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News: The Part-Time Satisfaction Gap – Inside Higher Ed

April 16, 2009
drinkin' in the adjunct office
Image by buhny via Flickr

I wrote the following as a comment to the story linked above:

The initial snarky response to these “findings” tumbles out as: really?  Shocked?  and No…(wagging ones head in mock surprise).

One needs no report to know that “benefits” translates, for many, into health coverage.  That “job satisfaction” often equates directly to life satisfaction–“I got a PhD for this?” as one is standing in the medicine isle trying to figure out the best/cheapest concoction for combating the latest infectious disease floating around campus–God forbid one actually has a real condition (ski trip off!).

Or that job satisfaction equates to navigating ones familial obligations.  Not all adjuncts are single/shacked-up recent grads looking for their “break” and paying their dues until entrance into the tenured promised land.  Some have families, with children and spouses and dreams of moving out of the one-step above subsidized housing.  Adjuncting is often an indulgence of one spouse while the other pulls in the living wage.

So, continue with your studies (or read a blog or two) and slowly realize that the current conditions are untenable/untenurable.

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2 Comments
  1. brokeharvardgrad permalink
    April 16, 2009 8:13 pm

    Adjuncts of the world are the equivalent of the secret industrialized immigrant labor pool, the academic peanut factory workers, brought in on substandard wages with no hope of any working rights–the veritable Educational Wal-Mart Adjuncts, or those that qualify for medicaid while working in higher ed. If adjuncts are the part-time Wal-Mart employees, complete with labor disputes and gender inequities in promotion, why does no one in the press champion for the adjunct? Can we get rid of Wal-Mart? I don’t know–can we get rid of the adjunct position?

  2. Mark permalink
    May 26, 2009 9:09 pm

    When will that sufficiency of rage and yearning for unification hit the serried ranks of adjunctdom? We are, doubtless, the equivalent of Chicano lettuce pickers in today’s wornderful world of akademe, with next to no rights (or none at all), laughable “salaries”, little to nil privacy for doing our own class prep or conferring with our stoodents, no medical insurance safeguards protecting our precious health, and no employment security. How sick i am of hearing that since this is a right-to-work society, the university must be likewise, and ensure continued quality in its employed staff by maintaining a suufcccient backlog of qualified adjuncts for emergencies. It is time for unionization-authentic unionization for adjuncts-for instructors or lecturers, since that is what we all are, not disposable garbage.

    Fewer administrators, more intstructors!

    All protected, or none at all!

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