic security to allow independent thought and action. Property was viewed as a realm of freedom, not tyranny, so American freedoms exist only as limits to government, and private property was exempted from the Bill of Rights. Although this special exemption has posed many problems in American history, it is particularly worrisome now, since corporatization of the larger economy entailed the centralization of most real productive property into the hands of the few.
The academy was seen as a workplace where civil rights had to exist, not just by the AAUP, but by courts and legislators, because it was obvious that the trade in ideas required a free and democratic workplace. AAUP policy written into faculty handbooks, judicial decisions, and state statutes has created a system of due process and democracy in the academic workplace.
After a long period of training, work, and apprenticeship and an equally lengthy and rigorous probationary period and review, candidates are awarded the right to practice their profession protected by the due process rights accorded the owner of property. We, of course, know this job property right as tenure.
The due process protections of tenure then allow a remarkable development to occur. The freedom traditionally exclusive tothe public sphere could be practiced in that part of life formally understood as private and outside the Bill of Rights, that is, at work. When the Bill of Rights lives at work, we call it Academic Freedom.
Academic freedom does more than guarantee that creative inquiry is unfettered by authority. Only under the conditions of freedom at work can there be the independent cast of mind necessary for citizenship. Only when free to think, speak, and dissent can we have a real voice in the decision making process that guides our work. Only when the authority to govern the campus is exercised by the three co-equal branches truly representing three interests can we have a system of checks and balances that protect academic freedom. On campus we claim this prerogative as the right to shared governance.
In short, AAUP standards aim to make our campuses "little republics" that aspire to the best ideals the American republic has to offer. This, it seems to me, is a productive way to posit the counter-narrative to corporatization. The price of using public resources to promote private gain is that the door must swing both ways--so that public rights can be exercised at work and that community standards should apply to corporations that benefit from community resources. If corporations are to come onto campus, then our relationships should conform to campus standards of governance, not the campus conforming to corporate standards of governance. Despite the unending repetition of free market ideology, the irreversible fusion of public sovereignty with private power suggests that political freedom is hinged upon economic democracy. We cannot have one without the other.
We must defend our jobs and work and improved compensation and job security for contingent faculty, and reverse the conversion of tenured to non-tenured positions, not just because it puts bread on the table, but because it is absolutely essential to the larger political project of democracy.
It is in everyone's interest to do so. Thirty years of history proves that the standard administrative bargaining position, that the budget is a zero sum game, and there is only so much money, and increases for full time faculty take it away from lecturers and vice versa, is wrong. If the salaries for the upper tier depended on the depressed salaries of the other, then we could expect that after thirty years of substandard pay and benefits for contingent faculty, the tenured faculty would be riding high. Is this the case? The same is true for tenure. Have thirty years of precarious employment for adjuncts strengthened tenure and due process? No. Instead we see salary stagnation and decline, and the erosion of due process, because this is not a zero-sum game, but rather a divide and conquer effect. If their job is to divide, then we must bring people together.
Corporatization is also creating its opposite: a new broader community of interest expressed as coalition efforts. The rights of tenured faculty represent the starting point of a movement capable of contesting corporatization and creating campus democracy. The emerging polycentric campus movement does just that. Graduate student unionization, the growing movement of contingent faculty, the stirrings among academic professionals, the student-labor solidarity networks, living wage initiatives, gender equity campaigns, and our association's efforts across the campus spectrum are all creeping fitfully forward.
The new movements imply that extending rights to ever expanding constituencies may accomplish the defense of our traditional rights. Successful advocacy for higher education is increasingly based on coalition work between faculty, staff, students, and community members. When this new constellation of forces comes together over contract demands, educational forums, or fair labor codes, a new campus community is being born. This new community can be the descendant of the old community of scholars, and it is the only community with the potential power to insure that our institutions remain in the service of the common good.
In sum we must address the political problem and must look to ourselves for the answer. Confronting corporatization is a monumental task, but a task that everyone can contribute to by building our organizations. Talk to your colleagues about our problems and our hopes, listen carefully to what they have to say, then ask them to join the AAUP. Citizenship and democracy are learned by doing, so we must do and learn well the "arts of liberty."
Richard Moser is a professional historian and a member of the AAUP national staff.
Three Teaching Tolerance Forums Round Out the Year for Successful Series
The Teaching Tolerance forum series, initiated in September 2001 to counteract the possibility of xenophobic attacks on Arabs and Muslims in Kansas City, continued to attract a faithful audience from inside and outside the University. In response to the expressed interests of the attendees, speakers have focused on a number of issued related to US foreign policy.
On March 29 Lewis Diuguid of the Kansas City Star returned to campus with a video from the Veterans for Peace, entitled "What I Learned about US Foreign Policy." He used the powerful film as a point of departure for a discussion of the role of CIA covert action in American interventions abroad.
On April 19 at "Teaching Tolerance VI: Otro mundo es posible," UMKC student Kasia Rutledge and community activist Michael McCormack gave a detailed powerpoint presentation on NAFTA and related international trade agreements, and discussed their deleterious consequences for working people and the environment, both in the US and in Mexico. Their talk was illustrated with telling photographs of conditions in the colonias (workers' shantytowns) surrounding US-owned factories on the Mexican border.
The final forum of this semester will take place from 3:00-5:30 on Friday, May 3 in Room 147 of the University Center. At that time KC Star reporters Malcolm Garcia and Scott Canon will talk about American press coverage of the war in Afghanistan. This event is a lead-in to the newspaper industry's "Time Out for Diversity Week" (May 6-11), an annual event designed to get newspapers nationwide to focus on diversity issues.
News of the Chapter
On March 28 the UMKC chapter held its WS 2002 membership meeting, attended by faculty from a number of College departments, the School of Education, and the School of Biological Sciences. We welcomed a number of new members to the AAUP. Discussion touched on a variety of subjects, as we reviewed the accomplishments of the chapter and looked at future goals and projects. A major thrust next year will be developing effective recruitment strategies. A visit next fall by Dr. Richard Moser from the National AAUP staff in Washington will support membership development. Members agreed that the operative principle behind increasing membership is simple: strength in numbers, increased visibility, and an increased ability to act as the critical voice of the faculty.
Fred Lee (Dept. of Economics) raised the question of how to define "who is faculty," pointing out that neither the College of Arts and Sciences nor the Campus has a clear understanding of its workforce. It was pointed out that practices differ widely from one unit to another in terms of definitions, duties, and numbers of persons with non-regular academic appointments, and that a single campus policy was not currently practicable. After some discussion, the Executive Committee drafted a statement in support of Fred's efforts to start a discussion in the College of the roles and rights of tenured and tenure-track, full-time non-tenure-track, and part-time faculty (see AAUP resolution on non-regular faculty, p. 5). It was felt that this could be a step toward a larger campus dialogue.
A central topic of dicussion was the current budget situation and the difficulty of getting straight answers from the administration. Members from SBS announced that they had scheduled an informational meeting on the budget prior to the Senate's "All-Faculty Meeting" set for April 2. AAUP members were invited to attend the SBS meeting and urged to go to the Senate meeting armed with carefully focused questions for Chancellor Gilliland and Provost Ballard. President Stuart McAninch, member of the Senate Budget Committee, reiterated the urgency of faculty becoming knowledgeable about the budget process.
There was a discussion of the upcoming Executive Committee elections, to be held by mail ballot in mid-April. To be eligible either to vote or to stand for office, a member must be current with both national and local dues. $10 local dues are not covered by the national dues. At press time the results of the election were not yet in. VP/Treasurer Tim Thomas gave the Treasurer's Report. We currently have $1172 in our account.
In other news, we have been awarded one of three Konheim Travel Grants by the National AAUP, to help fund the attendance of a chapter delegate at the AAUP Annual Meeting in June in Washington, DC. Edward Gogol (SBS) will represent the Chapter in DC.
Education for Democracy Network News
Presentations from our ground-breaking conference, "Education for Democracy: Fighting the Corporate Takeover," are attracting a certain amount of attention. In the first month after publication in the online journal, Workplace (http://www.louisville.edu/journal/workplace/wp42.html), the cluster of conference articles has received twice as many hits as the previous issue of the journal. In addition, links to the conference articles were posted on the websites of Campus Equity Week (http://www.cewaction.org), and of the Champaign-Urbana, Illinois IndyMedia Center (http://www.ucimc.org/front.php3?article_id =4148&group=webcast). In addition, Vanguard, the newsletter of the Connecticut Conference of AAUP, reprinted excerpts from David Brodsky's report on Campus Equity Week (Faculty Advocate 2.2 [December 2001] ).
