NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CONTINGENT ACADEMIC LABOR
January 12-14, 2001
San Josť City College, San Jose California
Michael Dubson, Boston
Michael Dubson has worked as an adjunct English teacher for ten years in the Massachusetts Community College system. He has an Associate's Degree from Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, a Bachelor's and a Master's in English from Umass/Boston and a graduate certificate in Publishing from Emerson College in Boston. He has dabbled in journalism, writing and copy-editing for several Boston newspapers. He has also dabbled in acting, performing in murder mystery theatre groups as well as being a member of a long running improv comedy troupe. In 2000, he formed Camel's Back Books and knew the first book would be about the innate injustice in the adjunct system.
Higher Ed's Dirty Little Secret Exposed in Ghosts in the Classroom.
BOSTON--November 22, 2000--Corruption, exploitation and cruelty are the main ingredients of this book about college adjunct faculty, issues not usually associated with the grand manners and political correctness of higher education.
Ghosts in the Classroom is an anthology of essays written by college adjunct faculty about their experiences working in higher education. They are written by people who are now in the field, those who have gotten permanent jobs, and those who have left the profession for a better life. The contributors have worked at expensive, private schools, ivy league schools, public universities and junior colleges. Ghosts in the Classroom is edited by Michael Dubson, who has also worked as an adjunct faculty and was nominated as a "Who's Who in American Teachers" by one of his students. It was his own experience in this profession that inspired this collection.
According to Rich Moser, National Field Representative for the American Association of University Professors, "These stories reveal the intimate connections between the degradation of America's faculty and the declining quality of education for our students. These good teachers remind us that freedom of thought, love of learning and simple human dignity will be always higher values than flexibility, expediency and the greatest possible profit."
Adjunct faculty are paid on a course by course basis only and are given few if any benefits and no job security, and the essays in Ghosts in the Classroom show what happens in the classroom because of that:
* The gross discrepancy between full time and adjunct pay, despite the fact that adjunct faculty have the same degrees and do the same work.
* How teaching suffers when adjunct faculty teach on the side of a full-time job or a career or string together a serious of classes at different campuses.
* How adjuncts are often targets of abuse by administrators and scapegoats for full time faculty.
* How adjunct faculty are expected to function despite the fact that few are given an office, a phone, computer facilities or even chalk, a grade book or photocopying services.
* Adjunct faculty are expected to commit to a college and professionally prepare for courses, even though the course may be canceled or reassigned at the last minute without any compensation provided.
* Adjunct faculty are used to teach classes full-time faculty don't want to teach, at times they refuse to work.
* How students are affected by demoralized, over-worked teachers who are out of the loop of the schools they serve.
Adjunct faculty compose approximately fifty percent of all teachers working in the college and university systems in the United States. This invisible, unsupported and abused group of people have allowed colleges to remain open and running at full-tilt. Ghosts in the Classroom exposes this phenomenon and many of the things it affects. Indeed, you will never look at the higher educational system the same way again.
The release date for Ghosts in the Classroom is January 21, 2001.
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