Temple Faculty Speak Out


We teach at Temple University as adjunct faculty in a variety of departments, colleges, schools and programs. Despite the less than adequate working conditions that adjunct faculty experience at Temple, we continue to work at the University year after year because we are dedicated to our students, ensuring that they receive a quality education. We want our students to have the same quality education generations of Temple alumni fondly cherish. After all, a lot of us are even #TempleMade.


Adam Zolkover

Adam Zolkover, Intellectual Heritage

“I want to be there year in and year out as a professor and mentor for my students. But right now the businesslike atmosphere at Temple makes employment unpredictable. My students and I would both benefit from having a union of adjunct professors so that when students need a recommendation two years down the line, I know I’ll still be around to write it.”


Wende Marshall, Anthropology

Wende Marshall, Anthropology

“After devoting hours to syllabus development and carefully budgeting my income for the Fall, I was notified three weeks before classes began that I would no longer be teaching my scheduled course at Temple due to low enrollment. I know that I’m not alone in this situation. It is unfair for Temple to rely so heavily on adjunct labor and then drop us whenever it is convenient for them. By standing together in a union, adjuncts can fight for just working conditions like job security and benefits.”

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Kelli Jones, Mathematics

Kelli Jones, Mathematics

“I am an adjunct professor who loves to teach and work with my students. My goal is to continue to do this in a sustainable way. I support forming an adjunct union at Temple because the salary is not commensurate with the work that we do.”


Naomi Levine

Naomi Levine, Film

Temple MFA in Film & Media Arts 2014

“Temple began as a school for working Philadelphians and I’d like to see it return to its founding values of equity and justice. With tuition rates at record highs, adjunct pay and job security have reached record lows. An adjunct union is necessary for ensuring equitable and just conditions for teaching and learning.”


Sally Eckhoff

Sally Eckhoff, Foundations, Tyler School of Art

“I love being an adjunct professor. I want a union because I want my students to come first. Our union will bring stability to all classrooms. I want my position at Temple to be stable and durable for the betterment of my students.”

J Shanker

Jennie Shanker

Jennie Shanker, Tyler School of Art

“Even with 18 years of teaching experience, I can’t count on the employment promised to me from one semester to the next. There have been times when promised classes did not come through after significant work had been done to prepare for them. With an adjunct union at Temple, our teaching expertise and prep work would be honored. The only way to achieve this is by engaging in collective bargaining for binding appointment contracts.”


Arthur Jones

Arthur Jones, Classics

“I support establishing a union of adjunct professors at Temple to ensure that our concerns are recognized and to create a platform for adjuncts’ voices. This would create greater equality and belonging at the university and put an end to at-will employment for professors. Furthermore, our union will bring greater benefits, job security and fair pay to adjunct faculty.”


Paul Dannenfelser

Paul Dannenfelser, Social Work

“We are stronger when we stand together. That is why I believe in unions. Unions fight to give workers a voice
in the workplace and bargain for fair wages and benefits. Respect and decent working conditions are essential to providing a quality education to students.”

Don Deeley, English

MA 2010, English


Don Deeley

“I support a union of adjunct professors at Temple because I need job security to develop new classes for my students, to serve as their advocate before the administration, and to create a stronger labor environment in the world they’ll be graduating into.”


Ryan Eckes

Ryan Eckes, English
MA in English, 2007

“Adjunct professors at Temple have no voice in departmental decisions and no say in the university’s direction, and we are paid only a fraction of what our full-time colleagues are paid per course, yet we make up half of the entire faculty. We also work without access to affordable healthcare and without guarantee that we’ll have classes to teach the following semester. On top of that, the university provides no rewards for teaching well and no pathways to full-time work for those who seek it. As a Temple alum who believes deeply in the value of higher education, I want all of our faculty to have the opportunity to thrive. That’s why I support a union of adjunct professors. It will make the Temple community stronger.”

Marla Burkholder.Headshot_Temple

Marla Burkholder

Marla Burkholder, Theater

MFA in Acting 2003

“I love contributing to the theater community through my practice as
an artist and adjunct. Unfortunately, the adjunct work is increasingly unsustainable due to unpredictable course scheduling, large class sizes, and a pay scale that does not adequately reflect the quality, effort, and hours I put into teaching. I want to see a union at Temple so that I can continue to give back to theater students as an adjunct instructor in a sustainable way.”

Linda Lee_Temple

Linda Lee

Linda Lee, Intellectual Heritage

“A union will help improve the working conditions of all adjuncts at Temple University, which in turn will help improve learning conditions for students. Today, adjuncts have no guarantee of employment from one semester to the next, few opportunities for professional development or advancement, and often little input on curriculum or departmental matters. Given these challenges, it can be difficult for adjuncts to feel like we have a long-term stake in what happens at the university.”


Melissa DeGezelle

Melissa DeGezelle, Intellectual Heritage

“Like many of my colleagues, the ‘adjunct hustle’ is part of my daily routine. Despite my level of education and dedication to Temple University, I find myself working multiple jobs in various industries to make ends meet for me and my daughter. As a single mom I need security, benefits, and a living wage to make the day to day less of a struggle. I can’t ask for these things alone with much hope for results, but by standing together with my colleagues in a union I know we can see conditions improve for everyone.”


Will DiBello

Will DiBello, Tyler School of Art

“As an invested member of the Temple community I want a union for adjunct faculty at Temple in order to give us the same opportunity as full time faculty to design, collaborate and give input to course development and programmatic decisions. I think the result will be a better learning environment for students and a stronger bond between all faculty.”


Matthew Kowalski

Matthew Kowalski, English

“A union of adjunct professors at Temple University will ensure that all students are being taught by faculty members who are respected, empowered and available in each area of study. Moving forward, our union will be in the interest of the entire Temple community.”