Contingent Academic Labor: Evaluating Conditions to Improve Student Outcomes (The New Faculty Majority)

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9781620362525: Contingent Academic Labor: Evaluating Conditions to Improve Student Outcomes (The New Faculty Majority)

Contingent Academic Labor is a concise guide that offers higher education professionals a way to measure the degree of equality taking place in work environments for non-tenure track faculty across institutional settings. It frames the relevant issues and examines the nationwide situation facing contingent faculty across the professional landscape. The goal is to review contingent faculty treatment, and offer a standardized way to identify both equitable and unjust practices that impact adjunct faculty and their students by extension.

The main feature of this guide is The Contingent Labor Conditions Score, a tool to help evaluate current labor practices that impact adjuncts in both positive and negative ways. The report card measures 3 areas of labor conditions:

*Material Equity: Pay, job security and benefits
*Professional Equity: Opportunities for advancement, professional development, academic freedom, sense of professional inclusion, and job satisfaction
*Social Equity: Gender and race parity between contingent and non-contingent faculty in proportion to the population served

This book will be useful for administrators and labor organizers alike in assessing the degree of exploitation, or empowerment, in their own institution. The Contingent Labor Conditions Score, as a standardized tool, will serve audiences on both sides of the discussion in creating positive steps forward, improving not only contingent faculty working conditions, but ultimately improving student outcomes.

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About the Author:

Daniel B. Davis is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of California, San Diego; a Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Fellow; half-time faculty at Point Loma Nazarene University and a lecturer at San Diego State University.

He has published articles on student college-to-career pathways in Sociology of Education and Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Davis previously researched undergraduate educational outcomes with CREATE (The Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence) at UC San Diego. He has taught dozens of college courses in various settings, including private and public, community colleges and four-year universities, online and face-to-face.

Across these institutions, the range of working and learning conditions Davis encountered was vast, with the highest-paying campus offering compensation four times greater than the lowest-paying institution. Some of the positions had benefits and reasonable security of contract; others had neither. The sense of professional inclusion―through designated office space, invitations to department events, and more―was substantial at certain campuses and non-existent at others. It was the experience of these disparate working conditions, their impact on Davis’ sense of professional engagement, and their effect on his students that motivated him to write this guide.

Click here to visit Daniel's professional website.

Review:

"In this book, Daniel B. Davis has proposed an important practical tool for addressing the contingent faculty crisis and ensuring that all stakeholders participate in the transformation of higher education into a site of authentic excellence, and commitment to equity and equality." (Maria Maisto, President/ED, New Faculty Majority: The National Coalition for Adjunct and Contingent Equity and the NFM Foundation)

From the Foreword:
“This book, in my estimation, is one of the most important books focused on contingent faculty in higher education...I highly recommend this book to leaders within unions, academic administrators, faculty leaders - both tenure-track and contingent - as THE approach for advancing equity on college campuses.” (Adrianna Kezar, PhD, Professor, USC, Co-director Pullias Center and Director Delphi Project)

“Daniel Davis got the single most important thing about current contingent faculty right (besides their extreme exploitation, of course), which is that most of us would rather be full-time, job-secure (tenured or otherwise) faculty. It is amazing how many writers get that wrong. One could hope that most of the book’s cogent prescriptions for change will not be ignored by the vast majority of the intended audience: administrators and trustees. The rest of us with a stake in higher education cannot afford to ignore this book and its very reasonable ideas for change. I look forward to his next book about how to get there.” (Joe T. Berry, author of Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing adjuncts to change higher education. (Monthly Review Press, 2005) and editor of the weekly news aggregator COCAL UPDATES for contiongent)

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