On Wednesday October 28, University of Rhode Island Part-Time Faculty Union President Ed Inman was joined by URI part-time faculty members, labor leaders, community activists, and students to present a petition to President Dooley. The petition calls for President Dooley to take action and remedy the employment status of the University’s part-time faculty members who receive no job security, no health benefits, and are paid a salary that is below minimum wage. Â The petition in support of URI part-time faculty had 565+ signatures from the URI community and Rhode Islanders across the state. Â
The University of Rhode Island, recognized as one of the leading public research institutions of higher education throughout the United States, employs approximately 500 part-time faculty members to teach more than one-third of the entire undergraduate curriculum. It is a fact that, without the instructional services offered by these 500 part-time faculty members, URI would not be able to meet the educational needs of its diverse student body.
Part-time faculty are proud to be part of this university community and represent some of the “best and brightest” minds in our state’s education community. They are committed to helping students achieve their academic and professional goals, but they are no longer willing to accept their status as second-class citizens. It is time for URI leaders to end the mistreatment of these educators who work countless hours to make a difference in the lives of students.
In its promotional material, URI proclaims: “Think Big – We Do.”
It’s time for big thinking to include a learning community where all professionals are valued equally and treated with dignity and respect, and a fair wage.
Dr. Dorothy F. Donnelly, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English and Comparative Literature at URI, and Senior Representative of the URI/Part-Time Faculty United (URI/PTFU)