06 August 2001

adjunct faculty

As many of you are probably aware, there's an on-going situation and debate in higher education regarding the extensive use of adjunct faculty in colleges and universities.

Some of the major difficulties often cited by adjuncts are the poor wages, lack of job security, few job benefits, the stress of working multiple jobs and traveling from school to school. Others have noted how adjuncts end up sacrificing their professional development and how the quality of education can suffer since adjuncts often cannot spend as much individual time with students, have a high rate of turn-over which affects institutional continuity, and are more apt to give easily graded exams than complex writing assignments.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has been covering the issue of adjuncts for some time, tracking developments (such as city-wide adjunct unions) and statistics. This month in their "Colloquy Live" feature they are providing interaction with Jill Carroll, author of the book How to Survive as an Adjunct Lecturer: An Entrepreneurial Strategy Manual.

Her book argues that "if adjuncts start acting like businesspeople selling a product, and plan accordingly, they can find good work, make good money, become respected college teachers, and enjoy more variety and flexibility than people in full-time faculty positions."

An interesting conversation for many, I'm sure.