Author: Sean Kennedy (Page 3 of 3)

First-year student in the PhD program in English.

Day 3–No Response from CUNY Union Pres.

Tuesday at 3:40 p.m. I sent an open letter to Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s union, with the subject line “Open letter re your De Blasio statement & your exclusion of adjuncts and graduate student workers.” I copied the union’s first vice-president, treasurer, vice-president for part-time personnel, and executive director on the email, all people we Adjunct Project coordinators have worked with, or attempted to work with, this academic year. I also copied 11 of the 12 members of the newly reconstituted (and elected) Graduate Center chapter slate, omitting one member because I couldn’t find an email for that person. Finally, I copied two higher education officers (HEOs) at the Graduate Center, one of whom is a cross-campus officer for the union, both of whom, working together, put together the Graduate Center slate (with no input solicited from the Adjunct Project).

There was one response from these 18 people by 3:30 p.m. today, from Andrea A. Vazquez, the aforementioned cross-campus officer who serves on the union’s executive council. You can see her response, and my reply on behalf of the letter co-signers, here.

I am now sending the letter again to the aforementioned recipients, along with the names and affiliations of the 77 co-signers.

The union leaders and chapter leaders are supposed to represent us. It’s not the other way around.

To co-sign the letter, please visit here.

There are now 77 of us.

Union Exec. Council Member Responds; Our Reply

Today at 11:14 a.m., a member of the CUNY union’s executive council, Andrea A. Vazquez, responded to the 77 of us (and counting–read and sign the letter here!) calling for the union to represent adjuncts and graduate student workers. She sent her response to two listservs: one for the Graduate Center General Assembly, the other for NYC-wide student activists.

My response to Andrea, on behalf of the 77 of us, follows her statement.

It’s day three since we sent the letter to the union president, Barbara Bowen, and she still hasn’t responded.

Sean,

I write as long time Graduate Center HEO and a PSC activist for six years. While I am most involved in the HEO chapter, I am also a member of the PSC executive council and on the current contract bargaining team. I say this because, despite of our chapter membership, for the past few years my colleague Bob Nelson (HEO delegate) and I have attended many GC student events, actions, and meetings. Many of these efforts have been exciting, important and have received the support of full time faculty, staff, other students, and the PSC. I am glad to have been supportive of many of those activities and glad, too, that at those events I witnessed a very different spirit of collaborative struggle for a better CUNY than you express in your message. As you point out, you are fairly new in your position and you express “great dismay” at President Bowen’s statement. Unfortunately, you are failing to see the larger picture and are ignoring the history and the facts as they relate to adjuncts and the union. The letter seems to presume that if you declare it, that makes it true. This is an especially unfortunate occurrence in a University.  This is the case throughout your letter but perhaps the most glaring example of such oversight is the absence of any interrogation of contracts negotiated over the past fourteen years and your simultaneous willingness to declare that adjuncts have not been a priority of this leadership. For example, in the past two contracts, adjunct faculty have received at the top step greater wage increases, paid office hours, professional development funds, and more. Much remains to be done, including securing higher salaries, stabilization of health benefits, longer appointments, and job security, but it is also in the interest of CUNY, its undergraduate students and adjuncts that we fight for a significant increase in the number of full time CUNY faculty hired across the system. We still suffer from the drastic cuts imposed on CUNY in the 1970s and when we increase the number of full-time faculty that also increases job opportunities for adjunct faculty and for new CUNY PhDs. (Every issue of Clarion is available online and the work of adjunct activists, PSC adjunct leaders, organizers, and liaisons receives a full and accurate reporting there.)

It is unfortunate that you did not attend last week’s meeting of Graduate Center PSCers. Over 100 attended, including full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, graduate teaching fellows, HEOs, CLTs, and Research Foundation employees from all Graduate Center locations and offices. President Bowen and PSC Treasurer Michael Fabricant spent nearly two hours speaking and responding to all questions posed by members in an open, honest, informed, and respectful manner, including those from your fellow adjuncts and graduate teaching fellows about the union’s adjunct contract demands, demands that were in fact developed when our contract expired in October 2010. PSCers from every unit responded with renewed enthusiasm and support for the contract fight that is heating up.

On President Bowen’s statement that you criticized, I’d emphasize that highlighting the need for “full time hires and student support staff” in no way precludes the other urgent contract demands we put forth. While the PSC continues to prioritize adjunct issues, I’d also point out that there are many other PSC constituencies that require and receive the attention of the contract negotiation team. Another contract priority, for example, relates to the HEO non-promotional series. Many in the Assistant to HEO line, for example, are stuck at the top of their pay scale with no structure in place for advancement, save “reclassification,” which is a difficult process. Workload issues for full time faculty, especially at the community colleges, are also a top priority.

As we discussed at last week’s GC meeting, in order to be strong and successful, we must devote sufficient time to understanding the myriad issues that face our diverse membership and then organize and stand united. Of course, it’s not simple but without that plan and shared vision we stand little chance of succeeding. In lieu of claiming poor representation (adjunct faculty are well represented on the PSC Executive Council and on the contract negotiations team), and planning to confront and force the leadership and the union’s elected delegate assembly representatives to do as you wish, I’d ask you to adopt a more comradely and respectful tone in your communication and participation with the union. You not only do a disservice to the PSC leadership by your accusations, you also divide the union membership at a moment in our contract negotiations when solidarity is essential.

Andrea A. Vasquez

Thank you for your response, Andrea, but our letter, with 70+ signatories and counting, is to Barbara as president of the union.

There are three issues we asked her to redress, and a fourth: the gratis attendance of 30 adjuncts and graduate student workers at this summer’s COCAL at John Jay College being organized by the PSC.

Today is day three since the letter was sent to Barbara and she still has not responded.

You speak to none of the four issues in the letter here.

It’s the union’s job to represent us. It’s not the other way around.

We are holding the union accountable. We want real, rank-and-file democracy.

Regards,

Sean

To read and sign the letter, please click here.

Day 2–No Response from CUNY Union Pres.

Yesterday at 3:40 p.m. I sent an open letter to Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s union, with the subject line “Open letter re your De Blasio statement & your exclusion of adjuncts and graduate student workers.” I copied the union’s first vice-president, treasurer, vice-president for part-time personnel, and executive director on the email, all people we Adjunct Project coordinators have worked with, or attempted to work with, this academic year. I also copied 11 of the 12 members of the newly reconstituted (and elected) Graduate Center chapter slate, omitting one member because I couldn’t find an email for that person. Finally, I copied two higher education officers (HEOs) at the Graduate Center, one of whom is a cross-campus officer for the union, both of whom, working together, put together the Graduate Center slate (with no input solicited from the Adjunct Project).

There had been no response from any of these 18 people by 3 p.m. today.

I sent the letter again to the aforementioned recipients at 3:11 p.m., along with the names and affiliations of the 44 co-signers.

As of the time of this writing, there has still been no response.

The union leaders and chapter leaders are supposed to represent us. It’s not the other way around.

To co-sign the letter, leave a comment here (with your affiliation) or email me at kennedy [dot] sean [at] gmail [dot] com.

There are now 60 of us.

Our 20th-Anniversary Celebration, THIS FRIDAY!

AP 20th Anniv. flyerFrom Vinny Tirelli’s Graduate Center dissertation, The Invisible Faculty Fight Back: Contingent Academic Labor and the Political Economy of the Corporate University (2007):

“Aside from the direct union activism that was growing at this time, there were other threads that tied into the maelstrom of academic labor politics, and which contributed to the growing awareness of the class conflicts that embroiled CUNY. For instance, in the fall of 1993, [the DSC] founded the…Adjunct Project. The key difference between the Adjunct Project and previous efforts by the DSC to support adjunct activism was that now the activities were funded with a paid coordinator, as well as other resources such as a phone, an office, a computer, etc.” (318).

Though fall 2013 has passed, it’s still the same academic year and, thus, still occasion to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this remarkable organization. We hope you’ll join us in doing so this Friday, 2:30-4:30p, in room 5414 of the GC (365 5th Avenue).

 

Why Krugman Should Earn $36K (If Not a $1)

Since posting my critique of Paul Krugman’s terms of hire at the CUNY Graduate Center, I took the time to collect some data on what CUNY’s distinguished professors—the rank Krugman will have—typically make.

As collectively bargained by the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s faculty and staff union, distinguished professors earn a bonus of $25,878 above their salary as a full professor, the highest step of which is $116,364. That equals a total salary of $142,242, a figure roughly borne out by a random search of GC distinguished professors’ salaries in publicly available data (which yields an average salary of $156,490, a higher rate due to additional earnings from, say, directing a center). Given that base figure, then, Krugman is to be paid 58% more than the union-CUNY stipulated rate for distinguished professors.

