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COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a 20 year old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri-national - USA, CAN (including QBC), and MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee, a website and Facebook page <>, as well as this news aggregator, COCAL UPDATES. See below at bottom for details on joining the listserv.

GREAT Quote for the new year from US Labor Against the War, authored by Michael Eisenscher, their organizer emeritus.

See it at

Do you find yourself missing national Campus Equity Week celebrations this year?
Looking ahead to October of 2017, a grassroots group of contingent artist-activists scattered across the U.S. have been working under the auspices of New Faculty Majority for several months to design a theme that captures our need to both conceal and reveal our complex identities as members of the precarious academic workforce: mAsk4campusEquity.
We are exploring three basic customizable options for unified Campus Equity messaging and activities in 2017 that capitalize on the change-making power of art:
1. Historical re-enactment of creative social justice protests;
2. Other modes of performance art such as mock funerals, carnival processions, etc;
3. Exhibits that illustrate the diversity of our workforce and the issues of contingent employment.
Over the next few months, we hope to
·      build a large network of artist-activists and supporters;
·      partner with a number of organizations related to the arts;
·      engage participants with expertise in various art media from music and performance to photography, sculpture, graphic arts and new media, to flesh out plans for local actions that will resonate across the country.
If you want to join our campaign on the ground floor, please contact Anne Wiegard at
Andy Davis
Natalie Barnes
Jessica Lawless
Kat Jacobsen
Rita Lilly
Jennie Shanker
Lydia Snow
Anne Wiegard


1A. CCSF Reaccredited for 7 years!!!
and the fight is not over
1. Problems with the free tuition at CCSF plan
2. IHE on CCSF (before the accreditation news)
1. Our colleague John Lloyd (former contingent activist) sends this important article

Thought I'd share this LAWCHA article Trevor Griffey busting the myth of the "oversupply" of PhDs in the academic job market.  

He concludes with what I think is a fundamental insight about a growing "class divide" in the academy over how to address the issue.  


Dr. John Lloyd 
Associate Professor 
Department of History 
Chair, Senate Budget Committee 
Presidential Fellow, Alternative Transportation 
Cal Poly Pomona 
(909) 869-3865
2. Latest edition of
3. Good review of a new book by our retired colleague Michael Yates (also the editor of my own book)
4. Hi Joe, did you know that NEH Summer Institutes and Seminars for university and college faculty now have reserved seats for contingent faculty (3 in the seminars and 5 in the institutes)? Here is the language:
“Please note: At least three seminar spaces and at least five institute spaces are reserved for non-tenure-track/adjunct faculty members.”
The link below should take you to the webpage listing the various options with a March 1 deadline for application (be sure to click on the tab for the college and university faculty). I am part of the Summer Institute called Mississippi in the National Civil Rights Narrative.
In the event that you have not already shared this with your lists, it seems like good news to me, and in this environment, any good news is nice. Take care, jeff
Jeff Kolnick
Southwest Minnesota State University
5. The adjunct crisis by our colleague Geoff Johnson
6. New book of interest on scholar-activism 
7. More on the release of the guidance letter from Dept. of Labor on adjuncts' eligibility for unemployment compensation
8. NLRB to hold hearing on Columbia U’s objections to grad union
9. More on U of CA one day strike by clericals
Would you be willing to include the link to this LAWCHA statement on faculty collective bargaining in your COCAL UPDATES? Here's the link:

Thanks again for all your work on these issues. 


Eric Fure-Slocum
History Department
St. Olaf College
Northfield, MN  55057
11. Trump’s immigration polciy would drive adjuncts to unemployment line
12. From National Catholic Reporter, Can adjunct unions find a place in Catholic higher ed? A good and unusually thorough article. Worth a look.
13. Conference on the state of Labor in Boston. APRIL 1, 2017, UMASS, BOSTON. See below for details.
14. A very good exchange on labor and the election, with special focus on the AFT, from New Labor Forum
15. U of S CA arts and sciences adjuncts withdraw union petition (SEIU)
16. Comm Col of Philly, AFT 2026, in sixth month without contract for FTTT, PT and FTNTT and classified. (full disclosure, I am a former member of the local)
17. How colleges and universities are defying Trump.
18. Tenure under legislative attack in IA and MO
19. Latest edition of World Wide Work, by Matt Will, latest news of films, books and music about labor and unions
20. Coalition of Grad  Unions adopts March 3 as grad workers’ day 
21. First issue of a new journal, Journal of Working Class Studies
22. Trump’s nominee for Sec of Ed could gut public ed, says Diane Ravitch
23. This week’s
24. Another article on the recent reports on contingent faculty and where the saved money is going
25. Look what they make you give
26. A contingent gives some do’s and don’t’s in arguing for tenure (and job security in general) to the general public. [I have been making many of these point myself for some years.. ed. JB]
27. Unions say Rutger U (NJ) illegally withheld pay
28. Grad employees and adjuncts are the working poor of academia: they need to organize
[An excellect article at this moment, and not just because the author is from my alma mater and former employer, University of Iowa.]
29. Florida adjunct accused of selling grades. [Unfortunately virtually zero adjuncts in FL are unionized.]
30. Adjuncts to lose classes due to Roosevelt U (Chicago) raising FT course loads in declared budget emergency. Our colleague, Joe Fedorko, RAFO, IEA/NEA  (adjunct union) president is quoted.
31. January edition of the E-Note from the NCSCBHEP [Lotrs of good organizing news, some that has not been in UPDATES previously. Take a look.]
32. Blank on purpose
33. Majority of professionals support unionization at work
34. Conference on contingent faculty to take place in Georgia. June, 2017 in Atlanta. See below for details.

