Response to hiring pause column

I want to thank The Minnesota Daily and professor Eva von Dassow for TuesdayâÄôs interesting column about the hiring pause. As a lecturer teaching at the University since 2001 âÄî before that I was a doctoral student here âÄî I have also watched with dismay the proliferation of senior administrators, the increases in tuition and the drastic decrease in support to faculty (in terms of TA support with much larger classes to teach) and to students. It is true that itâÄôs not all because of decrease in support by the state, although this decrease has been drastic as well. The situation of lecturers, which von Dassow does not mention, is even direr. As nontenured track and often highly qualified instructors, we perform a valuable role in the University with no job security, no or very small salary increases and under conditions of almost total social exclusion. We are not recognized as faculty and therefore not included in most events, professional or social, organized for faculty. It is possible to work in a department for years without most faculty members even knowing who you are. In my case, I research, publish and lecture internationally as well. But the more important question is what to do about these serious issues. Von Dassow seems to call on student activism at the end of her column: You are not getting what you are paying for. Again, how to act? Thinking through these issues calmly in open and ongoing discussions with representatives of all constituencies in this University (including senior administrators) would seem a good start. In April 2008, a remarkable first step took place on this campus: Rethinking the University. Some CLA graduate students took the initiative and with the support of some departmental money and other sources, they organized a very professional academic conference with participation of their peers, faculty and lecturers. They are planning another one for this April and I recommend that the Daily send someone to cover it. Perhaps professor von Dassow could participate. Keep up the good job of informing us and making us think. Catherine Guisan University lecturer