4 thoughts on “Adjunct Abuse

  1. The article includes TAs teaching their own course with the adjuncts, which isn’t quite the same thing. From the 2nd table it is pretty clear that the TAs are better paid than a straight-up adjunct. If you look at the part-time salaries, the research university salary per course ($4,250) is about 160% of the part-time salary at the institutions that aren’t likely to have TAs because they don’t have graduate students. Plus, TAs usually get health insurance as students.

  2. There are adjuncts and there are adjuncts. At my undergraduate journalism department, we would have working journalists from the LA Times come in and teach a three hour evening class once a week (like the guy who had us dialing up Judge Wapner and illegally acquiring copies of police reports for extra credit). My journalism law professor was a real live working lawyer. In certain areas, adjuncts might have valuable ongoing real life experience and connections that a full-time traditional academic wouldn’t have. I think it could be excellent to have an experienced small business person from the community come in to teach a business course. (But there is a very dark side to the system, which reminds me of the Dilbert cartoon where the pointy-haired boss is seen toting temps out to the dumpster because “they’re too big to flush.”)

  3. AmyP, I think that’s partially what the adjunct system was meant to be– I had a fantastic Physics prof in college who had retired from NASA and was thrilled to be teaching, but not looking for a tenure-track kind of job.

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