Sunday, December 27, 2009
In yet another example of how the "adjuncting" of American higher education threatens both academic freedom and administrators' accountability to the faculty, Inside Higher Ed is reporting on the case of an Ohio community college adjunct who is suing the school claiming he was fired in retaliation for videotaping the dean during a board meeting. Indeed, the dean has conceded that the videotaping incident is one of the reasons the adjunct was fired.
According to IHE, the adjunct in question as well as another full time contract faculty member were critical of the dean and "active" in a faculty vote of no confidence regarding his leadership. The full time faculty member, however, has already been reinstated after it was determined that he was fired in violation of his contractual rights.
As institutions begin relying more and more on adjuncts, administrators will increasingly take on the attributes of corporate CEO's who are no more accountable to their faculty members than the president of GM is accountable to the assembly-line workers. While that's not a great model for business, it's an unworkable one for educational institutions which depend open and free discourse.