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My first note.

March 29, 2007

I have entered into a new era first note about something I wrote. Sadly, it addressed an overstatement I made. Here is what one sharp reader asked:


I read your post on the Overflowing Composition Classroom in Inside Higher Ed, and I am most curious about one statement:

If you are an admin, this should scare you. You are legally not supposed to ask if she teaches somewhere else, but consider what you pay and realize that she most probably does.

What's the origin of that illegality? I'm currently involved in a research methods class, and my topic is legal research in HiEd. This might lead to an interesting discussion in my seminar, but I'm not familiar with the the origin.

And then, in the spirit of full disclosure, I wrote back saying:

Well, [reader's name]. I might have stretched the facts here. I know of no specific statute restricting an employer from asking about moonlighting gigs. However, an employee may have a case (not that she would win) in claiming that she was fired when knowledge of her moonlighting came to be known by her employer.

You see, it gets really tricky, really quickly. As an adjunct (and most part-timers), there is no guarantee of future work beyond the semester-to-semester contract. If the Chair/Dean is smart, she waits until the end of the semester and suddenly has no more sections.

I am sorry to not be as specific as I should have been.


I can only hope that future correspondence goes much better.

  1. Inside the Philosophy Factory permalink
    March 30, 2007 11:36 pm

    I was asked about other places I adjuncted. I think it was because of a need to calculate eligibility for benefits, as our state CCs counted all classes taught at any state CC toward eligibility for benefits — so, they needed to know where else we were teaching.

    I’m not sure why the private school asked — probably because the state ones did.

  2. Piss Poor Prof permalink
    April 2, 2007 3:01 am

    Did they ever indicate that there was a cap on the number of sections you were able to teach at one time?

  3. Inside the Philosophy Factory permalink
    April 4, 2007 2:17 am

    I don’t think there is a limit — as many people put together 5 sections per semester at two or three schools and have the same pay and benefits as I do as a full-timer at my CC.

    When I was in Nebraska, there was a limit — 75% of the full-time load, but not in Minnesota.

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