Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The Just In Time Professor is an interestig staff report of the House Democrats which was recently released, here.
Readers of this blog as well as faculty do not need a report to understand their conclusions:
By no means comprehensive or scientific, the eForum provided an alarming snapshot of life for
contingent faculty. While the occupation of “college professor” still retains a reputation as a
middle-class job, the reality is that a growing number of people working in this profession fill
positions not intended to provide the stability, pay, or benefits necessary for a family’s long-term
economic security. Whether some adjunct professors piece together a living from their teaching
job or only use it to supplement a more stable primary career elsewhere, many contingent faculty
might be best classified as working poor.
As one respondent put it: “[T]he bulk of instructors at
the college level fulfilling this goal [of educating students] are compensated less than their peers
despite equal expertise, are given no benefits despite obvious need, and are continually stripped
of their voice and dignity by a situation where they must overwork themselves or find a new
career.” Their story is another example of the shrinking middle class and another data point in
the widening gap between rich and poor. Policy solutions for part-time workers more generally,
such as the Part-Time Workers’ Bill of Rights, would help address some of the economic
security issues these faculty face.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
Hat Tip: Brent Newton