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What's it like to be higher ed adjunct faculty? Tell your story [View All]

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-05-09 04:57 PM
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What's it like to be higher ed adjunct faculty? Tell your story
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Edited on Sun Apr-05-09 05:01 PM by yurbud
For decades, higher education has been aping the personnel practices of corporate America and relying more and more on part time, temporary, and non-tenure track faculty, especially to teach the course required for graduation.

While this is great for administrators to free up money in their budget for other things, it can wreck havoc on the lives of those who didn't expect to get rich teaching but did expect to be able to pay their rent and student loan payments every month and know that they'd continue to have a job if they were doing it relatively well.

Various groups have been working on changing this at the state level, and adjuncts and contingent faculty are finally starting to come together at a national level in groups like the New Majority Faculty, which I am a part of.

To help us figure out which things to focus on changing, WE NEED YOUR STORIES.

You can post them as text in the comments of this article or if you are feeling more multimedia, as a video reply to this youtube thread.

Tell us what has happened to you as an adjunct, non-tenure track, part time, temporary (usually all of the above) faculty member in higher education, both on the job and in your personal life as a consequence of having a job.

For example, I told my own story here, and the story of an instructor who resorted to going through the trash for pop cans to make ends meet. I have known instructors who still lived with their parents into their fifties and others who have had marriages unravel because their income didn't live up to their spouse's expectations for someone with their education level.

On the professional front, a friend of mine set up a PACE program for his college, then when the time came to give someone a full-time tenure track job to run it, they hired someone from outside the school (who promptly asked my friend how to do his job since he had padded his resume). Just recently, this instructor was fired from his community college after eighteen years of service, most likely because he was vice president of the part time faculty union.

Your stories will not only help us figure out what to fight for but give us powerful evidence to present to legislators and groups that work on higher education issues that using Walmart labor practices does real harm to real people.

If you wish to remain anonymous, that's fine, though the more specific the details, the more useful your story will be, for example, say what state you are in, whether you are at a two-year or four-year college or research university, public or private, what discipline you teach in, your qualifications to teach, and how long you've been doing it. Any information you don't want to include is okay though.

Post written stories

Post video stories

NOTE: You can post your stories here too. Eventually, I'll figure out how to consolidate all of them with those posted elsewhere.
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