Monday, October 20, 2014

Another interesting article on Adjuncts, but does anyone care?

“The Adjunct Crisis Is Everyone’s Problem”
“In 2012, I got my Ph.D. and left academia with no regrets. Like all decisions based on financial stability, it was not so much a decision as a reaction.”
“Academia, I had discovered, was not an industry in which one works for pay but one in which you must pay to work. New Ph.D.’s are expected to move around the country in temporary postdocs or visiting professor jobs until finding tenure-track positions -- financially impossible for me as a mother of two – or stay where they are and work as adjuncts with no job security and an average wage of $2,700 per course. While making an income below the poverty line, a new Ph.D. is expected to spend thousands of dollars on job interviews at conferences in expensive cities and write paywalled papers for free.”
“Labor exploitation is not the new normal. Adjunct professors are distinct from other low-wage contract workers only by virtue of degree – that is, the Ph.D. Like other exploited workers, adjuncts are told that their low pay and mistreatment are the deserved consequence of poor choices. While low-wage workers without college degrees are told to get an education, adjuncts are asked what they thought all that education would get them. The plight of the adjunct shows one can have all the education in the world and still have no place in it.”
This is not a new issue and in my opinion, it is getting worse. There is an underclass in an industry that should be more enlightened.
What do we do?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Use common sense when dealing with Ebola not fear. #ebolafear

No doubt Ebola is a deadly disease, and no doubt some countries are suffering from this (more because of the inconveniences). However, since when did we become afraid of our own shadow in the United Stated? Since when have we reacted so badly to every possible scary thing that passes us? Educators should know better, but we are not immune to the chicken disease it seems (yes I said chicken).

“Rejecting All Nigerians?”

“Nigerians and others are expressing outrage after letters surfaced from Navarro College, a community college in Texas, saying that all applicants from countries with confirmed Ebola cases were being rejected.”

“The letters were sent to several applicants from Nigeria by Elizabeth Pillans, director of international programs at the college. The letters said: "Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases."”

“Idris Bello, an advocate for Africans in the United States, circulated copies of the letter on social media, where they have attracted anger from many. He wrote on Twitter that "it's wrong to discriminate in admission decisions based on #EbolaFear."”

Fact: Nigerians students have a reputation for excellence.

Fact: CDC has not recommended this kind measure at all.

Fact: The school handled this badly and is now backtracking and dissembling.

Educators, we are better than this. Change your underwear and move on!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gender equality amongst the G8 countries

While this article I am going to share is about just one of the G8 countries, the sad thing it is that is a G8 country. Yes, there are inherent strong cultural things affecting this; but surely some progress can be made/

“Japan's Missing Female Scientists”

“Too many female scientists are leaving Japan because they do not feel they can get ahead in its “male-dominated” society, a senior university leader has said.”

“Michinari Hamaguchi, president of Nagoya University, one of Japan’s leading universities, said that he was deeply concerned by the exodus of talented female researchers to overseas institutions.”

“Hamaguchi, who is vice president of the Japan Association of National Universities, said that he was shocked to learn that 60 percent of the 24,000 Japanese researchers working overseas are women. “In our own country, only 10 percent of researchers are women,” he told an audience at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in London last month.”

Brain drain can happen really quickly in a country that is not paying attention, and Japan should really be concerned about female role models in science for future generations of young girls.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Keeping your head held high after professional disappointment

Since the recession, professional disappointment has almost become the norm in education it seems. We get disappointed in students performance, our bosses, raises, our jobs, etc. If we are not careful, it can soon lead to wallowing in self-pity, and that is an awful way to drown!
I do not have all the solutions, but I would like to share what has worked for me personally:
  1. Stay busy! Write, read, research, and exercise
  2. Take stock of what you do have and be grateful for it
  3. Do something that you are passionate about (for me it’s riding a motorcycle)
Stay positive my friends, it can only get better!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Monday, September 29, 2014

Makes you want to vote for non of the above…

Do you remember the funny scene from Richard Pryor’s version of Brewster’s Millions: NONE OF THE ABOVE?

Scott Peters versus Carl DeMaio, running for congress here in San Diego are both setting a very bad example for our children with their tasteless attack ads on each other: please stop and talk about something that actually matters.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

A doctorate used to mean job security

In my opinion, people get a doctorate for a variety of reasons; the chief among them is love of learning. However, a close second reason is; to be able to have job security or at least the ability to always find a job because of their level of education.

The climate and playing field has changed in education, there are no guarantees anymore it seems. Doctorate job seekers are sometimes being told that they are “overqualified”, by educational institutions! Doctorate job seekers are sometimes hiding their education when they apply for a job, especially if that job is outside of education. The adjunct pool has grown and continues to grow in colleges, and these adjuncts are often doing the equivalent of a fulltime work without the benefits and pay.

Is a doctorate worth it? Yes it is. I will never regret the time, effort and passion I put into getting it, but employers need to stop being scared of doctoral job seekers. They are people just like you, they are not trying to “steal your jobs”.

Before I close, let me share this well put together blog which adds to my argument:
“The Job Market Recovery that Never Came”

“Six years ago this month, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, inaugurating a global recession that decimated nearly every sector of the economy, including higher education.
The “recovery” that began in 2009 has been illusory and often used to deny people benefits and pay under the pretext of “hard times.” Full-time teaching jobs became part-time, income inequality soared to heights unseen since the Gilded Age, and the cost of living rose while wages fell. Those now entrenched in elite positions reap the benefits, while those attempting to simply survive pay ever higher costs – or abandon their fields if they cannot pay to stay.”

“For academics, in certain respects, this is nothing new. Adjunct positions – contingent, poorly paid, lacking benefits or job security – have risen steadily in number since 1975, while the proportion of positions that are tenure-track has declined.”

“The academic job market in many fields has always been bad. The rise of contingent labor and loss of job security has been decades in the making. But the post-recession economic landscape is something else.”

Read the whole thing here:
The most important message I can add at this point is do not give up, society does need you.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam