PrecariCorps has four fundamental purposes:
- To improve the lives and livelihoods of contingent faculty undergoing financial hardship by providing charitable assistance to them in the form of cash assistance and/or grants;
- To create and distribute educational media to the public, including parents, students, and college communities, that details how colleges function in the post-recession U.S. economy;
- To create and design a searchable archive for contingent faculty issues in the news;
- To conduct research on contingent faculty and their role in the economy of U.S. colleges to encourage a broader public understanding of how colleges budget their financial resources as well as what effects these budgetary practices have on faculty populations, student populations, and the general value of higher education.
Improving Lives and Livelihoods of Contingent Faculty with Hardship Relief Funds or Grants for Faculty Development. To accomplish our first goal, PrecariCorps will offer contingent faculty donations through one of our programs, the Hardship Relief Fund or the Grant for Faculty Development. Applicants may email a completed application to receive either a donation to help them pay one bill or help them travel to one conference.
Creating and Distributing Educational Material. To accomplish the second of our goals, PrecariCorps will create and develop online media to educate the public about how colleges function in the post-recession economy. Media will detail some of the realities of college practices, including budgetary concerns, administrative practices, hiring practices, faculty working conditions, and how colleges spend student tuition dollars. We’ll also develop media showing how these practices affect faculty, students, and their families.
Creating and Designing a Searchable Archive. To accomplish the third of our goals, PrecariCorps will monitor, maintain, and develop an archive of news articles relevant to contingent faculty, student, and campus community interests in the U.S.
Conducting Research on Contingent Faculty’s Role in the Economy of U.S. Colleges and its Effect on Faculty and Student Populations. To accomplish the fourth of our goals, PrecariCorps will develop inquiries, design research methodologies using a variety of techniques (such as surveying, data collection, and oral history collection), then collect and analyze data for a series of statistical and sociological research projects to assess how colleges’ budgetary practices and reliance on contingent faculty labor affects faculty, students, and campus communities.
PrecariCorps is run by a tight-knit group of dedicated, non-affiliated adjunct advocates with diverse backgrounds. Some of us currently serve time as contingent faculty in the United States. Others have escaped the academic caste system, in which we were treated as second-class citizens regardless of our expertise, by becoming post-academics. Find us on Twitter: @PrecariCorps.
Managing Director: Brianne Bolin
After being featured in Elle magazine’s Dec. 2014 article about adjuncts by Alissa Quart, I was contacted by a generous woman who offered to pay off all my debt and give my son, Finn, a wonderful Christmas. Her kind act took an immense weight off my shoulders, and my family enjoyed the best holiday season in a very long time. I was inspired to pay it forward, and thus PrecariCorps was born. As of May 2016, I am post-ac. Leaving my 10-year adjunct position to begin graduate school in speech-language pathology, while emancipatory and empowering, was also like grieving.
Communications Director: Joe Fruscione
After fifteen years in academia as a teacher-scholar specializing in American literature and film, I’m now working as a freelance editor, writer, and consultant. I adjuncted from 1999-2014 at several universities in the DC area. Now that I’ve left academia, I’m using my connections, experiences, and activist spirit to help remake–or at least greatly improve–higher education in America. Read more about me and see the blog posts I’ve written and hosted here: jfruscione.wordpress.com. Find me on Twitter: @ProfessorEx74.
Creative Director: Kat Skills
Like many adjuncts, I was both moved and upset by the high profile death of Margaret Mary Vojtko. It served as a tragic wake-up call and caused me to examine my own contingent situation. As I discovered, I was among a huge majority of higher ed faculty that struggle with the precarious and unprofitable nature of our work. I believe that when the system fails us, the individual must step in. The goal of my work through PrecariCorps and adjunct advocacy is to shift the tide for adjunct, contingent, and all other non-tenure track educators nationwide, and to create a more equitable, compassionate future for those who have dedicated themselves to educating others.
Special thanks to New Faculty Majority and all others who gave their input, support, and assistance for our cause. We’re all in this together, and we couldn’t do it without you!
Special thanks also goes out to Miranda Merklein for providing the name for our foundation. We love you, M-junct!