Adjunct pay is better in Canuckistan, no?
Yes. At my institution, for example, a one semester course pays close to $7, 000.These statistics are just brutal! How many courses does one have to teach in order to eke out a living? YIKES!
I average 5 - 6, Chrry.That's 3 classes in a quarter program and 2 - 3 in a semester program.I was looking forward to a less drastic drop in summer wages this year when, instead of dropping to 1 semester class as had been usual, I was assigned 3. (Woot! A barely manageable workload continues unabated.)But, lost one class to low enrollment and instead of the full (25) classes customary in the fall/spring semesters, am having my first experience with lesser pay pegged to reduced enrollment. Summer pay in the semester program is not down 1/3 (2 classes instead of 3), but 2/3 because the classes are smaller.Still, I am "fortunate" that the semester program does provide my family with an actual benefits package. Of course, that lops an additional ~$250 off monthly pay, but allows access to pay-for-play American health care!
Just read the opening of the executive summary of the report ... 75.5% of the academic workforce is part-time, F/T non-TT, and contingent?75.5%??Not only could the non-TT faculty run the table ... we could pick it up and LEAVE WITH IT, if we could organize ... Oh, wait ... unions AND educators are both the pariahs du jour.Never mind ...
And all the commentary about professorial salaries, which helps contribute to the pariah status, is based on the 25% that are full time TT. It's as if people were accusing workers on the assembly line of being overpaid on the basis of the middle-to-upper-management pay. I haven't look at the report in detail, but it looks like there might be some gaps in how the Department of Labor (and others) gather the data to which the pundits turn when they want to show how underworked and overpaid we all are. The study just released is a good corrective, but we probably also should be lobbying for more accurate gathering of labor data (for us, and for others whose realities are similarly under-/mis-represented. This is one of those cases where the methodology underlying the reality represented/implied by statistics matters.
1700 here per course
Teaching in the mideast pays ok but it seems pretty dangerous, based on what I've read in the newspaper.
That *was* one of the odder word choices. Mid-Atlantic, anyone?
I was wondering where the midwest would fit into those categories myself. Seems part Great Lakes, part mideast.
A couple of years ago, our cc union (I was on the negotiating team) bargained language that gives some part-timers--those with at least six consecutive semesters of satisfactory evaluations--hiring preference over full-timers teaching overload classes. Overload classes, right? Not regular contract classes--because those are guaranteed: That's what "contract" means. So part-timers had the right to their usual assignments before full-timers got extra classes. Of course, this was controversial--to say the very least. I'm wondering what some of you think about this.
I think it's a good idea. It allows schools to keep their best adjuncts and gives them at least some job security. I know it would go over like a lead balloon at my college. People would start whining about their seniority and saying stupid things like "They're just adjuncts. Their job is to fill in where we need them, and I deserve my overload first because I'm tenured." People need to recognize that overload work is not guaranteed to anyone. If we want to avoid being a revolving door, something like this would be a small step toward giving adjuncts dignity and a better chance of knowing they'll have income.The giant loophole I see here is that for anyone new coming into the system, getting courses six semesters in a row will become a thing of the past for adjuncts in certain departments so they can preserve their full-timers' options.
It seems fair and reasonable given the current realities. But need I point out that if full-time and part-time faculty are competing for "overload" courses, that says something about the (in)adequacy of the full-timers' compensation, and suggests that is, as well as overuse of part-timers, is having a negative effect on the overall quality of the educational experience?
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In my system, the people who would pitch the biggest fit about this are those who need it the least: people already at the top of the salary scale, married to other professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants), who are trying to pad their retirement accounts. The traditional pension bases monthly income on the average of the highest five years of salary. In fact, one who would all but have a cow over anything giving adjuncts any kind of rights or privileges is married to a doctor in a high-paid specialty and already owns three homes (in town, country ranch, and vacation). For some people, it's "the principle" rather than thinking about how a policy might affect others. I should also add people like this are the first to throw seniority in the faces of junior faculty whom they perceive as getting anything they think senior members should be entitled to solely on the basis of longevity. Why did HE get that director's position with a course release? [He actually does work in that field and helped write the grant.]Why didn't someone ask ME? [You know nothing about that field. No one wants to ask you to help write a grant because you'll let others do the work and then complain.] I've been here 148 years. I should have first dibs!
There's lots of fascinating data in this report, and I think it makes an important contribution to conversations about the current status and future of higher ed. Combined with the crowd-sourcing of the adjunct project, a clearer picture of what we all knew was going on is beginning to emerge. I understand completely why they started by reporting the data for part-time contingents, since that's the most dramatic part of the picture. But I hope they'll do as good a job for the full-time contingents, since we're a significant part of the picture, too. In particular, I'm hoping (and expecting) that the results will show that the growth in full-time NTT positions is not just about "flexibility," it's about being able to pay similarly-qualified faculty less to do more teaching. That won't surprise anyone here, either, but it's still worth pointing out, especially as NTT work increasingly becomes a "career" (or non-career) option.
EnglishDoc, you guessed the flavor of the whine exactly. Cassandra, I work in California, and top full-time salaries (without a Ph.D.) at my campus are slightly over $100K. Whether that's (in)adequate or not isn't an issue I want to deal with. It takes a couple of decades and a couple of years of classes beyond the basic masters degree requirement to get to the top of the salary schedule. But a fact of life is that if someone's making $50K/year, they're likely to say that if they were only making $60K, things would be fine and dandy. And if someone's making $100K/year things would be hunky-dory if only they made $120K. And so on and so on.The contract language I mentioned has expired. When we negotiated it the full-time/part-time competition for extra classes wasn't so bad, but with the latest budget cuts, which mean class reductions, it's getting fierce. Very few summer session classes this year and next makes things even nastier: Would you think it a coincidence if your department chair (who assigns classes) gave the only two summer classes in the entire department to him/herself?
I agree that the grass always tends to be greener, salary-wise, about 10% above one's current salary, but of course we're also dealing with the fact that people are facing stagnant salaries but steadily rising prices for non-discretionary items (e.g. fossil fuels and everything that needs to be shipped long distances using fossil fuels, which in much of the country -- perhaps a bit less so in CA -- includes food). Tuition costs are going up, too (even as the faculty are seeing little to none of the money). It's also likely that many have family members who are un- or underemployed, which puts additional pressure on their incomes. A lot of people are feeling very real pressure, and looking to supplement their incomes. I don't know what in the world a chair with only two summer classes to give out can do. Giving them to him/herself is definitely not ethical. The best option I can think of is to put all qualified names in a hat and having somebody trusted draw two. If that procedure were publicized, and repeated, minus the names of those who already got a summer class in prior years, until the situation substantially changed, I think it could work. But it's still a sad commentary on the state of things, since I suspect that there's student demand for more than two classes. This is one area where the "publish or perish" pressure at research universities may actually help contingent faculty. Our TT colleagues have to weigh the short-term benefits of summer teaching income against the (admittedly increasingly theoretical, at least once tenure is achieved) long-term benefits of spending the time on research and publishing. That (and the fact that providing core courses year-round seems to be a goal of, and a recognized benefit to, the university) increases our chances for summer teaching -- a fact that I, for one, am very glad of, since my budget would not balance without it.
Hell yes, I think overload courses should only go to full-timers after part-timers receive their full contracts' worth. This seems like a no brainer to me.Also, CC is right about publish or perish. I'd rather forego the new tax bracket and luxury vacation I'd get for teaching summer school (the pay is sickeningly high for tenure-track faculty) and get the time to write. If that makes someone else's budget balance, good.
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