College Art Association

CAA News Today

Join CAA in Supporting Part-Time Faculty

posted by February 20, 2015

On the occasion of the National Adjunct Walkout Day planned for February 25th CAA asks visual arts tenured faculty and faculty administrators to review, discuss with your colleagues, and implement the CAA Guidelines for Part-Time Professional Employment. These guidelines provide the consensus on best practices in the visual arts in hiring, contracting, providing resources, working space, information, professional development, equitable salaries, and opportunities to participate in institutional government. We particularly encourage full-time tenured faculty and administrators to revisit these guidelines and discuss them toward full implementation at your institution.

The CAA Strategic Plan, 2015–2020 has placed part-time faculty issues as a priority. At the February 15th Board of Directors meeting, a task force on advocacy has been formed to address part-time faculty issues along with diversity in the field, and the public face of art and art history. As part of this effort, we will be surveying visual-arts departments to determine where we stand on these issues and how best to move forward.

DeWitt Godfrey, CAA President
Professor of Art and Art History
Colgate University

Linda Downs
Executive Director and CEO

Filed under: Advocacy, Teaching, Workforce — Tags: ,

CAA Update from the President

posted by November 13, 2014

DeWitt Godfrey, professor of art and art history at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, is president of the CAA Board of Directors.

CAA is moving ahead on several strategic goals. After a year of investigation and discussion with over 200 artists, art historians, curators, editors and reproduction rights officers, Professors Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi are drafting the new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts which will be reviewed by the Task Force on Fair Use, the Committee on Intellectual Property, the Professional Practices Committee, and an independent Legal Advisory Committee. We anticipate that the code will be presented at the Annual Conference in February 2015.

At the October 26th Board meeting, the formation of two task forces was approved: one to review CAA’s governance structure, and one to review its professional committees. As a greater number of faculty are now part-time, the board and committee requirements have to be adjusted so that the best expertise is brought to CAA within the most economical timeframes. The Board also had a lively discussion on the best directions to be taken regarding advocacy and how CAA can respond quickly and efficiently to issues that affect members’ daily work. We are exploring the creation of a task force on advocacy.

The CAA Board and senior staff held a day-long retreat which focused on a vision for the future of the annual conference—a more flexible structure, greater opportunities for interdisciplinary discussion, serving the needs and interests at each stage of a career in the visual arts, and the ability to quickly address issues that arise in the field, have an international perspective and participation, and reach those members who are not able to attend the conferences.

New, updated volumes of the Directories of Graduate Programs are now available through CAA’s website. From the data published in the directories, CAA will draw statistical information about all the visual-arts subdisciplines, mapping important changes in the field regarding enrollment and employment. We plan to make information from the past four years available to members in the coming months.

The September issue of The Art Bulletin features the third essay in the “Whither Art History?” series, as well as essays on Jan van Eyck and commemorative art, Hans Burgkmair and recognition, Watteau and reverie, and contemporary Indian Art from the 1985-86 Festival of India. The latest issue of Art Journal includes a forum called “Red Conceptualismos del Sur/Southern Conceptualisms Network,” featuring articles printed in their original Spanish and Portuguese alongside new English translations—this is the first foray into multilingual publishing for CAA. Art Journal Open’s first web editor, Gloria Sutton, associate professor at Northeastern University, has commissioned features from the artist Karen Schiff and the new-media historian Mike Maizels, as well as a dialogue between the curator Becky Huff Hunter and the artist Tamarin Norwood. The vision for this website is to provide an online space for artists’ works, experimental scholarship, and conversations among arts practitioners. And caa.reviews, now open access, includes nearly 2,500 reviews of books, exhibition catalogues, and conferences on art, as well as an annual list of completed and in-progress art history dissertations. Thirty-four field editors commission reviewers to address new publications, exhibitions, and exhibition catalogues and videos in every area of the visual arts. The new copublishing relationship between CAA and Taylor & Francis that supports all three CAA journals will complete its first year this month with a marked increase in readership. We are encouraging authors to use the multimedia resources offered at Taylor & Francis Online as well as its citation app.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded CAA and the Society for Architectural Historians a grant to cooperatively carry out research and develop guidelines in digital art and architectural history for promotion and tenure in the workforce. With the increased use of digital platforms in research and publishing there is a need for guidelines that reflect the best practice in evaluating digital art and architectural history. A task force will be formed of two art historians, two architectural historians, a librarian, a museum curator, a scholar from another humanities or social science field with expertise in digital scholarship, and a graduate student or emerging professional in art history or architectural history. CAA will hire a part-time researcher to gather information on current practices from faculty members throughout the country. Please see the Online Career Center for the listing.

