Inside Higher Ed
by Colleen Flaherty
August 12, 2020
New AAUP statement urges institutions to treat their adjuncts as essential team members during the pandemic -- and after.
Non-tenure-track professors make up 70 percent of the teaching force, but they often fall through the cracks between institutional policies and protections, including those related to COVID-19. Similarly, tenure-track and tenured faculty layoffs -- including those attributed to the pandemic -- tend to make big news, while nonrenewals for contingent faculty members often go unnoticed.
Ahead of the new semester, the American Association of University Professors' Committee on Contingency issued a statement about how "removing contingent faculty with expertise and experience undermines student learning conditions in the short term and the institution of higher education in the long term."
The document includes recommendations for institutions, including that adjuncts, staff and graduate employees should have paid sick leave during the pandemic and -- when necessary -- unchallenged access to unemployment benefits.