Center for Study of Academic Labor hosts opening reception

The Center for the Study of Academic Labor (CSAL) will officially open its doors at an opening reception on 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9, in TILT 221. CSAL’s mission is to promote research and artistry relating to academic labor markets, the spread of contingency and the corresponding decline of the tenure system.

Refreshments, a dedication and opening remarks will precede the 7 p.m. film screening of the 2015 original play Reasonable Assurance (a community theatre production about contingent academic labor).

Paul Kruse, playwright for the Hatch Arts Collective, Pittsburgh, which wrote, produced and directed the play, will be CSAL artist-in-residence Sept 9-10 and will be available for a Q&A following the screening. Paul will also run a theatre workshop for those interested in learning how theatre, and community theatre techniques in particular, can address matters of social justice. Kruse’s workshop will be held Thursday, Sept. 10 from 9 to 12 noon in the Wold Resource Center in the Visual Arts Building at Colorado State University.

CSALFounding directors of CSAL include Jen Aberle (Human Development and Family Studies), Laura Thomas (English), Natalie Barnes (Art), Sue Doe (English), Steven Shulman (Economics) and Mike Palmquist (CSU Online).

CSAL will serve as a national “research home” for scholars and artists who make the study of academic labor an area of academic/intellectual study. In so doing, CSAL hopes to deepen the formalized inquiry of the teaching mission of higher education, and the system of academic labor that puts it into practice. These are under threat from escalating tuition costs, competition from online alternatives, shrinking state support for higher education and administrative spending priorities.

CSAL seeks to build a multidisciplinary network of scholars who have particular interests in the dramatic growth of contingent faculty throughout all of higher education and its impact on educational outcomes, faculty governance, academic freedom and the culture of higher education. In so doing, CSAL carves out an area of research that some have called “contingency studies.”

CSAL publishes papers and data on topics such as the characteristics and working conditions of contingent faculty, the academic labor market, university budgets, academic employment policies and the future of the tenure system. A book series and journal are under construction. The center’s new website will go live at the time of the opening reception on Sept 9.

CSAL promotes respect for all faculty, fair treatment of all faculty, and dedication to the teaching mission of higher education.