Cultivating Labor Peace With Adjunct Faculty

The wave of media attention highlighting the working conditions of adjunct professors in academia across the nation is difficult to miss these days. Even Congress has become involved. The House Education and Workforce Committee (HEWC) recently issued what has been heralded as Congress’ first report on the state of adjuncts in America. The HEWC’s report, The Just-In-Time Professor, concluded that “[i]n short, adjuncts and other contingent faculty likely make up the most highly educated and experienced workers on food stamps and other public assistance in the country.”

With news like this, it is easy to think that the problems are insurmountable, unionization of adjunct faculty is inevitable, and labor peace is not attainable. But think again. There are a number of actions that can be taken — not all of them costly or big — to cultivate labor peace with adjuncts.

Originally published in The Higher Education Workplace - Spring 2014.

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