[Marxism] Fwd: 'The Great Shame of Our Profession' - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Feb 14 06:35:36 MST 2017

I accept the Truman Capote Award in this spirit of justice. I would be 
remiss, therefore, if I did not address another injustice tarnishing the 
literary critical profession. I am, so far as I can tell, the first 
adjunct faculty member to receive this award. To be sure, I have one of 
the best non-ladder positions available. My paychecks cover my bills. I 
have health insurance. I can work full time. I know by the end of June 
if my appointment is renewed for the fall. And yet I am one of over one 
million non-tenure-track instructors working on a temporary or 
contingent basis and whose position offers no possibility of tenure. To 
be contingent means not to know if you’ll be teaching next semester or 
if your class will be canceled days before it starts. Most adjuncts 
receive less than three weeks’ notice of an appointment. They rarely 
receive benefits and have virtually no say in university governance.

Yet to talk about adjuncts is to talk about the centerpiece of higher 
education. Tenured faculty represent only 17 percent of college 
instructors. Part-time adjuncts are now the majority of the 
professoriate and its fastest-growing segment. From 1975 to 2011, the 
number of part-time adjuncts quadrupled. And the so-called part-time 
designation is misleading because most of them are piecing together 
teaching jobs at multiple institutions simultaneously. A 2014 
congressional report suggests that 89 percent of adjuncts work at more 
than one institution; 13 percent work at four or more. The need for 
several appointments becomes obvious when we realize how little any one 
of them pays. In 2013, The Chronicle began collecting data on salary and 
benefits from adjuncts across the country. An English-department adjunct 
at Berkeley, for example, received $6,500 to teach a full-semester 
course. It’s easy to lose sight of all the people struggling beneath the 
data points. $7,000 at Duke. $6,000 at Columbia. $5,950 at the 
University of Iowa.

full: http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Great-Shame-of-Our/239148

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