Professors in the Gig Economy
Unionizing Adjunct Faculty in America
One of the most significant trends in American higher education over the last decade has been the shift in faculty employment from tenured to contingent. Now upwards of 75% of faculty jobs are non-tenure track; two decades ago that figure was 25%. One of the results of this shift—along with the related degradation of pay, benefits, and working conditions—has been a new push to unionize adjunct professors, spawning a national labor movement. Professors in the Gig Economy is the first book to address the causes, processes, and outcomes of these efforts.
Kim Tolley brings together scholars of education, labor history, economics, religious studies, and law, all of whom have been involved with unionization at public and private colleges and universities. Their essays and case studies address the following questions: Why have colleges and universities come to rely so heavily on contingent faculty? How have federal and state laws influenced efforts to unionize? What happens after unionization—how has collective bargaining affected institutional policies, shared governance, and relations between part-time and full-time faculty? And finally, how have unionization efforts shaped the teaching and learning that happens on campus?
Bringing substantial research and historical context to bear on the cost and benefit questions of contingent labor on campus, Professors in the Gig Economy will resonate with general readers, scholars, students, higher education professionals, and faculty interested in unionization.
Contributors: A. J. Angulo, Timothy Reese Cain, Elizabeth K. Davenport, Marianne Delaporte, Tom DePaola, Kristen Edwards, Luke Elliott-Negri, Kim Geron, Lorenzo Giachetti, Shawn Gilmore, Adrianna Kezar, Joseph A. McCartin, Gretchen M. Reevy, Gregory M. Saltzman, Kim Tolley, Nicholas M. Wertsch