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The Dilemma of Adjuncts In United s, Adjunct overpopulate the academic sector with them being twice as large as the number of full-time professors hired. The research which was conducted by the American Association of University Professor has revealed that approximately two-thirds of the state’s total population of professors is of adjunct status (Segran, par. 2). Most universities in the United States prefer hiring adjunct professors over full-time professors as they are more flexible and can be easily and cheaply managed, as well as the fact that they are paid less than the full-time faculty members.
Hiram Henriquez, one of the several adjunct professors of the University of Miami, has mentioned in an interview that “The most important thing is the pay. Adjunct professors are providing a service that’s a high-end service, and they are getting paid like they are starting teachers, like me. This statement is supported by the data released by the American Association of University Professors, which says that adjunct professors only earn an average of $20,000 to $25,000 yearly compared to the $84,303 that is being paid to full-time professors. This range is considered to belong to the poverty wages and because of this most of the adjunct professors have the lifestyle of that belonging to the people below the poverty line in the United States.
Many adjunct professors are suffering from the huge gap between them and full-time professors. Henriquez, despite finishing Master of Fine Arts, has said that his salary in the university is 50 percent less than what he could have earned if he was a full time professor minus the health benefits as well. Victoria Baldassano, and adjunct professor of the Montgomery College quipped, “I don’t make much more than I would work at Starbucks.” (Steiger, par. 2). Most of the adjunct teachers opt to find a second job in order to have to live through and to support their families.
The management of the colleges and universities who hire adjunct professors clearly acknowledges the fact that these professors are getting less than what they are working for as their salaries as a professor, although the job seems like a high-end one, is not enough to pay for their basic expenses (Aronowitz, par. 7). “Two classes here, two at FIU... It’s very rough because none of them are given benefits even though they are teaching 6, 7, 8 classes each semester,” said Paul Driscoll, the vice dean of UM School of Communication.
Sam Terilli, the department chair of UM, has assessed the effects of having majority of the instructors as adjuncts to be a ‘disadvantage’ for the students, as these instructors do not have their own office, thus the difficulty for getting consultation or student meetings, and described this kind of set-up as a “not good development, abusive.” Trevor Green, one of FIU’s adjunct professors, has pointed out that if he goes to the profession world and work there, he’ll earn more than what he has now no matter what position he lands into.
However, what makes Green, as well as the other adjuncts professors, stay in their current job is the fact that it is what they love to do, what they do best, and most importantly, they want to impart to the youth the things that they have gained in the industry.
Works Cited
Aronowitz, Nona Willis. “Class Divide on Campus: Adjuncts Professors Fight for Better
Pay, Benefits.” NBC News. 2014. Web. 13 December. 2014.
Segran, Elizabeth. “The Adjunct Revolt: How Poor Professors Are Fighting Back.” The
Atlantic, 2014. Web. 13 December. 2014.
Steiger, Kay. “The Pink Collar Workforce of Academia.” The Nation, 2013. Web. 13
December. 2014. Read More
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