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Chaparral 2016-2017: 25.4 Adjunct Junction

Adjunct Junction (April 2017)

Adjunct Junction

by Ramon Herrera

Adjunct Faculty Representative

This article is a call to all faculty members to continue their fight for equity and dignity for part-time faculty, and for part-time faculty to continue their contributions to the same. Becoming a faculty member is an honor that this author hopes to wear with integrity and responsibility. There have been very few joyful moments in life that compare to instructing in higher education! The past two years have been like a dream that one fears they may wake-up from. The biggest joy in teaching in higher education has been the opportunity to teach adults how to critically think for themselves by being able to filter through the data to understand how to decipher validity and reliability from fluff! However, when peers do the complete opposite by using all the fallacies they can dream up and serving them to one another, one must wonder if higher education works in the real world. The use of these fallacies is especially true when we become complacent with the status quo, or/and it is self-serving.

Although the life of a higher education instructor is both rewarding in contributions to generations to come and the measurement of one’s life achievements, the life of an adjunct is much more challenging in comparison to fulltime instructors. Just recently this adjunct heard, from fulltime faculty and staff, things like, “adjuncts are not vested in the college, so why should we work so hard for them,” and “but you’re only part-time” in answer to pointing out an administrative discrepancy. These are only things that have recently been heard within the past two weeks. This is not unique to this campus, as posts like Johnson (2016) points out in The Adjunct Crises, and, fortunately, Glendale Community College fairs better than most. Altogether, it is surprising to hear such derogatory statements, when part-timers make up 75% of faculty and instructing most courses. Most recently Dowd and Hardash (2016) and Cook (2017) identify that California Community College Districts are allocated about $7K per full time equivalent student (FTES); whereas, part-time faculty serve the majority of these students. However, when it comes to achieving parity and better working conditions for adjuncts, phrases like the above are thrown around along with fallacies in arguments to rationalize the status quo.

Now, our faculty union is here to serve all faculty; although, the Guild is only strong as a collective body. Therefore, let us take advantage of our education and work with the Guild to challenge the status quo! We have new members coming into the Guild Executive body –support them! This union can continue to be strong with the support of its members! Now, again, part-time faculty are the majority of the Guild body –be heard! Unite to make change! This does not have to be done in a loud voice… We can be heard by challenging the rational of keeping the status quo and removing the rational through actions. If they call you less vested in the campus, become more active in campus activities like governance committees, student organizations, and offering workshops. If they call you less competent, improve your curriculum and results by educating yourself further. If they say you are just a part-timer, be sure you’re the best faculty member they’ve ever seen! Above all else, give your students 110% of you, because in the end, that’s all that truly matters! 

 

Visit us on the web: www.glendale.edu/guild and http://gccguild.org

 

 

Glendale College Guild

 

 

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