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How many other Academic Missionaries are there?

April 23, 2009
The_joy_of_teaching
Image by J.C. Rojas via Flickr

In response to my post about how much an adjunct actually makes (current tally indicates that well over half make less than $15/hour), I received the following:

The last time I did this calculation I learned I was making less per hour than I paid the very competent baby-sitter who watched my son while I prepared lectures and labs, wrote and graded exams, fixed broken lab gear, etc. So I’ve suspendedfurther teaching until my wife’s professional schedule permits her to spend more time at home with our boy. Then I’ll be able to resume contributing charitably to higher education by teaching as an adjunct. It’s fun, I enjoy it and what I can give my students is valuable. It just doesn’t pay.

I am afraid that you are not alone.  How many couples have one member pulling in the money in order to support the other’s desire to teach?  How many good teachers are doing something else because of the institutional structure?

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One Comment
  1. May 17, 2009 6:17 am

    I think when I did my calculations when I started adjuncting last Fall, I was making around 17 an hour. I’m currently adjuncting with budget negotiations working toward me getting full-time, but things are very tight until that decision is made (and will be even then, if the decision goes unfavorably).

    One of the things that also gets me on this topic is that at my school, night classes are paid 2/3 of the normal salary for adjuncts because the night classes are set up on an 8-week schedule instead of 16. We still meet for the same number of hours per course, but I get 1/3 less pay for it because it’s in less time.

    Oh, and I hope it’s okay, but I added this blog to my own blogroll. If not, I’ll remove it.

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