The State of Labor in Boston: Work, Inequality, and the Future of the Labor Movement

April 1st, 2017
University of Massachusetts Boston

The Labor Resource Center at UMass Boston invites proposals for papers from a wide range of people doing scholarly work both within and outside of academia for a one-day conference on the state of labor in Boston.  We define both "labor" and "Boston" in the broadest of terms, and are looking for contributions on four general themes that speak to the larger issue of inequality within the Boston region:
The State of Workers
The State of Organizing
The State of the Opposition
The State of Labor Research
 Please read the full Call for Papers, which has been uploaded to the UALE Discussion Forum at:

This conference will bring together a wide range of people who share a commitment to understanding the state of labor and working people in the Boston region.  Preliminary discussions for an edited volume have begun, and to that end we seek chapter length papers for a workshop style conference.  Contributors to the edited volume may receive small grants to support the transformation of a conference paper into a publishable book chapter.

Please send a 1 page abstract and brief CV to and  by January 15th, 2017.

Steve Striffler
Director, Labor Resource Center and Labor Studies Program
Professor, Anthropology
University of Massachusetts, Boston

34 Hello Mr. Berry,

I hope this message finds you well. SPACE (Symposium for Part-time, Adjunct, and Contingent will take place on June 10, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. Attached is the 2017 Call for Proposals (and the text is below). In 2016, we had about 100 attendees from all over the Eastern half of the US--and the feedback was wonderful. Part-time faculty need and want to attend a conference like this.

My hope is to keep growing SPACE each year. With that in mind we have added a "Leadership and Administration" track for presentations. We received a significant amount of feedback from attendees saying they would like to know more about advocating for and developing the part-time faculty on their campuses; hopefully, this track will fulfill some of those needs. 

Please share this call widely, if you feel so inclined. I greatly appreciate your support. It would be wonderful to see you at SPACE this summer, if you are able to attend.

Thank you for all you do for part-time, adjunct, and contingent faculty. 

Have a wonderful day,
Mandy McGrew
Call for Proposals

SPACE: The Symposium for Part-time, Adjunct, and Contingent Educators
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Crown Plaza Ravinia, Atlanta, GA
Submission Deadline: February 7, 2017
The coordinators of SPACE, the Symposium for Part-time, Adjunct, and Contingent Educators, are issuing a Call for Proposals for this peer-reviewed conference spotlighting part-time and contingent faculty. We seek proposals from part-time and contingent faculty that highlight the quality of their scholarship and their innovative teaching practices. We also seek proposals from campus leaders to discuss innovative strategies for supporting part-time faculty.

We are seeking submissions in the following categories:
    •  Teaching and Learning Presentations: We encourage submissions from contingent faculty on any topic related to teaching and learning in higher education, particularly how it relates to being an adjunct faculty member. These can involve descriptions of teaching innovations, research on teaching and learning, interactive workshops and presentations, panels, roundtable discussions, etc. Presenters are encouraged to make their sessions interactive (e.g., hands-on activities, discussions, reflections, demonstrations); however, all submissions will be considered. Presentations will be either 25 minutes or 50 minutes in length.
    •  Disciplinary Research and Creative Activity Presentations: A goal of the symposium is to provide a space for contingent faculty to share their disciplinary scholarship and creative activity with their colleagues, emphasizing the role of adjuncts beyond classroom teaching. We encourage submissions on any academic topic being researched by adjunct, part-time, and contingent faculty members in any field of study. These might involve scholarly papers, original scientific research, studies, etc. We also encourage submissions by faculty in creative disciplines of their original creative work. This might include performances, readings, and visual presentations. Presentations will be 25 minutes in length.
    •  Leadership and Administration Presentations: To provide a space for contingent faculty to discuss issues specific to this community, we will be accepting submissions surrounding the leadership and administration of part-time faculty in higher education. We seek sessions led by contingent leadership, full-time faculty, and institutional administrators on their innovative practices. Sessions should be interactive and may take the form of panels, roundtable discussions, or workshops on specific strategies. Presentations will be 25 or 50 minutes in length.
Application Instructions:
All proposals must be submitted online at this website:
Please contact the SPACE Director, Mandy McGrew with any questions.

Mandy McGrew
Educational Specialist for Part-time Faculty Support, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Instructor of American Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies Department
Kennesaw State University
3211 Campus Loop Rd.
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Office: 470-578-6257
Inter-office mail drop: #5400 

"Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education". by Joe Berry, from Monthly Review Press, 2005. Look at <> for full information, individual sales, bulk ordering discounts, or to invite me to speak at an event. 

To receive the periodic news aggregator, COCAL Updates, Email <>  It is archivedat 

To join international COCAL listserve email <> If this presents problems, send an e-mail to or, send "Subscribe" to <

Join the national membership organization for contingent faculty and their allies, New Faculty Majority (NFM). Support, resources,and strategies for all things related to precarious faculty. <>

Plan to attend COCAL XIII in Queretaro, Mexico,  at the Autonomous University of Queretaro, August 2018. 
See for reports of COCAL XII Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) and plans for COCAL XIII. Reports and full presentations  from COCAL XII, August 2016, Edmonton, Alberta, CAN:   see
Joe Berry
510-527-5889 phone/fax
21 San Mateo Road, 
Berkeley, CA 94707