Academe’s House Rules

By Steve Street

In a report on part-time faculty members issued by the American Federation of Teachers in March, one paragraph opens with a stunning line: Adjuncts, it reads, “have varying degrees of seniority at the institutions where they work.”

The paragraph, in “American Academic: A National Survey of Part-Time/Adjunct Faculty,” goes on to parse how many of the 500 faculty members surveyed have been teaching at the same institution (60 percent), and for how long (six to 20 years). So much for the common wisdom that adjuncts are not worth higher compensation, because we’re not committed to our institutions.


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