Skip to main content

Tom Coffin papers

Identifier: G2008-36

Scope and Content of the Papers

The Tom Coffin papers, spanning 1979-2005, consist of articles, charts, correspondence, notes and reference materials that belonged to Coffin while he was a Part-Time Instructor (PTI) at GSU. These papers revolve around Coffin's opposition to the decision by Dr. Ahmed Abdelal, then Dean of the GSU School of Arts and Sciences, to move away from Part-Time Instructors to a Visiting Professor model. The papers include reference materials from the Ad-Hoc Committee on Working Conditions of Part-Time Instructors and Adjunct Faculty of the Conference on College Composition and Communication and correspondence between Coffin and the Georgia House of Representatives requesting change in the treatment of PTIs.


  • Creation: 1979-2005


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Biography of Tom Coffin

Dr. Tom Coffin was one of the founding members of the underground, alternative voice publication in Atlanta, the Great Speckled Bird, first published on March 15, 1968. In addition to being an activist, writer, and photographer he has also been an engineering technician, a pulp mill worker, a truck driver, a household furniture mover, and a carpenter. In 1979, he worked as an oiler out of Local 926 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, operating a 100 ton crane.

Coffin earned a Ph.D. in forestry at the University of Georgia in 1995 and taught as an instructor at Georgia State University (GSU), Clayton College and State University, and Gainesville College. On March 23, 2000, Coffin and two fellow Part-Time Instructors (PTIs) were dismissed from the GSU Sociology Department. GSU had adopted a model calling for fewer PTIs and more visiting professors, intending to expand employment opportunities for non-tenure track, and eventually, tenure-track faculty. Coffin joined the city of Atlanta's arborist's office in June 2000 and was promoted to Senior Field Arborist, serving until July 29, 2008.


1.5 box(es)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Donated by Tom Coffin, 2008.

Processing Information

Processed by Hilary Morrish, June 2009.

Tom Coffin:
A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
June 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgia State University Archives Repository

Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)