Bubba Made a New Blog.
"Defenders of slavery argued that the sudden end to the slave economy would have had a profound and killing economic impact in the South where reliance on slave labor was the foundation of their economy. The cotton economy would collapse. The tobacco crop would dry in the fields. Rice would cease being profitable.Defenders of slavery argued that if all the slaves were freed, there would be widespread unemployment and chaos. This would lead to uprisings, bloodshed, and anarchy"http://www.ushistory.org/us/27f.asp
"Significant tradeoffs". Well, yeah. And the only realistic place to get the money from is the profusion of offices of vice-sub-deanlets of things; assistant-vice-presidents in charge of navel gazing; and whichever of the director of stuff offices aren't actually mandated by various tiers of government.Somehow I don't see the administration jumping on-board that wagon.
Lol. Each of your made up titles made me laugh harder than the last.
When a system of higher ed has MORE administrators than professors, as does the California State system, we are truly screwed. Yeah, don't look for the situation to improve anytime soon.
I once asked our provost what our student to VP ratio was. He was not amused.
Hey, tenure's got to be good for something. I still think we need protection from those who might object to free speech within the academy as much as we need protection from those who would seek to curtail it from without (but I must admit the present political climate is testing that conviction).
It strikes me that the study is missing a significant element: a calculation of the cost of *not* being decent to adjuncts (and the students they teach, and the people who hire, evaluate, fire, replace, support, etc. adjuncts). A lot of the increase in service load for the dwindling proportion of tenure-track faculty, and at least some of the increased need for support services (and, yes, PP, deanlets) has to do with such mostly-invisible, at least to the beancounters, increases in the work of other faculty members and support staff. I suspect there would be a significantly decreased need for outside-the-classroom support, retention consultants and/or software, etc., etc. at an institution in which *all* intro courses were taught by at least full-time, preferably tenure-track faculty who also did service (perhaps supplemented by equally-qualified administrators teaching a yearly or semesterly intro class in their academic fields), with adjuncts hired only to teach upper-level classes relevant to their specific, well-established, outside-of-the-academy professional expertise (in other words, the kind of adjuncts my provost likes to believe make up the majority of our adjunct ranks; needless to say, they don't). It would take a while to see the improvements (just as it's taken a while to get into the present mess, and see its effects), but I'm pretty sure they'd appear -- all the more so if the institution simultaneously found a way to truly value teaching and teaching-related service (through a teaching tenure track, or through revisions to the tenure standards for all faculty). It's also very obvious that the authors are thinking in an R1/R2 context, which doesn't represent the average working conditions for adjuncts (or any faculty member) in the U.S. The workload they imagine for their adjuncts-turned-full-time, 3/3, presumably plus service, sounds about right to me in terms of truly getting the best work, and the best contribution to the institution and community, from the faculty members involved, but I (a full-time contingent faculty member at an institution on the R1/R2 cusp) teach a 4/4 (no service) load, and full-timers at local community colleges teach 5/5 plus service (at least officially; often the fifth class is a lab session or similar group tutorial for one of the other classes, usually a developmental one). It would be interesting to know the true numbers (or whether they can even be calculated, given the widespread use of adjunct), but, offhand, I'd guess that the average faculty load nationwide is closer to 4/4 than 3/3 (whether this is penny-wise but pound-foolish, for the reasons enumerated above, is another question; as far as I'm concerned, much of what ails higher ed these days has to do with students overwhelmed by the need to pay -- or borrow -- ever-higher tuition intersecting with faculty too overworked and underpaid to demand as much as they'd like from those students). And finally, if one *does* assume a research-intensive context, somebody needs to calculate the lost research productivity of all those newly-minted tenured associate professors who get sidetracked into managing adjuncts, and doing the service those adjuncts aren't doing, but their full-time equivalents might, instead of doing research.
