If we cannot help adjuncts now, we must keep it in our minds, so that when there is an opportunity to help, we do not forget them.
It has been a long time–too long–since we reminded ourselves and administration about the ridiculous and unjust plight of adjunct faculty. Over the past year, the issues of consolidation, graduation rates, student success numbers, and the concept of shared governance have taken center stage. These are undoubtedly important issues, and I don’t mean to distract us from them. However, I confess it is shocking to me that graduation rates is talked about more, in my experience, than the plight of adjuncts. Perhaps we see it as an unsolvable issue. One that costs an enormous amount of money, and we should therefore focus our efforts on issues that we can affect positive change.
But in terms of the ways in which we, as an institution, are failing miserably and in a morally reprehensible way, the compensation we provide adjuncts is far and away our number one issue.
So, dear district administrators and fellow faculty, take this as a reminder that we, as an institution, are failing the majority of people who are directly providing our goods–education–to our students. If we cannot help them now, we must keep it in our minds, so that when there is an opportunity to help, we do not forget them.
Remember: 21792. That is the annual wage we provide our most experienced, most hard working, most highly educated part-time faculty. 4 classes per semester. PhD. 7+ years of experience. Less than poverty wages. And nearly four years without a contract, or even a fair contract proposal.