A Day Without a (Contingent) Woman

New Faculty Majority endorses A Day Without A Woman and the International Women’s Strike of March 8, 2017.

Slightly more than half of all contingent faculty are women, and women constitute the clear majority of contingent faculty in “feminized” fields in the humanities.  Women of color are underrepresented in the faculty as a whole, but overrepresented in the contingent ranks.  For us at New Faculty Majority, these statistics are reason enough to support the International Women’s Strike, in all of its forms.

Recognizing that the precariousness of adjunct and contingent faculty working conditions makes it risky for many women to participate, we encourage allies, especially tenured women allies, to stand up for their precarious colleagues and we encourage all to wear red in solidarity.

Red, we point out, is traditionally associated with the labor movement. It is also an apt color for adjunct and contingent faculty and especially for those who are women.  The Scarlet A is an unofficial symbol of the feminization and the exploitation of adjunct and contingent faculty, those who are doing the work at the heart of the mission of higher education and who are sacrificing the most for their students and colleagues.

We encourage all of our colleagues and supporters to learn more about the working conditions of adjunct and contingent faculty and to work with us to demand and to work for equal pay for equal work, workplace dignity, and a re-dedication to the women faculty and students without whom colleges and universities would cease to function.

NFM’s Women and Contingency Project

Addressing the Scarlet A: Adjuncts and the Academy


NFM Works: Marisa Allison Wins ASA’s Robert Dentler Award

Marisa Allison

Marisa Allison

We’re proud to announce that our own Marisa Allison has won the American Sociological Association’s Robert Dentler Award for Outstanding Student Achievement in public sociology. This award honors dedication and exceptional academic/activist work, and she was honored for her ongoing work on contingent faculty issues. This award is a recognition of her commitment to applied sociology for the “betterment of the human condition.”

Marisa first joined New Faculty Majority in 2012 as a volunteer, and later became an official staff member of the NFM Foundation Research Department, helping us with surveys and reports, responding to researchers interested in our work, and helping activists on campuses to design and administer surveys of their adjunct colleagues. She has been instrumental in conceiving and developing our Women and Contingency Project, which focuses on the particular ramifications for women students and faculty of the contingent academic employment system.

Marisa’s work with NFM has both informed and been informed by her project at George Mason University helping to design and implement one of the most comprehensive studies ever produce of adjunct faculty working conditions on a single campus, “Indispensable But Invisible.” She has been uniquely qualified to lead this effort. She has a broad comprehension of the national and international scope of contingent employment in and outside of academia, and has expertly connected her work to this context.

We’re pleased and excited about Marisa’s award, and proud that she’s part of our organization. Congratulations, Marisa!

-Maria Maisto