Local hashtag activism earned the national spotlight yesterday, when the #contingentacademiclabor movement at The Ohio State University caught the attention of Inside Higher Ed.
At issue were the endangered positions of 18 faculty lecturers in the university’s English Department. According to the social media stories, the instructors’ positions were threatened by a dearth of funding in the program. Antagonists noted that OSU seems to have no troubles funding administrative salaries, and they exploited recent news reports that portrayed the university as a model of inequity: high tuition, high administrator salaries, and plentiful cheap instructional labor.
At the end of the social media day, there was good news for the lecturers, with the latest reports say they’ve still got a job . . . for this year.
“The College of Arts and Sciences will be working with the Department of English to address these budget challenges,” Johnson said. “We acknowledge the concerns expressed regarding the associated faculty in the Department of English and regret any confusion. Ohio State will honor the appointment lengths of their respective offer letters; no mid-year faculty changes will be made.” OSU spokesman Ben Johnson said in an emailed statement.