Bentley University is one of the top business universities in the country in part because of our commitment to the highest standard of business ethics. Now that Bentley has entered the nationwide debate about the role of part-time faculty in higher education, we have the opportunity to represent those high academic and ethical standards in a new way.
We now have the opportunity to affect the educational system we teach in. We can make this community more fair and equitable while improving the education our students receive.
That is why we based our bargaining agenda around three principles we believe are critical to the future of Bentley University and higher education:
1. Creating One Faculty: Adjuncts currently teach more than 25% of the courses at Bentley. Such a significant contribution should be recognized by incorporating us more fully into the academic culture and allowing us additional opportunities to educate our students.
2. Moving Past Contingency: While being an adjunct fits into each of our lives differently, part-time teaching does not need to be treated as contingent or disposable. We can work together to create a more regularized, stable, and predictable employment relationship that works for everyone.
3. Moving Towards Parity: Adjuncts teach the same courses as their full-time counterparts and regardless of who is teaching a course, students expect the same standard of excellence since they receive the same credit and pay the same tuition. Equal pay for equal work dictates that we should also receive the same pay for those courses.
We all care deeply about Bentley University and see these negotiations as an opportunity to improve our school. We hope everyone in the Bentley community will join us in this conversation.
There are undoubtedly instances where we will disagree about what is truly best for our University, but as long as we all stay true to Bentley’s mission – “to educate creative, ethical, and socially responsible organizational leaders” – we will make progress. Let’s show how valuable an education at Bentley is by showing how much we value those who educate.