Sunday, August 17, 2014

Include disclosure of contingent faculty compensation and other working conditions


Sen. Harkin,

Thank you for sponsoring the Higher Education Affordability Act (HEAA), and working to keep college accessible to all Americans. I am writing to ask you to make this bill even more effective by including provisions to address the reliance of colleges and universities on contingent faculty--adjuncts and other non-tenure-line faculty. As you know, part time faculty now comprise 50% of the faculty workforce, and 80% of the workforce at community colleges. These faculty are paid substandard wages, have to juggle positions at several schools, and are not compensated for spending time out of the classroom with students. All of this has a tremendous negative impact on the quality of education students are receiving.

You can help alleviate this problem by including a provision in your legislation requiring colleges and universities to disclose contingent faculty compensation and other working conditions. Transparency is already one of the four major goals of the HEAA. This goal should be expanded to include transparency on this crucial issue.

Thank you for your time

Prof. J. Robert Loftis
Lorain County Community College.

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