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Professors in Poverty

AthenaAwakened

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The truth is adjuncts are struggling to meet their own needs, and thus struggling to do what they love: teach. About 22 percent of adjunct professors live BELOW the poverty line. That does not account for the thousands of others who live at or just above it, in a US economy who's "poverty line" would actually have to be doubled in the majority of it's cities for a family of three to afford basic living necessities. In short, many adjuncts are poor. With well over a 40 hour work week preparing curriculums, grading papers, and writing lectures, their pay generally averages out to about $10.00 an hour.

The starting pay at Starbucks is generally about $10.00.

Men and women who have dedicated their lives to academia are often taking on course loads on multiple campuses, in hopes of making ends meet. They have no idea if those same courses will be offered the next semester and must do what they can to make their money stretch. Many take jobs outside of academia, from retail to driving Uber to supplement income. Others need even more help. Twenty percent get earned income tax credit payments. Over 100,000 adjunct professors nationwide are on government assistance. Seven percent are on Medicaid.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurie-jones/students-in-debt-professo_b_8402560.html
 

dismal

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Hopefully this educational video will convince many wannabe adjunct professors to pursue a livelihood that society values more than adjunct professoring.
 

AthenaAwakened

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Hopefully this educational video will convince many wannabe adjunct professors to pursue a livelihood that society values more than adjunct professoring.

Society values adjuncts, legislatures and universities don't. So laws and regulations are passed and initiated that allow for poor wages and no benefits.
 

Derec

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The first one, 10 seconds into the video:
English major. "Urban" Education Masters. Education PhD. The low pay is explained due to oversupply of these relatively non-challenging degrees.
Glassdoor says the average for adjuncts is about $30k but that is across disciplines and course loads. Also, if you have a part time course load there is no reason why you should not have another job (like Uber) although I am shocked the first woman in the video still qualifies for public assistance despite two jobs - must be because of the kid(s).
But the most important thing is that adjunct positions are not meant to be long term. They can still look for tenure track positions and/or non-academia work. I guess adjuncts can be compared to post-docs (average pay $45k), which are research-oriented and more common in science and engineering disciplines than adjuncts. Moral of the story: she should have picked a better major.
 

dismal

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Hopefully this educational video will convince many wannabe adjunct professors to pursue a livelihood that society values more than adjunct professoring.

Society values adjuncts, legislatures and universities don't. So laws and regulations are passed and initiated that allow for poor wages and no benefits.

Laws and regulations are the things we do together.
 

Trausti

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Hopefully this educational video will convince many wannabe adjunct professors to pursue a livelihood that society values more than adjunct professoring.

It does seem like there's a glut of adjuncts, especially for liberal arts. I've always viewed adjuncts as just what some professionals do as a side interest or to pad a resume. Don't know why someone would look at it as a career. Besides, I'd guess that there is little movement among the tenured professors. So if you're an adjunct waiting for an opening, you'll probably be waiting for a long, long, time.
 

coloradoatheist

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Hopefully this educational video will convince many wannabe adjunct professors to pursue a livelihood that society values more than adjunct professoring.

Society values adjuncts, legislatures and universities don't. So laws and regulations are passed and initiated that allow for poor wages and no benefits.


I am curious how you say society values adjuncts. Do people hire adjuncts off the street?
 

AthenaAwakened

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Society values adjuncts, legislatures and universities don't. So laws and regulations are passed and initiated that allow for poor wages and no benefits.


I am curious how you say society values adjuncts. Do people hire adjuncts off the street?

Ask a student how much s/he thinks his History 220 professor makes?
Ask a parent how it feels to know his or her child is dining at the home of his econ professor?

Professors are still for the most part thought of as smart and held in some esteem among the general public.

What that public does not know is the differences among an adjunct, an associate, and an assistant professor are or exact which one of those their kid's professor is.

Most people watching that video will probably think adjuncts should be paid more. No one with a PhD should be on food stamps.
 

dismal

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No one with a PhD should be on food stamps.

Nonsense. If no one is willing to pay you to do something there is no "shouldness" that says you should get paid to do it.

My desire to earn a living oiling up supermodels for bikini shoots does not entitle me to make a living oiling up supermodels for bikini shoots.

Even if I get a PhD in supermodel oiling.
 

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Society values adjuncts, legislatures and universities don't. So laws and regulations are passed and initiated that allow for poor wages and no benefits.


