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Adjuncts and Tenure

January 8, 2009

An interesting post has appeared at my new crush’s site, where brokeharvardgrad argues against lifetime tenure. Instead, she opts for 3–5 year contracts.

I have heard this idea before, and as the auto makers petition the Congress for billions, I wonder about the tenure, union and adjuncting situation.

Unions, emerging to counter some horrific working conditions, marshaled the collective bargaining power of workers and won valuable worker safety, work condition and pay wins.

However, I don’t see the adjunct situation to be like coal miners, textile workers or rivetheads. Rather, I see them as a pool of workers who will not be able to collectively bargain–there are just too many, with a new one waiting to take your place. Even if all of the comp teachers would agree to strike back, management has other options (farm out to tenure, hire one-year contracts, grad students). There is no adjunct bite.

No bite, no power.

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