Saturday, September 13, 2014

What About Teaching Just For the Love Of It?

The Flava:
It's been almost a month since classes started at Virginia State University, but one professor tells 8News, he still has not been paid. The professor alleges other professors are refusing to teach, leaving some students without instructors for some period of time.

"If this is your only source of income, and you are driving back and forth for the services of the kids and you are not being paid, it really isn't that good and you can't take that attitude into the classroom," says the professor who did not want to be identified because he still works at the university.

A university spokesperson acknowledges there are some problems that the school is addressing at this moment. The university says it is working to hire qualified candidates to fill the vacant positions. In the meantime, assistant/associate professors are teaching classes.

The Rest.


  1. A local college is going through something similar, but it's just the part-timers. Nobody is stepping up to teach those courses, I can tell you that.

  2. I love teaching also however it is not a volunteer position. The university makes money off of my showing up and teaching all the students attending so they can pay me for the work that I spent years accumulating and honing. If they don't pay me I do not show up and they cannot bill the students. If someone "loves teaching" and wants to do it for free they can teach a course at the community center. The mere fact that someone would suggest that teachers should show up without being paid shows that they do not value the teacher's professional worth. Would you tell any other profession they need to show up "for the good of the customer" if they were not being paid?

  3. I, too, have been teaching for almost a month, and I haven't been paid yet. But I do have a contract, I'm on a 9-month salary arrangement, and I'm confident that I'll be paid on Monday (in fact, I may have been paid yesterday. I'm confident enough that the money will show up that I haven't checked.) Very different situation.

    There seems to be something of an adjunct crisis at my institution, too. I think two factors are at play: (1)a gradually recovering economy and (2) many states/institutions desperate determination not to let adjuncts go over the 30 hours a week that would make them eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (of course many adjuncts are in fact working more than 30 hours a week for one or more of their employers, but that's another story).

    For a long time, Ph.D.s seeking university work have heard a lot of (stuff) about market forces. The worm may just be turning.

    And in other good news (hey, I'm feeling glass-half-full this morning): according to the article,the overenrolled courses include dance and art. Maybe rumors of the death of the humanities/arts have been premature? We can only hope.

    1. um, "desperate determination" = "desperately determined." I'd love to blame the fact that my brain no longer retrieves the words I want as reliably as I once did on autocorrect, but I fear that is not the case.

  4. Yah. I teach for the love of it, too -- that's why I'm at the institution I am, rather than making three times that much in industry. But bills and the mortgage and the grocer all have to be paid.

  5. Having more students and faculty retirements doesn't explain why profs aren't getting paid. It doesn't make sense. Not that I expect that from a university.

  6. Here's more:

    Although some classes are over-enrolled, the university enrollment is down.