Richard F. America
Development Economist- Stanford Research institute – Director of Urban Programs, School of Business, U C Berkeley – Lecturer Stanford Business School – Lecturer, Haas School of Business, U C Berkeley – U S Department of Commerce – U S Small Business Administration – Professor of the Practice and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown, School of Business, 16 years.total – – taught Community Development, – and – Investment in Africa – Published in Harvard Business Review, Journal of Private Equity, Journal of Economic Issues, many others – 6 books on economic development, small business, management, public policy – Part time organizer for SEIU in other Adjunct campaigns, Member of Negotiating Committee, and member of Employee Management Committee. – B S Penn State, – MBA Harvard Business School. I see SEIU, our Union, as a force for improving management practice in the university. There are patterns of poor practice, a lack of transparency, and arbitrariness in some of the middle and senior management, Department Chairs, Office Directors, Program Managers. The Union can help produce a new University focus on continuous management training, and that will lead to better communication, less deceptive practices, and better, fairer decision making — not to mention, more compensation.
I have been teaching part-time for the Theology department since Fall 2009. I have benefitted from the unionization at Georgetown, which has provided more stability in my work life, and so I want to do my part to ensure that stability continues to be available to our colleagues. I am particularly interested in working to bring more voices into what is an essential and evolving conversation about the unique challenges faced by contingent faculty and their families, particularly regarding scheduling, compensation, benefits, and family leave.
If elected to serve on the executive committee I hope to contribute to four interrelated goals: 1) widening participation in our activities and leadership; 2) learning more about the different needs and concerns of part-time faculty; 3) facilitating discussion about what professional growth and advancement might look like, and; 4) laying groundwork for our next contract negotiation in June 2017.
I became involved in the unionizing efforts early after overcoming some hesitation. Ultimately, I reasoned it was necessary to make changes and to widen conversation about pros and cons of the university’s significance reliance on part-time and other contingent faculty. I was one of six part-time faculty members who helped negotiate our first contract. While I was pleased we raised the minimum course payments for part-time faculty and secured many other benefits, we still have lots of work to do with regards to building community, support, and moving towards just compensation and access to benefits.
While Georgetown’s reliance on contingent faculty is in line with national patterns in today’s landscape of higher education, Georgetown can—and should— continue to lead the way by embodying its Catholic Social Teaching in its employment practices and larger culture. I have taught three to four courses per academic year for the Theology department since Spring 2011. I am also a Georgetown alumna, intellectually and spiritually shaped by Jesuit values.
All of us have a role and responsibility for making Georgetown the best it can be. I hope that you will become active in the union to ensure all contingent faculty members have the resources to contribute to this great campus community. Hoya Saxa!
Carmelo Santos has been teaching at Georgetown’s theology department since 2011. He offers the popular course, Theo 108: God & the Brain. The course invites students to explore the religious phenomenon from a transdisciplinary perspective that includes Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Theology and Philosophy. Carmelo received his PhD in Religion and Science from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in collaboration with the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. He is also an ordained minister of the Lutheran Church (ELCA) and currently serves as senior pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Annandale VA. He has been active in advocacy and community organizing work on behalf of immigrants’ rights and has been quoted in national and international media in relation to that advocacy. Carmelo also serves as editor of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics (on line) and as Director of the ELCA Theological Roundtable, an organization that convenes representatives from the various theological networks represented across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and is a member of the editorial board of Perspectivas, a journal of Hispanic Theology. His interest in promoting the rights and needs of adjunct faculty at Georgetown is centered on finding ways to create spaces, opportunities and partnerships for career development. There is, for instance, the need for mentoring in a similar way that Georgetown is offering it for tenured faculty at the associate level, just to give one example. Prior to coming to Georgetown, Carmelo taught at Virginia Commonwealth University and at the University of Richmond’s OSHER institute for Continued Education.