Yes. The seen and the unseen.
if you can't afford to pay a living wage for work done, then there's something wrong with your business model. The solution isn't paying your staff less than they need to live on.
posted for a readerAfter a couple of years out of teaching for some consulting, I came back to teach this year at a one year spot, full time. 8 sections for $30,000. Not kidding. I used to make about $75k in the same region for 6 sections.I'm part of the problem. I wanted to teach. I accepted the salary. The chair and the Dean can now say, "Hey, we can pay $30k and get someone with 15 years teaching and 10 years real world experience. It makes it harder. I feel as if I've been taken advantage of, but I missed teaching.Everything about the system is horrible.Roger
It's not as if it's your fault but you mention a problem in our society. Teaching valued but it's not valued as a money making venture. It's "a noble calling." Bullshit. Why don't we say that about accountants and convince a bunch of business majors that they should love to do it without the big paycheck?Other jobs are treated like something you could dedicate your life to without a monetary reward. Lots of those professions are filled by women. Go figure.
against Much of the study is based on a false dichotomy; that is, that universities either give adjuncts a 555% raise or they do not increase their pay at all. While the authors claim that they are completely neutral on the issue of adjunct pay ("Our goal in this paper is neither to affirm nor to deny that universities owe adjuncts more than they currently receive"), their bias against an increase in adjunct pay, or even against adjuncts, is made obvious by their flawed argument, which is based on an admittedly unrealistic solution to the adjunct pay issue, and their failure to explore any alternative and more feasible solutions to the problem. I also take issues with many statements made by the authors. For example:"...the real issue is whether universities should pay adjuncts more or use the money to help poor students." This presents another false dichotomy; universities finding extra funds would not necessarily funnel them toward "poor" students but instead might also add more administrators, improve campus facilities, etc. Also, many adjuncts work at community colleges which generally have much lower costs of attendance than four-year universities, and thus at these institutions there might be very little or no need to help "poor" students. Also "poor" is a very vague term which the authors have failed to define nor have they provided any data fully to document the "poor" students' financial needs."...many current tenure-track assistant professors...would find teaching an extra course for $15,000 a highly lucrative additional source of income" and would thus take jobs occupied by current adjuncts. This is an unsupported assertion which is based on the unlikely assumption that TT salaries would remain stable while adjunct salaries were increased. Instead it is more plausible that IF adjuncts earned $15,000 per class, TT salaries would be raised accordingly. In that case, it would be unlikely that a professor making, let's say, $150,000 per year would want add another class (like a labor-intensive general education class with a high word count) to her/his already packed schedule of teaching, service, and research. - "[this increases] the likelihood that a great number of [PhD holders] would reenter the academic pool if a greater number of full-time positions and higher salaries made it more attractive." Perhaps adjuncts would be forced out of their jobs this way, but no data is given to support this assertion. Also, the statement is based on the assumption that the pay rate per class would be $15,000 and that PhDs choose their post-doc careers solely based on salary and not the nature of the work. One of the reasons that we adjuncts work for such a low salary is that we want to teach, suggesting that many academics choose their careers based on the type of work that they will be doing rather than how much they will be paid for that work."...we should remember that even if adjunct working conditions are bad, and even if adjuncts have few or no good alternative options, these adjuncts nevertheless choose to work as adjuncts..." This commits the two wrongs make a right fallacy; in other words, while it is wrong to severely underpay adjuncts, it is their fault, because they make the mistake of taking the low-paying jobs that are offered. If we accept this assumption, then we might also make the argument that it is ok to employ child laborers because the child laborers take those jobs, or, that it is permissible to beat our partner because our partner does not leave us and thus accepts the beating. Finally, my favorite statement of all: "For an adjunct teaching a 4-4 load, this is $120,000 in pay for 9-10 months of relatively fun work..." No comment needed here, I think.While I do think the authors offer an interesting perspective on the adjunct pay issue and that this perspective needs to be explored further, this paper contains so many flaws that it cannot be taken seriously.
Cassandra and Dagny have pointed out serious logical flaws, omissions, etc. in the study. Several days ago, I checked out the linked article at IHE and its comments. The authors have responded to several criticisms; in some cases, the responses ammount to "let's see your peer-reviewed paper."I think the reviewers were derelict in not differentiating between hypothesis grounded in evidence and editorialization grounded in ideology, and in allowing speculation to pass as fact in this publication.
I spend a good deal of time teaching college juniors (give or take a year) that not all peer-reviewed articles are created equal. Any Ph.D. who thinks that "peer reviewed" = "unassailable" should have hir degree revoked (or at least have to go back and take my class).
Also, it looks like they're now being challenged by a couple of other researchers with actual data to offer (e.g. who knew that many adjuncts teach at more than one school?!?) Unsurprisingly, there's also a good deal of pushback on the 50K 3/3 "decent job" assumption.
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