Several adjunct activists and allies from across the country composed this petition to David Weil, Director of the Wage and Hour Division at the US Department of Labor, to open an inquiry into the use and abuse of contingent and non-tenure track instructors by colleges and universities nationwide. Titled "Open an Investigation into the Labor Practices of our Colleges and Universities in the Employment of Contingent Faculty," it quickly reached its original goal of 500 signatures, which was raised to 1,000. That mark, too, was surpassed in less than 24 hours and signatures continue to be added.
Already two articles highlighting the petition exist. Inside Higher Education's "Adjuncts Urge Labor Dept. Inquiry into Working Conditions" from July 16th gives a brief look, but Justin Peligri's article for USA Today, "Underpaid and Overworked: Adjunct Professors Share their Stories," goes further. In this July 17th piece Peligri interviews two of the petition's authors, Joseph Fruscione and Ann Kottner, as well as three students who have been taught by adjunct professors.
Please read the articles and especially the petition. Sign and share. Let's see how many signatures that we can get. The adjunct crisis will only be solved with action. The more publicity we can garner, the more light we can throw on the situation, the better our chances become. Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions, thus the exploitation of adjunct labor is a cause for faculty, students, parents, and anyone who cares about the state of higher education in America.
Thanks everyone! Even at rest, I'm ready to rejoin the fray!
UPDATE 12:37 pm 7/18: Petition co-author and blogger Joe Fruscione provides an update on the signature count as well as more insight into what the authors and signers hope to accomplish in "That Petition You've Been Hearing so Much About."