CAA News Today

Despite the humanities playing a core role in higher education with strong student interest, four-year colleges and universities are increasingly relying on a part-time, untenured workforce to meet the demand. These facts, common knowledge to many professors, have been confirmed in the recently released results of the Humanities Departmental Survey, conducted by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a consortium of disciplinary associations, including CAA.

The survey includes data collected from departments of art history, English, foreign languages, history, the history of science, linguistics, and religion at approximately 1,400 colleges and universities. It is the first comprehensive survey to provide general cross-disciplinary data on humanities departments. The results are available on the academy’s Humanities Resource Center Online.

According to the Humanities Departmental Survey:

  • Across the humanities, but especially in English and combined English and foreign-language departments, professors at four-year colleges and universities are evolving into a part-time workforce. During the 2006–7 academic year, only 38 percent of faculty members in these departments were tenured. English departments had the greatest proportion of non-tenure-track faculty (49 percent)
  • When minors are included, undergraduate participation in humanities programs is about 82 percent greater than counting majors alone would suggest. For the 2006–7 academic year, 122,100 students completed bachelor’s degrees and 100,310 completed minor degrees in the three largest humanities disciplines: English, foreign languages, and history
  • Reflecting the demands of a global economy, student interest in foreign language is strong: during the 2006–7 academic year, foreign-language departments awarded 28,710 baccalaureate degrees and had the largest number of students completing minors (51,670). Yet investment in a stable professoriate to teach and study foreign languages and literatures appears to be declining, with a significant reduction in recruitment of full-time faculty members (39 percent fewer recruitments for full-time positions in 2008–9 than hires for 2007–8) and fewer total graduate students than faculty members, the only surveyed discipline for which this was the case
  • Turnover rates among humanities faculty were low—only 2.5 percent of humanities faculty left the profession through departure, retirement, or death during the two academic years preceding the survey. Combined with recently instituted hiring freezes on many campuses, career opportunities for the next generation of scholars (there were approximately 84,000 graduate students in the surveyed fields during the 2006–7 academic year) are limited
  • Approximately 87 percent of humanities departments reported that their subject was part of the core distribution requirements at their institution

The survey results provide a snapshot of US humanities departments at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The survey covers a broad range of topics, including numbers of departments and faculty members, faculty distributions by discipline, courses taught, tenure activity, undergraduate majors and minors, and graduate students. The data provide new information about each of the disciplines; they also allow comparisons across disciplines. These data are especially important because the US Department of Education has indefinitely suspended the only nationally representative survey providing information about humanities faculty, the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty.

Several national learned societies collaborated with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to develop, field, and interpret data gathered by the Humanities Departmental Survey: the American Academy of Religion; the American Historical Association; the College Art Association; the History of Science Society; the Linguistic Society of America; and the Modern Language Association. The American Council of Learned Societies and the American Political Science Association also provided important assistance. The survey was administered by the Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics, which also performed the basic data analysis.

Even though the humanities disciplines represent an essential core of the liberal-arts curriculum, they have long been data deprived. The empirical data now available in the survey, along with the rich collection of information already found in the Humanities Indicators, begin to fill that gap and to establish baselines that will allow stakeholders to track trends in the future. The academy hopes that the Humanities Departmental Survey can be expanded to include additional disciplines and updated regularly, producing trend data that could be incorporated into the Humanities Indicators.

Launched in 2009, Humanities Indicators include data covering humanities education from primary school through the graduate level; the humanities workforce; humanities funding and research; and the humanities in civic life. Modeled after the National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators, the Humanities Indicators serve as a resource to help scholars, policymakers, and the public assess the current state of the humanities. The academy continues to update and expand the Humanities Indicators.

The academy looks forward to working with the National Endowment for the Humanities to advance this critical work. The Teagle Foundation provided support for the Humanities Departmental Survey project, and grants from the William and Flora Hewlett, Andrew W. Mellon, and Rockefeller Foundations have advanced the academy’s overall humanities data initiative.

Those who wish to receive announcements of new data and research on the humanities can subscribe to an email alert system at the Humanities Resource Center Online.

Responses

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has posted PDFs of two response papers, from David Laurence and Robert Townsend, on its website for download.

For journalistic analyses of the project, please read Scott Jaschik’s “State of Humanities Departments” at Inside Higher Ed and Jennifer Howard’s “Humanities Remain Popular Among Students Even as Tenure-Track Jobs Diminish” at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Filed under: Advocacy, Workforce — Tags:

The Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW)—of which CAA is a member organization—has released a new issue brief calling on institutions of higher education to work toward ensuring that all college and university faculty members are recognized and supported as professionals committed to providing a quality education to all students. Called “One Faculty Serving All Students,” the brief calls for improvements in the current staffing ratios at colleges and universities, increased support for faculty serving in contingent positions, and inclusion of all faculty members in the work and life of their institutions.

“The public has a large investment in higher education and expects a solid return on that investment,” said Rosemary Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association. “For four decades, however, institutions have increasingly shifted teaching responsibilities to an ever-larger body of dedicated but underpaid and undersupported contingent faculty. It’s time for institutions to shift priorities by increasing the number of full-time faculty members in the academic workforce and by providing equitable pay, working conditions, and job security to both full- and part-time teachers whose work with students is at the core of the college experience.”

The brief sets forth four broad principles:

  1. All faculty members need to receive compensation and institutional support and recognition commensurate with their status as professional
  2. All faculty members should be aware of the recommended standards and guidelines for the academic workforce issued by their professional associations and faculty organizations
  3. All faculty members should have access to key information on academic staffing in their departments and institutions and use this information to advocate for change
  4. All long-term faculty members need to be fully enfranchised to participate in the work and life of the department and institution

“Many of the organizations in CAW have being working extremely hard on these issues and have adopted policy statements of their own,” said Linda Downs, CAA executive director. “We felt that it was important to identify areas that we could also work on as a coalition, particularly in terms of activating our collective memberships.”

CAW will work to promote adoption of the goals of this issue brief and will continue to advocate equitable and fair treatment for all members of the higher-education academic workforce.

The Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) is a group of higher-education associations, disciplinary associations, and faculty organizations committed to working on the issues associated with the deteriorating conditions of faculty working conditions and the impact of these trends on the success of college and university students in the United States. A complete list of CAW members is available at www.academicworkforce.org.

Please feel free to download and distribute the issue brief.

Read more discussion about the story at Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Filed under: Advocacy, Workforce — Tags:

The Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW)—of which CAA is a member organization—has released a new issue brief calling on institutions of higher education to work toward ensuring that all college and university faculty members are recognized and supported as professionals committed to providing a quality education to all students. Called “One Faculty Serving All Students,” the brief calls for improvements in the current staffing ratios at colleges and universities, increased support for faculty serving in contingent positions, and inclusion of all faculty members in the work and life of their institutions.

“The public has a large investment in higher education and expects a solid return on that investment,” said Rosemary Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association. “For four decades, however, institutions have increasingly shifted teaching responsibilities to an ever-larger body of dedicated but underpaid and undersupported contingent faculty. It’s time for institutions to shift priorities by increasing the number of full-time faculty members in the academic workforce and by providing equitable pay, working conditions, and job security to both full- and part-time teachers whose work with students is at the core of the college experience.”

The brief sets forth four broad principles:

  1. All faculty members need to receive compensation and institutional support and recognition commensurate with their status as professionals
  2. All faculty members should be aware of the recommended standards and guidelines for the academic workforce issued by their professional associations and faculty organizations
  3. All faculty members should have access to key information on academic staffing in their departments and institutions and use this information to advocate for change
  4. All long-term faculty members need to be fully enfranchised to participate in the work and life of the department and institution

“Many of the organizations in CAW have being working extremely hard on these issues and have adopted policy statements of their own,” said Linda Downs, CAA executive director. “We felt that it was important to identify areas that we could also work on as a coalition, particularly in terms of activating our collective memberships.”

CAW will work to promote adoption of the goals of this issue brief and will continue to advocate equitable and fair treatment for all members of the higher-education academic workforce.

The Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) is a group of higher-education associations, disciplinary associations, and faculty organizations committed to working on the issues associated with the deteriorating conditions of faculty working conditions and the impact of these trends on the success of college and university students in the United States. A complete list of CAW members is available at www.academicworkforce.org.

Please feel free to download and distribute the issue brief.

Read more discussion about the story at Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Filed under: Advocacy, Workforce

Are schools mostly looking for professors of Renaissance or modern art? Does California have more teaching jobs than New York? Are there fewer open positions now compared to last year?

CAA’s Online Career Center, which publishes job classifieds in higher education and the museum world, is also an indicator of professional trends in the visual arts. In advance of next week’s Annual Conference, CAA has prepared basic statistics culled from this website, answering the questions above and giving members a sense of what job prospects might be like in Chicago and nationwide.

