Panel: Challenges of the Past Year and Perspectives on the Future of Academic Labor

Panel Description

This panel will examine the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for institutions and administrators over the past 14 months including how the pandemic impacted pre-existing issues higher education has been facing.  In addition, the panel will discuss campus reopenings, projections for the return to campus in the Fall, and the future of higher education structures, funding, and functions.

Panelists Bios

Rebecca Kolins Givan is Associate Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She is the co-editor of Strike for the Common Good: Fighting for the Future of Public Education (University of Michigan Press, 2020) and the author of The Challenge to Change: Reforming Health Care on the Front Line in the United States and the United Kingdom (Cornell University Press, 2016) as well as numerous articles on work in health care and education. Rebecca is the Vice-President of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, the union representing full-time faculty and graduate workers.

Dr. Jamie Martin is president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties and a criminology professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Since she began her career at IUP in 1996, she has taught undergraduate, master’s and doctoral courses. Her areas of interest and expertise include qualitative research methods and the parental stress and institutional adjustment of incarcerated parents. She has presented over 25 papers at professional conferences and has published articles in journals such as the Journal of Criminal Justice Education, The Prison Journal, and the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. She has served on a wide array of department, college and university committees and served as the chair of the National Research Committee for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Before becoming APSCUF president in 2020, she chaired the IUP Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Justin Tzuanos, National Education Association (NEA) Center for Organizing fellow, NEA Organizational Specialist and Higher Education Team member.  Justin describes himself as a values-driven organizing director who is wholly committed to building long-term power with poor and working-class people through distributed model campaigning. He states that, identifying, developing, and coaching leaders within communities that seek change is the cornerstone of his approach to building capacity and reducing strain on central campaign structures.

Charles Toombs, PhD (Purdue University), is Professor and Immediate Past Chair of Africana Studies, San Diego State University (SDSU). His area of specialization and publications are in African American literature. He is President of the California Faculty Association (CFA) and previous SDSU CFA Chapter President. He serves on AAUP’s Committee A, Academic Freedom and Tenure, and he is one of AAUP’s representatives to the New Deal for Higher Education Campaign Steering Committee. He was one of six U.S. union leaders invited by the Shanghai Education Union for meetings in China, March 2018. He was selected as the San Diego State University Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unsung Hero for 2018, 2014 SDSU Faculty Diversity Award recipient, and African American Educator of San Diego County for 2011 by Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. He is committed to anti-racism and social and cultural justice.

Gary Rhoades is Professor, Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. His research addresses restructuring of academic institutions and occupations/professions, as in, Managed Professionals: Unionized Faculty and Restructuring Academic Labor (SUNY, 1998), and (with Sheila Slaughter) Academic Capitalism and the New Economy (Johns Hopkins, 2004). A former AAUP General Secretary and New Faculty Majority Foundation board member, Rhoades works with various unions at the national and local level. He has worked on an updated and expanded analysis of unionizing and unionized academic employees, in a book entitled, Organizing “professionals”: Academic employees negotiating a new academy. Currently, Rhoades is a Steering Committee member at the newly formed wall-to-wall union at the University of Arizona: United Campus Workers, Arizona, Local 7065, CWA.  Rhoades is also an ex-officio Board Member of the National Center and is Co-editor of the Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy.