The number of full-time administrators at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is way up, according to federal data. Growing administrative ranks at colleges is a national trend, but the seven-fold increase on the Lowell campus over the past ten years stands out as one of the highest.

Read more at WGBHOn Campus| At UMass Lowell, Healthy Growth Or Bloat?.

Update: Audio is now also available on SoundCloud.

Adjunct professors unionize, revealing deeper malaise in higher ed - The Boston Globe

WHEN PEOPLE OUTSIDE academia think about life inside it, we often imagine tweedy tenured professors who are blithely innocent of all earthly concerns. Yet more than 40 percent of the teachers at US colleges and universities are adjuncts — part-time faculty members who are paid by the course. Like TaskRabbits and Uber drivers, these instructors are in the vanguard of an unpredictable freelance economy.

Adjuncts on more and more campuses are responding in an old-fashioned way: by turning to a labor movement that, despite its flaws, is their best option for handling specific types of grievances.

Amid a national freak-out over the cost of college, marginally employed professors aren’t obvious objects of sympathy. Yet the surge in union activism among adjuncts reveals cracks in the American higher-ed model that universities would just as soon paper over.

via Adjunct professors unionize, revealing deeper malaise in higher ed – The Boston Globe.

Shoving workers into the precariat like this is the manifestation of corporate greed. That’s clear because some retailers and restaurants including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Modell’s Sporting Goods stores in Manhattan make profits while treating workers fairly. In many of these cases, the workers are represented by unions that bargain for better conditions. That includes schedules posted weeks in advance, full-time work, vacation and sick pay and health insurance coverage.

Collective bargaining gives union workers more power to resist attempts by corporations to impose insecurity.

Precarious Academic Workers Are Pushing Back Against the Tenuous Track – Working In These Times.