” Matthew Williams, vice president of New Faculty Majority, resigned from his position at the University of Akron Saturday. Williams was an assistant lecturer of communications and an adjunct faculty member. NFM is a national coalition that advocates equitable pay and better treatment of part-time faculty members.””
Matthew Williams, vice president of New Faculty Majority, resigned from his position at the University of Akron Saturday.
Williams was an assistant lecturer of communications and an adjunct faculty member.
New Faculty Majority is a national coalition that advocates for equitable pay and better treatment of part-time faculty members.
As part-time faculty members, adjunct and contingent professors make approximately one-third of what full-time professors make and have no health benefits.
They have no academic freedom protections and receive no guarantee of employment from term to term. Part-time faculty members are re-hired every term.
William’s resignation comes after the halfway point of the fall semester. He said he is concerned about his students, who are switching instructors late in the semester. He also said they shouldn’t have to be in this situation.
I regret that the university’s conduct has led me to this inevitability, he said.
After e-mailing his students the news, he received dozens of supportive replies.
As far as I can tell, only one student is upset, he said.
Williams said he contemplated resigning for quite some time and described a new provision to a university rule as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The provision went into effect Aug. 30 and states that the university reserves the right to require a criminal background check and DNA sample from applicants.
Williams made the decision to resign when he heard about the provision last week in the UA E-mail Digest.
There is no apparent rational basis for it, he said.
UA has exceeded its statutory authority. This institution has now, incredulously, reserved the right to violate the sanctity of our bodies.
He did not talk to the administration before his resignation, describing past experiences of doing so as yelling into a hurricane.
Although part-time faculty members make up 60 percent of the total faculty at UA, accounting for almost 1,000 professors, they earn in the bottom 5 to 10 percent of the university.
Williams is in contact with a full-time lecturer from his department, who will be covering his classes this week until the university comes to a resolution.
Williams explained that before his resignation, he was fighting for his own rights.
Now I’m fighting for better conditions for others, he said.
He explained that some people might think that he resigned because he did not want to have a criminal background check or give a DNA sample.
If someone wants to pay for a criminal background check, I will gladly take it. I have nothing to hide, Williams said.
With his resignation, he wants to focus more on his role as vice president of NFM. His main focus will still be UA and he is looking forward to personally pursuing these issues.
He said that he might have people pass out literature on campus in the near future.
Williams will continue to teach part-time at Stark State, even though he is dealing with the same problems there. He explained that the classes he teaches there don’t require as much outside research and work.
It just boggles my mind how the university could have adopted this rule, he said, referring to the new provision requiring a DNA sample.
I will not continue to work for an institution which treats its employees in such a manner.