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CAA Update from the President

posted by DeWitt Godfrey


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

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.

 



Workshop Participants Needed to Script a Panel Discussion

posted by Christopher Howard


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 Christopher Howard


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 Results on Contingent Faculty in Higher Education

posted by Christopher Howard


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.




At its May 2010 meeting, the CAA Board of Directors approved a resolution that updates the Standards for Retention and Tenure of Art Historians. Submitted by Anne Collins Goodyear, vice president for publications, the addendum urges academic tenure-and-promotions committees to consider and evaluate museum publications when making their deliberations. Exhibition catalogues, the resolution notes, may be published by an academic press or museum, or in association with a nonacademic press.

The following paragraphs, which are part of the addendum, provide background for the resolution:

During the past ten years, while academic publishing has been shrinking dramatically, museum publishing has flourished, moving to the forefront as the venue for much substantial scholarship in our field.

Museum exhibition and collection catalogues are not, by and large, peer-reviewed in the traditional sense. The long lead times required for blind peer review do not accommodate the tight schedules of most exhibition catalogues, which must appear when shows open. Yet exhibition catalogues do undergo a form of peer review. Though not blind, it is thorough, as the collaborative curatorial teams that produce exhibition catalogues, and museums’ editorial departments and consultants, carefully evaluate the scholarship contained within, striving to ensure that it is accurate and of the highest possible quality.

In the past, one argument lodged against exhibition catalogues has been that the essays can vary in quality. Some essays in exhibition catalogues—at times in the same catalogue—contain original, important scholarship, while others can be included for political reasons, perhaps to secure certain loans or financial contributions essential to the successful mounting of a show. In fact, this situation is not fundamentally different from scholarship published in festschrifts, anthologies, or other non-museum collections of scholarly essays. It is not unusual for some authors in such publications to be included for practical, rather than scholarly, reasons. Yet this does not disqualify every essay in these publications from being considered in tenure decisions.

Helen Evans of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lucy Oakley of the Grey Art Gallery at New York University authored the proposal, with input from the Publications Committee. The Professional Practices Committee, which reviews new and revised Standards and Guidelines, endorsed the proposal, which the board then passed.

The addendum has been added to Standards for Retention and Tenure of Art Historians and joins updates made in 2005 and 2007. CAA encourages you to review all official Standards and Guidelines for professionals in the visual arts.




Earlier this year, the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) published an issue brief estimating 72.5 percent of all faculty members at American colleges and universities are contingent, that is, they do not have tenure or are not on the tenure track. Since no comprehensive national data exist for pay scales, benefits, working conditions, and involvement in departmental decision-making—let alone specifics on academic-based artists and art historians, and for university museum researchers—this figure cannot be verified.

For this reason, CAW has developed a Survey of Contingent Faculty Members and Instructors, which will examine compensation and working conditions, among other issues, at the institutional and course levels. The goal of the survey, which is live from September 27 to November 30, 2010, is to gather accurate information so that CAW may advocate more effectively at the local and national level.

As an active CAW member, CAA supports workforce equity through its Standards and Guidelines, advocacy efforts, and data compilation, and it urges all contingent faculty, instructors, and researchers to complete this survey and to alert others to do the same.

Open to full- and part-time teachers, graduate students (remunerated as teaching assistants or employed in other roles), researchers, and postdoctoral fellows, the survey is an excellent opportunity for CAW to count contingent faculty properly and record their working conditions. Survey results will be shared with you once they are compiled. This information will also contribute to a national database that will assist future advocacy work.

CAA specifically requested that the survey include distinct categories for artists, art historians, and related researchers, so that the visual arts will be fully represented. On an individual level, the conclusions drawn may help determine your working conditions in relation to national trends. Results will also inform specific CAA Contingent Faculty Standards and Guidelines, as well as future advocacy by CAA on your behalf.

Take the Survey of Contingent Faculty Members and Instructors now. If you have questions about it or about CAW, please contact Linda Downs, CAA executive director.

Read reactions to the survey in Inside Higher Ed.




The Center for Curatorial Leadership is conducting a research project that seeks basic information on the educational and career choices made by art historians working in the United States who enter the museum and academic professions.

While sometimes regarded as “the two art histories,” museum and academic careers share a common starting point in college and graduate studies. In order to understand how the Center for Curatorial Leadership might mentor young art historians and form bonds between disciplines more effectively, it has assembled a brief survey. Comments and any suggestions are welcome as well.

The survey should take approximately ten minutes to complete. Deadline: Monday, April 19, 2010.




Peter Conn of the University of Pennsylvania writes a dense article for the Chronicle Review on the realities of unemployment in the humanities. Deftly sifting through various studies on employment, attrition, and other factors, this professor of English and education considers the situation from several points of view and offers possible and pragmatic solutions.

It’s no surprise to hear that full-time tenured and tenure-track jobs in the humanities have been shrinking over the past decade in both public and private institutions. Conn widens the field of inquiry, for example, by looking at how the for-profit University of Phoenix—with more than 400,000 undergrads and 78,000 graduate students nationwide and internationally—has expanded the field of education while perhaps exacerbating the rise of part-time and adjunct professors. In addition, the number of humanities doctorates produced has increased almost 50 percent during the last twenty years, but the job market has remained flat or declined.

Conn notes that the federal ban on mandatory retirement in 1994 has contributed to an aging workforce that is reluctant to retire, especially in the present recession. Also, the “star system” that attracts well-known and thus higher-paid professors negatively impacts the lower ranks. Attrition is another concern: 43 percent of students never finish their PhD. Thus they linger in higher education longer than they should, drain resources, and add to the part-time workforce. Even if they finished they’d be consigned to a “dysfunctional job market.”

While Conn argues for fewer students admitted to doctoral programs, he recognizes that current professors would object because, on the whole, they enjoy teaching graduates over undergraduates, and those undergraduates still need their survey classes, which are often staffed by graduate students. He lists several other objections to his proposal of smaller programs, including the unfortunate situation of denying education to those who want it.

Other recommendations include having graduate programs give realistic pictures of postdoctoral professional life, whether that’s offering classes on the subject, maintaining an informational job-placement webpage (listing past successes), or promoting careers outside academia. Of the latter Conn writes, with admittedly soft data: “These women and men found somewhat more job satisfaction than did members of their cohorts who continued in academic careers, in part because they ended up in locations of their choice, and in part because they tended to make more money.” But at the same time, “My own conversations with graduate students over several decades indicate that most of them do not find the idea of nonacademic careers particularly appealing.”



Filed under: Education, Workforce

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