I am curious how you say society values adjuncts. Do people hire adjuncts off the street?

If the legislatures and universities pay, say, $25K for a job, but society values the job at more than that, what this generally means is that a typical person would regard getting that work done as worth less to him than $25K in his pocket but worth more to him than $25K in your pocket. Judgments of monetary value are usually content-free noise when you're not the one paying for them.
 

coloradoatheist

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I am curious how you say society values adjuncts. Do people hire adjuncts off the street?

If the legislatures and universities pay, say, $25K for a job, but society values the job at more than that, what this generally means is that a typical person would regard getting that work done as worth less to him than $25K in his pocket but worth more to him than $25K in your pocket. Judgments of monetary value are usually content-free noise when you're not the one paying for them.


Excpet if no one is willing to do that job for less than $25K then the university will have to pay more to find someone. Is there a shortage of adjunct professors? As dismal said, the poor pay should be a statement for someone to say I don't want to be a adjunct professor.
 

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Hopefully this educational video will convince many wannabe adjunct professors to pursue a livelihood that society values more than adjunct professoring.

It does seem like there's a glut of adjuncts, especially for liberal arts. I've always viewed adjuncts as just what some professionals do as a side interest or to pad a resume. Don't know why someone would look at it as a career. Besides, I'd guess that there is little movement among the tenured professors. So if you're an adjunct waiting for an opening, you'll probably be waiting for a long, long, time.

As long as adjuncts are available for low wages, there won't be any openings for tenured professors. That's the point of hiring adjuncts.

The oversupply of advanced degrees in liberal arts was predictable. If a person gets an engineering or business degree, they can expect to find a job as an engineer or manager. There is no such thing occupation as "liberal artist."

In the beginnings of our modern University system of education, colleges produced ministers. A graduate of any of the Oxford colleges was qualified to be a priest of the Anglican Church. The liberal arts study was conceived to give the sons of rich families enough education to prevent them from becoming ignorant boors. It was never intended to be the foundation for a career. These men were never going to work for a living.

These days, colleges pump out English majors and Art majors by the millions, the sons and daughters of the rich, the middle class, and the poor alike. There will always be a need for a certain number of liberal artists, but never that many.

Sooner or later, reality will need to be faced. There is no reason to to work for a degree, which does not qualify a person for a job that pays well enough to pay back the loan which paid the tuition.
 

Trausti

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Sooner or later, reality will need to be faced. There is no reason to to work for a degree, which does not qualify a person for a job that pays well enough to pay back the loan which paid the tuition.

Watch it. The well-paid faculty at the identity politics department of your local university may accuse you of a microagression.

Others benefit if students work toward worthless degrees, even if the students don't.
 

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If the legislatures and universities pay, say, $25K for a job, but society values the job at more than that, what this generally means is that a typical person would regard getting that work done as worth less to him than $25K in his pocket but worth more to him than $25K in your pocket. Judgments of monetary value are usually content-free noise when you're not the one paying for them.


Excpet if no one is willing to do that job for less than $25K then the university will have to pay more to find someone. Is there a shortage of adjunct professors? As dismal said, the poor pay should be a statement for someone to say I don't want to be a adjunct professor.
While there are adjunct professors do wish to be adjunct professors (they have other means of support and this is a sideline), many adjunct professors have no desire to become adjunct professors. My guess is most of them do not want to be adjunct professor - they want to be professors.

The rise of the adjunct professor is part of the long trend in academia to reduce labor costs associated with professors (not administrators).
 

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Sooner or later, reality will need to be faced. There is no reason to to work for a degree, which does not qualify a person for a job that pays well enough to pay back the loan which paid the tuition.

Watch it. The well-paid faculty at the identity politics department of your local university may accuse you of a microagression.

Others benefit if students work toward worthless degrees, even if the students don't.

That's what the system is designed to do. Student loans have allowed colleges to expand programs and inflate tuition far beyond the economic value of the degrees they offer. The result is large numbers of college graduates who seek jobs that are suited for a high school graduate and the special job skills needed are learned on the job.
 

beero1000

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The cost-benefit of replacing tenure lines with adjunct positions is about more than just money.

