WCCO: Hundreds Of ‘U Of M’ Students Walk Out, Protest Contingent Faculty Conditions

WCCO: Hundreds Of ‘U Of M’ Students Walk Out, Protest Contingent Faculty Conditions

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Hundreds Of ‘U Of M’ Students Walk Out, Protest Contingent Faculty Conditions

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of students at the University of Minnesota staged a protest walk-out Friday morning, expressing their anger over the treatment of contingent faculty.

The walk-out was led by the student coalition, Differences Organized. After the walk-out, they invited staff and faculty across the university’s campus to join them in a planned rally at noon Friday with contingent faculty on Northrop Plaza.

According to the coalition, contingent faculty are non-tenure track faculty who “lack job security, equitable pay, benefits or professional development support at the University of Minnesota.”

This is also a major issue of race and gender equity at the University, the coalition said.

“Contingent faculty are more likely to be women and people of color than the faculty at large, both here at the U of M and across the country,” Melinda Lee, Masters student in Social Work and Public Policy, said.

On Tuesday, contingent faculty received word that they would be allowed to vote that they would be allowed to vote on forming a union along with tenured and tenure-track faculty. This is after, according to the coalition, the university spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees to exclude contingent faculty job titles from the union election.