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Educator speaks against two-tiered faculty system

Feb. 4, 2009

KALAMAZOO-- An opponent of having a two-tiered faculty system will speak Monday, Feb. 9, as part of a series of free, public lectures addressing social justice and education issues.

Dr. Joe Berry is the author of the book "Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education." He will speak on "Democratizing Higher Education Against a Two-tiered Faculty" from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Fetzer Center's Putney Auditorium.

Berry has served as visiting labor education specialist in the School of Labor and Employment Relations Labor Education Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since August 2007. He has been with the LEP for three years, first at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was previously a labor educator at the University of Iowa, Indiana University, City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University. His doctoral dissertation became the book "Reclaiming the Ivory Tower," published in 2005 by Monthly Review Press.

Berry has taught in public schools, community colleges and public and private universities and colleges. He has been an activist and organizer since joining the Civil Rights Movement in 1965 in high school. In the labor movement, he has been a staff representative, elected officer, paid and unpaid organizer, steward, consultant and researcher in a variety of unions, especially in education.

His particular interests are educational and campus unionism, contingent work and alternative organizing strategies, organizing in general, union reform and union democracy, labor history, worker learning, and the history of worker education.

Berry's presentation is part of the third annual Social Justice Public Lecture Series. With the theme "Knowledge, Power and Social Justice: Educating Children Placed At-Risk," the lecture series continues with presentations on Feb. 16, March 9, 23 and 30 and April 6.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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