Who’s Teaching College?: The Adjunct Professor Problem Has Not Improved

“It’s bad, Laura. It’s not good at all.” Not exactly what we wanted to hear from the contractor who found massive rot under our bathroom floors. 

Having completely blown the bathroom budget this week, I opened up a LinkedIn email advertising for an adjunct professor position at the community college down the road. After doing a little sleuthing, I figure out that this job was not going to be a great way supplement my freelance work. The pay was lower than what I earned as an adjunct in New York City twenty years ago. 

Most people only have the vaguest notion of who is teaching their college kids. With some movie version of a professor in their head, they assume that a senior scholar is in the front of the lecture hall, and that he is well compensated for years of experience, education, and talent. They might think that the $80K college price tag translates to big bucks for faculty. Sadly, that’s not the case. It’s much more likely that your kid’s English professor is living in poverty.

Read more at Apt. 11D, the newsletter