Thursday, October 29, 2009
Inside Higher Ed. is reporting that adjunct professor Matt Williams of the University of Akron, and Vice President of The New Faculty Majority- an adjunct rights group, has resigned over that school's requirement that new employees submit to DNA testing as a condition of employment. Many schools already require employees to undergo a criminal background check prior to hiring which seems reasonable enough. But as DNA testing begins to replace fingerprinting as the most reliable way to identify criminal suspects, Akron's Board of Trustee's passed a measure in August that requires new hires to consent to such testing. Most Akron faculty didn't even know about the new policy until this story hit the blogosphere. At present, Akron says it has not tested anyone nor does it have plans to do so. Instead, the school wants to reserve the right to do mandatory DNA testing in the future should it so chose.
But for Professor Williams, this was the last straw:
'It's not enough that the university doesn't pay us a living wage, or provide us with health insurance, but now they want to sacrifice the sanctity of our bodies. No,' said Matt Williams, who had been teaching four courses this semester in the communications and continuing education programs
[Williams] felt it was time to take a stand and say that there are limits on how much those off the tenure track will take from their employers. While the criminal background checks and potential DNA sample apply to those hired for any position, Williams noted that adjuncts like himself are technically hired and rehired semester by semester, and thus could face this prospect term after term.
You can read more about this story here.