Joe Berry, Adjunct Liberator and Pioneer, Endorses St Xavier U Pro-Adjunct Union Teach-in

Adjunct Professor Joe Berry, who has taught at many institutions such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and currently the University of California at Berkeley, is the central figure in the adjunct faculty pursuit of justice. His magnum opus, Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education was the adjunct-contingent faculty equivalent of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It revealed the persecution, the fear, the marginalisation, the disrespect, the subsistence wage (or less) that the new majority of the university professoriate endure today. He was also the driving force behind the formation of the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL). He attended a session where I presented a paper at the American Association of University Professors, Shared Governance Conference in Washington that led to his e-mailing me this statement of support for the St Xavier University teach-in on Tuesday, November 15, 2011.


The goals that St. Xavier adjuncts and their allies on campus are pursuing have importance far beyond the St. Xavier campus. Organizing the new majority contingent faculty in the private sector of higher education, both in the non-profit and for-profit institutions, should be a primary task for all those interested in saving higher education and reversing the trends toward  corporatization in higher education, not to mention helping to save the labor movement. In alliance with students, no one is better situated to lead this  battle than organized faculty, but we must be organized to have an impact. I salute you for your efforts, persistence and courage. On behalf of the national movement of contingent faculty, sometimes referred to generically as COCAL (Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor), I look forward to your eventual success and welcome you to the struggle. I also hope to see some of you at the COCAL X conference in August in Mexico City.

In solidarity,

Joe Berry

“Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty”, by Berry, Stewart and Worthen, published by Chicago COCAL, 2008. Order from <>

“Reclaiming the Ivory Tower:
Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education”. by Joe Berry, is out  (2005)
from Monthly Review Press and North American Alliance for Fair Employment. Look
at <> for full information, individual sales, bulk ordering discounts, or to invite me to speak at an event.

See <> Chicago Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, for news, contacts and links related to non-tenure track, “precarious” faculty.

See <> for information on the  Tenth (X) Conference on Contingent Academic Labor in Mexico City, August 10-12, at Univ. Nacional Auto. de Mexico, Mexico

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