June 21, 2016
The end of my teaching career...
...At first, my labor union (comprised at any given point of almost all full-time teachers and one complicit part-timer) assisted me, but in the end supported the decisions of the deans and my
full-time chairs. My dean deliberately used my medical disability and the failing health (and eventual death) of my elder mother to "schedule me" out of my teaching rehire rights.
In the U.S. there is an organization called the National Labor Relations Board which governs employee rights under federal laws. The NLRB states that it is unlawful to compel a worker to be in the same union as his supervisor. Even so, labor unions in higher education compel non tenured faculty (contingent/part-time/adjunct) to be in the same union as their department chairs who are most often full-time, tenured faculty who serve as de facto administrators and administrator designees. As such, as pointed out in the paper by Berg, the precarious status of the non-tenured professor makes him a prime target for anxiety-producing emotional abuse. In my case, at least two full-time professors who were union presidents (both department chairs) became division deans; in another instance, a full-time union grievance officer left his position as a union officer and professor
to take a position as an interim Director of Personnel with his sights on the Vice Presidency of Personnel. (He did not get the position and was forced to return to being a mere tenured professor and union officer. The Vice Presidency went to a man outside of the college, and the directorship was given to the new VPs girlfriend.)
My district superintendent wrote her doctoral dissertation on the use of workplace bullying (inducing fear) is used as a managerial tool. The dissertation delineates the step-by-step techniques and the steps to induce fear in faculty and eventual cause their removal or resignation. The dissertation states verbatim that a professor can be scared "shitless" through the use of these tools which she describes as like "spousal or sexual abuse." Although the dissertation condemns the use of bullying, it is clear that there is an unsaid approval of the techniques as they are evident in almost all cases of bullying in some form, and my experiences match the strategies in the dissertation one-for-one.
In short, it describes how to separate, marginalize and eliminate faculty who are not servile and complacent in the "erode, isolate, separate" strategy. This explains what the Asian professor in your blog was singled out, and why my district is currently facing, according to a full-time colleague, "22 or 23" complaints of unlawful discrimination. It is titled, "Realigning: A grounded theory of academic workplace conflict," by Melinda Nish in 2011.
It is fortunate for me that I do not rely solely on my part-time teaching income, and I have other sources of livelihood. Other professors must teach or a living and are therefore more prone to anxiety from unscrupulous colleagues and administrators. Still the loss of my livelihood has been heartbreaking, as I will no longer be teaching. This alone deserves mourning.
I am sad to report that not only vulnerable part-timers are victims of campaigns of bullying. A full-timer, a former union president no less, is now under attack by the college and the new union officers. This professor was very ethical, and upheld the rights and sense of justice for all employees. She now comes under attack in the support of cronyism cloaked under the guise of unlawful discrimination. For irony, the accuser made allegations against her of racial prejudice once publicly stated-- in order to ingratiate himself to his employers--that no racial prejudice exists in the college. He now states that prejudice indeed does exist.
This flip-flopping in what is said and what is done is very characteristic of the bullying as described in the dissertation. It is typical that a bully (the college administration) and his cronies will use any means (betrayal and backstabbing) in order to meet its ends.
I have only two advocates who will be talking to my dean about my loss of status: one administrator and one former union president, the ethical professor.
In March, the dean who robbed me of my livelihood (I have lost more than $40,000 USD in potential income), colluded with the chair who wanted to hire her friends, and deprived me of the joy of my profession is no longer with the district. Evidently she has hired an attorney that I could not myself afford, one who has a proven track record of winning large settlements against the college.