Adjuncts on the Edge

Community colleges nationwide and in California depend on part-time adjunct professors to have enough faculty to teach all of their courses. It’s a higher education gig economy with minimal pay and scant benefits. Now, with California Community College enrollment dropping dramatically, adjuncts find themselves in a precarious situation.

This roundtable discussion explores the impact of the gig economy on faculty, students and higher education.

Read more about this roundtable.

Please scroll down for more information about the panelists.


Kenneth Brown

Immediate past-president of the board of the California Community College Trustees and trustee of El Camino Community College

Kenneth Brown is a member of the Governing Board of Trustees at El Camino Community College District in Torrance and immediate past-president of the League of the California Community College Trustees Board of the Community College League of California. Brown has worked at CSU Dominguez Hills since 2002 as an adjunct professor of Physics teaching primarily Physical Science and Science, Math, and Technology at CSU Dominguez Hills since 2002. Brown is the Systems Engineering Manager for the Payload and Ground Systems Engineering Integration and Testing (SEIT) Division of Northrop Grumman Space Systems in Redondo Beach.

Wendy Brill-Wynkoop

President of the Faculty Association of the California Community Colleges and photography professor at College of the Canyons

Wendy Brill-Wynkoop is a professor at College of the Canyons and president of the Faculty Association of the California Community Colleges (FACCC). Inspired by the Girl Scout motto, “Make this world a better place,” she leads her students and colleagues by example to expand and improve educational opportunities for all students in the California Community Colleges.

She honed her skills as an adjunct professor teaching art and graphic design at several universities, but she fell in love with community colleges while working at Chaffey College. As a professor at College of the Canyons for the past 21 years, she has worked to affect change for students and the next generation.

Wendy served on the local Academic Senate, chaired vital committees, including Noncredit Committee and Academic Staffing Committee, was president of her local union, and represented faculty on numerous college-wide committees. She is a graduate of the Community College Association of California Leaders Academy and the National Education Association Emerging Leaders Academy.
In her spare time, Wendy loves camping, coffee, and spending time with her family.

John Martin

Chair of the California Part-Time Faculty Association and an adjunct history professor at Butte and Shasta colleges

John Martin is chair of the California Part-Time Faculty Association, an advocacy group for adjuncts. He is an adjunct professor of American and African-American history in two Northern California community college districts, Shasta and Butte-Glenn, where he is a member of the academic senate. The CPFA was formed in 1998 and has members in more than 40 of the state’s community college districts.

Dr. Jose L. Fierro

President-elect of the board of the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges and the president of Cerritos Community College

A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Dr. Jose Fierro grew up in Bogota, Colombia. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Bogotá, Colombia, and a Master of Science degree in leadership and management of educational programs from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Fierro also holds a doctorate degree in higher education leadership from Northcentral University in Prescott, Arizona.

Dr. Fierro joined Cerritos College as the President/Superintendent in 2015. Prior to that, he served as the vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Under Dr. Fierro’s leadership, the College launched Cerritos Complete, the College’s official California College Promise program. Cerritos Complete is one of 10 community college programs in the nation selected as a finalist for the 2018 Bellwether Award.

He is also an avid athlete. He has been racing triathlons for 10 years, finishing every race. Dr. Fierro is actively involved with students – he trains with the College’s student veterans, and together, they participate in sports events, including the Beach Blast Half Marathon. Dr. Fierro is always looking for more opportunities to stay active and engaged with students. He has his eye on the Ironman race.

William A. Herbert

Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College and the Executive Director of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions

William A. Herbert is a Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College and the Executive Director of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions. His scholarship focuses on labor law, history, and policy including the impact of workplace technologies on privacy and associational rights.

Herbert is co-editor of the treatise Lefkowitz on Public Sector Labor and Employment Law and has authored book chapters and articles concerning public sector labor history and other subjects. Prior to joining the Hunter College faculty, Mr. Herbert was Deputy Chair and Counsel to the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Before his tenure at PERB, he practiced labor and employment law for over two decades.

Herbert is a graduate of the University at Buffalo and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.