This is an advocacy page for ASU Tempe Instructors. Currently the Instructors teach a 4/4 load (80% teach, 20% service/professional development). To deal with the ASU English Department’s budgeting issues, instructors have been asked to teach a 5/5, 100% teaching load – without additional pay – beginning in the fall of 2015. We believe that this is unfair and untenable with respect to the salary we are currently receiving. Current instructor jobs are valued at $14,000 below the national average, and adding an increased workload without additional pay places a heavy burden on one of the most exploited ranks of ASU English Faculty. Furthermore, as our jobs entail teaching most of the Freshman class, we believe that upping the instructors’ workload will have a tremendous impact on instructors’ ability to deliver personal, process-based, one-on-one writing instruction to students. This, we believe, will have an impact on students’ success and retention rates.
According to the CCCC’s “Principles for the Post-secondary Teaching of Writing”:
Sound writing instruction is provided by instructors with reasonable and equitable working conditions.
Writing instructors perform most effectively—and students writers learn best—when instructors are treated as professionals and provided with resources that allow them to focus on their students’ development as writers. Instructors should be recognized as professionals regardless of their position—tenured, tenure-track, emeritus, non-tenure-track, full-time, or part-time—and granted the respect due to any contributing member of a department or program. This recognition should include the opportunity to participate in the governance of the department, program, and college or university and the opportunity to contribute to the development of writing curriculum and instruction. Instructors also require adequate resources—including (but not limited to) time, reasonable class sizes, and physical surroundings—to provide sound writing instruction as outlined in this document. Instructors should also earn a living wage and receive health coverage and other benefits in line with the recommendations of professional organizations.
Institutions can provide reasonable and equitable working conditions by establishing teaching loads and class sizes that are consistent with disciplinary norms. Institutions can also provide these conditions by paying instructors a reasonable wage and providing access to benefits. Institutions should provide resources necessary to effective instruction, including office space to meet with students individually, computers and network access, and office technologies (such as photocopiers). Institutions should also facilitate instructor access to personnel and units that can inform their practices and offer helpful efficiencies such as librarians, writing centers and directors, and teaching and learning centers. Institutions should also foster department and program cultures that recognize instructors, whether in appointments that emphasize research and scholarship or in those that focus fully or primarily on teaching or administration, as scholars and full members of the discipline. Institutions should ensure that all members of a department or program have the opportunity to participate in shared governance. (“Principles for the Post-secondary Teaching of Writing,” 2013).
Please take the time to browse the website. We’ve provided facts, links, statements, and compelling arguments against the adoption of a 5/5 workload.
4 thoughts on “About”
In the past TA and instructor positions were considered part of graduate students’ education. Obviously this is no longer the case. “Contract” teachers are simply in a low-wage white-collar job with no job security, few benefits and essentially no path to upward mobility. Something like half of all students in US universities are taught by non-tenure track faculty. Contract workers, adjuncts, instructors in “The New American University” In conjunction with increasingly proletarianized faculty in all US universities and community colleges — need to form one strong labor union (not the AAUP, AFT or any other existing entity). Social media pages only go so far, then there have to be bodies on the line. It will take powerful actions including strikes, sit-ins, and teach-ins and marches if your voice is to be heard. You will find that you have allies in staff, students, and tenured/tenure-track professors. We are all troubled as the university turns into a neo-liberal corporation advertising for student customers and buying labor at the lowest possible price, the only response can be solidarity. ASU seeks to grow to 100k students, and to do so with cadres of low wage workers with advanced degrees. It is essential to let administration know that a McDonaldized university is not sustainable.
This is terrible for the students. We have 5/5 at my institution for instructors and it means quality suffers — it can’t not. Don’do this.
Talk about a downward pressure on the value of labor and education…
As both a proud graduate AND a former untenured instructor at ASU, I am heartsick at this development. Even a 4/4 is exhausting and nonproductive…. This idea is purely for financial gain with no regard for its human toll. Do not implement this terrible policy. I’ve been sending students to ASU for 20 years but I can no longer advocate for the university.
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