COCAL Updates

by Joe Berry
joeberry@iCOCAL logo

COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a nearly 20-year-old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri national – USA, CAN, MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee and a website and Facebook page.

Campus Equity Week October 26-30, 2015

Campus Equity Week
October 26-30, 2015


CAMPUS EQUITY WEEK 2015 – Hi Everyone, I just finished listening to the planning meeting on the upcoming Campus Equity Week 2015 (Oct. 26-30). I will see whether I might be able to give you a recording of this meeting soon. You can access information both on facebook and here.


1. More on public comment now open on ACCJC upcoming in Washington, DC, and a great graphic.

2. Your boss and your money and who is your friend [higher ed examples].

3. Worker Right Board on higher ed in SF decries conditions for teachers and students.

4. And this from the CCSF student newspaper.

5. What staggering default rates at for-profit schools say about accreditors.

6. and more on ACCJC.



1. Canada: Professors wage gap should be a political issue.

2. Canada: University education increasingly offered by part-timers.

3. Indian general strike may be biggest in world history, 150 million workers out.

4. Mexico: Experts dismiss government account of massacre of teacher education students.

5. Bangladesh: Student shot protesting increased tax (VAT) to be levied on tuition payments.

6. South America: SA educators meet to plan resistance to privatization.

7. Part-time professors in on Indian state win pay equity with FTers. [Any chance of inviting one of them to COCAL in Edmonton next summer?]

8. Ecuador: Price control in and profits out for Ecuador’s private universities.


1. Take a look at Front Range CC’s AAUP chapter’s blog. All about contingent faculty.

2. Governor Jerry Brown’s permatemp problem at U of CA.

3. San Francisco professors and students face staggering rents.


4. U of CA resisting attempts by Lecturers’ union, UC/AFT Council, to shorten time to getting some job security, continuing appointments.

Beth Emma Goldman via New Faculty Majority:

“At the bargaining table, UC says our pre-continuing lecturers aren’t entitled to notification of searches for their own position, and they don’t need thorough performance reviews because they are “at will” and should never, ever have an expectation of being rehired.

This is why we are fighting to stabilize and professionalize pre-continuing appointments. Quality of education at UC depends on it!”

UC-AFT is working in contract negotiations – Facebook Post by bquirk
UC-AFT is fighting in contract negotiations to stabilize and professionalize pre-continuing lecturer appointments

5. Very good collection of poverty adjunct stories. Pick up some you might have missed.

6. Rock Valley College (IL) honors 50th anniversary as strike looms.

7. Two excellent posters.

8. A whole new assortment of good stuff on the page of the Ohio PT Faculty Assoc. (OPTFA).

9. How can Washington state properly fund the schools? The WA Supreme Court says they must do so.

10. More on quit lit, especially by FTTT folks. Pretty witty and perceptive, IMHO.

11. Uber for tutors?

12. This about a new Back To School paper and presentations by CFHE.

Good morning, all!

As we mentioned, we will be releasing a new CFHE working paper on Wednesday.  The media advisory that went out on Friday is pasted below.  Feel free to join the call if you would like.  And, of course, help spread the word with reporters and others!



From: Lisa Cohen <>
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2015 8:57 AM
To: Lisa Cohen
Subject: Media Advisory: New Report on Price Students Are Paying for Higher Ed Hiring Policies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2015
Contact: Lisa Cohen 310-395-2544, Alice Sunshine 510-384-1967, Niesha Gates 916-281-8785

MEDIA ADVISORY: National News Conference Call

New national report examines the price students pay due to managerial policies on hiring & pay of faculty in America’s colleges and universities

Across the nation, university administrations are letting faculty salaries stagnate while they increasingly hire faculty on a temporary basis. The result — both faculty and students are suffering

Join a panel of national experts commenting on “Back to School in Higher Ed: Who Needs Faculty?” and on its findings on the state of higher education in the U.S.

Who: Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE)


-Adrianna Kezar,  Associate Director, Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis
-Gary D. Rhoades, Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education
-Rudy H. Fichtenbaum, National President, American Association of University Professors
-Jennifer Eagan, President, California Faculty Association


The phrase “back to school” used to have a simple, literal meaning—college students returned to their campuses, to familiar classroom settings, and to professors they would work with throughout their college careers.

Today, it’s very different.

While some still return to a rich variety of learning experiences with full-time faculty members, the nearly-universal drive to cut costs means that for a rapidly growing number of  students, “back to school” means classes staffed by part-time, “itinerant” faculty, large numbers of whom work multiple jobs and may not be there next term.

Some students are “returning” to no more than computer screens and minimal interaction with a professor—or none at all.

CFHE’s latest report “Back to School in Higher Ed: Who Needs Faculty?” looks at the impact of the latest hiring and faculty pay trends on students.

These trends are often promoted as ways to broaden access, lower costs, and foster “scalability.”

But do they? How does the lack of student-faculty engagement impact a student’s growth and development – in online learning settings and on campus, where faculty don’t have time for students given their work arrangement?

What is the impact of using part-time faculty instead of full-time faculty? And what is the impact of having so many faculty members falling into the “working poor” category instead of the middle class?

“Who Needs Faculty?” examines the price students pay for the trends in higher education that have grown and gained acceptance without full analysis of the trade-offs that they bring.

When:  Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 1 pm/Pacific Time, 4 pm/Eastern Time

Where: News Conference Call – Dial (800) 230-1092 and ask for the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education

Members of the news media, including campus/student reporters and bloggers on education issues, are invited to listen to a short discussion with and ask questions of national experts in higher education policy, particularly in regard to faculty who teach on America’s college campuses.

For an embargoed advance copy of the report, please contact Alice Sunshine at or Lisa Cohen

At the time of release, the report will be posted at:

About the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education was launched to guarantee that affordable quality higher education is accessible to all sectors of our society in the coming decades; and to include the voices of the faculty, staff, students and our communities—not only administrators, politicians, foundations and think tanks—in the process of making change. The campaign seeks to ensure that the emphasis, curriculum, pricing, and structure of our nation’s higher education systems are good for our students and the quality of education they receive.

13. Produce thinkers, not docile workers

14. New England Contingents UnitedUnconference” for adjuncts, Oct 17, Concord, NH.

15. Job opening at AFT Higher Ed (Contingent faculty activists should apply for this!)

16. Send CC College of the Arts an email telling them to bargaining with the adjunct union, SEIU.

17. Sign the solidarity statement with striking Seattle teachers.

18. Neoliberal by degrees, the repackaging of American Higher education.

19. Selling childhood in an age of austerity and division.

20. Petition to Pope Francis about contingent faculty and union rights at Catholic colleges.

21. No excuse for how colleges treat adjuncts, The Atlantic.

22. National Women’s Studies Assoc. (NWSA): “Precarity, More than a theme”
Help support contingent academics to go to NWSA conference and run sessions on precarity.

23. Academic freedom for all academics (and others too).

24. In the right direction (on Obama college policy). Read the comments section.

25. Tentative agreement in Seattle strike; more here; and here.

26. Point Park U (PA) adjuncts still bargaining

27. Petition to stop garnishment of SS payments to pay student loan debts.

28. Job announcement.

NOTE: As noted previously, your COCAL UPDATES editor (Joe Berry) and his spouse/partner/colleague Helena Worthen, are teaching labor studies in Viet Nam for the fall 2015 Semester.  Unions in Viet Nam are grappling with how to deal with the influx of foreign (capitalist) direct investment there and the need to build local unions that can effectively fight for workers in this new context.



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