CAA, like other learned, membership societies, faces significant challenges and opportunities for the future. The changing landscape of publication, academic workforce issues, advocating for the arts and humanities, serving a changing membership and the field are areas where CAA has and will continue to make a difference, by building on our legacy of leadership and embracing the necessary changes required to meet our mission and vision.

Last month CAA restructured its membership program and added exciting new benefits, including: online access to The Art Bulletin and Art Journal; online access to additional journals in the Taylor & Francis collection; and access to JPASS, JSTOR’s expansive selection of more than 1,500 journals, at a 50 percent discount. As part of this restructuring, CAA included a new category for Part-Time Faculty among its discounted memberships. And now, based on thoughtful feedback CAA received from supportive members, we have expanded this category to include “Independents” to help support independent artists, scholars, designers, and the like.

The creation of these new membership categories is part of CAA’s response to changing conditions in the workplace for many professionals in the visual arts. CAA is committed to supporting part-time, non-tenure-track faculty, and those in transition, who receive limited institutional support, as well as independent professionals with no institutional affiliation.

Visit the Individual Membership section of the CAA website to learn more about all the new categories.

Filed under: Membership, Workforce

National Mobilization for Equity

posted by April 01, 2014

Summary

Significant progress has been made by United University Professions (UUP) and other unions, disciplinary societies, the media and lately the U.S. Congressional staff to draw attention to the plight of contingent academic labor. What is needed now is a visible project to activate the nearly one million contingent teachers themselves. Individuals and organizational leaders around the country are coming together to form a National Mobilization for Equity, whose initial effort will be to organize rallies and other public events, beginning on May Day (May 1, 2014).

Mayday $5K Campaign

Last spring, activists at SUNY New Paltz launched a Mayday $5K Campaign. This calls for a minimum starting salary of $5,000 for a three-credit course, halfway between the current average compensation and the $7K recommended by the Modern Language Association as a minimum starting salary. The Mayday $5K Campaign calls for a number of important measures:

1. Increase the starting salary for a three-credit semester course to a minimum of $5,000 for all instructors in higher education.
2. Ensure academic freedom by providing progressively longer contracts for all contingent instructors who have proven themselves during an initial probationary period.
3. Provide health insurance for all instructors, either through their college’s health insurance system or through the Affordable Care Act.
4. Support the quality education of our students by providing their instructors with necessary office space, individual development support, telephones, email accounts and mail boxes.
5. Guarantee fair and equitable access to unemployment benefits when college instructors are not working.
6. Guarantee eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to all college instructors who have taught for ten years, during which they were repaying their student loans.
7. With or without a time-in service requirement, allow all college teachers to vote and hold office in institutional governance, including faculty senates and academic departments.

This $5K Campaign has been endorsed by nearly a thousand individuals, by New Faculty Majority and by the statewide Executive Board and Delegate Assembly of the UUP, the nation’s largest higher education union. The $5K figure is not set in stone. Depending on the locale, it can be adjusted up or down, according to specific circumstances.

National Mobilization for Equity

The National Mobilization for Equity focuses on organizing May Day activities nationwide, either in support of the $5K Campaign or simply to highlight the plight of contingents and the need for change. On February 3, 2014, UUP’s full Delegate Assembly unanimously passed the following resolution:

Resolved, that the Contingent Employment Committee supports efforts by UUP members to form a National Mobilization for Equity that will, collectively with other unions and organizations, organize rallies and other events annually, beginning on May 1, 2014. These activities are intended to focus attention on the urgent plight of contingent academic labor and to publicly advocate for change. The Contingent Employment Committee asks the full Delegate Assembly for its endorsement of the National Mobilization for Equity and additionally requests UUP President Fred Kowal to reach out to NYSUT and AFT to secure their material support for this effort.

