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Tue May 12, 2015, 05:32 PM

An Adjunct’s Farewell

by David J. McCowin


To my students at Assumption College:

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you, but to answer the question many of you have asked: No, I will not be teaching at Assumption College again next year. Although I did receive an offer to return, the conditions that led me to decline that offer are most likely unfamiliar to many of you and your families. This letter aims to remedy that.

I am an adjunct (part-time) instructor. As such, I receive drastically less pay than full-time faculty members, and I receive zero benefits. Assumption College pays me $3,500 per course, which is more than many other institutions pay. But “more,” in this case, is still not even close to “good.” According to my own conservative calculations, I devote roughly 220 hours to every course I teach – including construction, delivery, administration, and evaluation – which means that my compensation equates to $15.91 per hour (less at other colleges). At Assumption, the department for which I teach typically has very few courses available for adjuncts (at other institutions, the number of adjunct-taught courses is often far higher), so I have never taught more than two courses per semester there. (With special administrative approval, I once taught four courses at another college in one semester.)

Because I earn so little, I must seek adjunct employment at more than one institution. This semester, for example, I taught at three different colleges. This is not atypical for many adjuncts. In central and eastern Massachusetts, securing adjunct work at multiple institutions is far easier to do, however, than in most other regions, given the number of colleges and universities here. But teaching more courses is incredibly taxing and time consuming.

more

http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2015/05/12/an-adjuncts-farewell/?cid=megamenu

(note I am not the author)

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Reply An Adjunct’s Farewell (Original post)
n2doc May 2015 OP
Warpy May 2015 #1
AllyCat May 2015 #4
d_r May 2015 #2
Downwinder May 2015 #3

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 05:37 PM

1. Colleges are getting very close to having all their adjuncts walk out

Pay is insanely low. When a PhD can make more money teaching high school, something is very, very wrong.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Wed May 13, 2015, 05:43 AM

4. Republicans around the country are working to fix that

Paying public school teachers so little that these adjuncts can keep their jobs. It's all part of right to work for less.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 06:20 PM

2. the way we treat adjuncts

Is horrible.
Administrators use them as cash cows. They generate a ton of credit hours and a ton of tuition money.
They are retiring tenure track folks and replacing with adjuncts teaching their classes and saving scores of thousands.
But step back one level. There is a place for adjumcts. They should be that person with a successful career in the field who teach that one class because they have a passion for it and they benefit students by bringing in a perspective beyond the ivory tower. There shouldn't be career adjuncts. It isn't a career.
Now rake another step back, why are people making a career out of adjunct-ing? Because they got a PhD and there are more PhDs than there are tenior track jobs. Why? Because academics make money making PhDs and prestige but there is no place to put them because state legislatures have cut higher ed funding for years, at least since the recession, using any excuse they can find. Unable to raise tuition to make up the difference administrators froze faculty lines, and with the sparse tenure track positions the corps of professional adjuncts grew. Its a vicious cycle, they don't have to pay more because there's another hungry PhD who they can stand in front of the crowd in the gen ed class.

Its a travesty all around. It is unfair to the adjuncts, the students who are viewed as the cash cows, the academy itself and frankly society. It is the corporate downsizing and outsourcing of higher ed, and we are bringing ng it to crumbles while politicians are happy if overpaid adminstration beurocrats can bring in a MBA spread sheet that sho s the number of state college grads is going up, regardless of any measure of the quality if those degrees.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 06:26 PM

3. Assumption College Costs

TUITION AND EXPENSES
Cost of Attendance $49,922
Tuition and Fees $36,160
Room and Board $10,962
Books and Supplies $1,000
Other Expenses $1,800
Payment Plans Credit card, installment plan, external finance company
APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID

http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg03_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=23

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