Adjunct faculty: We are the 76.4 percent
from the Burlington Free Press
In the past 25 years, there has been a dramatic shift in higher education. In 1990, most college courses were taught by full-time, tenured faculty. In 2014, the majority of college courses are taught by part-time, "contingent" faculty, who now make up 76.4 percent of all college professors nationwide.
Many people outside academia assume that with the title "professor" comes a decent salary and benefits. After all, college professors have played by the rules, worked hard, taken on those student loans, gotten those advanced degrees and (as the saying goes) "pulled themselves up by their bootstraps" into a respected profession.
Unfortunately, for adjunct faculty, this is not the case at all. Instead, teaching the maximum allowed course load of three courses per semester, my annual after-tax income is under $20,000.