Using CAA’s two most recent fiscal years and the first half of the current one, this web-only article presents the total number of jobs posted in the Online Career Center, the top-ten specializations within studio art and art history, and the US states with the most open positions, among other facts. The article also compares the number of employers interviewing in Chicago to those at the Los Angeles and Dallas–Fort Worth conferences in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

Mary-Ann Milford-Lutzker is CAA’s vice president for committees. She is also professor of Asian art history, Carver Chair in East Asian Studies, and provost and dean of the faculty at Mills College in Oakland, California.

In line with CAA’s practice to update $500 payday loans online same day regularly its Standards and Guidelines for professional practices in the fields of art and art history, the Board of Directors approved three revised guidelines for art historians and a new one for academic art administrators at its meeting on October 25, 2009. This work was carried out by four task forces, established by CAA’s president Paul B. Jaskot and executive director Linda Downs, that were overseen by the Professional Practices Committee.

Professional Practices for Art Historians

Authentications and Attributions (2009): The task force appointed by President Jaskot established the need for a stand-alone and separate document for art historians regarding authentications and attributions of works of art. It was determined that no other issue is more urgent for, and its consequences so specific to, the welfare of the profession than dealing with inauthenticity and false attributions. Not only is the integrity of artists and collections at stake, but the economic well-being of art historians who engage in trying to separate the false from the true is also endangered.

Information about authentications and attributions formerly appeared in A Code of Ethics for Art Historians and Guidelines for the Professional Practice of Art History.

Guidelines for Curatorial-Studies Programs (2009): A growing number of colleges and universities across the country have instituted programs in curatorial studies. The revisions for the document, first published in 2004, are intended to help art departments and administrators organizing curricula and to aid faculty advisors and students determining which curatorial-studies programs are appropriate for an individual’s specific interests, abilities, and career goals.

Standards for Retention and Tenure of Art Historians (2009): This guideline, last revised in 2005, has been amended to embrace community and two-year colleges. Inclusion of community colleges into these standards will make this document relevant for art-history faculty who attempt to achieve the highest stands of professional practices in such institutions. It will also help to validate the objectives of professionals who have few peers to support them in their efforts to improve the practice of art history at their institutions.

Professional Practices for Academic Art Administrators

Standards and Guidelines for Academic Art Administrators (2009): This document will serve as a resource for emerging, new, and current academic art administrators, as well as benefiting other CAA members seeking guidance regarding the role of academic art administrators operating in a visual-arts context. The task force was made up of administrators from diverse geographical regions and varied professional experiences that included program directors, chairs and division heads, directors of schools of art, associate deans, deans, and vice presidents.

Acknowledgments

I want to thank all the members of the four task forces (listed respectively on the webpages of their Standards and Guidelines), who worked together to revise and create these Standards and Guidelines. In particular I want to acknowledge the work of Maxine Payne, chair of the Professional Practices Committee, who so diligently worked on all this material and encouraged each task force along the way.

Part-time faculty in the state of Oregon scored a victory late last month, when their state legislature overwhelmingly approved the Oregon Faculty and College Excellence (FACE) Act. The bill will provide access to healthcare insurance to part-time faculty at community colleges and universities through the Oregon Educator’s Benefit Board plan. The bill also requires schools to track and annually report on faculty staffing and salary ratios, to be reviewed by the legislature and governor.

The Senate vote was unanimous: 30-0; the House passed the bill 54 to 1. The FACE Act now goes to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski for his signature. Jillian Smith and Rob Wagner from AFT Oregon have the complete story.

Faculty and College Excellence (FACE), a branch of the American Federation of Teachers, is a national campaign that advocates for equity in pay and benefits for contingent faculty members through organizing, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining. Another goal is to ensure that three-quarters of undergraduate courses are taught by full-time tenure and tenure-track faculty, and that qualified contingent faculty have the opportunity to move into such positions when they become available. The Oregon legislation is the first time that elements of FACE have been adopted by a state.

CAA has 135 individual and 21 institutional members in Oregon.

Part-time faculty in the state of Oregon scored a victory late last month, when their state legislature overwhelmingly approved the Oregon Faculty and College Excellence (FACE) Act. The bill will provide access to healthcare insurance to part-time faculty at community colleges and universities through the Oregon Educator’s Benefit Board plan. The bill also requires schools to track and annually report on faculty staffing and salary ratios, to be reviewed by the legislature and governor.

