During National Adjunct Action Week, February 23-27, UUP is honoring the over 300 contingent faculty members who teach 55% of the 1,256 courses taught this semester at SUNY New Paltz. The union’s New Paltz Chapter has installed a display in the Jazzman’s Café, located in the foyer of Jacobson’s Faculty Tower, listing all of the approximately 700 courses taught by 57 full-time lecturers and 248 part-time, so-called “adjunct” lecturers and instructors.
“The dictionary definition of the term adjunct—something added to another thing but not essential to it—is such a misnomer in this case,” commented Chapter President Peter D. G. Brown, Distinguished Service Professor of German Emeritus. “Our adjuncts here, as everywhere else, teach all levels of all subjects, from Anthropology to Zoology. The entire academic enterprise is carried on the backs of these poorly supported and largely invisible academics. Students are adversely affected when their teachers lack basic support in the form of a living wage or offices to meet and mentor their students. Education suffers in the absence of any meaningful academic freedom due to our contingent faculty’s precarious employment.”
Part of the UUP display includes a collage of over 100 photos depicting the diverse faces of the contingent faculty at SUNY New Paltz.
Both UUP, representing some 35,000 members on 28 different campuses, and the SUNY Student Assembly, representing 465,000 students at 64 campuses, have called for increasing the minimum starting salary per three-credit course from the current $3,100 to $5,000.