We need to create a MOVEMENT, to activate the one million contingents at the grass-roots’ level, which would greatly help those in organizational leadership positions working with state or federal agencies and legislatures. In addition to contingents, we need to activate tenure-track faculty, retirees, students and their parents, allied organizations, community groups and the general public. Organizing events around the country on May Day can help develop to organize a national grass-roots movement.

During the past decade, we have collectively spent thousands of hours and considerable financial resources working for equity. Our movement lacks any single MLK-like charismatic leader. Instead, there are many dedicated unionists and activists willing to work together to build an equity movement from the bottom up. Individuals or organizational leaders who want to work on this are invited to contact me. A Mobilization steering committee is being formed and will be announced shortly. Please join us!

In solidarity,

Peter D.G. Brown, Chapter President
Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
United University Professions
SUNY, Lecture Center 6a
New Paltz, NY 12561
Office:  845-257-2783
Mobile: 917-886-1925
peterdg.brown@gmail.com
http://www.newpaltz.edu/uup

Please sign the Mayday Declaration here

Filed under: Advocacy, Workforce

Calling all Adjunct Voices!
Help us collectively record an audiobook of Joe Berry’s Reclaiming the Ivory Tower!!
Call for Introduction, Chapter 1, & Chapter 2!

Adjunct Underground, a radio program dedicated to the issues confronting today’s contingent educational workforce, is looking for any current or former adjunct/contingent/part-time faculty who would be willing to read and record short sections of Joe Berry’s book, Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education. Our goal is to create a complete audio book of Berry’s book, read entirely by a plethora of adjunct voices.

Are you an adjunct or contingent teacher, and would you be willing to read aloud and record a few pages for us?

The resulting audiobook will be broadcast one chapter at a time, and made available as a free, downloadable podcast, on the program, Adjunct Underground, on KCHUNG Radio.

All contributors can remain anonymous if they so choose, though no voices will be altered in the recordings.

If interested, please look at the spreadsheet at the following link, and select and mark an available section that you would like to read: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AnRu6M-k0cvidEVNUktzUGtBUUlDRFJQNHZKYzEtYkE#gid=0. We would like to get as many voices as possible to read this text, so for now we are accepting only ONE section per person.

Send your section request to adjunctunderground@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a pdf of the text, along with a few further instructions. (You’ll then need to record yourself reading the text in a quiet place, using a free program like Audacity, or even your cell phone.)

Finally, please help spread the word by recruiting at least one colleague of yours to participate as well!

Thank you so much for your help!

. . .

From the back of the book:

Reclaiming the Ivory Tower is the first organizing handbook for contingent faculty—the thousands of non-tenure track college teachers who love their work but hate their jobs. It examines the situation of adjunct professors in U.S. higher education today and puts forward an agenda around which they can mobilize to transform their jobs and their institutions.

Full of concrete suggestions for action and based on extensive interviews with organizers Reclaiming the Ivory Tower is the most comprehensive and engaged account to date of the possibilities for a movement that has important lessons for labor organizing in general, as well as for the future of higher education.

Joe Berry teaches labor education and history at the University of Illinois and Roosevelt University in Chicago and chairs the Chicago Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor.

. . .

Adjunct Underground
Broadcasting sporadically on some Mondays at 1pm on KCHUNG Radio http://adjunctunderground.kchungradio.org
https://www.facebook.com/AdjunctUnderground

Adjunct Underground is a KCHUNG Radio broadcast and movement dedicated to the trials and tribulations of adjunct instructors in Los Angeles, and throughout the universe! Our sporadic underground broadcasts feature stories, conversations, interviews, rants, and more from our bunker-full of adjunct DJs and hosts, many of whom risk their livelihoods meeting with us to share their stories and insight on the precarity of today’s contingent education professionals! Adjuncts unite! Underground! on KCHUNG Radio!

