November 4 - Precarious instructors in the post-pandemic academy

November 09, 2020

By Methuseli Dube

Thank you to Gretchen Ferguson, Director, SFU Global Engagement for hosting this zoom call. This week saw a focus on the position in which precarious instructors find themselves in the post-pandemic academy. To help us better understand this point, our guest speakers Anis Rahman, Asst. Prof University of Washington and Nicole Stewart, sessional faculty at UFV and term instructor at SFU offered a raw look into the lives of precarious instructors, highlighting fears concerns and possible solutions.


  1. The origial synthesis by our guests and their colleagues: How did COVID-19 affect emergency remote teaching by precarious instructors? by Nicole Stewart, Anis Rahman, John Hughes, and Philippa R. Adams.
  2. This 2013 article offers a fair look at the challenges faced by sessional instructors and it explores what has not been fixed or improved. https://www.universityaffairs.ca/features/feature-article/sessionals-up-close/
  3. A chance to submit articles about precarious instructors and their labor in Academia. The deadline will be early 2021. The page offers a good look at the challenges faced by Sessional professors. https://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/workplace/announcement/view/182268
  4. The next article focuses on the Precarity of Sessional instructors during COVID-19 and shows the fear that non-tenured staff normally feel and how COVID-19 has amplified these fears. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/10/next-level-precarity-non-tenure-track-professors-and-covid-19
  5. When Dalhousie University administration and faculty bring a conciliator into contract negotiations this week, COVID-19 will almost surely factor into the conversation. The Dalhousie Faculty Association — the union that represents about 1,000 Dalhousie teaching staff, librarians and counsellors — says the shift to online courses this year has drastically increased instructors' workloads. The article below offers further information. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/dalhousie-university-faculty-covid-conciliation-1.5766422