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06/11/2019

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Amanda

I agree about the representation - and would go further and say that non-TT and adjuncts should have some representation as well.

I want to also note that when people talk about "teaching schools," most seem to think of private liberal arts universities. But a group that is just as large, if not larger, are regional state universities. These are universities where faculty typically teach a 4/4, and tenure decisions are skewed heavily toward teaching and service. These universities often have a couple of PhD programs in things like nursing and education, and maybe even a couple of research focused departments. Yet the vast majority of departments are are teaching focused. Schools like these have unique needs, but they probably have more in common with liberal arts schools than R1's. These schools typically come from a state that has 1 or 2 state run research universities, and maybe or maybe not some r1 private universities. The teaching state universities might feel like the disreputable family member that gets unfairly compared to their state R1 siblings.

Back to representation: it seems plausible that on reason so many grad students have confused views about the market, about what it is like to be a professional philosopher, etc -have a lot to do with who holds power in the profession: i.e. TT faculty at research schools, which are a small minority of those making a living as professional philosophers.

That said, were a decent number of non-R1 faculty running? I have no idea. But in general the status quo often stays in power because they are rarely challenged. If they were challenged, then it seems as though philosophers might be falling prey to voting patterns similar in general election politics: i.e. voting according to name recognition.

Marcus Arvan

Hi Amanda: thanks for chiming in. I totally agree! I added in a note about representation for non-TT faculty a little earlier this evening.

Mr Pessimist

A barrier to this is the fact that an APA membership is not worth it for most of us NTT folks. I have been a full-time (see: not terribly paid) NTT faculty member since receiving my PhD. I stopped paying for an APA membership around the time I stopped being a grad student for several reasons. First, I never had much luck getting my papers accepted to the APA conferences anyways. Second, the APA has shown relatively little interest in the concerns and issues that affect people like me (NTT and other precarious faculty, as well as job seekers more generally). Third, the cost of an APA membership is not insignificant to me. I know that they have levels of dues based on income, but if I were honest about how much I make per year, then it would still be too expensive.

I understand that this is a chicken-egg problem: how can NTT faculty be represented in APA leadership until they're willing to pay to be APA members and be more active at the APA? Of course, it won't happen. Furthermore, I am pessimistic that the organization will ever care about us, no matter how active we are in the APA. Most TT and well-placed people in the profession (Marcus excluded) do not care about us as a group at all. So I do not think it will ever be worth it for people like me to pay for a membership or to invest time in an organization that does not care about our interests (unless, of course, you enjoy conferences *shudder*).

My alternative suggestion is to invest your time, energy, and money in your union, or in forming a union with other NTT faculty at your institution. The unions I have been a part of have been the only organizations that have put themselves on the line for my interests, and the interests of those like me.

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