The Society for the
Psychological
Study of Social Issues

    
SPSSI Policy News RSS Feed - December 18, 2008

Call for Experts

A Message from President Opotow

Dear SPSSI Member,

Half the undergraduate courses at U.S. public colleges and universities are taught by contingent laborers – our adjunct faculty.  As you know, there is a huge wage and benefits gap between contingent and tenured/tenure-track faculty.  In addition, in hard economic times like the present, budget cuts disproportionately fall on adjunct faculty.  While some adjunct professors have other full time employment, many professorial livelihoods depend on adjunct salaries.  Even then they have few academic amenities.  This two-tiered academic labor system in higher education is a social issue that is close to home for many of us. This is an issue that SPSSI, with its focus on social issues and the application of social science to policy, can address.

If you are a SPSSI member – contingent or securely-employed – who is already an activist or scholar in this area, or if you are interested in this issue because of its social justice implications, please let me know.  SPSSI can convene an Ad Hoc Task Force on Contingent Labor in Academia that could take a number of directions, such as partnerships with kindred organizations (e.g., AAUP, AFT), publications, conference sessions, etc.

Best regards,

Susan Opotow
President, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (2008-9)
opotow+contingent(at)gmail.com

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin