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Adjunct Academic freedom

April 23, 2007

I must confess, this is probably not the way that I would introduce the topic, but I have to wonder if he would have been fired if he had tenure.

An adjunct (AP story via Salon), two days after Virginia Tech, introduced a discussion on gun control by “shooting” members of his class with a magic marker. He also included a response by a student shooting him back.

Apparently there is a you-tube defense the adjunct has posted.

Is this a story of no academic freedom as an adjunct?

Personally, I have not felt that I had any academic freedom. My paycheck came semester-by-semester. There is absolutely no freedom in that model.

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2 Comments
  1. Inside the Philosophy Factory permalink
    April 24, 2007 7:21 pm

    Adjuncts only have limited academic freedom. Depending on the structure of the class, they may be able to choose books, write a course schedule and exams etc… but especially without a union, adjuncts have no systematic protection of their freedoms.

    Heck, when I was an adjunct, I didn’t feel that I had non-classroom related freedom of speech. The tenured guy in the office next to me had really offensive bumper stickers on his door and on his wheelchair and I NEVER would have commented on them — because I knew I could be replaced without any fuss.

    If the fired adjunct’s school had been smart, they just wouldn’t have renewed his contract for next year… that would have put him out of the classroom without anybody making a fuss about his illusion of academic freedom.

  2. Sebastian Wolfe permalink
    April 30, 2007 5:53 pm

    The problem is this a$$hole was probably trying to make a point that was actually useful. Probably trying to make his students actually care about something.

    I was adjuncting right after September 11th and my students used the attacks as an excuse not to do assignments, to not show up to tests. I was essentially advised to hand out “A”s for that semester.

    *SHRUGS* Academic freedom, that occurs in your bedroom frankly, not in the so-called real-world that working class folk constantly seem to talk about… 🙂

    Sebastian
    Where Academia Gets Real
    http://sebastianwolfe.wordpress.com

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