Presented without Comment The Death of an Adjunct Rate this:Share this:ShareEmailTwitterPrintFacebookRedditLinkedInLike this:Like Loading... Related
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and she was making over twice as much as our adjunct faculty per three hour class.
Thanks, unofficialfactchecker. I was just about to post the same thing, but it would’ve been relegated to a comment. Much better to give this its own post. And now I’m going to rant a bit.
When we hear lip service about the value of all faculty at the same time that the rules of the market are presented as the be-all/end-all in determining wages paid to part-timers, it makes me feel queasy…and want to require more Humanities courses for Education Administration and Business programs. Why isn’t being humane and life-affirming a higher priority in our society? (I know, me and my naive questions).
I’m glad people care about this woman, but this consequence is entirely too foreseeable when people and institutions have made choices that make it difficult to be an adjunct instructor without a) being a martyr to the love of teaching, or b) becoming disillusioned/disgusted by the whole thing and quitting teaching altogether. Being masochistic should not be a prerequisite to having a career as an instructor. There need to be more reasonable options and mechanisms in place.
I wonder if administrators would encourage/allow their children or loved ones to become adjunct teachers (I know that adjunct teaching isn’t something advisers are being encouraged to push our students into, and I can’t blame them under the circumstances). How many administrators highlight for their children the intangible joys of teaching and argue that those outweigh the drawback of not being able to pay rent AND feed oneself without taking on another job? Those mental gymnastics are all too familiar to instructors, particularly adjunct. Having gone through adjunct-purgatory themselves, I know many full-time faculty feel ambivalent–we want to draw in and provide experience to eager teachers, the best ones we can find for our students, but I think there’s also a part of us that feels guilty for encouraging them to pursue a career path that doesn’t always lead to the full-time dream job.
If we truly respect the education of our students, then we must value ALL those working to help create those educational experiences and demonstrate that respect with our actions and with our resources.
Paying all faculty a living wage and not finagling things to prevent them from earning benefits (by capping classes an instructor can teach at a given school, which just leads to part-time faculty stretched more thinly at multiple schools) demonstrates that an institution understands that investing in its faculty IS investing in its students. I hope to see the tide change on this issue, and soon.
Dave wanted me to tell you all that I am Todd.