24h-payday


This one comes over Vinnie Tirelli’s indispensable ADJ-L discussion list, courtesy of active list member, AAUP past president Jane Buck.

Apparently concerned by the administration’s efforts to transfer students into a program staffed by non-union faculty, the leadership of a creative independent union, the Adjunct Faculty Association at Nassau Community College, began an investigation into whether the arrangement violated federal law, using retired FBI agents working as private investigators.

The retired agents visted NCC trustees at home on Long Island last week, including the chair of the board, Mary Adams and the vice chair, John LeBoutillier. According to a Newsday account of the affair, both Adams and LeBoutillier, a loudmouth right-wing pundit and former Republican Congressman, claimed to have felt “intimidated.”

“I said it is very improper,” LeBoutillier huffed, according to the Newsday report. And LeBoutillier knows something about proper interrogation techniques. In addition to his highly qualified contributions to higher education as an NCC trustee, LeBoutillier’s main off-campus passion is the Skyhook II Project, “dedicated to recovering living American POWs in Southeast Asia.”

His expertise about the Vietnam war came the hard way–dodging the verbal slings and arrows of campus liberals and radicals who opposed the war while he was a Harvard Young Republican in the early 1970s. Styling himself “The Boot,” he brags about having made his political career as a low-rent imitator of William F. Buckley–authoring Harvard Hates America and an equally cheesy political novel.

By way of a postscript: Like adjunct faculty unionism, sending detectives to the homes of trustees is an idea whose time has come. Indeed, it’s long overdue.

I have a proposal, Chronicle of Higher Ed or Inside Higher Ed–better yet, AFT or NEA. (I’d say AAUP, but we don’t have the cash!)

Hire a young, disaffected Ph.D. candidate. Give her a video camera. Tell her to watch Stephen Colbert’s interviews with the members of the U.S. Congress.

Then have her interview college trustees–just let them be themselves.

We’ll be watching.



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