Goals

NFM and the NFM Foundation (NFM) seek:

I. Consensus around and affirmation of a set of assumptions and principles to guide any reform plans or actions that develop out of this summit or that are otherwise considered for adoption by institutions and policymakers.

II.  Commitment to strengthening adjunct faculty organizing efforts around the country.  Organizing refers not exclusively to unionization efforts but rather to any efforts at assembling and establishing formal groups of faculty off the tenure track for the purpose of communication and collaboration on common goals. This includes:

  • a renewed commitment by existing unions and disciplinary organizations to their adjunct faculty members in the form of invitation into leadership positions and adjustment of dues and fee structures to take into account their economic circumstances
  • stronger resolve on the part of adjuncts themselves to establish and participate in unions, faculty associations, disciplinary organizations, or other groups focused on effecting change; and
  • renewed commitment within and outside of higher education to ensure that all faculty (indeed all workers), no matter their appointment status, have the right to assemble or organize without fear of retaliation.

III.  Commitment to educating communities within and outside of higher education about the real working conditions of faculty and their effects on student learning. It is important for all parties involved in the effort to reform contingent academic employment to understand and acknowledge the realities of contingent faculty work and the experiences of the diverse population that comprises the contingent faculty workforce.  However, the fact that there is diversity of experience and opinion should not be an excuse for ignoring or refusing to correct  unsatisfactory existing conditions.

IV. The establishment of a broad-based coalition representing as many sectors of the community as possible that have a stake in higher education. This coalition will be dedicated to transforming (upgrading, regularizing) the terms and conditions of faculty employment in higher education .  We are forming a Task Force charged with developing a project or initiative for practical action modeled on, or perhaps even partnered with, the Presidents’ Climate Commitment. This initiative could have a name like “The Compact to Transform the Adjunct Professoriate” and signatories could be individuals, organizations, and institutions ready to commit to the work that is necessary to effect concrete changes in the working and learning conditions of faculty and students.

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