The Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union (PTLFC-AAUP-AFT) stands in solidarity with the part-time faculty of The New School and the Parsons School of Design and their decision to strike in response to the years-long indifference of The New School administration.
Part-time faculty at The New School face many of the same challenges faced by Rutgers adjuncts, including inconsistent course loads, a lack of job security, and disregard from administrators.
Adjuncts teach upwards of 90 percent of classes at The New School. However, they have little say over working conditions and course loads, are underpaid and struggle to qualify for health insurance. The New School administration’s willingness to ignore these issues is bad enough. Their unwillingness to increase adjunct pay for four years while many administrators draw six-figure (and in at least two cases, seven-figure) salaries is reprehensible.
A university that claims to be committed to equality, activism, social justice, and stewardship either strives to meet these ideals or becomes no different than any other private for-profit institution. If The New School continues on this path, it will betray the principles upon which it was established. The administration should ask itself: would Beard, Dewey, Robinson, and Veblen condone its actions today?
We encourage our fellow educators to remain firm in their resolve for fair treatment. We expect The New School administration to live up to the values it claims to embody and negotiate with the part-time faculty in good faith to achieve a fair contract. Adjunct faculty are not disposable, whether at The New School, the Parsons School of Design, or at Rutgers. These educational institutions only work because we do.