Confronting professional inequities in faculty development programs

CUNY has a strong record of OER work, often positioned as advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the academy. When faculty commit to open teaching practices and using open resources, they are instrumental to increasing student access to knowledge and economic equity. While embracing openness can be transformative to teaching, the process is not immune to systemic issues of institutional (in)equity. In this presentation, a pair of OER practitioners / library faculty will explore how they address labor stratification in their own positions and those of faculty they teach.

CUNY as an institution is simultaneously taking credit for the labor of open while masking systemic inequities.

Intro & Context

Our discussion today is organized mainly around labor stratification. Our professional context is working to coordinate and support funded teaching and learning initiatives: specifically our work with the university’s OER initiative at our college, City Tech.

Why are we contributing to this conference?

  • We didn’t think we could responsibly talk about any of the inclusion work we are attempting and omit our own conditions as subjects and actors in a professionally stratified academy.
  • To not do so would be to continue to engage in (perpetuate) performative DEI work.
  • We are trying to make our words align with our actions as much as possible – trying to engage with these questions instead of ignoring these contradictions.


  1. Academic librarians & OER practitioners *
    • Teaching & Learning
    • Course material research, allocation, & access
    • Faculty professional development
  2. CUNY OER Initiative
    • State (tax levy) funded program; fiscal year cycle
    • $4 million annually to CUNY
    • Goal:
      • University: reduce student costs and access barriers > support enrollment
      • College: + supporting faculty teaching and student learning / success
  3. FT tenure track library faculty / PT library faculty
    • Contractual work dimensions:
      • Professional faculty (PSC)
      • 12-month appointment / semester-by-semester appointment
      • TT faculty scale / NTA hourly scale
        • earning ceiling (glass ceiling)

*OER practioners: if you are wondering what an OER Librarian or ‘OER practioner’ might do, browse some job ads: Open Education Coordinator, Open Educational Resources (OER) Librarian