Supporting Faculty Careers Amid a Season of Uncertainty
As higher education experiences profound upheaval, colleges and universities need to double down on their efforts to better support faculty and their professional development, write Andrew Rosen and Jaime Lester.
College Librarians Prepare for Looming Budget Cuts, and Journal Subscriptions Could Be in for a Trim
University librarians are preparing for tough times ahead, even though the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is yet to be fully understood. Could big deals with publishers be on the chopping block?
Graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shut down campus Thursday as part of their ongoing strike for a cost of living adjustment, and all other system campuses saw their own one-day protests. Santa Cruz graduate assistants went on a grade strike in December, then a full labor strike this month. Tensions mounted last week when the university fired or disqualified 80-some grads from spring assistantships for continuing to withhold undergraduate grades. Graduate assistants blocked all entrances to the Santa Cruz campus before dawn, forcing the university to cancel classes, except those offered online. Many faculty and undergraduate supporters joined the picket lines on that campus and across the UC system starting midmorning. As of last week, graduate assistants at the Santa Barbara campus are also on a labor strike for a COLA, and assistants at the Davis campus are on a grade strike. Systemwide, graduate instructors make about $2,400 pre-tax, per month, for nine months out of the year. Strikers say that they need between $1,400 and $1,800 extra per month to be able to secure housing in California's expensive rental markets and have anything left over for utilities and food. The United Auto Workers, with which UC's graduate workers are affiliated, has urged the university to reopen their contract to bargain for a COLA. This week it authorized a systemwide strike vote for April on the grounds that the university has committed unfair labor practices. The university has filed a similar claim against graduate workers. The system said in a statement that it "values all our graduate students, including academic student employees (ASEs) who are essential to UC's teaching mission, supporting the university as teaching assistants, readers and tutors. However, that mission is in jeopardy when ASEs refuse to fulfill their teaching obligations." The system noted that these assistants are striking in violation of their union contract, negotiated in 2018, and said it's "unfortunate that the UAW has resorted to announcing a strike authorization vote as the university continues pursuing opportunities to engage productively with graduate students on housing affordability and other issues."
Underrepresented Faculty Members Share the Real Reasons They Have Left Various Academic Institutions
When Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt asked a large group of underrepresented faculty members why they left their higher education institutions, they told her the real reasons for their departures -- those that climate surveys don't capture.
Avoiding Disgruntlement and Burnout from Too Much Service Work
People who do too much service can take longer to advance in their careers, are often unhappy with how service is distributed in the department and are more likely to burn out or leave the academy, write Rachel McLaren and Anthony Ocampo, who offer tips for avoiding that.
New System Will Measure Journals' Research Transparency
A new ranking system for academic journals measuring their commitment to research transparency will be launched next month - providing what many believe will be a useful alternative to journal impact scores.