California AB 2705: A Small Step Toward Equity

From Academe blog:

The following statement was released today by the Steering Committee of AAUP’s California Conference:

The California Conference of the American Association of University Professors (CA-AAUP) endorses Assembly Bill 2705.

The bill changes terms used by the California Education Code to describe the hard-working professional educators who now teach the majority of our community college students.

AB 2705 Section 1 acknowledges that “the terms ‘part-time faculty’ and ‘temporary faculty’ do not adequately describe the qualifications, contributions, and importance of the community college faculty to whom those terms have been applied.”

AB 2705 replaces “part-time” and “temporary” with the term “associate faculty,” which it holds is “a more accurate and useful term with which to refer to these educators, who are so integral to the successful functioning of community colleges in this state.”

AB 2705 was initially sponsored by the California Part-time Faculty Association (CPFA) and University Professional & Technical Employees/Communications Workers of America (UPTE/CWA). Its author is Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara).

The bill only changes terminology, but we feel that this is an important first step in addressing the inequitable two-tier professoriate that has emerged in the California community college system.

For the good of all California educators, our students, and our communities, the Steering Committee of the CA-AAUP asks you to use AB 2705 to start a conversation at your institution about the role of non-tenure track faculty. Consider AB 2705 a starting point for a larger conversation about removing the artificial distinctions that segregate contingent and non-tenure track faculty, and preclude their full participation in what AAUP calls “the life of the university.”

Read the full blog post here.