Filed under: Advocacy, Workforce — Tags:

The more information that is made available on critical issues in the field, the greater a case can be made for advocacy to promote change. One of the major challenges for the visual-arts field is ensuring that all faculty are properly supported so that they may provide outstanding teaching, research and creative work. It is estimated that over 70% of faculty at colleges and universities in the United States are now hired on a contingent bases. This upward trend began in the 1970s and appears to dominate the future.

Data on working conditions of part-time faculty is not easily available since the funding for the National Study on Postsecondary Faculty at the Department of Education was discontinued in 2003. Data on art history, studio art, and art education faculty is even more difficult to obtain since visual arts and performing arts faculty were historically aggregated together by the Department of Education.

In response to the lack of data, the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, http://www.academicworkforce.org/  comprising twenty six academic associations including CAA, organized an extensive survey. The report on this survey was published in June 2012 http://www.academicworkforce.org/CAW_portrait_2012.pdf.  Of the 20,000 part-time faculty participating in the survey, 1,034 were CAA members. The data they contributed has been compiled and is now available [http://www.collegeart.org/pdf/CAA-CAWContingentFacultySurvey.pdf].

Some of the major findings from the art historians, artists and art educators indicate that: 1) part-time faculty in the visual arts field have a slightly higher salary rate than the median; 2) there are gender disparities in salaries within the visual arts; and 3) resources and benefits provided by institutions are two to three times lower for visual-arts faculty than the full sample of respondents.

What is CAA doing to address these issues? The Board adopted the Guidelines for Part-Time Faculty in 2004. The Professional Practices Committee under the chairmanship of Jim Hopfensperger and an ad hoc committee led by Tom Berding and CAA board member, John Richardson are working to update these guidelines to respond to present needs in order to provide standards for the field.

Several CAA annual conference sessions have been devoted to resources for administrators and part-time faculty. At the 2013 New York Annual Conference, a panel which included John Curtis from the American Association of University Professors and Rosemary Feal from the Modern Language Association, among others, provided valuable resources for networking among part-time faculty. An example is organizations such as CAW that are actively addressing workforce issues and state and national government advocacy. These resources can be found at http://www.collegeart.org/resources/contingentfaculty.

The CAA Board has organized a planning task force of members to address critical issues in the field over the next five years. The profound changes in the structure of faculty, teaching formats, digital research, publishing and creative work are some of the greatest challenges identified. The members of the task force welcome your comments in shaping how CAA can address these and other major issues of our profession. Please send your ideas and comments to CAA at nyoffice@collegeart.org.

I would like to thank Peter Bucchianeri at Harvard University for compiling the data and writing the report on the responses of CAA member respondents to the contingent faculty survey.

 

Pablo Helguera seeks participants for a preliminary workshop to help script his 2013 Annual Conference session, “A General Theory of Last Night: A Constructed Panel Discussion.” The workshop will take place on Thursday, February 14, 4:00–7:00 PM; registration is required. The session, scheduled for February 15, 9:30 AM–12 NOON, is free and open to the public.

“A General Theory of Last Night” is a scripted panel written collaboratively in the context of CAA’s conference. On the day before the panel, a group of twenty participants will gather to draft a document that will identify and address issues being discussed at the conference and articulate those positions in a clear and concise manner. The objective of the workshop is to provide a vehicle for immediate reflection and the chance to respond in an op-ed approach to current concerns. Participants will be joined by professional actors, who will deliver the scripted content the following morning.

To participate in the collaborative workshop session, please send an email to Helguera with your CV, information about your background, and the reason(s) for your interest in this session. Keep in mind that space for the workshop is very limited.

Pablo Helguera is an artist and the director of adult and academic programs in the Education Department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The author of Education for Socially Engaged Art (2011) and Art Scenes: The Social Scripts of the Art World (2012), he has presented and performed his work in many biennials and museums worldwide.

Filed under: Annual Conference, Workforce

Survey of Faculty Who Teach Online

posted by November 14, 2012

The Coalition on Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL X) and the United Association for Labor Education (UALE) seek participation in the On Line Teaching Working Conditions Survey from all faculty members who teach online for the purpose of gaining information on wages and working conditions. The organizers hope that the results will lead to organizing for improvements. CAA encourages you to take the survey and to forward its link to any relevant lists or individuals.

