You've seen the first round of the articles in higher ed media. You've read, added trenchant or glowing comments to articles and blogs. Guess what? Just reading articles, pro or/and con, is no different than getting by with the Cliff Notes version.
(The graphic to the left is from the Inside HigherEd article by Kaustuv Basu ~ shout out to NH Adjuncts United for reminding me about it )
If you haven't seen actual results, this report from the CAW website will be of interest, if depressing and hardly surprising, and comes highly recommended as a research documentation of contingent faculty conditions of employment.
52 pages seems much to get through at a single sitting but manageable broken into sections. Narrative takes up 17 pages. The rest is charts. You can also request access to the survey data file.
Key Findings (from CAW press release)
Several key indicators stand out that show how heavily colleges and universities are relying on part-time faculty members without supporting them adequately.
- The median pay per course, standardized to a three-credit course, was $2,700 in fall 2010 and ranged in the aggregate from a low of $2,235 at two-year colleges to a high of $3,400 at four-year doctoral or research universities. While compensation levels varied by type of institution, part-time faculty respondents report low compensation rates per course across all institutional categories.
- Part-time faculty respondents saw little, if any, wage premium based on their credentials. Their compensation lags behind professionals in other fields with similar credentials, and they experienced little in the way of a career ladder (such as higher wages after several years of work).
- Professional support for part-time faculty members’ work outside the classroom and inclusion in academic decision making was minimal.
- Part-time teaching is not necessarily temporary employment, and those teaching part-time do not necessarily prefer a part-time to a full-time position. Over 80% of respondents reported teaching part-time for more than three years, and over half for more than six years. Furthermore, over three-quarters of respondents said they have sought, are now seeking, or will be seeking a full-time tenure-track position, and nearly three-quarters said they would definitely or probably accept a full-time tenure-track position at the institution at which they were currently teaching if such a position were offered.
- Course loads varied significantly among respondents. Slightly more than half taught one course or two courses during the fall 2010 term, while slightly fewer than half taught three or more courses.
If this is not a call to get cracking, whether taking action for change or making other life plans, I don't know what would be. Do we need our own bus full of nuns? No. We need to be our own nuns on that bus. The same goes for letting others, no matter how well meaning their intentions, speak, plan and (when you get right down to it) think for us. The 'Junct Rebellion road trip and dynamic duo is our version.
Survey Related Links:
- Inside HigherEd article, "Non Tenure Track Economics"
- Chronicle article, "Underpaid and Restless: Study Presents a 'Dismal Picture' of Life as a Part-Time Professor"
- blog post ("non-event of the year" and "So it’s official, the dead horse has been beaten once again") by John A Casey Jr, (reblogged by The Adjunct Project, The Homeless Adjunct, Tales from the Adjunctiverse)
- + comments, especially at IHE, CHE and the Adjunct project