Sure, adjuncts are cheaper, but they are generally temporary hires that are overworked and less qualified than a tenure hire at the same school. It's a detriment to the hire, the university, the departmental culture, and the students who take their classes.
 

coloradoatheist

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The cost-benefit of replacing tenure lines with adjunct positions is about more than just money.

Sure, adjuncts are cheaper, but they are generally temporary hires that are overworked and less qualified than a tenure hire at the same school. It's a detriment to the hire, the university, the departmental culture, and the students who take their classes.

Are college professors rated on how well they can teach, or what their research is?
 

beero1000

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The cost-benefit of replacing tenure lines with adjunct positions is about more than just money.

Sure, adjuncts are cheaper, but they are generally temporary hires that are overworked and less qualified than a tenure hire at the same school. It's a detriment to the hire, the university, the departmental culture, and the students who take their classes.

Are college professors rated on how well they can teach, or what their research is?

Both. Traditionally, at a research university promotion decisions are considered at approximately 50% research, 30% teaching, and 20% service.
 

Loren Pechtel

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It does seem like there's a glut of adjuncts, especially for liberal arts. I've always viewed adjuncts as just what some professionals do as a side interest or to pad a resume. Don't know why someone would look at it as a career. Besides, I'd guess that there is little movement among the tenured professors. So if you're an adjunct waiting for an opening, you'll probably be waiting for a long, long, time.

As long as adjuncts are available for low wages, there won't be any openings for tenured professors. That's the point of hiring adjuncts.

The oversupply of advanced degrees in liberal arts was predictable. If a person gets an engineering or business degree, they can expect to find a job as an engineer or manager. There is no such thing occupation as "liberal artist."

In the beginnings of our modern University system of education, colleges produced ministers. A graduate of any of the Oxford colleges was qualified to be a priest of the Anglican Church. The liberal arts study was conceived to give the sons of rich families enough education to prevent them from becoming ignorant boors. It was never intended to be the foundation for a career. These men were never going to work for a living.

These days, colleges pump out English majors and Art majors by the millions, the sons and daughters of the rich, the middle class, and the poor alike. There will always be a need for a certain number of liberal artists, but never that many.

Sooner or later, reality will need to be faced. There is no reason to to work for a degree, which does not qualify a person for a job that pays well enough to pay back the loan which paid the tuition.

Second this. Too many people go for the easy degree rather than the degree that will pay well.
 

dismal

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It seems like some degrees prepare you for nothing else but to teach that degree.

Obviously if you're sitting in a class getting a degree in X with 15 other people who want to become a teacher of X someone is heading for disappointment, and may be wasting their time and money.
 

Trausti

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It seems like some degrees prepare you for nothing else but to teach that degree.

Obviously if you're sitting in a class getting a degree in X with 15 other people who want to become a teacher of X someone is heading for disappointment, and may be wasting their time and money.

But isn't the point of this exercise to find a way to blame someone else - capitalists, society, the Koch brothers, etc. - for your bad decisions?
 

beero1000

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Can we get back on topic? The point of the thread is to discuss whether or not the trending university model of hiring low wage adjuncts to teach courses is reasonable, not to disparage people for the topics they chose to study.

And, btw, there are plenty of STEM adjuncts making a few thousand dollars per course, not to mention those who spend a decade or more on the post-doc merry-go-round. IIRC, around 40% of STEM academics were either postdocs or contingent faculty.
 

AthenaAwakened

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Can we get back on topic? The point of the thread is to discuss whether or not the trending university model of hiring low wage adjuncts to teach courses is reasonable, not to disparage people for the topics they chose to study.

And, btw, there are plenty of STEM adjuncts making a few thousand dollars per course, not to mention those who spend a decade or more on the post-doc merry-go-round. IIRC, around 40% of STEM academics were either postdocs or contingent faculty.

but it is so much more fun to piss and moan about "evil liberal arts" than to discuss the fact that the people teaching the next generation are having to supplement their income with public relief.
 

Trausti

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Can we get back on topic? The point of the thread is to discuss whether or not the trending university model of hiring low wage adjuncts to teach courses is reasonable, not to disparage people for the topics they chose to study.

And, btw, there are plenty of STEM adjuncts making a few thousand dollars per course, not to mention those who spend a decade or more on the post-doc merry-go-round. IIRC, around 40% of STEM academics were either postdocs or contingent faculty.

but it is so much more fun to piss and moan about "evil liberal arts" than to discuss the fact that the people teaching the next generation are having to supplement their income with public relief.

But it's still a choice, they made a choice to obtain a low-value degree and pursue the difficult course in an attempt to gain a tenured professorship. At what point are people to take responsibly for their own choices? If the path you choose is not working for you, then consider doing something different.
 

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Hopefully this educational video will convince many wannabe adjunct professors to pursue a livelihood that society values more than adjunct professoring.

What else could we possibly expect you to say. I don't know. You could be right. But that does not necessarily make your idea of "society" necessarily right. I have a sneaking suspicion there is quite a bit YOU COULD LEARN FROM AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR....enough that they should perhaps be given full time life supporting jobs. Your contempt for anybody getting a raw deal is at times overwhelming.:rolleyes:
 

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Can we get back on topic? The point of the thread is to discuss whether or not the trending university model of hiring low wage adjuncts to teach courses is reasonable, not to disparage people for the topics they chose to study.

And, btw, there are plenty of STEM adjuncts making a few thousand dollars per course, not to mention those who spend a decade or more on the post-doc merry-go-round. IIRC, around 40% of STEM academics were either postdocs or contingent faculty.

Why not?

I grew up in an academic environment and I'm pretty familiar with the workings of a college. First, tenured professors are all that well paid, compared to a similar position in private industry. Most professors(probably all of them) chose academia for reasons other than money. This puts them in a weak position when it comes time to talk about salary.

The lower down the faculty status, the worse it gets. The adjunct professor is a strange creature. He/she has the credentials to teach advanced classes(above a mere instructor's abilities), but none of the perks that usually come with the job. He/she is basically a contractor, not much different than someone hired to replace the carpet.

Whether this is reasonable or not, is a strange question. The college administration certainly has reasons for hiring adjuncts. Their job is to deliver a quality education to their tuition paying customers. In recent years, there has been a sort of sea change in the academic world, or actually the political world. The portion of a college education paid by the state(that's tax payers) was once seen as an investment in the economic future of the Republic. An educated citizenry was a prosperous citizen.

A good deal of that sentiment has been lost. It's been replaced by a "I don't have kids, why should I pay for schools?" mentality. This is sort of the price we pay for a poorly educated citizenry. It's a bonehead stupid attitude, but very common. This means it's very easy for politicians to squeeze college budgets and raise fees.

This means cheaper faculty is necessary in many cases. Of course, the college gets what it pays for. An adjunct professor will not be looking for research grants, which bring in outside funds and prestige to the college. The adjunct professor really doesn't have a true interest in the future of the college, so maintaining academic standards might not be a strong priority. I once went to a economics graduate assistant to make a pitch for a higher grade on an exam. One question was ambiguous, so I made a pitch for my answer. He listened and thought about it for a minute and then added 10 points to my score. "Then he says, "I probably wouldn't do this, if I knew I was staying." I didn't ask what that meant.
 

Loren Pechtel

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It seems like some degrees prepare you for nothing else but to teach that degree.

Obviously if you're sitting in a class getting a degree in X with 15 other people who want to become a teacher of X someone is heading for disappointment, and may be wasting their time and money.

Yup--we have a lot of fields that basically exist to perpetuate themselves.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Can we get back on topic? The point of the thread is to discuss whether or not the trending university model of hiring low wage adjuncts to teach courses is reasonable, not to disparage people for the topics they chose to study.

And, btw, there are plenty of STEM adjuncts making a few thousand dollars per course, not to mention those who spend a decade or more on the post-doc merry-go-round. IIRC, around 40% of STEM academics were either postdocs or contingent faculty.

Trending?? My mother was caught in this sort of thing back in the 70s. They were happy to have her fill in, they wouldn't bring her on full time. (Officially because that would violate a rule about multiple family members in a department. She was willing to forego her vote in department issues to alleviate that issue, though. In practice she felt it was religious discrimination--she wasn't Mormon, most in the department were.)

(And it means that when she ended up flunking the star women's basketball player she was out, also--something she had been considering doing anyway so it was no great loss.)
 

beero1000

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Yes, trending...

AAUP_Trends_In_Professor_Employment.JPG

Anecdotes notwithstanding, this is about the current trend of the replacement of tenure lines with indefinitely filled poverty-wage adjunct positions.

This is a bad thing. It is bad for students, bad for universities, bad for professors, and bad for adjuncts. It should be resisted, but it is still happening because it is cheap.
 

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AthenaAwakened said:
Society values adjuncts, legislatures and universities don't. So laws and regulations are passed and initiated that allow for poor wages and no benefits.

I am curious how you say society values adjuncts. Do people hire adjuncts off the street?

Ask a student how much s/he thinks his History 220 professor makes?
Ask a parent how it feels to know his or her child is dining at the home of his econ professor?

Professors are still for the most part thought of as smart and held in some esteem among the general public.

What that public does not know is the differences among an adjunct, an associate, and an assistant professor are or exact which one of those their kid's professor is.

Most people watching that video will probably think adjuncts should be paid more. No one with a PhD should be on food stamps.

Hmmmmm, why does this OP reek of a special pleading? You wouldn't know someone close who is flirting with this as a career choice, would you?

But you are correct, no one with a PhD should be on food stamps. If they deserve to be "thought of as smart" and "held in esteem" they ought to have no trouble getting a real job and supporting themselves, so let's boot them off. That would solve that annoyance.

On the other hand, there are lots of folks who want the taxpayer to support their own ambitions for their hobby. All their self-serving propaganda is nothing more than a encrypted gibberish, decoded as: "Gimmie...gimmie...gimmie cause I'm special!".

And apparently its not enough that their hobbyist enthusiasms are paid for by the public providing them food stamps, Obamacare, and EITC...nope they want more.

Here's a thought. It is absurd that some folks who support their families by hard work on fish trawlers, welding, housing painting, cooking, garbage collecting, telemarketing, etc. should be paying taxes so as to promote the dreamy good life of some upper-middle class child aspiring to be well-paid academic.

When you send a fat check to every commoner with a dream, then get back to me.
 

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I am curious how you say society values adjuncts. Do people hire adjuncts off the street?

Ask a student how much s/he thinks his History 220 professor makes?
Ask a parent how it feels to know his or her child is dining at the home of his econ professor?

Professors are still for the most part thought of as smart and held in some esteem among the general public.

What that public does not know is the differences among an adjunct, an associate, and an assistant professor are or exact which one of those their kid's professor is.

Most people watching that video will probably think adjuncts should be paid more. No one with a PhD should be on food stamps.

Hmmmmm, why does this OP reek of a special pleading? You wouldn't know someone close who is flirting with this as a career choice, would you?

But you are correct, no one with a PhD should be on food stamps. If they deserve to be "thought of as smart" and "held in esteem" they ought to have no trouble getting a real job and support themselves, so let's boot them off. That would solve that annoyance.

On the other hand, there are lots of folks who want the taxpayer public to support their own ambitions and hobby. All their self-serving propaganda is the modern Enigma Code of: "Gimmie...gimmie...gimmie cause I'm special!". And apparently its not enough that their hobbyist enthusiasm is paid for by the public providing them food stamps, Obamacare, and EITC...nope they want more.

Here's a thought. It is absurd that some folks who support their families by hard work on fish trawlers, welding, housing painting, cooking, garbage collecting, telemarketing, etc. should be paying taxes so as to promote the dreamy good life of some upper-middle class would be academic.

When you send a fat check to every commoner with a dream, get back to me.

I tend to agree with these sentiments in the context of the world we live in, but can we at least agree that a world that's a reflection of natural selection is *not* how we want things to work? If anything, I'd argue that's where society is naturally moving.

Yea, I made better choices then some other people, and yea maybe that's the way of the world in 2015, but let's at least do our best to make sure the guy who made a bad decision isn't lying in a gutter.
 

beero1000

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Both. Traditionally, at a research university promotion decisions are considered at approximately 50% research, 30% teaching, and 20% service.

What is "service"?

Generally, things like being appointed to faculty committees, advising students, organizing conferences, serving in the governance of a scholarly society or journal, etc.
 

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What is "service"?

Generally, things like being appointed to faculty committees, advising students, organizing conferences, serving in the governance of a scholarly society or journal, etc.

Thank you.

I've heard the saying "publish or die" - I guess when research is weighted so much higher than teaching and advising students, that explains the saying. It also explains why actual classes are taught be assistants or adjuncts?
 

beero1000

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Generally, things like being appointed to faculty committees, advising students, organizing conferences, serving in the governance of a scholarly society or journal, etc.

Thank you.