The survey is for anyone teaching online in colleges or universities. The project committee aims to collect a range of working conditions: how much people get paid, how many hours they work, whether they have union representation, how many students they have in a class, and so on. When the committee collects enough responses to get a sense of what’s out there, it will categorize the examples as “good,” “bad,” and “ugly” in an attempt to establish some kind of standard of what decent working conditions for online teachers—who are suspected to be largely contingent—might look like.

If you do not want to give your name when completing the survey, simply type in random letters in the box for the first question. No names of individuals will appear in the final (or draft) report, and no raw data will be circulated outside the committee that is working on the project. However, the group does need the name of your institution, the one through which you are teaching the class with the working conditions that you are describing.

Please complete this survey even if you filled out the previous draft survey. The current one has been updated to reflect comments that the organizers received from those who took the previous survey.

For more information on the survey or the project, please contact Helena Worthen for COCAL X and UALE’s On-Line Teaching Working Group.

Filed under: Advocacy, Research, Surveys, Workforce

Survey of Faculty Who Teach Online

posted by November 14, 2012

The Coalition on Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL X) and the United Association for Labor Education (UALE) seek participation in the On Line Teaching Working Conditions Survey from all faculty members who teach online for the purpose of gaining information on wages and working conditions. The organizers hope that the results will lead to organizing for improvements. CAA encourages you to take the survey and to forward its link to any relevant lists or individuals.

The survey is for anyone teaching online in colleges or universities. The project committee aims to collect a range of working conditions: how much people get paid, how many hours they work, whether they have union representation, how many students they have in a class, and so on. When the committee collects enough responses to get a sense of what’s out there, it will categorize the examples as “good,” “bad,” and “ugly” in an attempt to establish some kind of standard of what decent working conditions for online teachers—who are suspected to be largely contingent—might look like.

If you do not want to give your name when completing the survey, simply type in random letters in the box for the first question. No names of individuals will appear in the final (or draft) report, and no raw data will be circulated outside the committee that is working on the project. However, the group does need the name of your institution, the one through which you are teaching the class with the working conditions that you are describing.

Please complete this survey even if you filled out the previous draft survey. The current one has been updated to reflect comments that the organizers received from those who took the previous survey.

For more information on the survey or the project, please contact Helena Worthen for COCAL X and UALE’s On-Line Teaching Working Group.

Filed under: Advocacy, Research, Surveys, Workforce — Tags:

The results of a 2010 survey of contingent faculty members and instructors in American higher education, published today by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW), have confirmed much of what has been reported anecdotally: part-time faculty members demonstrate a dedicated level of commitment to teaching and to the institutions that employ them, but this commitment is not reciprocated by those institutions through compensation or other professional support. The findings also describe larger course loads for teachers, imbalances in compensation in relation to not only professional credentials but also gender and race, and minimal participation in academic decision-making. Further, contingent faculty face longer durations of provisional employment and slim prospects for career advancement, with schools failing to meet their preference for full-time status.

According to a 2009 government study, 75.5 percent of all faculty members at colleges and universities in the United States are contingent: that is, they hold part-time or adjunct positions, have full-time non-tenure-track jobs, or serve as graduate-student teaching assistants. Part-timers alone make up nearly half the total professoriate. The US Department of Education, however, has not kept statistics on contingent-faculty salaries since 2003, when it last carried out its National Study of Postsecondary Faculty. CAW’s comprehensive survey, administered in fall 2010, was conducted in an effort to provide meaningful data for this rapidly growing concern. Of the nearly 30,000 survey respondents, 1,102 were CAA members: 591 in studio art and design, 362 in art history, and 149 in art education. The CAW report focuses on the largest group of contingent faculty: part-timers.

