Monday, September 9, 2013

Good News / Bad News. "Hey, Adjuncts Are Good. Give Us Some More of That!"

The Adjunct Office.
Ad­juncts Are Bet­ter Teachers Than Tenured Professors, Study Finds

Students learned more when their first in­struc­tor in a dis­ci­pline was not on the ten­ure track, as com­pared with those whose in­tro­duc­tory pro­fes­sor was tenured, ac­cord­ing to a new pa­per from Northwestern University.

The paper, "Are Ten­ure-Track Professors Bet­ter Teachers?," was re­leased on Mon­day by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and it sheds new light on the hot­ly debat­ed top­ic of whether the in­creased use of ad­junct instructors is help­ing or hin­der­ing stu­dents' learn­ing.

More in the Crampicle.


  1. No kidding! Adjuncts HAVE to be better than tenure track, they're expendable!

    The helotization of higher education will continue until the supply of Ph. D.s is lower than the demand.

  2. The re­search­ers found "strong and con­sis­tent ev­i­dence that Northwestern fac­ul­ty out­side of the ten­ure sys­tem out­per­form ten­ure track/ten­ured pro­fes­sors in intro­duc­tory undergraduate class­rooms," wrote Da­vid N. Figlio, director of Northwestern's Institute for Policy Research; Mor­ton O. Scha­piro, the uni­ver­si­ty's pres­i­dent; and Kev­in B. So­ter, an as­so­ciate con­sult­ant at an organization called the Great­est Good, which uses economic methods and data analysis to help businesses.

    Ah-hahahahahaha! The president of the university insists adjuncts are better for students! Alert the media! Ah-hahahahahaha!

  3. Ah, good old Northwestern University, just outside of Chicago, IL, where I learned what it is like to be taken advantage of economically. Talk about deep learning!

  4. More cutting edge reporting from the chronicle and real revolutionary scholarship from the social sciences. Is this funded by the Koch brothers?

    In related news, sometimes wolves will gnaw off their own paws to escape traps. And zombies like brains.

  5. And Stella nails it. It's in the uni's best interest to say that its slave labor is better for students. Bonus points for its attempt to pit adjuncts against the tenured.

    Well played, Satan. Well played.

  6. Yeah, and it's really great for the student when they want to take another class from that adjunct but can't because the adjunct has been canned, or they want a recommendation a couple of years down the road and can't find the adjunct, or when they do get a recommendation and the snobs on a grad school committee dismiss it because it's from "just an adjunct." It's especially great for them to see that two advanced degrees and a career in higher education can pay you so little that you have to be on food stamps.

  7. I also like that it's adjuncts vs tenured AND tenure-track combined: a tenured prof with at least 5 or 6 years experience totally should be lumped together with a just-out-of-grad-school newbie who knows she will be fired in a couple years if that book doesn't get written and if she doesn't stay "collegial."

    I hope all administrators (particularly my dean, who forwarded it to us all this morning) read past the headline. Almost all the adjuncts in the study have been working at Northwestern for at least 6 quarters, they get paid between $4200 and $7334 per course, and the "less-qualified" students in the study have an average SAT of 1316.

    More accurate headline: Better Students and a Better Pay Scale Allows Adjuncts to Do Their Job Better

  8. I still can't get my head around why a writer would feel the need to use the actual word 'compared' after a comparitive adjective. "Students learned more . . . as com­pared with those . . ." is now more better (heh) than simply "students learned more . . . THAN those . . ."?