WXXI AM News

Connections: Should Contingent Faculty Unionize?

Apr 5, 2016

Non-tenured faculty members at the University of Rochester are considering forming a union to help adjunct and contingent professors improve their compensation. They could join colleagues at more than 40 colleges around the country who have unionized.

Those who support unionization say it would improve adjunct faculty members’ standard of living, provide a more stable environment for students, and increase retention and graduation rates. Opponents argue that it will result in fewer jobs, larger class sizes, and less money being available for scholarships and tuition relief.  

Our panel discusses both sides of the issue. Our guests:

  • Lisa Cerami, adjunct professor of German at Nazareth College
  • Matt Witten, adjunct professor of contemporary music at the University of Rochester, Monroe Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Rowan University, and D’Youville College
  • Christopher Niemiec, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Rochester
  • Miles Meth, University of Rochester student in favor of the union
  • Darya Nicol, University of Rochester student in favor of the union