It is hard to know which parts of “Academia’s indentured servants” posted on Aljazeera, and written by Sarah Kendzior, to quote because I find the whole thing so quotable. So here are a couple of important bits that I hope will encourage you to read it all.
On April 8, 2013, the New York Timesreported that 76 percent of American university faculty are adjunct professors – an all-time high. Unlike tenured faculty, whose annual salaries can top $160,000, adjunct professors make an average of $2,700 per course and receive no health care or other benefits.
On Twitter, I wondered why so many professors who study injustice ignore the plight of their peers. “They don’t consider us their peers,” the adjuncts wrote back. Academia likes to think of itself as a meritocracy – which it is not – and those who have tenured jobs like to think they deserved them. They probably do – but with hundreds of applications per available position, an awful lot of deserving candidates have defaulted to the adjunct track.