"Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade" is the title the new course taught by four star general and Visiting Professor at CUNY, David Petraeus. For his two courses at CUNY, Petraeus will be paid over $150,000, which is much more than CUNY's average adjunct salary of $3,000 per course. [more inside]
Is the right declaring war on academia through a push for online degrees? Is it paranoid to think that the American right is trying to undermine academic freedom? Public universities are increasingly offering not just a few courses but whole degree programs online, above and beyond the MOOCs discussed previously and previously. Who teaches these online classes offered by public universities? Increasingly, it's adjuncts. One estimate is that 1/3 of online classes are taught by adjuncts. Adjuncts are low-paid, and, perhaps more importantly, they do not have the protection of tenure if they produce controversial innovative research.
I fantasize about academic sharecroppers organizing with contingent workers across industries, a category (taxi drivers, seasonal workers in agriculture and tourism, truckers, office temps, construction temps...) that has exploded over the last twenty years. Together their power would overturn cities. But for that to happen, academic sharecroppers will have to tear their allegiance from the people who love what they love, that is, they will need to understand that my job is funded by their oppression, that there are more of them than there are of me, that they are the shaky foundation on which people like me totteringly stand. There are more and more of them and fewer and fewer of me. Adjuncts as sharecroppers. There's a reason it's #14. [more inside]