This is a shocking article. It describes the new world of academia, where adjuncts may be paid $10,000 a year to teach five courses. They get no benefits.
It was written by a woman who just received her Ph.D. in anthropology and is wondering if she will get a job and wondering how an academic can survive. After all, $10,000 a year is well below the poverty line.
Most people who teach in higher education are adjuncts. They are sometimes called “contingent faculty.”
The AAUP say that the huge increase in contingent faculty did not occur because of budget cuts, but occurred during flush times, when universities decided to spend on facilities and technology instead of instruction and faculty development.
Think of it.
Students pay tuition that may be $30,000-$50,000 or more a year, while their professors are earning a pittance.
How is this sustainable over time?
We need fresh thinking about making college affordable; otherwise how can we expect greater numbers of young people to enroll?
And we need fresh thinking about the use and abuse of adjunct faculty. Once upon a time, young men and women planned careers as college professors. That is increasingly rare, and will eventually erode the quality of higher education.