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Why Even Try…

September 6, 2013

I have been reading about the rise of MOOCs and whether their utility is a fad or franchise, but the aspect that gets me irked is, not the “free” access of information to the masses–that I like–but that nothing is “free.”

MOOCs (massive online open courses), ostensibly, are free content open for all.  If, however, “credit” is to be given, there must be a gatekeeper.  Enter the workhorse of the workforce in higher ed–the contingent faculty member.

The rise of the use of contingent faculty is nothing new.  When I entered the fray (say around 1992), the use was on the rise.

The use of contingent faculty eclipses TT positions…by a long, upward march to futility.

That was good news for getting a gig…bad news for upward mobility.

Here is one shot of the situation…although I think the present numbers are more like 60% if not higher.

What is more depressing, though, is this chart,

Not even the TT faculty can keep up…and look, way down toward zero, you can see contingent faculty pay… Oh, wait, no. Contingent faculty, once again, is overlooked.

to which I ask: “why bother.”

Sure, if you are looking for a mission field, and you have the mind-set of a missionary with the appropriate zealousness of belief, then I say have at it.

But, if you have any hopes of a family, of a working car with some semblance of a place to live, then why bother?

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