Furthermore—and this part is key—Krugman will only have to teach one seminar a year after his first year at the GC, for a total of one unit, while the “usual workload” for distinguished professors, to quote from GC interim president Chase Robinson’s offer letter to Krugman, “would be four units; one course equals one unit, and a total of five tutorials and/or dissertation advisements equal one unit.” Instead of providing this additional instructional labor, however, Krugman is to “play a modest role in our public events” and “contribute to our build-up of LIS and the inequality initiative,” which are also his sole responsibilities in his first year at the GC. In other words, Krugman is being paid a premium for his prestige: to show up at events, provide visibility to the Luxembourg Income Study Center, and to generally raise the profile—that is, publicize—the GC and its inequality initiative (whatever that is exactly). Meanwhile, the inequality at the GC goes unaddressed. Indeed, the terms of Krugman’s hire contribute to it: a 58% higher salary for 75% less instructional labor.

This analysis underscores Krugman’s ethical obligation to lower his salary—if not to a $1 (the rate CUNY’s previous celebrity hire, David Petraeus, makes) than at least to a rate that reflects his atypical instructional load: $35,560.50, or 25% of the mandated salary for CUNY distinguished professors. He could then direct the discrepancy between that figure and his offered salary of $225,000—$189,439.50—to be used in support of GC students and/or CUNY adjuncts, as GC alum James Hoff has rightly suggested.

The point? People should not be paid for their prestige. They should be paid for their labor, and at an equitable rate relative to other workers.

Paul Krugman and the Politics of Public Higher Ed

images

Amid the responses to yesterday’s news about the supremely cushy terms of Paul Krugman’s hiring at the CUNY Graduate Center, three have stood out:

1) that the average adjunct salary per course at CUNY is ~$3,000, and Krugman will earn 75 times that to teach one seminar per year (and no teaching labor at all in his first year);

2) that Krugman’s salary of $225,000 per academic year is either appropriate to his scholarly and public stature or that he’s being underpaid at that rate; and

3) that his salary is actually a bargain because it will be well returned by virtue of the Graduate Center’s enhanced profile and an attendant increase in private donations.

To these responses I’d like to add:

a) that there are 13 different funding levels for students at the Graduate Center (GC), ranging from zero dollars to $27,000 (as of last fall’s data). Krugman’s primary attachment will be to the GC’s Luxembourg Income Study Center, the mission of which is to support the study of, among other phenomena, poverty and income inequality.

The contradiction between these objects of study and the very subjects of poverty and income inequality at the GC is worth continually highlighting. Graduate students at the GC are at the mercy of funding—the funding inequities among us are the direct result of GC decision-making and priority-setting, working within the two-way interface with CUNY Central. Just last Friday we were at a meeting in which Interim President Robinson—the GC leader who fawned so over Krugman in the numerous emails that were released—told us, yet again, that there was no money available for increased funding—not even for those students who have no funding at all, either because they came in with no funding or because they are now outside the five years of guaranteed funding of the most lucrative packages.

There is, however, $225K a year to give Krugman for just, essentially, hanging around. What if, instead, that money went to the GC students who need it the most? Sure, at an annual rate, Krugman’s salary would only equal 12.5 $18K fellowship packages, the deal that many GC students have who entered before the current academic year (including me). But another way to think about it is as 75 $3,000 grants to students sans funding, so that they could teach one less class as an adjunct, thus allowing a much-needed diminishment in pressure and the possibility, maybe, to get through another dissertation chapter because of it.

The larger issue, of course, is that the terms of Krugman’s hire represent a fundamental contradiction in the hegemony of the “lack of money” that rules the practices and discussions of public higher ed. Indeed, there is always money to be had, at CUNY as elsewhere, whether it’s to hire a celebrity prof to add value by virtue of his name, or to build a $350-million “world-class” science center. (Note that Krugman is also “world class.” CUNY’s desperate for world-class status, even if it means running its students and faculty into the ground.)

And this is just to consider the situation of graduate student workers at the GC. The CUNY system at large is rife with inequality due to the state’s and university’s spending priorities, which reflect the overall neoliberal political economy that has decimated public higher ed over the last 40+ years. Indeed, at CUNY in particular, as much as the 1969 student, faculty, and community occupation of City College was a watershed victory against structural racism and/in higher education, it also galvanized the reactionary policies that have led to the increased exclusion of working class students of color in recent years.

b) As for Krugman’s salary, whether he’s being paid appropriately for his stature is beside the point. I mean, does anyone know how much money he makes from university employment versus his NYT gig versus his books versus his speaking gigs, etc.? In a bitter irony, it would seem that university employment is actually adjunct labor for him, in the way that it was for most adjuncts back in the day, who taught to supplement their income and not for their entire livelihood, as they must today under the penury of academic capitalism.

