Faculty Story: Jack Bookman, Mathematics

Faculty Story: Jack Bookman, Mathematics

From 1982-2012, I was a contingent faculty member at Duke University holding, at one time or another, all ranks from Instructor to Professor of the Practice. I strongly support the current effort to unionize non-tenure track faculty at Duke. While conditions for POPs at Duke have improved over the last 10 or so years, conditions for other non-tenure faculty (“tenuous” faculty, as a colleague of mine called himself) do not seem to have improved at all. POPs and, to a larger extent, other non-TT faculty …

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Faculty Story: Rann Bar-On, Mathematics

Faculty Story: Rann Bar-On, Mathematics

I have been at Duke since 2003, first as a PhD student, and now as teaching faculty. In all those years, it has been an honor to pursue my passion for teaching mathematics to bright, ambitious undergraduates from extremely diverse backgrounds.

As a lecturer in the Mathematics Department, I have been treated relatively well at Duke: I am paid enough to consider buying a house and raising a family in it, I have a five year contract, and I have been sponsored for an employment-based Green …

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Faculty Story: Rebecca Bach, Sociology

The situation for adjuncts is that of an underclass in the Duke system. Full professors at Duke are among the highest paid in the country. Assistant professors can start at over $100,000 per year. An adjunct who is paid to teach two courses a semester, a full teaching load in many departments, earns just $30,000 per year and has no benefits or job security. A union provides the only opportunity for contingent faculty to support ourselves and our families.

For Professor Bach’s story, and other stories from …

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Faculty Story: Alexander Motten, Biology

Faculty Story: Alexander Motten, Biology

A significant proportion of undergraduate teaching at Duke is carried out by non-tenure track faculty, but salaries, workloads, lengths of contract, and opportunities for advancement vary greatly. While many of us are no doubt well treated, others among us rightfully feel taken advantage of. My impression is that the University’s commitment to non-tenure track faculty as a group has diminished in recent years, and I would like to see that issue addressed so that our undergraduates can be assured of the high quality …

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Faculty Story: Carol Apollonio, Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Faculty Story: Carol Apollonio, Slavic and Eurasian Studies

I‘ve taught at Duke for over thirty years, first in the invisible ranks, and then (beginning in the late 1980s) as one of the very first crop of Professors of the Practice. I’m proud to place teaching at the center of my mission, though I am also a recognized senior scholar and citizen in my field. At Duke, I contribute passionately in every imaginable area of undergraduate life, in faculty governance, and in many other capacities. This long service testifies to my devotion to the …

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Faculty Story: Andrea Scapolo, Italian

Faculty Story: Andrea Scapolo, Italian

Since 2010, I’ve worked at Duke as a non-tenure track faculty member. I consider myself blessed to teach Italian language and culture to bright and committed students, and I’m proud to collaborate with some of the finest faculty in the country.

I decided to join Duke Teaching First in order to protect and improve the quality of teaching and learning for my students. I’m concerned about the future of higher education in our country, and I know that we can only turn it around it we …

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Faculty Story: Genna Miller, Economics

Faculty Story: Genna Miller, Economics

I’m joining with my colleagues to form a union because I believe that we deserve better job stability as contingent faculty. I’ve been teaching at Duke for 15 years as an adjunct, and each year I don’t know if I’ll be able to teach the following year. It doesn’t feel good to live with that uncertainty. After 15 years, I deserve better.

Read more stories from faculty colleagues here.

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