Volume 46, Number 4
Honor promotes part-time faculty activism
Sierra College instructor Jim Weir, a longtime activist on behalf of part-time faculty, received a fitting honor when he was presented with the David Milroy Award for Part-time Faculty during a luncheon ceremony at CCA’s spring conference.
Given for the first time, the award was named for another longtime faculty activist, David Milroy. Both men have served in leadership roles within CCA and in other faculty organizations, Weir as current CCA treasurer and Milroy as recently retired CCA secretary.
An electronics instructor, Weir was instrumental in integrating part-time faculty into the Sierra College faculty association in 1997. At the time, half a dozen part-time faculty were forcibly removed from a faculty association union meeting by college security guards for having shown up with a petition from 50 part-time faculty requesting that they be allowed to vote in the organization.
“The part-time faculty were told in no uncertain terms that we were not allowed to be members and were not welcome in any union meetings then or in the future,” Weir said.
Undeterred, Weir began working with another part-time faculty who taught business law to develop a constitution and bylaws for the chapter that stands today.
The effort made for a stronger faculty voice on campus.
Weir says the move to create a wall-to-wall chapter was successful because he didn’t approach it as an advocate for part-time faculty.
“What I have been an untiring advocate for is faculty rights,” and made sure that part-time faculty received equal treatment, he said.
By the way, the faculty association lawyer who helped him write the bylaws “is now my dean, and trying to figure out how to wriggle out of those ironclad contract provisions he wrote,” Weir said.
Since then, Weir has not only been active in his local association, but continues to bring the perspective of part-time faculty to CCA as a board member and officer.