Chapter Focus: Guilford College


The Guilford College chapter of the AAUP came back to life in 2006 after a long hiatus, motivated primarily by a faculty reading group that had read Cary Nelson and Steven Watt’s Office Hours:  Activism and Change in the Academy, but also motivated by an administration that we thought capable of bad behavior (we were right — see  Most years since 2006, we have chosen one issue to focus on.  Here is a summary (from our website) of some of the things we have addressed:

In 2006-2007, it was “best practices in tenure and promotion,” in 2007-2008, it was the treatment (and mistreatment) of contingent faculty, and in 2008-2009, the group paid special attention to faculty salaries, including how they compared with our peer institutions (not very well). In 2009-2010, we focused on gifts to the college that came with curricular strings attached. In 2010-2011, we returned to the issue of contingent faculty (and surveyed contingent faculty for a report that we wrote, the first of three such reports). Since then, we have revisited various of these issues, and, in 2012-2013 we sponsored some faculty-wide discussions focusing on visions for Guilford’s future. In addition to sponsoring larger, community-wide, forums, most semesters we have met once or twice per semester (sometimes at lunchtime, sometimes on Friday afternoons) and have brought in some off-campus speakers. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the focus has once again been on the treatment of contingent faculty. 

The report that came out during the 2017-2018 year is available here.  We disseminated it widely, to key administrators, to the members of key committees, and to all of the contingent faculty (many of whom had participated in the survey on which the empirical data are based).  This has led to some changes in the way we compensate contingent faculty (including, for example, when they receive their first pay checks after they begin teaching), and, we hope, greater awareness on the part of those who interact with contingent faculty (especially the Academic Dean and the department chairs who hire contingent faculty and hopefully provide an effective orientation to their new working environment).

(A news story on the Guilford Chapter report is available here).