LEO Matters Blog

Lecturers' Employee Organization

AFT Michigan Local 6244, AFL-CIO

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Who We Are

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Our students often call us “professor,” but our real job titles have been varied: “lecturer,” “adjunct lecturer,” “adjunct assistant professor,” or any of a dozen others. Now, under our contract with the university, we are all lecturers.

We teach across all three campuses of The University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint -- in nearly every department and program. We number more than 1,500. It is the rare undergraduate who has not been taught by at least one of us. Most students will take classes from several of us and never know our rank and title.

Many of us are part-timers, teaching one or two courses a semester. But over a third of us are full-timers, teaching three or more courses a semester. Regardless, we all work on fixed-term appointments, which can range in duration from four months to five years. None of us are eligible for traditional academic protection called "tenure."

Before we formed a union, a lecturer could teach at the university for 20 years without gaining any rights of seniority. Worse yet, a lecturer could teach at the university for 20 years without ever being considered a regular employee, earning a living wage, or receiving year-round health care coverage.

We are the non tenure-track faculty of The University of Michigan. We have banded together and fought for a contract in order to improve our lot—and to help the university live up to its reputation as a progressive, socially responsible institution dedicated to educational excellence.

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Photo of LEO members at LEO Annual Convention, Flint, MI 2007

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