The Plight of the Adjuncts

This is from The Chronicle, echoing much of what we’ve been saying here whenever the topic comes up. The article is called, “An Underclass is Educating Your Children.”

Check it out here.

The life of the adjunct does not resemble a Carnival cruise. The life is often exhausting, underpaid, undernourished, and rife with logistical challenges. I think we’ve all heard that refrain before, but perhaps it’s time to hear it again, and to think about the conditions of our younger peers as we move on into mythical jobs and mythical tenure.

Amen. They need our help. We are bound with ties of inescapable mutuality, and too many of us suffered through those unfair working conditions to ignore them now.

Adjunct Tenure?

In an interesting conversation with an English faculty member, I learned that, given the new rules for adjuncts (12 hours) and the load requirements for English faculty (12 hours), there are a handful of adjuncts who are teaching full-time load, but at a miniscule percentage of the pay and with no benefits–truly second class citizens.

Now, I don’t pretend to have the answer, but I will say that the abominable pay that CCC offers their adjuncts (especially if a teacher is a teacher is a teacher) as our Chancellor put it during DWFDW, is a huge problem for all of us. CCC pays significantly less than the other schools around and so chases away a number of good adjunct candidates while making life very difficult for those who, for whatever reason, agree to it. I was one for three years and I’m happy every day now that I didn’t quit permanently any of those times when I said that I would (or did).

The New Faculty Majority” put together a proposal for adjuncts that has drawn a lot of attention this week (see here, for example). Check it out, then ask your adjuncts if they’ve seen it and what they think about it.

Adjuncts are faculty, too.

One for the Adjuncts (and Everyone Else)

Do you know about Allen Zaruba? He was fired for using “The N Word” in reference to himself in a phrase comparing the university to a plantation.

The university’s statement was that his statement was not germane to the class content. The author of this article argues otherwise, suggesting that the status of adjuncts, and their unjust treatment in the system of higher education, is relevant to every class they teach.

Check it out. Discuss if you’d like. Would you have fired him?