Friday, April 22, 2016

Students and College Adjunct Faculty Protest in Portland Oregon

“Students and teachers at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland, Oregon, protested on campus this week, demanding that adjunct professors be rehired with contracts after some of the college’s most influential educators were unceremoniously left out of next semester’s class schedule. Protestors descended on the main entrance to the school’s main building Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings with bullhorns and picket signs. As the college seeks to assert its position among the major West Coast art schools, allegations of multimillion-dollar budget shortfalls and manipulative hiring practices have tarnished its image and threaten to dismantle its community, according to the protestors.

“The frustrations of the group of PNCA teachers manifest into an organized protest group calling itself People Over Profit at PNCA, complete with a manifesto calling for the best possible education for students and fair treatment for teachers in exchange for the school’s $32,830 annual tuition. ‘We believe that PNCA’s new president should not be paid $400,000 a year while its average faculty member makes between $5,000 and $35,000,’ the manifesto reads.

“This local dispute has national implications, as tuition costs and student debt skyrocket, while colleges and universities increasingly depend on rotating rosters of adjunct professors living semester to semester with little to no job security or benefits. As a recent study by the American Education Research Association put it, most adjunct professors ‘lack a sufficient income from teaching…’” 

For the complete article, “Treatment of Adjuncts Spurs Protests at Pacific Northwest College of Art” by Devon Van Houten Maldonado, click here.

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