I've heard the saying "publish or die" - I guess when research is weighted so much higher than teaching and advising students, that explains the saying. It also explains why actual classes are taught be assistants or adjuncts?

Pretty much.

The culture at many top research universities focuses almost solely on research. Faculty teach a few large undergraduate lectures, but most of the work is done by graduate students and adjuncts. This is starting to change at some universities, with the hiring of 'clinical' professors whose focus is on teaching. Of course, the caste system begins immediately after the change - research professors consider themselves 'better' than clinical professors, etc... The hope is that that goes away eventually.

On the other hand, you have the liberal arts colleges where the weights are more like 50% teaching 30% research, 20% service, and good teaching is much more valued.
 

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but it is so much more fun to piss and moan about "evil liberal arts" than to discuss the fact that the people teaching the next generation are having to supplement their income with public relief.
It's not so much that "liberal arts" themselves are evil generally (although it can be argued parts of them are), but that way too many PhDs they graduate are "surplus to requirements".
 

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And, btw, there are plenty of STEM adjuncts making a few thousand dollars per course, not to mention those who spend a decade or more on the post-doc merry-go-round. IIRC, around 40% of STEM academics were either postdocs or contingent faculty.
But they tend to make significantly more than those in lib arts so they make for poor sob stories. Georgia has a nifty website where anyone can look up the salary of any state employee, including faculty at public universities. So I went to http://www.math.gatech.edu/people/faculty to see who is listed as adjunct and cross-referenced it with the salary website (it does not itself differentiate professor levels) to see how much they make. Result: $150k-$200k. Not bad! Postdocs (for some reason referred to as "assistant professor" on the salary website) still made around $50k. At the ECE faculty adjuncts made a little less: $90k-$190k. Postdocs weren't listed by name.
Georgia Tech is a top tier school though, but still it shows adjunct doesn't necessarily mean pauper.
 

beero1000

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And, btw, there are plenty of STEM adjuncts making a few thousand dollars per course, not to mention those who spend a decade or more on the post-doc merry-go-round. IIRC, around 40% of STEM academics were either postdocs or contingent faculty.
But they tend to make significantly more than those in lib arts so they make for poor sob stories. Georgia has a nifty website where anyone can look up the salary of any state employee, including faculty at public universities. So I went to http://www.math.gatech.edu/people/faculty to see who is listed as adjunct and cross-referenced it with the salary website (it does not itself differentiate professor levels) to see how much they make. Result: $150k-$200k. Not bad! Postdocs (for some reason referred to as "assistant professor" on the salary website) still made around $50k. At the ECE faculty adjuncts made a little less: $90k-$190k. Postdocs weren't listed by name.
Georgia Tech is a top tier school though, but still it shows adjunct doesn't necessarily mean pauper.

Yeah, no. You're not looking for full professors who have shifted to part time, or industry professionals who have agreed to teach courses in their area of expertise, you're looking for temporary positions. Also, the vast majority of the exploitative positions are not at top universities, they are at smaller schools.

For Georgia Tech they are filed under "TEMPORARY FACULTY" and the vast majority of them made well under $40k.

If we look at the Georgia Technical Colleges, there are 2,981 people listed under "ADJUNCT FACULTY-APO", and exactly 5 of them made more than $40k (all of those under $50k), exactly 43 made over $30k, and 274 made over $20k. Also, there are 1,955 people listed under "ADJUNCT FACULTY HRLY" and exactly 10 of them made over $40k, exactly 35 of them made over $30k, and exactly 168 of them made over $20k.

What do you think happens to the ~4500 adjuncts that made under twenty thousand dollars in 2014?
 

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Hopefully this educational video will convince many wannabe adjunct professors to pursue a livelihood that society values more than adjunct professoring.
dismal, Margaret Thatcher once stated that there is no such thing as society. If she is so very wrong, then why have your ideological compatriots made her into such a great hero?

If a lot of people do what you want them to, do you promise not to whine about "labor shortages"?

This is also addressed to everybody else in this thread who has sneered at adjunct professors as losers and failures. If everybody gets what right-wingers consider the virtuous sort of degree, like a MBA or a degree in flnance or corporate law, and there's a glut of would-be business managers, financiers, and corporate lawyers, then do you promise not to say that it's their fault for reducing the pay of those professions by getting those degrees?
 

