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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: How the growing use of adjunct faculty is destroying the academy (115 comments)

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  •  11 bucks an hour (5+ / 0-)

    You left out one of the biggest teaching time commitments of them all.  Grading.  That can be up to 10 hours a week per class right there, depending on what type of class.  So those 2 classes might include as much as 20 hours of grading if the adjunct is unlucky enough to teach something like a pair Freshman level writing intensive classes.  The professionals outside the ivory tower who are given classes to adjunct are not given these labor-intensive classes.  Unsurprisingly, tenured faculty often don't want them either, so the worst and most labor-intensive classes to teach tend to go to grad student lecturers or to career adjuncts.

    And as DK Green said, 1 hour of prep per 1 hour of class time would be a very quick prep.  And if the adjunct is teaching a class that they've never taught before, which is common, since adjuncts are often recent graduates who haven't had time to build up a lot of course plans, it's more like 4 hours of prep for 1 hour of class time.  Plus, office time and prep time are separate.  Office hours are for students, not to prep for class.  

    So the breakdown is more like:

    6 hours in the classroom
    3 hours of office hours to meet with students
    12 hours of prep (or more depending on classes being taught)
    10 hours of grading (or more depending on classes being taught, sometimes a lot more)
    ????? hours attempting to squeeze in research to get publications to try to get hired into a permanent position

    So 32 hours a week for two classes is an optimistic estimate, which is starting to look not very part-time.  

    Thus, an adjunct earning $3000 per class for a 16 week semester would be earning between $11-12 an hour with no benefits.  For a job that expects a PhD qualification, that's awfully pitiful.  And remember, that's the optimistic estimate.

    It's system that maybe made sense when it was basically an honorarium for professionals outside the university to occasionally come bring their real world experience to the students, as you describe.  It's horribly abusive when it becomes 75% of the teaching done in universities, largely by career adjuncts teaching the classes no one else really wants to teach.  

    •  ...when I taught I never even tried to... (0+ / 0-)

      ...equate what I had to do with an hourly wage...that would have been very sad. I'm sure it would have been less than minimum wage. Most of teaching is not spent in front of the class...

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

      by paradise50 on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 08:01:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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