Many of you know that my career has been peppered with controversy. Challenging CEO’s, controversial business decisions, and skirting the line of business ethics with rogue C-Suite members.
Recently I have been dealing with both Macro and Micro issues at Adelphi, where I have been teaching as an Adjunct since 2011. To be clear, I love my part-time job. There is nothing better professionally then playing a part in shaping our next generation of HR and Business executives. This is not a position that is about the dollars. It is a position about giving back to the next generation.
I have been successful in my university teaching endeavors. First at Fashion Institute of Technology in the late 1990’s and most recently at Adelphi where I also happen to be a graduate school alum.
Adjuncts are a rare bread as they typically do not have PhD’s and often are treated no better than disposable contractors, yet they approach the college classroom with energy and passion. I would like to think this is different at Adelphi where we have some of the best, brightest and most caring Adjuncts in the education world. In the business school we went over a decade before I was awarded the teaching excellence award and then one of my adjunct colleagues followed the next year. Clearly our adjuncts standout in the classroom. We also help students with references, referrals, resumes, internships and even occasionally interviews. We also bring real life business into the classroom, I have yet to see a PhD program that can match the value of the real world in a business class….
So for the past 6 months I have been dealing with adversity and by Adelphi’s administrations own admission been poorly treated in relation to the hiring process for a full-time lecturer role in the business school. I am not alone as my colleagues have faced a similar fate. Some believe that it is even being done purposely. The business school hides behind accreditation #’s and the belief that rookie Phd’s know better and teach better then senior executives with decades of real business experiences. If you were spending a $150 grand or more on an education wouldnt you want the best education possible regardless of a diploma in a back office?
I have been outspoken about it, confronting the President, Provost, Associate Provost business school Dean, HR, and even pulled the union into the conversation. When I approached our President who broadcasts open office hours for a chat, I was rebuffed twice and pushed to the Provost who politely pushed it further down hill. When I approached our business school Dean I was met with teflon and my call outs were not even investigated. Only after months of emails and contacts did anyone even take my conversation seriously. I was made to feel like the criminal in an assault case…How sad…
Unfortunately after 6 months, the outcome was not optimal. No one took responsibility till recently when the Associate Provost admitted “we fucked up”. HR remained silent, knowing I knew the drill better than they did.
So after 6 months and a couple of Mia culpa’s I am left empty, admittedly poorly treated after a series of incompetent actions.
It’s a strange feeling being on the opposite side of this discussion. In my past life running HR functions I spent significant time cleaning up this type of mess.
So I have several options, including a pretty clear legal runway as well as my personnel connections to major writers at three of the country’s most prestigious newspapers (on-line and print). Even if they don’t pen the articles they can afford me access to Op Ed pages. For those who don’t read Newsday on Long Island, there was a recent editorial on Adjuncts. Oh, and before I forgot to mention it, I write on-line for two of the largest HR social media sites in the country. So I also have the option of writing an editorial myself. In fact I just did, however with minimal reach. My other options are much further and deeper in reach and reputation management….So I have options to stir shit up or take it a step further.
But I don’t want drama, I just want the right actions to be taken and for administration to own their actions…I still love to teach and students shouldn’t be hurt by the poor decisions and actions of their school’s administrators….
So if this was you, would you push the “red button”? Or would you bite your lip?