By Eric Kiefer, Patch Staff
Adjunct teachers at NJIT in Newark say they’re taking a stand against a “toxic culture” that asks too much of its lowest-paid faculty.
“We are calling for NJIT management to bargain a fair contract that recognizes the contributions of highly-skilled, experienced adjunct faculty and addresses what has become a toxic culture of over-reliance on severely under-compensated professionals to teach and perform many vital campus functions,” said New Jersey native and architecture teacher Susan Bristol.
According to union leaders, despite Bristol’s part-time status as an” adjunct faculty member,” she has created new curriculum and original courses, participated in national accreditation, recruited high school students, made calls to admitted students, delivered public lectures at other universities, taken students on field trips to important architectural sites, and arranged meetings with prominent architects to enrich students’ college experiences.
“I love teaching NJIT students, but what are the institutional ethics of asking the lowest-paid faculty to perform so many uncompensated professional functions on top of their teaching responsibilities?” Bristol opined.