November 1, 2023
Dear Chancellor Matos and Board of Trustees Chairperson Thompson:
We write in support of multi-year appointments for eligible teaching adjuncts, currently provided through Appendix E of the PSC-CUNY contract. The pilot program has been vital to our colleagues and students, and your administration should not allow it to lapse, as indicated in a July 5, 2023, memo to college administrators. We urge you instead to negotiate with the PSC to improve the current provision for several reasons.
- The university’s failure to authorize sufficient full-time lines for our departments has adversely impacted our departments and made our work as Chairs more difficult. As scheduling and staffing have become a year-round responsibility, multi-year appointments bring a measure of predictability to the process.
- Our students have greater continuity of access to their instructors from year to year, improving the student experience and outcomes.
We value these colleagues and feel better knowing that our faculty members, regardless of title or rank, have access to health insurance, which, for teaching adjuncts, depends on an appointment of at least 6 contact hours per semester.
- The relationship of long-serving adjuncts to our departments has been transformed by this provision. As they come to feel more valued by the college, they involve themselves in our departmental operations and goals. Their greater sense of belonging redounds positively to our department and our students.
We agree with the AAUP statement on The Status of Non-Tenure Track Faculty, which was published thirty years ago and is even more salient today: “Institutions which assign a significant percentage of instruction to faculty in whom they make a minimum professional investment undercut their own commitment to quality.” Recent academic labor contracts around the country have moved toward reversing the trend toward “the gig academy,” and CUNY should too.
The American Federation of Teachers latest report, “An Army of Temps,” cites the PSC-CUNY agreement among the three leading provisions in the country working against the harmful, rampant adjunctification of the faculty. Such a national benchmark should be heralded and improved, not discarded.
Nearly 3,000 teaching adjuncts now serve on multi-year appointments across CUNY. They are among the more than 11,000 who teach the majority of our undergraduate classes, concentrated in our general education and introductory offerings. This is a critical constituency among your instructional staff – as are we. The PSC has indicated their interest in renegotiating the terms of Appendix E to make it more inclusive and more fair. We expect the CUNY administration to work with the union to that end.
Catherine Raissiguier, Professor and Chair, Women and Gender Studies, Hunter College
David Gerwin, Professor and Chair, Secondary Education and Youth Services, Queens College
Michael Paris, Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science and Global Affairs, The College of Staten Island
Fabiola Salek, Professor and Chair, World Languages, Literatures, and Humanities, York College,
Steve London, Associate Professor and Chair, Urban Studies, School of Labor and Urban Studies
Klara Marton, Professor and Chair, Communication Arts, Sciences, & Disorders, Brooklyn College, and Director of the Cognition and Language Laboratory, CUNY Graduate Center Ph.D. Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences
Glenn Burger, Distinguished Professor and Chair, English, Queens College
Ruth Milkman, Distinguished Professor and Chair, Labor Studies, School of Labor and Urban Studies, and CUNY Graduate Center
Jeremy Porter, Professor and Chair, Sociology, Brooklyn College
Amy Herzog, Professor and Chair, Media Studies, Queens College
Daniel Campos, Professor and Chair, Philosophy, Brooklyn College
Stephanie Golob, Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science, Baruch College
Scott Cally, Professor and Chair, Communications & Performing Arts, Kingsborough Community College
Jennifer Mangels, Professor and Chair, Psychology, Baruch College
Susannah Crowder, Associate Professor and Chair, Interdisciplinary Studies, John Jay College
Alan Aja, Professor and Chair, Puerto Rican & Latino Studies, Brooklyn College
Rachel Kousser, Professor and Chair, Art, Brooklyn College
Jacqueline Disanto, Professor and Chair, Education, Hostos Community College
Zachary Shirkey, Professor and Chair, Political Science, Hunter College
Elizabeth Mazzola, Professor and Chair, English, City College
Lisa Marie Andersony, Professor and Chair, German, Hunter College
Donna Haverty-Stacke, Professor and Chair, History, Hunter College
Add Your Name