The Senate vote was unanimous: 30-0; the House passed the bill 54 to 1. The FACE Act now goes to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski for his signature. Jillian Smith and Rob Wagner from AFT Oregon have the complete story.

Faculty and College Excellence (FACE), a branch of the American Federation of Teachers, is a national campaign that advocates for equity in pay and benefits for contingent faculty members through organizing, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining. Another goal is to ensure that three-quarters of undergraduate courses are taught by full-time tenure and tenure-track faculty, and that qualified contingent faculty have the opportunity to move into such positions when they become available. The Oregon legislation is the first time that elements of FACE have been adopted by a state.

CAA has 135 individual and 21 institutional members in Oregon.

“My original source of income for the summer (teaching) has fallen through, so I am a bit desperate to find a job,” asks a graduate student of two career specialists at the Chronicle of Higher Education. In the form of a conversation, Julie Miller Vick of the University of Pennsylvania and Jennifer S. Furlong of Columbia University give excellent advice in the Career Talk section of the newspaper’s website.

Among the suggestions provided by Vick and Furlong:

  • “If you have experience working with archives, approach museum and university archives in your geographic area to see if they need part-time help with any projects that align with your background”
  • “Besides writing, editing and research, think about other areas in which you might build your expertise, such as Web design, graphics applications, computer programming that relates to your discipline, presentation skills, and foreign-language skills”
  • “Be sure that you put together a timeline of things you’d like to accomplish this summer and into the fall”

Read the full article—and the entire column archives—at the Chronicle’s Career Talk section.

Filed under: Career Services, Workforce

“Even as the use of electronic media has become common across fields for research and teaching,” reports Scott Jaschik at Insider Higher Ed, “what is taken for granted among young scholars is still foreign to many of those who sit on tenure and promotion committees.”

While junior professors lament the exclusion or diminution from tenure reviews of their born-digital work, whether publication or project, the Modern Language Association (MLA) and a group called the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) are tackling the issue head on with new guides that offer tenure committees help in properly evaluating digital scholarship. MLA’s Information Technology Committee is developing these guides through a wiki, which publishes both finished and in-progress work.

In his article, “Tenure in a Digital Era,” Jaschik examines the many perceptions and problems at issue, including peer review; digital and print publications; and work that crosses traditional categories of research, teaching, and service.

The primary finding of a report released last week by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), entitled American Academic: The State of the Higher Education Workforce 1997–2007, presents a troubling picture of disinvestment in the higher-education teaching profession—notably, a reduction in the proportion of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty, and an increased reliance on employing “contingent” faculty and instructors such as part-time faculty, full-time nontenure track faculty, and graduate employees.

An analysis of the most recent ten years of national data finds that the higher-education instructional workforce grew in the past decade, which is not surprising since college enrollments increased during that time by over 3 million. But to meet the needs of a growing student population, colleges and universities overwhelmingly relied on hiring undersupported contingent faculty and instructors. Previous reports have demonstrated the problems created when colleges hire contingent faculty and instructors without fair wages, job security, and professional support. This new report documents that, rather than working to reverse these trends and investing in a more secure higher-education teaching workforce, colleges and universities are expanding their reliance on contingent faculty and instructors.

Among the report’s other key findings:

  • From 1997 to 2007, the proportion of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members declined from approximately one-third of the instructional staff to slightly more than one-quarter
  • The increased reliance on contingent faculty and instructors was found in all sectors of higher education, with the most dramatic increase in community colleges

At the same time, the study notes an increase in the number of professional staff who provide direct student services, such as registrars, counselors, and financial-aid officers. Professional staff grew by 50 percent from 1997 to 2007, and the vast majority of these positions were full-time.

This report is the first in a new series on the higher-education workforce in colleges and universities. Each issue in  AFT’s American Academic series will explore different aspects of trends in hiring, compensation, and working conditions among the increasingly diverse higher-education workforce. More higher education data can be found in AFT’s Higher Education Data Center.

The Chronicle of Higher Education and Insider Higher Ed have reported on the report, with extensive comments by readers posted to the latter article.

CAA encourages all colleges and universities to read and uphold its Guidelines for Part-Time Professional Employment, which give recommendations on fair compensation, office and studio space, benefits, and more for part-time workers.