Conference Information

Precarious Academic Labour in the Age of Neoliberalism

Okanagan College

Kelowna, British Columbia

May 5th & 6th, 2017


The conference will take place at Okanagan College (, which is located at 1000 K.L.O Road, in Kelowna, B.C. All conference panels will take place in room H115. Food and refreshments will be served in the Trades Atrium. The keynote address and the wine and cheese social will also take place in the Trades Atrium. See the following for a campus map for the locations of our events:


If you are having any issues booking travel to or accommodations in Kelowna, please email Our local airport is the Kelowna International Airport (, which is about 25 minutes from the Okanagan College campus by car, but over an hour by public transit (see here for more information on public transit:


We secured a discount rate at a rather nice hotel–email for more information. If you are looking for a cheaper hotel, has an interesting feature where you can search hotels according to distance from landmarks. If you select Okanagan College as the landmark, they will provide you with a list of the nearest hotels.




Friday, May 5th


1:00 – 2:00pm

Lunch & Conference Check-In


2:00 – 2:15pm

Opening Remarks


2:15 – 3:45pm

Panel #1: The Statistics and History of Precarious Academic Labour

Dougal MacDonald: “Public Disclosure of Precarious Labour Work Conditions”

Ed Kroc: “Undergraduate Precarious Academic Labour at BC Universities”

Rob-Roy Douglas: “Putting the Future Behind Us: Precarious Academic Labour and the Evolution of Canada’s Post-Secondary System Since 1945”

Elliott Rossiter: “Precarious Academic Labour and the Nature of Meaningful Work”



3:45 – 4:00pm



4:00 – 5:00pm

Film Screening: Contract Faculty: Injustice in the University


5:00 – 6:15pm

Wine & Cheese Social



Saturday, May 6th


8:30 – 9:30am

Breakfast, Coffee, and Conference Check-In


9:30 – 10:45am

Panel #2: The Invisibility of Precarious Academic Labourers

Herbert Pimlott: “‘Ivory Tower or Temp Agency?’ Using ‘Common Sense’ to Challenge the ‘Myths’ of Post-Secondary Education and Precarious Academic Labour”

Sarika Bose: “The Invisible Academic: The Erasure of the Academic as Professional in the Corporate Academy”

Priscillia Lefebvre: “The Invisibility of Mental Health Concerns Among Contingent Faculty Labour”


10:45 – 11:00am



11:00 – 12:15pm

Panel # 3: International Perspectives on Precarious Academic Labour

Linda Elmose: “Precarious Work in Higher Education: Micro and Macro Factors Impeding Resistance in the ‘Neoliberal University'”

John Martin: “Betting for Change: How Contingent Faculty Activists Changed One Aspect of the Working Conditions in the California Community Colleges (CCC) System”

Georgann Cope-Watson: “Part Time University Teaching in Ontario: A Self Study”


12:15 – 1:30pm



1:30 – 2:45pm

Keynote Address by Dr. Jamie Brownlee, author of Academia, Inc.: How Corporatization is Transforming Canadian Universities


2:45 – 4:00pm

Panel #4: Critical Theory and Precarious Academic Labour

Melissa Jacques: “The Ballad of the Carrot and the Stick (or, the Uncanny Vicissitudes of Tenure”

Sam Popowich: “Precarious Labour and Academic Librarians”

Heidi Tiedemann Darroch: “Improving Teaching and Learning Conditions by Including Contract Faculty in Governance”


4:15 – 4:30pm



4:30 – 5:45pm

Panel # 5: Ways Forward

Ray Hsu: “How to Create a $4.3m Startup and Beat the Neoliberal University at Its Own Game”

Frank Cosco: “The Program for Change: How to Develop Momentum and Capacity in Activists Groups and Unions”

Jack Longmate: “Is there a viable alternative to tenure?”

Keith Hoeller: “How to Solve the Contingent Faculty Crisis”



Meet for dinner at Bar Norcino.

For location, see here:

For menu and pricing information, please visit: