Faux Job Ad Highlights Faculty Woes on Vermont College Campuses | Education | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Faux Job Ad Highlights Faculty Woes on Vermont College Campuses 

Local Matters

VERMONT -- Wanted: College professors to teach full-time but get paid 40 percent of full-time salary. No health care or other benefits . . . May not be provided with campus mailbox, computer, email, telephone, desk or office, though office hours may be required . . . Academic freedom balanced against one's vulnerability in not being rehired . . . No job security.

Does this job sound too bad to be true? The details are accurate, but the ad isn't. The fake employment listing ran this week in newspapers around Vermont, including The Burlington Free Press, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus and the Rutland Herald.

The ads were placed by the United Professions of Vermont/AFT, the union that represents faculty and professional staff at Vermont state colleges and the University of Vermont. According to Union President Roy Vestrich, who's also a full professor at Castleton State College, the ads were part of "Campus Equity Week," a nationwide campaign aimed at raising public awareness about the unfair working conditions of part-time, adjunct faculty and other contingent faculty.

"What's interesting about it from our perspective is that if people were honest in their advertising of what part-time faculty lives are like, this is the ad they'd have to run," Vestrich says.

Vestrich didn't place the ads himself, so he couldn't say whether any of the newspapers that ran it were aware it was a hoax. The Burlington Free Press didn't respond to Seven Days' request for a comment. But Vestrich says the ad was reviewed by the daily before it was published. Free Press staff worked on shortening it.

David Cousins, marketing director at the Times Argus, which is the sister paper of the Rutland Herald, was apparently unaware of the ad's true intent. "Thanks for the heads-up," he said.

Apparently, the newspapers' classified editors weren't the only ones fooled.

"We've actually had a couple of people respond to it as a serious ad," Vestrich says. "It just shows how desperate for work some people are."

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Ken Picard

Ken Picard

Bio:
Ken Picard has been a Seven Days staff writer since 2002. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the Vermont Press Association's 2005 Mavis Doyle award, a general excellence prize for reporters.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Education

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation