An article in the June 8, 2007, Chronicle of Higher Education poses this very question.
Well, it's pretty obvious to me that AAUP is a tired, bloated organization whose members look after their own self interests over the greater good of the profession. This organization had an opportunity to work on the adjunct situation, and, quite frankly, they blew it.
Cary Nelson, president of AAUP, should keep in mind that tenured professors react only when their cushy jobs and benefits are threatened directly; they do not seem to see that their tacit acceptance of exploited adjuncts at their colleges and universities is a major part of the problem.
Until full timers get up off their asses and start advocating for their adjunct workers, then they are no better than the colleges and universities who hire them.
My husband is a tenured, full time professor, and we often engage in lively and often heated discussions regarding this very issue.
Oh, and the argument that adjuncts themselves must rise up and organize for themselves does not hold water. If an adjunct even looks like she might open her mouth in protest, she gets slapped down and even fired. (Adjuncts are typically women who are typically supervised by men.)
So much for self-advocacy.
AAUP talks about preserving academic freedom for everybody.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!
AAUP, you clueless dinosaur of an organization:
THERE IS NO ACADEMIC FREEDOM FOR ADJUNCTS.
Do you get that concept?
Back in April 2006, we engaged in an interesting discussion about the whimpering, dying AAUP on Foetry. Below, I have reposted part of what I said back then:
I do think that the full time faculty, both old and young, have a responsibility to clean up the adjunct situation that their administrations have put into motion.
But I'm going to let you in on a dirty little secret: the full-time faculty will NEVER stand up for adjunct rights, simply because it's not in their best financial interests to do so.
The ugly truth? Adjunct rights will boil up from the bottom, and, quite frankly, adjuncts simply aren't pissed off enough yet. But it will happen, and it will get ugly.
When that happens, I WILL be in my rocking chair, or pushing up illegal flora at Whispering Glades.
AAUP has been moaning and singing a sad song about the "adjunct problem" for years, but nothing gets accomplished because this organization is just window dressing, nothing more. To be censured by the AAUP is a JOKE; some thriving universities have spent decades on the censured list, but that doesn't stop students from enrolling there, professors from teaching in these places, or donors from giving fat endowments to these institutions.
You think the poetry world is corrupt?
Nothing compared to the bloated self-serving, corruption of the ivory tower. These people understand the concept of "foetry" all too well, long before the word itself hit the lexicon pile.
Now if some REAL firebrand can come along and give AAUP REAL BIG BALLS, then I'm willing to listen. Until then, they can rot in hell.
My opinions regarding AAUP and academe haven't changed significantly.
AAUP, get your head out of the sand and become a real and relevant organization, and your membership will swell.