Furthermore, CUNY’s last celebrity hire, David Petraeus, cut his salary to $1 after a similar outcry last summer over his comparably less cushy terms (he had to teach—wait for it—two courses a year). As Petraeus’s representative put it at the time, “Once controversy arose about the amount he was being paid, he decided it was much more important to keep the focus on the students, on the school and on the teaching, and not have it be about the money.”

Considering the above, is Krugman more or less ethical than Petraeus?

c) Finally, if Krugman’s hire results in more private donations, fine. But to what would those donations go? There is currently no accountability mechanism at the GC (that I’m aware of at least) to measure, on the one hand, incoming donations and, on the other, what those funds are being used for. If Krugman’s position at the GC spurs donations that will then be put to student funding, that would be great—all for it. But something tells me that’s not what’s going to happen…

To be clear, I’m not against Krugman per se—I’m against the political economy that rewards elites while immiserating everyone else (given that the middle class is increasingly an illusion). For all Krugman’s own utility, such as it is, as a scourge against center-right economics, the terms of his hiring at the GC are an unfortunate symbol of all that’s wrong with public higher ed.

Late Pay: One CUNY Horror Story

Since last semester, the Adjunct Project has been collecting data on the late pay of CUNY adjuncts and graduate assistants. With this data, we’ve been trying to forge solutions to what by all accounts is CUNY’s endemic problem of paying adjuncts and graduate assistants late.

Given our base at the Graduate Center, we’ve been working—or, rather, trying to work—with administrators and staff here to put in place a) measures that would prevent late payment outright, and b) a fund that graduate students, working in either the job title “Adjunct” or “Graduate Assistant,” could tap if they are still paid late.

Because of CUNY’s size, we’ve prioritized this effort on behalf of Graduate Center student workers, though it’s certainly a model that could be deployed on individual campuses. Indeed, as the following anecdote shows, adjuncts who are paid late, whether graduate students or graduates, often have no recourse at all to recoup their late wages. In this particular case, which an adjunct provided to us in our ongoing data collection, the adjunct wasn’t even able to ask for an “advance,” an option granted by our union contract, because the adjunct wasn’t registered at the college.

We offer this as just one of the multitude of adjunct horror stories out there, in service to the overall campaign of showing how adjuncts and contingent faculty are so often left high and dry by the institutions for which they work. The adjunct relayed this info last week; we’ll keep you updated on what happens.

I was a late hire to teach a class that meets just one night a week. I was told I was getting the class the night that class began, then I was able to fill out my paperwork the following week. No appointment letter was available for me at that time. I emailed the department chair a reminder about the appointment letter but I received no response (it was his suggestion that I make this move and then they would scan and send me the letter to fill out).

When I followed up with the department administrative assistant on Wednesday (Feb. 19th, two weeks after I filled out paperwork), I was told there was no letter yet for me to sign because she had not processed any of my paperwork yet and I was not yet entered into the system as working at [the college]. She told me that I shouldn’t even be in the classroom because of this. When I expressed concern about getting paid on time to be able to have enough money to pay my rent for March, her response was a flat-out “You won’t be getting paid anytime soon” and then told me that she is still processing the paperwork from December for other instructors and that I will be at the end of that long line.

She said that she “should” have the appointment letter ready for me next Thursday, Feb. 27th but she would not scan and email it to me ahead of that time. I have no idea how long after the appointment letter is signed that all my information is processed and I will finally be in the system and able to be paid the money that I am owed for my work. The administrative assistant confirmed that I have filled out every other necessary form, so it’s just on her end that the process is being slowed down.

If you’re a CUNY adjunct or graduate assistant and would like to share your horror story, please let us know. Email us at theadjunctproject at gmail dot com.

Resisting Precarity: Remarks for the #MLAsubcon

Vending machine #mlasubconFollowing are the remarks I prepared for the closing plenary of the MLA Subconference last Thursday, on which I appeared, on behalf of the CUNY Adjunct Project, with Chris Newfield of the University of California–Santa Barbara, Kyle Shafer of Unite Here!, and Jimmy Casas Klausen of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Though I veered from these particular words—I’d quickly handwritten them, in my near illegible script—the views are the same as I expressed in person, as you’ll see on the archived livestream (which you should check for the other panelists’ remarks and subsequent discussion).

