URGENT: Support Job Security for College Teachers
Response to article on South Asia search
i lend you my name

i am not cancelling my summer courses to move to florida state

4/24/07 [modified 5/8/07]

A student enrolled in one of my summer courses informed me of a rumor that I have a new job at Florida State and will be leaving soon and perhaps cancelling my courses. This rumor is totally unfounded. I have not sent a single application outside the St Louis area, and I have no other job offers. I don't know who starts these rumors or why, but I can guess. This could be an attempt to undermine my summer enrollment and the Cervantes Free University and Learning Cooperative (CFU/LC) before it gets started. Or it could perhaps be genuine well-wishing. Because it is untrue, it could undermine my efforts here, in st Louis, where I will remain for the next year at least, looking for an employer who will be as loyal to me as I have been to Washington University. This may include Washington University. I love my job and I will not quit.

I find this rumor offensive because it implies that I do not keep my promises, and I am just like everybody else, playing by the usual rules, a careerist. I find this rumor offensive because it implies that I am a hypocrite. I promised, on this website, not to take a job outside the St Louis area until certain labor issues were satisfactorily resolved. They have not been resolved, so I must stay, because I promised. I know this is not the usual "career path," but I am loyal to more than my own career. Remaining here is a point of honor, and my duty as a Washington University faculty member, upholding our own motto, "strength through truth." This is not just a slogan, it is up to all of us to make it real. I believe this, and I act on this belief, and so should you. Please, let's keep our promises.

What purpose has been served by gutting our South Asia program just to get rid of me? Apparently, I was to have left St Louis, and the students were to have been told "Dr. Bauer got a better job," thus explaining the absence of my popular courses, and me, from the course catalog. After a year, the "tempest in the teapot" would have been forgotten, Lecturer's Policy reform would be a dead issue, and the lesson would have been learned: one cannot say "we need a union" or any such thing without rather severe consequences, at least for non-tenured transient labor. But this (hypothetical) plan will not work, because I remain here, and ALL my popular courses are freely available, on my own initiative, as I await a faitrer deal for myself and others.

At this time I have no health insurance or employment of any kind at the end of the summer. I request paid sabbatical in autumn, so I may write up my lecture notes as textbooks and get the CFU/LC established. I request to be kept on the ArtSci payroll as a Four Year Advisor. I will become expert not only in the [convoluted] ArtSci requirements, but in those of all the professional schools as well. I request health insurance. I request reinstatement in University College in Spring 2008, teaching one or two courses, to meet student demand. I request reassignment in Spring 2008, as Lecturer in the Humanities and/or Religious Studies. I don't care so much about the pay, just a reasonable pay raise.

All faculty involve their students in University politics. Some are more subtle, some are more honest than others. I have resisted this, even when I knew it was being done at my expense. Some may thiink I have crossed a line I should not have crossed, but I say everything I have done since Spring 2003 , and especially during my medical emergency of Autumn 2006, has been legitimate self-defense. Some students seem to think I was on medical leave, but if I had ever left my job, I would have lost it. This is not right. I had to work right through a medical emergency, and I had to grade papers on Christmas to make the December 26 deadline, most insensitive to anyone who would practice Christianity. This is not right. Please support Lecturer's Policy reform, here and everywhere. Please support workers' rights, here and everywhere. I know organized labor not popular on this campus, but something must be done. Students should be concerned with how ALL workers here are treated. We deserve respect, and protection from abuse and retaliation when we complain about what is not right.

The CFU/LC will be launched this summer. Learning Cooperative courses and reading groups will be totally free, with no money changing hands, not even a "tip jar." This is because we are all co-teachers. CFU courses, on the other hand, are bona fide 3 credit, one semester college courses (my entire catalog of nineteen courses will be available, when I am not being paid to teach them by an accredited University). There will be a small non-refundable fee, $25 for each five week "credit," first lesson of each unit is free, for a total minimum cost of $75. This will make our courses affordable to the community, cover costs, and give us some safeguard against people taking advantage of us. Other faculty will be free to set their own fees. A "tip jar" will be available for anonymous cash donations beyond this fee, or for refundable check donations. Of course records will be kept and taxes paid. Suitable venues have been secured. I will need a day job, however.

There is a FaceBook group you can join to keep up with these issues. I am not (yet) a member, but I hear about it from my students. Some students are selling t-shirts for charity, with my name and approval. I get none of the proceeds. Lately I have been staying away from Mallinckrodt and the Underpass, even when I had legitimate business there, so as not to be too closely connected with the "Save Bauer: It's Good Karma" campaign. (lest it be discredited). I thank all my student and alumni supporters for your loyalty. I will never stop trying to be worthy of it.

Many of you have asked to be kept on my email list. Yes, I will keep you informed via email and via this website, which will soon be moving to a private host. Please, everybody, get a gmail account. Using your wustl account is not a good idea, the University owns it, and your words become their intellectual property, and may be used against you, and against those with whom you communicate. It is so convenenient to pretend we don't know this. It is so easy to forget that the same technology which makes "google search" possible makes it incredibly easy to keep us all under automated surveillance. If they can do so, they probably are, even right here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Yes, "the worldwide campaign continues," as someone is said to have said. As our politicians are now fond of proclaiming, following the Mahatma Gandhi, "first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Some are still laughing, some are now fighting, and we have not won, none of us have. Not yet.

In the end, "satyam eva jayate," truth alone prevails. This I believe.


Jerome Bauer