In a recent Valley Voices (Jan. 28), Professor Mark Somma raises the issue of increased reliance on part-time, temporary instructors at Fresno State and throughout the California State University system.
There are lots of reasons to oppose this trend, not the least of which is that many of these instructors have to work multiple jobs to support their families. They have no job security, wages are low, and in many cases, they do not have a campus office. None of this helps ensure student success.
Still, Professor Somma’s animosity toward the California Faculty Association seems misdirected. The faculty union is not the party responsible for hiring faculty. Once hired, however, it is the union’s legal and moral obligation to represent the faculty – be they part-time, full-time, temporary or tenure/tenure track, union member or non-union member.
It is incorrect to say that the union has done nothing to address the lack of tenure-line density on our campuses. This last year, we were successful in getting the Legislature to earmark $11 million of CSU funding for hiring tenure-track faculty. We have consistently argued that the lack of tenure density hurts the quality of education at our universities.
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Diane M. Blair, professor of communication and CFA Fresno State Chapter President, Fresno