The 17th Annual Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions begins today, and features appearances by major union figures, including my friend Barbara Bowen, who came to power in the CUNY union as part of an innovative coalition of tenure-stream faculty, graduate employees and faculty serving contingently, with a small role played by yours truly in the […]

Hey, I just got my invitation from the National Association of “Scholars” to join their Golden Snitch project–they called it the Argus project, but I didn’t get what that means, ’cause I’m in English and that reference requires a course in Classics. Like most NAS invitees, I insist on coloring inside the lines. My invite […]

Part 2 of 4 in my extended interview with activists from Graduate Students United at the University of Chicago. They sing “Ballad of the Marooned Dissertation Writers,” by radical folklorist Joe Grim Feinberg. Graduate employee unionization in the U.S. is more advanced at public institutions, and organizing at private schools stalled for a while in […]

Sometime in early 2009, the Denver District Court will begin to hear testimony in Ward Churchill’s lawsuit against the University of Colorado. It will be a very different national political climate than the one in which Churchill’s reference to Hannah Arendt’s classic study of the banality of evil*, Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963) set in motion […]

Last week, which I’d dedicated primarily to family time, I jumped on to post breaking news about UAW’s successful organizing of 5000 University of California postdocs, and a fairly uncontroversial AP profile of Cary Nelson’s service as AAUP president. In the profile, Cary gets credit for turning around organizational missteps in the membership office and […]

So I’ve been taking a few days for non-academic desk work–chiefly editing about twenty hours of Emile video (aged six weeks to five months: first swim in the lake, first rice cereal) into forty minutes that a grandparent would enjoy, notwithstanding the Oakland funk sound track. But with a brief opportunity to interrupt my hiatus […]

Seems that 5,000 University of California postdocs just chose UAW as their collective bargaining representative. In recent years, UAW’s success in organizing the majority contingent faculty has spurred on the efforts of NEA, AFT, and AAUP. Majority of the University of California’s 5,000 Postdoctoral Researchers Choose Collective Bargaining by Matthew “Oki” O’Connor, PRO/UAW San Francisco, […]

Family time.  While I’m away, join in on the 65-comment hornets-nest I stirred up over on Brainstorm–in yet another discussion of “job-market theory.” As Chris just commented below, sometimes it’s a bit like watching me and a couple of other rational folks trying to talk to a box of hammers. Rude, self-righteous hammers at that. One […]

So I’ve been camping out in Stan Katz’s corner of the ‘storm for about 24 hours, off and on. Completely hogging the comments section: there are 45 comments, and maybe 8 of them are long-windedly mine. (It’s still going on, and you may want to get in on the conversation–as good an opportunity as any […]

The Moore College of Art and Design has been trying to crush its faculty for two decades. Since 1990, when it employed mostly tenure-stream faculty, it has been converted into an academic Wal-mart, with 31 full-timers on contracts and 70 adjuncts, draconian violations of shared governance and academic freedom norms, including a code prohibiting artists […]

When I showed up at my first tenure-track job in a right-to-work, kind of Southern state, adjunct writing faculty were being asked to pay tuition for a summer pedagogy seminar run by the writing director in an illegal “pay-to-work” scheme. (Unless the prospective adjuncts were spouses of tenure-track faculty, in which case they still had […]

I can’t think of a better July 4th message than this, originally posted July 1 on the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s Brainstorm group blog.   Here’s to all the trustees, administrators & legislators that made this message possible.    A couple of days ago, I posted a link to the Living Wage Calculator, and casually & rhetorically — but not accurately — said […]