New Adjunct Discussion Group on Vitae

Adjunct Life Group

Over at Vitae, we’ve been creating discussion groups based on some of the primary categories of people using the site. Our most recent group is called Adjunct Life and it’s designed to be a place where adjuncts can share stories and advice with each other.

LinkedIn has a couple of pretty active adjunct groups that focus a little more on career advice and discussions, so I’m thinking there’s clearly a demand for this kind of online gathering place for adjuncts.

The problem I’ve had with LinkedIn, as Jonathon Rees has also pointed out, is that the site isn’t exactly an ideal networking platform for academics. I’ve been a member for awhile now–more out of social obligation than anything else–and I still haven’t really done anything worthwhile on the site.

I’m hoping Vitae can pick up where LinkedIn has fallen short for us. Vitae is specifically set up for academics and allows us to display elements of our professional lives that LinkedIn leaves out.

Anyway, that’s why I created the adjunct group at Vitae. We’ll see if anyone decides to use it. I know I will, and I hope other adjuncts will join me.

I’ve got a thread going over there now about how I’m coping with my “adjunct recovery” now that I’m officially post-ac. If you get a hankerin’, you should join the group and the discussion.


Fighting For an Adjunct Union in San Francisco

Adjunct Action Bay Area

Adjunct professors at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) are attempting to unionize under the SEIU’s metro-organizing strategy, which is now spreading across major cities of the west coast. It’s another exciting opportunity for the successful higher ed organizing group Adjunct Action.

But SFAI administrators are fighting the union drive. The school has hired attorney Ron Holland to represent it. A bio of Holland explains that his practice “focuses exclusively on representing management in traditional labor law and employment law issues.” The union-busting campaign is underway according to Jennifer Smith-Camejo, who works in the communications department of SEIU Local 1021.

Adjuncts at the school are fighting back against the anti-union rhetoric being disseminated by SFAI and their attorney. Some have written on their personal blogs about the opposition they’ve faced, and a tumblr page has also been created to keep people posted on the latest updates. The tumblr links to a petition that anyone can sign to show support for the right to vote.

Students and teachers from SFAI and other area schools will be meeting over the next few days on and off campus to discuss the next steps.

For more information about the union effort at the San Francisco Art Institute, contact:

Jennifer Smith-Camejo, SEIU Local 1021

Adjuncts on the Diane Rehm Show

Diane Rehm Show

The Diane Rehm show out of Washington, DC featured an important segment on adjunct professors this week. The public radio show has an estimated 1.7 million listeners. On the show Wednesday were Maria Maisto, executive director of New Faculty Majority, and Peter Schmidt who authored the recent Chronicle of Higher Education piece on the Adjunct Action national adjunct union.

The hour-long show gives a solid background on the current state of academic labor, and it also gives Maisto and Schmidt a great platform to explain the problem.  Some good discussions came from listeners, as well, who called into the show in order to weigh in on the adjunct issue.

Other guests on the show included two academic administrators who did their best to obscure the problem and deflect the issue by obfuscating and shifting blame, but Maisto handles them well by continuing to return to the real problems.

I love seeing adjuncts’ media presence continue to spread into more mainstream outlets. The adjunct problem really speaks for itself, so the key is just getting this message to a broader audience.

Lots of good tweets and comments posted on the piece, as well.

Check out the whole conversation on the Diane Rehm Show website.

Featured Job – April 18, 2014

RAND Corporation

The past few weeks our featured job has been a professor position. This week, I’m mixing things up a little. In honor of the new Flexible Academics group at Vitae, I’m featuring a job this week that qualifies as a flexible academic position.

The featured job this week is a Research Editor position for RAND Corporation. This job sounds really cool. If I were on the market right now, I would definitely apply.

Here are the details about RAND’s Research Editor:

  • Senior-level Research Editor with a diverse range of editing and communications skills who will be responsible for online developmental editing, copyediting, copywriting, and typesetting and page layout for print, electronic, and web products in support of the publication of final, peer-reviewed RAND research products
  • Also advises writers and researchers in matters of style, syntax, and usage to improve the general quality and effectiveness
  • Candidates must have excellent verbal and written skills
  • Copyediting and proofreading experience
  • Must be familiar with common style guides
  • Comfortable with publishing and electronic media
  • Knowledge of copyright and IP issues
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in a publishing or communications environment.

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.

Sounds like a job ready-made for a flexible academic to me. Read more and apply for the job here.

We also have higher ed jobs on our job board.

Negotiating Tips Podcast

Negotiating Tips Podcast

Just want to share a podcast series I’m learning a lot from. I only found it this week, but the podcast was produced a few years ago by Slate and it’s called Negotiation Academy. The series is proving to be a useful tool for thinking about salary negotiations.

The whole series is only ten podcasts about 15-20 minutes a piece. Each episode covers a different topic on negotiation strategy from preliminary research to BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement) to asking for a raise. So far every episode has taught me some new piece of negotiation strategy that I can incorporate into my daily life.

I haven’t quite finished the series yet, but I can strongly recommend it. I’ve been starting each morning lately with a podcast and a new negotiation tip. Give it a shot and see what you think. I’ll probably pull the series all together in a future post on negotiating strategy.

You can subscribe to Negotiation Academy in iTunes or listen to the first episode here.