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Trump’s First 100/Adjunct Professors/Public Banks

Ralph assesses the first 100 days of the Trump administration.  He also talks to Maria Maisto of the New Faculty Majority about how universities’ exploitation of adjunct professors hurts higher education.  And Ellen Brown tells us how public banks are the best alternative to Wall Street.

 

“About 71% of all faculty in higher education are basically temporary workers.” Maria Maisto

“In November of 2014, the Wall Street Journal came out with an article that said that the Bank of North Dakota was actually more profitable than JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.  In fact, it had a return on equity that was 70% higher than those two banks.”  Ellen Brown

 

Maria Maisto is on the board of the New Faculty Majority, which is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of higher education by advancing professional equity and securing academic freedom for all adjunct and contingent faculty.

 

Ellen Brown is an attorney and the founder of the Public Banking Institute, whose vision is to establish a network of state and local publicly owned banks that create affordable credit, while providing a sustainable alternative to the current high-risk centralized private banking system.  Ms. Brown is the author of a dozen books, including Web of Debt, and The Public Bank Solution.

2 Comments

  1. keil says:

    Yes. I teach in higher education. Thanks for shining a light on the adjunct professor problem

  2. Gul Dolen says:

    The Budget proposed by President Trump has generated an enormous amount of appropriate outrage; however one area is much less discussed: the cuts to science and the impact this will have on research universities across the country.

    Specifically, the proposed 10% cap on so-called ‘indirect costs’ is intended to bring NIH’s indirect costs rate “more in line” with the rate paid by private foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. What this rationale fails to recognize is that even in the current model, NIH grants don’t fully cover the indirect costs. At a research University like Johns Hopkins, we have a negotiated 62.5% indirect cost rate for NIH grants, and anywhere between 0-20% indirect cost rate from private foundation grants. These rates are inadequate, and require JHU to pay roughly 250 million dollars a year to cover what these grants don’t in administrative salaries for staff (that ensure the university meets regulatory requirements like HIPA), custodial staff salaries, building maintenance and repair etc. Johns Hopkins is a rich University, but even here, our budget office informed us yesterday is that if implemented the 10% cap would require the university to fire greater than 60% of its faculty and staff, and close down many of the research buildings. The consequences of such a budget would effectively end research across the country.

    I wonder if you might consider doing a show on this topic? At Johns Hopkins Mike Amey, Associate Dean for Research Affairs, and Executive Director, Research Administration would be a good person to contact (410-361-8357 mamey@jhmi.edu). In addition, Science magazine has written a nice piece on the effects of the proposed budget on research : http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/what-s-trump-s-2018-budget-request-science

    As you know, currently the U.S. federal government spends only 3 percent of its discretionary budget on science, but about 55 percent on the military; furthermore the entire discretionary budget is less than what the government gives away in tax breaks to various groups (which notably does not include postdocs receiving federal fellowship awards). Perhaps the most important feature of the tenure system is protecting scientists who speak their minds and thereby enabling intellectual and political dissent among the academic class. Unfortunately, this protection has been eroded by the increasing financial insecurity imposed by austerity.


    ————-
    Gül Dölen, M.D.,Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Neuroscience
    Brain Science Institute
    Wendy Klag Center

    Johns Hopkins University
    855 N. Wolfe Street
    Rangos 286
    Baltimore, MD 21205
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    DolenLab.org

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