New York Times Editorial on Protecting Public Universities from Corporate Influence
An editorial in the New York Times (July 15, 2001) favors protecting public universities against excessive corporate influence. It concludes:
"Private money often finances worthy efforts to improve academic programs or endow scholarships. But dependence on private sources risks giving corporations and other donors too loud a voice in the academic arena. Many college presidents say this is not a problem, but at least one state legislature has already anticipated it. In Maine, a law enacted this year  prohibits state schools from accepting donations that include restrictions that conflict with academic freedom.
With public universities leaning more on private sources, both educators and legislators will need to be vigilant to preserve academic integrity. But it will be a shame if the states allow this trend toward private fund-raising to progress too far. The states must not abdicate their responsibility for supporting a sound public university system as an alternative to the private schools."
The editor would like to thank David Brodsky for his donated labor, laying out and preparing seven issues of The Faculty Advocate for publication in print and on the AAUP website.
Education Workshop at
International Conference against
Deregulation and Privatization
and for Labor Rights for All
The conference was held in Berlin, Germany, February 21-24, 2002. Excerpts from a background statement follow.
"As teachers we know all too well that the policies of deregulation being enforced internationally have dreadful consequences for young people:
1) over 115 million children between the ages of 6 and 12 do not go to school, and a large number of those that do leave school before completing primary education;"In every country, whether industrialized or 'developing,' we are all faced with an unprecedented range of attacks against public education systems.... education, health, and social services [are now] on the agenda of the General Agreement of Trade in Services (GATS), which opens the door to the commercialization of education services.... nowadays big international corporations want their share of the world 'market' in education, which in 1999 was estimated to be worth 2,200 billion dollars.... The economic war being waged internationally is a threat to all the ILO [International Labor Organization] Conventions and especially to Convention 138, which bans child labor under school-leaving age."
2) 250 million children between the ages of 6 and 14 are forced to work for a living;
3) 882 million people are illiterate;
4) over two thirds of the national governments worldwide allocate less than 6% GDP to education."
Most tellingly, corporations aim "to replace 'formal education' (school) with what they call 'non-formal education' (the workplace) and 'informal education' (everyday life). This logic would lead to the replacement of qualified teachers with volunteers, social workers or street vendors.... The European Union recommends that 'relevant NGOs' should play 'just as important a role as official authorities and education professionals'."
Dan Kaplan, an AFT member from San Mateo Community College, reported on the education workshop, which was attended by 125 people. "Countries struggling to build a national higher-education system could see large numbers of middle-class and affluent students enrolling in private foreign colleges ... leaving poorer students behind in a decaying public higher-education system that does not receive enough financial support from its government. Burundi, for example, has just last month announced that it is closing down entirely its public education system in three years." In other countries, "for political and electoral reasons, governments will usually maintain a public sector, but one whose influence will be limited because of shortage of funds." Such policies deliver "a degraded form of education that culminates without diplomas or certificates, without recognized qualifications conferring a title."
Including education in GATS was condemned by university presidents in Scotland, by the European University Association, which declared, "higher education exists to serve the public interest and is not a 'commodity'," and the World Congress of Education International, a body representing 309 national teachers' unions from 150 countries, including AFT and NEA. Workshop participants concluded that privatization would effectively "destroy both public education and the profession of teaching." Professionally trained tenured teachers at all levels in all countries are being replaced by insecure contingent labor.
In order to oppose
these plans, the workshop is organizing an International Conference in
Defense of Education and Teaching, to take place within the next year.
AAUP Dues Information
Local UMKC chapter dues
$10 per academic year. Send payment to Treasurer, Tim Thomas, 109B Spencer Chemistry Building, 816-235-2297, or firstname.lastname@example.org . Please make checks payable to "UMKC-AAUP Chapter." Also please send Tim your preferred mailing address(es), phone(s), and e-mail address(es).
Go to the AAUP chapter home page-- http://cas.umkc.edu/aaup/ and click on the direct link to the national dues web page; or go to the national dues page--http://www.aaup.org/membership/02dues.htm.
Please note that National dues also cover Missouri State Conference dues (but not local UMKC dues)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 1 (September 2000)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 2 (December 2000)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 3 (February 2001)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 4 (April 2001)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 1 (October 2001)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 2 (December 2001)
The Faculty Advocate,
Vol. 2, No. 3 (February 2002)
AAUP chapter home page