The photo above, by Lee Skallerup Bessetteshows an image, presented by Shafer, of hospitality workers in a vending machine—a specific depiction of how capitalism renders people in general: disposable. If we are to resist precarity, we must resist capitalism and its various deployments, as I try to show. —Sean M. Kennedy

First of all, and again, I want to thank the organizers of this very generative convening. Thank you all for inviting the CUNY Adjunct Project to appear, and thank you for your generously donated labor. And, frankly, it shouldn’t be our job, as graduate students, to change the university. We have enough other things to do—research, write, teach, attend conferences on money we don’t have—the list goes on—that we don’t have time, let alone resources, to solve all the problems facing higher education too. But since the people with available time and resources—tenured faculty and faculty unions, administrators, disciplinary organizations and other academic bodies—apparently have no interest, nor ability, to fix these issues, doing so must be our work as well. And so I thank everyone here in this newly formed collective, and I look forward to continuing this mobilization, in particular in coordinating actions across our various campuses between now and next year’s gathering in Vancouver.

I also want to note my regret that Marc Bousquet can’t be with us tonight as expected. Not only is he an alumnus of my very program at the CUNY Graduate Center, but his longstanding analyses of academic capitalism, particularly in How the University Works, have provided an important foundation for my own views on the political economy of U.S. higher education. Indeed, I love to quote his remark that the PhD holder is now the “waste product of graduate education,” especially at department-wide meetings in which most attendees, professors and students alike, look at me like I’m crazy. But Marc is dead on about the expendability of laborers, who are eliminated, both symbolically and materially, under global capitalism. What is a prison, after all, except the housing of waste—of incapacitated workers deliberately left behind by the structural adjustment that has battered specific U.S. communities since Reagan? What is imperial war, of which the U.S. is the reigning arbiter, except the incapacitating of communities around the world?

Prison and war frame my remarks tonight not just because of their central relationships to U.S. governmentality and capital accumulation but also due to my institutional and geographic locations at the City University of New York, whose students are subjected to the whims of campus security when they’re not being terrorized by the NYPD through its racist, violent stop-and-frisk program. Although the police target black and brown men, the costs of stop-and-frisk—and prisons at large—to individuals and neighborhoods are countless. And when youth of color make it to CUNY—that is, if they’re not pushed out earlier by the school-to-prison pipeline or the brutal testing regime (both of which line the pockets of corporate executives and investors)—they are now offered a dubious stability in the form of military service, as CUNY has welcomed back ROTC after a 41-year absence—a military that has historically preyed upon the multiracial working class. Meanwhile, U.S. imperialism, safeguarded by the military, and the sturdy hegemony of the American dream continue to make New York City a hub for numerous diasporic communities. Indeed, the diversity of oppressed nationalities in the city led the American Enterprise Institute to recommend CUNY as a recruiting ground.

I was asked to speak tonight on one aspect of precarity, and how to resist it, and as this sketch of issues at CUNY indicates, I want to highlight the critical necessity of intersectional analysis and organizing. In other words, there can be no single-issue activism or research. At CUNY, the myriad intersecting issues—and I only briefly outlined a few—make it impossible to address change without also addressing the full complex of problems that jointly maintain the status quo. And this is the case across higher education, given the university’s deep entanglement with processes and histories of colonialism, racialized social control, and oppression.

In practice, what this means for me, as an organizer for the CUNY Adjunct Project, is that I must also organize with and alongside organizers for racial and economic justice broadly, since academic labor, like labor at large, is shaped by structural forces that delimit not just equal opportunity but equal resources as well. It means I must collaborate with and stand beside organizers working to end stop-and-frisk, since that affects the students I teach as contingent faculty and the colleagues I work with inside and outside of class. It means I must work in concert with organizers demanding an end to the militarization of CUNY and its appointment of war-criminal David Petraeus, overseer of death squads and torture in Iraq and drones at the CIA. It means showing up at hearings and rallies for comrades disciplined by City College and turned over to the law on allegations of “almost” inciting a riot for protesting the seizure of the Morales/Shakur Community and Student Center, an autonomous space won by black and Puerto Rican people—students and residents of Harlem working together—in their—our—still-ongoing struggle to decolonize CUNY. It means demanding a parental-leave policy for Graduate Center student workers—currently none exists—so that they don’t have to forfeit their teaching fellowships if they want to care for their newborn children. Again, the list goes on.

