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View Diary: Part-time faculty pay reaching poverty level (308 comments)

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  •  The machine which enables adjuncts to be (8+ / 0-)

    poorly paid is, in part, a simultaneous assault on tenure-line faculty. While this may not make immediate sense to people, because tenure-line or "new" full-time hires often feel employment insecurity, and their unions try to protect their jobs, at the same time, adjuncts are hired with great employment insecurity and the entire thing can easily play out like Gladiator.

    Note: I am an adjunct and my partner is a tenured faculty member. I do not have paid benefits, am on a term-contract, and make 1/10th of what my partner makes (at times). I can see this from both sides and that position is a good one to have, because my partner is constantly being assailed with departmental threats and frozen wages and increased class sizes and increased requirements for university service, publication, and less monies for travel (which is required). My partner makes the same as many junior high school teachers right now.

    Me? I make below minimum wage if you tally it up.

    The one thing I must say is that I both support adjunct unions, but I also know that the University administration exploits the economic insecurity between tenure-line and adjunct faculty which can cause great departmental rifts that only hurt all instructors, barring those, perhaps, with full Professorships.

    •  Quite so. And the TTF who admit this (7+ / 0-)

      are apparently ahead of the curve. Many don't, and think they will remain secure. Not bloody likely.
      And yes, faculty work in the K-12 system generally pays more. It's a testament to the overall attitude of contempt toward teachers of all types that this should be the case.

      Please stop by my tribute diary, RIP alliedoc, so that the messages to her family can include yours.

      by peregrine kate on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 08:43:11 AM PDT

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      •  From having been around (6+ / 0-)

        one too many faculty events, it's those TTF who are older and came from a very different time who don't seem to get it. The younger, or really I should say newer, tend to get it (unless they're in that state of fear that I'm talking about, which puts blinders on people).

        Also, many TTF wouldn't mind picking up some of the jobs that are being given at bargain-basement rates to adjuncts and grad students. Sometimes that's a source of bitterness in Departments where enrollments are lower and 200-below level courses aren't undesirable, per se.

        That's on Admin, again.

        Teeth gnash.

        •  If it's not already too late, it will take ALL (6+ / 0-)

          faculty working together, including grad students, to turn it around. May it be possible; I am not optimistic, at least not in my lifetime.

          Please stop by my tribute diary, RIP alliedoc, so that the messages to her family can include yours.

          by peregrine kate on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 08:52:33 AM PDT

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          •  Faculty won't organize though (6+ / 0-)

            The University isn't structured that way, even ideologically. Each Department has a good deal of freedom to do things as they wish, and within that, each Professor also. Some won't support this since some feel that Universities ought better support full-time faculty, and there are union rules about that as well (like if a Department is dissolved, say, the union requires that all tenured faculty are offered first dibs on jobs that might be filled by adjuncts in other related Departments; this literally just happened at my institution).

            The fight will always be with Admin and with LESS ADMIN CONTROL over who is hired and how and for how much, etc. because until then, they're pitting everyone against one another in a truly unfair manner where everyone loses other than the Administration.

            •  The over-specialization that has permitted (2+ / 0-)

              the rise of the administrative sector of post-secondary ed is truly pernicious. I know what you mean about the divisions among faculty, too. Considering both, it may be possible to achieve a faculty coalition against admins, but I'm not sure that will work either. For one thing--just as there are many "mixed marriages" like yours (whether you're actually married or not--for the sake of argument here) between TTF and NTTF, there are also many faculty and admin marriages. That makes one party rather more beholden to the other, too.

              Please stop by my tribute diary, RIP alliedoc, so that the messages to her family can include yours.

              by peregrine kate on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 09:02:54 AM PDT

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          •  And the FT/TT faculty are next (3+ / 0-)

            The push is on to increase class size, reduce funding, cut cost of living raises, teach just one more class, teach an online class (lots more work; no more pay). Fewer FT/TT hires mean that the workload of student advising and committees has to be shared between fewer and fewer faculty members.

            But in my department, even our mailboxes are segregated. Seriously, FT/TT have their mailboxes in one area; adjuncts and grad students are mingled together in another. WTF?

            Seriously. Until FT/TT support adjuncts, nothing will change for the better.

            Zen is "infinite respect for all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility for all things future."--Huston Smith's Zen Master

            by Ree Zen on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 02:30:16 PM PDT

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    •  Same dynamic behind "education reform" (3+ / 0-)

      Bust unions, eliminate tenure, and casualize academic labor.  Can Michelle Rhee be fqr behind with a TFA or Students First program for colleges?

      "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

      by Illinibeatle on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 02:55:58 PM PDT

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