Justice Rather than Charity for Adjuncts
  • Petitioned Charles Dougherty

This petition was delivered to:

Charles Dougherty
Vice President, University Advancement
John Plante
University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry
Rev. Daniel Walsh
Duquesne University

Justice Rather than Charity for Adjuncts

    1. Petition by

      Justice For Adjuncts

In the wake of Margaret Mary Vojtko's death--an adjunct professor of French at Duquesne University--a national debate is emerging about the treatment and exploitation of adjunct faculty who increasingly are becoming a larger and larger group within higher education.

The organizers of this petition--many of whom either were taught by Margaret Mary, are affiliated with Duquesne, and/or have lived the adjunct life--seek to promote change and better treatment for adjunct faculty at Duquesne and beyond.

There are a range of suggestions that adjuncts and advocates have made for a more just system, including (links, info, resources further below in 'News' section):

--Union Representation
--Job Security (beyond semester to semester uncertainty)
--A Living Wage (e.g. MLA's recommendation of $7,090 per course)
--Health and Retirement Benefits

The adjunct and part-time faculty members that make up 73% of instructors nationwide--who devote so much time and energy to their students and universities--deserve more respect and better working conditions and pay, rather than the poverty, debt, and the occasional charity that too many of them 'enjoy' now.

Please join our initial 75 co-signers and sign the petition below and help spread its important message to pressure Duquesne and all universities into making positive change for adjunct justice. (Please include academic affiliation in your comment, if applicable.)

Email: justiceforadjuncts@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/justiceforadjuncts and #iammargaretmary

Twitter: @adjunctjustice and #iammargaretmary

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. Meeting with the Provost & Breaking 1000 Signatures

      Yesterday the Provost held a meeting with full and part time faculty to discuss adjunct issues. In it the Provost as least admitted there was a problem and said "the issues that have come out of this are of critical importance." Yet, he did NOT seem willing to recognize the democratically elected union nor commit to any concrete action. He ended the meeting by saying that "It [progress] will be a gradual process".

      So we still need MORE SUPPORT and more signatures to show the Provost the rest of the administration that the treatment of adjuncts needs to improve NOW! Please encourage everyone you know to sign our petition to send a message to Duquesne (and all the other universities that are watching)! We got to 1000 signatures in a just a few days--but there are still thousands of others that would support this issue.

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures
    4. Duquesne Releases Another (Disgraceful) Response

      After the initial response from the Vice President, proclaiming the charity they gave to Margaret Mary Vojtko, now a DU Dean weighed in about how much the University 'respects' and 'values' their adjuncts. Now, I'm going to paraphrase: "Everyone else is treating adjuncts like shit--we treat them a little better than some! And, hey, they should be thanking us for their good ol' american part time jobs and supplemental income! Oh, I forgot to mention, I used to *be* in a union, many in my hometown community were in unions too! I LOVE unions. But, ya know, Duquesne just isn't down with letting the majority of their faculty unionize. Those pesky adjuncts and their call for a living wage, health benefits, and job security--don't get me wrong, we 'respect' them. And VALUE the hell out of them--I mean, fiscally speaking, their CHEAP LABOR is a great value!" --Dean Ken Gormley, Duquesne

    5. Reached 750 signatures
    6. Update on DU campus

      Provost @duqedu to meet w/ full & part-time staff tomorrow. HELP us get as MANY signatures before then! #iammargaretmary

    7. Reached 500 signatures
    8. Information and resources on the problems and avenues to change them...

      1) MLA recommended per-course minimum:

      2) Two other good sources for relevant data are the Coalition on the Academic Workforce:

      and the Delphi Project (whose report "The Imperative for Change" is perfect for administrators):

      3) A good higher ed program with lots of resources is the Program for Change:

    9. A couple good, thorough examinations of the adjunct crisis...

      Academia's indentured servants

      On April 8, 2013, the New York Times reported that 76 percent of American university faculty are adjunct professors - an all-time high. Unlike tenured faculty, whose annual salaries can top $160,000, adjunct professors make an average of $2,700 per course and receive no health care or other benefits.

    10. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • John Johnson PUEBLO, CO
      • 3 months ago

      I have been an adjunct on and off for about 40 at 8 institutions of higher learning in Colorado.

    • Holly Blakely HUBER HEIGHTS, OH
      • 3 months ago

      I consider the current adjunct wages an insult to the knowledge, education, and dedication of adjuncts.

    • Shelly Gray GRANADA HILLS, CA
      • 6 months ago

      I am a part time professor who worries every semester whether nor not I will have benefits.

    • zuzana kocsis ST. LOUIS, MO
      • 6 months ago

      I hope that by the time I am on the job market, adjunct positions will be a more reasonable option... currently at Wash U.

    • Alain Beausire PARIS, FRANCE
      • 8 months ago

      Would you accept that your children are so treated?


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