N.H. Debates The Growing Reliance On Adjunct Professors

Feb 26, 2015

As the number of teaching positions filled by non-tenure track, often part-time ‘adjunct professors’ has increased, this group gains attention for what it describes as low pay, few benefits, and lack of job security. But with tough financial times at higher ed institutions across the country, schools say there’s just not enough money.

This show was guest-hosted by Brady Carlson.

Credit uniinnsbruck / Flickr/CC

GUESTS:

  • Dana Biscotti Myskowski – adjunct professor at UNH-Manchester. She’s been an adjunct for eleven years, and she teaches media and screen writing classes.
  • Colleen Flaherty – faculty reporter for Inside Higher Ed.
  • Bill Gillett – dean of the School of Business at Southern New Hampshire University
  • Dan King -  president and C.E.O. of the American Association of University Administrators.

LINKS:

  • National Adjunct Walkout Day facebook page
  • Colleges’ use of adjuncts comes under pressure:  "For decades, the nation’s colleges and universities have tried to hold down costs by shifting from reliance on tenured professors to an army of cheaper adjunct instructors. Now that business model is starting to crack, as adjuncts increasingly are winning battles to unionize and schools, in response, have begun to offer long-term contracts and better pay to more of the instructors."
  • The challenges of organizing adjunct professors: "But as he and his fellow activists prepare for a National Adjunct Walkout Day on February 25th—the first nationwide protest of its kind—he is running into a problem: It’s hard to organize a loose collection workers who are hired and fired at will. “The problem is that part-timers as a group…it’s a revolving door,” he said."
  • Colleen Flaherty's report on the 'aspirational goals' of adjunct unions: "But while union leaders admit the number is bold, those involved in the campaign say adjuncts might as well aim big, since they have little to lose. They also say they hope the $15,000 figure will force a national conversation about just how colleges spend their money, if not on middle-class salaries for instructors."
  • Adjunct professors in N.H.: "Many four-year institutions are also seeing a growing number of part-time adjuncts. And while some say a high proportion of adjuncts on campus lowers the quality of a college education, others point out that adjuncts expose students to real world experience they wouldn’t receive otherwise."