Fifth Annual Coalition of Academic Labor Conference (CAL 5) – Call for Participation

The SEIU Local 500 Coalition of Academic Labor

Fifth Annual Forum on Part-time Faculty Unions


Action on the Academy: Integrated Strategies, Imaginative Agitation, and Creative Solutions to the Crisis in Higher Education

  • Friday, November 15th to Sunday November 17th, 2013
  • SEIU headquarters, 1800 Mass Ave NW, Washington, DC (Dupont circle metro)


There is a serious crisis in our system of higher education characterized by over-reliance on adjunct and contingent faculty who are treated as second-tier, contractual faculty, and a massive shift of resources away from instruction and scholarship into bloated administrations funded by soaring tuition, with resulting unmanageable levels of student, and adjunct, debt. Our democracy is based in the idea of an educated citizenry, but the American Dream of a high quality, college education for all is slipping away from working families and the middle class, while the higher education teaching profession becomes increasingly marginalized and casualized.  Part-time and contingent faculty have been joining with students, full-time faculty, other campus workers and allies to address this crisis: to create equity in academic labor and campus employment practices, to fight against student and adjunct debt, to fund public education and to restore the ideal of access to affordable quality education for all. From unionization to alt-labor, from student activism to media outreach, from protest to art and performance a movement has been building that is demanding change in higher education. We have named and analyzed the problem, and now we are taking action on the academy!

Join part-time faculty, union members and activists, contingent faculty advocates, full-time faculty, student groups, administration allies, members of The New Faculty Majority and the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, community allies and other stakeholders in higher education for an action oriented forum on the various and intersecting strategies for change in higher education.

Speakers and Panelists to be announced

Call for Participation:

We invite proposals for panels, presentations, workshops, discussion groups, performances, spoken-word, film, art, music or other non-traditional means of participation. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

Rising tuition, student debt and adjunct faculty debt – creating a national movement – using art and performance to create change – imagining a debt-free education – the alt-labor movement – pedagogy of the oppressed? organizing professionals – seeing academic labor as work – tools and strategies for self-organizing – finding a unifiying voice for professors, students and parents – engaging allies – legislative and litigation strategies – disruptive pedagogies – organizing without collective bargaining – metro-strategy organizing – the inside/outside strategy –  saving community colleges and community education – fighting back against the for-profit education industry – higher ed finances: where is the money going? – higher education and community activism – solidarity and support from tenure-track faculty – online organizing and social media – talking about academic labor to the press and the public – political advocacy on adjunct issues – using research to spur activism – the effects of contingency on research and scholarship – all education is public education


Please send proposals for participation to Anne McLeer by September 30th, at or you can submit your proposal online at


This forum is free and open to the public.

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