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Proceedings

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Abstract

Lecturers, who are more than half of the 23,000 faculty in the CSU, are committed to their work but are not deluded as to their actual status in the system. Despite some success in encouraging the use of the professional term “Lecturer,” there are plenty of labels—the temps, the adjuncts, the part-time people—to remind contingent faculty of their lack of status. Perhaps the saddest but most accurate label for contingent faculty comes from the term used by academic union leaders in Mexico. Joe Berry used this term—in English, the “precarious” faculty—in a speech he made last January to a large group of contingent faculty in Los Angeles. This term instantly resonated with the audience, who knew all too well how precarious their employment status is, but also saw, with the clear eye of the outsider, the precariousness of the situation of all faculty and indeed of higher education.

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