I am one of four phenotypically white, cisgender men on this panel tonight, an observation I make not to criticize but to think through critically. Indeed, this room is primarily white, and as such reproduces the prevailing whiteness of the academy, and marks how much work needs to be done to rectify the racial injustices of higher education. But we—and I mean those of us who are white, with all our racial privilege—need to be part of that work. Similar to how we want tenured faculty to use their privilege, and resources, to help us contingent faculty end the two-tier system of academic labor and concomitant exploitation—one of the many themes of this conference—those of us with the capital granted to us by white privilege must spend it—all of it—for the sake of racial justice. That is to say, we must work against our privilege, to undo it, akin to how my mentors at the Revolutionary Students Coordinating Committee, or RSCC—the rhyme with SNCC is deliberate—urge “class suicide” of the bourgeoisie, petit and grande. Only when whiteness is eliminated, and the capital it has accumulated by dispossession is returned, will there be an end to precarity.

In other words, we must fully reckon with the settler colonialism and chattel slavery on which the U.S. was founded and which destroyed communities—of people, of thought, of practice—all over the world. These paired legacies are alive at CUNY, as they are everywhere. As such, I believe we must reclaim the notion of contingency so that it names radical possibility as much as it does material vulnerability. The contingency I imagine would allow us to choose the labor we want to do, be with the people with whom we want to be, govern ourselves in the ways we want to be governed, travel to where we want to travel, and take care of one another in the manner in which we want to be taken care of. Legacies of such collective determination are also alive, even if they’re often demoted to “cultural differences” by the dominant communities of the global metropole.

At the same time, we must also remember that the institutions that discipline us are precarious, as yesterday’s presentation on private-bond-funded, tuition-backed campus construction showed. But when a protest can increase interest rates—and attendant debt-service payments that can run into the millions—it gives universities even more reason to crack down on dissent, as we have seen happen this last semester at CUNY, which is now codifying such repression.

Again, we must contend with militarization, and the capitalism it protects—and the communities harmed by both. To counter this violence, in the present and historically, we need to organize across divides and resist the colonial logic of separation. Only then will we be resisting precarity too.

(Cross-posted to Sean’s website.)

Stephanie Luce on Living-Wage and Adjunct Organizing

Stephanie Luce imagePlease join us for our first event of the semester when we welcome Stephanie Luce, associate professor of labor studies at CUNY’s Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, on Thursday, September 12th, 5 p.m., in 5409 of the CUNY Graduate Center. Luce (pictured), a sociologist by training, researches living-wage movements—she’ll be speaking on that topic as well as on her experiences in adjunct and higher-ed organizing. She’s the author of Fighting for a Living Wage (ILR Press, 2004), a critical history of various living-wage campaigns across the U.S., and the co-author of A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wages in the United States (ILR Press, 2008) and The Living Wage: Building a Fair Economy (The New Press, 1998). The talk will be followed by a Q&A/discussion and reception.

An Update From the New Coordinators

As the new co-coordinators of the CUNY Adjunct Project, we’d like to offer a few remarks on our appointments and the state of the AP.

First, we’d like to express how honored we are to serve an organization that has worked committedly on behalf of graduate employees and all contingent academic workers over the last many years.

Second, we acknowledge the regrettable circumstances of the former coordinators’ departure, and we recognize that they’ve given rise to some concern, confusion, and other feelings about the Adjunct Project and its relationship to the Doctoral Students Council, especially on the part of many who have been active in the AP. We understand that the DSC will be re-evaluating its protocols for oversight of the AP and other affiliates this year, and we hope to contribute to improving these processes with the benefit of hindsight. We also hope to build on the organizing track record of the former coordinators and their predecessors.

In light of this transition, we’d like to offer everyone—both AP veterans and those who simply wish to know what we’re about—a chance to discuss these issues, ask questions, vocalize concerns, present ideas, and generally strategize for the upcoming academic year at a pre-semester meeting this Wednesday, August 21st, from 3-4 PM at the GC, room 5409.

For anyone who is not able to make this initial meeting, please join the AP Google group and listserv, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Facebook. We’re just getting our communications up and running, and we appreciate everyone’s patience while we’re getting up to speed, but we will soon be posting important news, updated resources, and AP office hours for the fall semester. Please stay tuned!

Lastly, the hiring process for the new Labor Relations Coordinator is ongoing, but we will update everyone as soon as we can.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either at our general email (theadjunctproject@gmail.com) or individually at the emails listed below.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Chancellor, Coordinator for Organization and Planning, jchancellor@gc.cuny.edu
Sean M. Kennedy, Coordinator for Advocacy and Education, kennedy.sean@gmail.com

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