“Trapped at the bottom:” Jane Harty discusses resource inequality for PLU faculty

Jane Harty Ph.D, Senior Lecturer, Music Department
35 years at PLU. Annual Wage: $11,300 with access to benefits

Jane Harty has four jobs. When she isn’t teaching at PLU, or prepping for class, she runs a non-profit in Seattle, sings and performs professionally, and teaches a small group of high school students.

Harty was hired 35 years ago as “contingent” faculty, meaning that her contract is renewed from year-to-year, rather than tenured or tenure-track employees who have a degree of job security in their contracts. She is one of the contingent faculty members advocating for a union at PLU to help organize faculty and open up a discussion about the rights of adjunct faculty.

“I don’t want the next generation of academics to have the working life I have had,” Harty said. “We’re trying to save our profession is what we’re trying to do.”

Harty was one of the original surveyors of contingent faculty two years ago, when the American Association of University Professors chapter on campus surveyed contingent faculty on wages, concurrent employment, and other work condition issues.

“We feel like we’re on the edge of the curve here at PLU, we don’t want it to be us against them,” said Harty of working with administration in the future. She hopes that by organizing, contingent faculty can better articulate their needs.  “It’s a means to an end, not an end in itself.”

Categories: Academics, Arts and Entertainment, Community, Politics, Student Life

Tags: , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. This is astounding. 35 years at PLU and Harty doesn’t have job security? Not to mention the outrageously low annual pay. Very interesting to hear what Anderson will say next week, I’m not seeing the justification for not letting contingent faculty unionize.

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