As students, staff, alumni, and community members of Mills College, we stand with our adjunct faculty in their ongoing contract negotiations this semester. We believe that what is good for our professors is good for the entire Mills community and thus fully support our professors the adjunct union in their pursuit of fair pay and better working conditions.
Our situation at Mills is part of a broader crisis in education. Across the country, universities are adopting a model of education that relies less on tenured professors and more on part-time adjunct faculty. Today, adjuncts make up over 65% of our teaching faculty here at Mills. We depend on such dedicated professors to teach a myriad of courses, particularly those which are meant to provide a foundation for our students’ academic careers. We believe that those at Mills most responsible for our education deserve to have more of a say in how things are run, to be treated fairly and equally, and to be justly compensated for their work.
Students recognize and experience most directly the valuable contribution that adjunct professors make to the Mills community and realize the ways in which increased support for them will benefit our own educational environment. Their working conditions are our learning conditions. Along with tenured and tenure-track faculty, staff, alumni, and all those in the broader Mills community, we call on Mills to support and partner with adjunct professors in order to act in accordance with our university’s social justice mission and position as a leader in higher education.