CAA is a founding member (1997) of CAW, which is a group of higher-education associations, disciplinary associations, and faculty organizations committed to addressing issues associated with deteriorating faculty working conditions and their effect on college and university students in the United States. Specifically, CAW’s purpose is to: collect and disseminate information on the use and treatment of full- and part-time faculty members serving off the tenure track and the implications for students, parents, other faculty members, and institutions; articulate and clarify differences in the extent and consequences of changes in the faculty within and among the various academic disciplines and fields of study; evaluate the short-term and long-term consequences of changes in the academic workforce for society and the public good; identify and promote strategies for solving the problems created by inappropriate use and exploitation of part-time, adjunct, and similar faculty appointments; promote conditions by which all faculty members, including full- and part-time non-tenure-track faculty members, can strengthen their teaching and scholarship, better serve their students, and advance their professional careers.

Andrew Delbanco, the author of College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be (2012), stated that, in 1975, 60 percent of college professors were full-time faculty with tenure. The reasons for the accelerated shift toward contingent labor since that time are many. Decreases in state funding, capital expansion without commensurate revenue, increases in specialized knowledge requiring thousands of course offerings, and swelling student enrollment all have had a detrimental effect on faculty budgets, more so than on any other area of expenditures in higher education. Jane Wellman, who led the Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability, affirmed these observations in a recent New York Times interview:

What the evidence shows is that we’ve done more to cut costs in the faculty area than elsewhere in the budget, and we’ve done it by bringing in more adjuncts and part-timers. So there’s a handful of professors with tenure, who don’t teach very much, and then there’s [a] lot of people who have no benefits who do more of the teaching. I think it’s probably hurting academic quality, especially at institutions where the students are not well prepared. The attrition [of students] is mostly in the first two years, and that’s mostly where the adjuncts are.

While no hard evidence has determined that an increase of adjuncts has diminished the quality of teaching in higher education, the CAW survey results clearly demonstrate pressure on part-time faculty due to not only expanding workloads and larger classes—especially for part-time faculty teaching at multiple institutions—but also expectations to be involved in academic decision-making without additional compensation.

Professors of studio art and art history are acutely aware of all these issues. Enrollment has risen persistently for art-history and studio courses for years, while tenured positions have diminished. The survey results do bring some slightly positive news: median pay for contingent faculty in studio art and design and in art history is $3,000 per three-credit course (the nationwide median is approximately $2,700). In addition, workers at campuses with a union presence earn more than those at nonunion schools. Compensation is lower, however, for survey respondents who identified themselves as black, although the number of African Americans who participated in the survey was low. Please visit the CAW website for details on these issues and more.

The CAW report will provide important data for discussions taking place in several of CAA’s Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees. The Student and Emerging Professionals Committee will be addressing contingent-faculty issues at a panel at the 2013 Annual Conference in New York, which will include Michael Bérubé, president of the Modern Language Association and director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, who will present an overview of the Academic Workforce Data Center, a compilation of historical data of the growth of contingent faculty by universities. Bérubé will also discuss the need to nationalize the academic-job market. Jeanne Brody, an adjunct professor at Villanova University and Saint Joseph’s University, will summarize the ways in which adjunct faculty members are effectively organizing and advocating better treatment within the university system. Victoria H. F. Scott of Emory University will discuss the establishment of an Art History Society of the Americas, which would explore abolishing adjunct position types, raising salaries, collecting statistics, and setting policies to improve and monitor working conditions.

The Committee on Women in the Arts, which focuses on women’s issues in the workplace and beyond, will respond to survey results on gender. Although women make up two-thirds of all CAA members, they tend to occupy the lowest rungs of academia, while men continue filling the higher-ranking and higher-paid positions. To continue the discussion, the committee will present a panel at the 2013 conference, chaired by the artist and professor Claudia Sbrissa, on how the “feminization” of art history may have contributed to lower salaries and prestige for women.

Similarly, the Committee on Diversity Practices will discuss issues related to retention of faculty members of color during its panel at the 2013 conference.

CAA would like to thank the individuals who generously volunteered their time and expertise to develop and tabulate CAW’s survey: John Curtis, director of research and public policy, American Association of University Professors; David Laurence, director of research, Modern Language Association; Kathleen Terry-Sharp, director of academic relations and practicing and applied programs, American Anthropological Society; Craig Smith, director of higher education, American Federation of Teachers; and Robert B. Townsend, deputy director, American Historical Association.