Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

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Monday, August 1, 2011

More On Abuse of Adjuncts

Hello Adjunct, Meet Prof Cozy is a July 22, 2011 Wall Street Journal Online article which is actually a book review of The Faculty Lounges By Naomi Schaefer Riley. The review summarizes what we have been highlighting for some time. Adjuncts are grossly underpaid to the point of being abused at many universities. Some colleges employ 70% of their faculty as adjuncts. As the article states:

To free up tenured professors for research, she observes, much of the teaching at universities is delegated to graduate assistants and "adjunct" faculty who are ill paid and ill treated. An adjunct instructor teaching six courses may earn less than $20,000 a year; an adjunct teaching only three credits short of a full-time position may have to pay more than 20% of his salary to join the university's least expensive health-care program. One administrator noted that "Wal-Mart is a more honest employer of part-time employees than are most colleges and universities" and admitted that adjunct teachers are a "highly educated working poor." Meanwhile, tenured professors at many universities, often with shockingly light teaching loads, enjoy six-figure salaries, summers of freedom and sabbatical years that are, again, unduplicated in the rest of the economy.

Hat Tip: Neil Dudich, Esq.

 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/adjunctprofs/2011/08/more-on-abuse-of-adjuncts.html

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Comments

Here's my question for you - schools are raking in an obscene amount of money. If it's not going to the professors then where is it going?! Someone needs to do a simple pie chart showing where our money goes.

Posted by: anon | Aug 5, 2011 9:37:09 PM

But the saddest thing about adjunct faculty is that they are often the best teachers. When I attended law school, I had a mix of full time and adjunct teachers. The full time professors loved to talk about the theory of their area and great articles and ideas. The adjuncts, generally drawn from the partnerships of the great law firms, loved to talk and teach about the practice of law. The two single greatest classes I took in law school were taught by adjunct practioners. Law schools continue to pretend to be academic instutions when they actually prepare us for a profession. The use of practicing teachers who know what it is like to put a suit on every day and deal with real cleints and problems is an invaluable asset to a law student. They understand (and teach) the theory, certainly, but they also know (unlike most full professors) the skills the kids know will be required for the practice of law.

Posted by: Barry | Aug 6, 2011 7:07:32 AM

Barry, I would agree that sometimes adjuncts were fantastic, but sometimes they were of noticeably lower quality. I had an adjunct that ate pizza during class. He said that he ate dinner during class because he wanted the course to interfere as little as possible with his life. Based on the quality of the class, I doubt he did much preparation for it. It takes a lot of work to prepare a good, organized syllabus and to go through it methodically.

Posted by: anon | Aug 6, 2011 10:16:17 PM

When I attended law school, I had a mix of full time and adjunct teachers. The full time professors loved to talk about the theory of their area and great articles and ideas. The adjuncts, generally drawn from the partnerships of the great law firms, loved to talk and teach about the practice of law...

Posted by: android developers | Aug 11, 2011 5:33:50 AM

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