Message from the UMUC Steering Committee

Dear Colleagues,

Recent actions on the part of the UMUC administrators have intensified the concerns of our 3,300 adjunct faculty members.

At President Miyares’ most recent Town Meeting on webex, he showcased improvements in enrollments and student retention, but made no mention of the contribution of adjunct faculty members to these achievements.  Meanwhile, he and his top executives reinforced the view that UMUC is becoming increasingly a business-oriented, revenue-maximizing institution rather than a university that values learning apart from its market value.  Corporate management and the isolation of adjunct faculty from university and academic governance forecast a diploma mill rather than a high-quality institution of higher education—according to the original purpose of state land-grants at inception.

Organizational efforts underway for the new Academic Advisory Board, as described by Provost Marie Cini, only reinforce rather than alleviate fears that a downward spiral is accelerating.


In response to those events, a group of adjunct faculty is in the process of forming a union with the SEIU Local 500 – a union for part-time and contingent faculty in the metro Washington, D.C. area.

We are an interim steering committee that is working to create this new unit of SEIU Local 500. Our goals are to push for improvements in the compensation and working conditions of faculty at UMUC. We also plan to mobilize UMUC adjunct faculty members to lobby the State of Maryland legislature to enable binding negotiations (collective bargaining) between our union and UMUC, a right that is currently not authorized by state law.

We are not alone, but rather part of a national movement that is rolling back the degradation of adjunct faculty across the country.

Are you interested in becoming a member of UMUC Adjunct Faculty United/SEIU Local 500?

The Steering Committee asks you to join us in this endeavor by using this link to show your interest in becoming a member of UMUC Adjunct Faculty United/SEIU Local 500. A website, policies & procedures, and a dues payment mechanism are now under construction.

For further information, please contact Albert Nekimken, Interim Chair/Steering Committee at

Your interim union Steering Committee members are:

  • Joan Berkowitz, Environmental Sciences
  • Maggie Cohen, Business/Management
  • Betty Jo Mayeske, Humanities/History
  • Albert Nekimken, Communications/Writing
  • Maureen Quinn, Business/Management
  • Joan Bevelaqua, Graphic Communication/Art


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