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Can we get back on topic? The point of the thread is to discuss whether or not the trending university model of hiring low wage adjuncts to teach courses is reasonable, not to disparage people for the topics they chose to study.

And, btw, there are plenty of STEM adjuncts making a few thousand dollars per course, not to mention those who spend a decade or more on the post-doc merry-go-round. IIRC, around 40% of STEM academics were either postdocs or contingent faculty.

Is the quality of the education declining? If not, then it seems reasonable to me.

- - - Updated - - -

Can we get back on topic? The point of the thread is to discuss whether or not the trending university model of hiring low wage adjuncts to teach courses is reasonable, not to disparage people for the topics they chose to study.

And, btw, there are plenty of STEM adjuncts making a few thousand dollars per course, not to mention those who spend a decade or more on the post-doc merry-go-round. IIRC, around 40% of STEM academics were either postdocs or contingent faculty.

but it is so much more fun to piss and moan about "evil liberal arts" than to discuss the fact that the people teaching the next generation are having to supplement their income with public relief.

The solution is to get an education in the higher paying careers, not the lowest paying ones. Computer science degree holders have something like a .8% unemployment rate and I know people who have been offered starting salaries of $90k immediately after graduation. I guarantee you those who teach the computer science students are getting paid quite well.
 

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Here's a thought. It is absurd that some folks who support their families by hard work on fish trawlers, welding, housing painting, cooking, garbage collecting, telemarketing, etc. should be paying taxes so as to promote the dreamy good life of some upper-middle class child aspiring to be well-paid academic.

When you send a fat check to every commoner with a dream, then get back to me.

Good point. I used to do the taxes for a professional fisherman who worked his ass off during the busy season. He also put himself at high risk (it's one of the most dangerous careers). He earned a reasonable ~$60-70k/year at the job. Why should he have to shell out more money via taxes to pay off the people who are oversupplied and comfortable and often come from privileged backgrounds can have more?
 

Axulus

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but it is so much more fun to piss and moan about "evil liberal arts" than to discuss the fact that the people teaching the next generation are having to supplement their income with public relief.
It's not so much that "liberal arts" themselves are evil generally (although it can be argued parts of them are), but that way too many PhDs they graduate are "surplus to requirements".

Exactly. We need them in society, but when you have too many the marginal ones lose value quickly compared to PhDs in general.

The fatal flaw is to compare the average value of all of them combined to the marginal value of those who just barely qualified for the PhD and then say those marginal ones deserve more. The other perspective is that those marginal ones perhaps should've chosen something else.
 

Axulus

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Hopefully this educational video will convince many wannabe adjunct professors to pursue a livelihood that society values more than adjunct professoring.
dismal, Margaret Thatcher once stated that there is no such thing as society. If she is so very wrong, then why have your ideological compatriots made her into such a great hero?

If a lot of people do what you want them to, do you promise not to whine about "labor shortages"?

This is also addressed to everybody else in this thread who has sneered at adjunct professors as losers and failures. If everybody gets what right-wingers consider the virtuous sort of degree, like a MBA or a degree in flnance or corporate law, and there's a glut of would-be business managers, financiers, and corporate lawyers, then do you promise not to say that it's their fault for reducing the pay of those professions by getting those degrees?

If the number of degrees for those professions goes way up, and the pay inevitably falls as a result, then it is their fault if they complain about it. If they are fine with that situation then no problem.

I don't consider the adjuncts losers or failures. That accusation only applies to those who consider the worth of a person to be the pay they receive. If they are happy with their situation that's fine. If they complain about it, they may be a loser for making a dumb choice that was clear ahead of time on what they were getting themselves into and what kind of pay they could expect.

Low pay discourages people from entering oversupplied fields. Distort that and you have even more people trying to enter the field, making the problem even worse.
 

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I don't consider the adjuncts losers or failures. That accusation only applies to those who consider the worth of a person to be the pay they receive.
That's what all the capitalism groupies have been saying here and elsewhere. Like in Francisco d'Anconia's "money speech" in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

Low pay discourages people from entering oversupplied fields. Distort that and you have even more people trying to enter the field, making the problem even worse.
So market failures never happen, I gather.
 

lpetrich

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This is also addressed to everybody else in this thread who has sneered at adjunct professors as losers and failures. If everybody gets what right-wingers consider the virtuous sort of degree, like a MBA or a degree in flnance or corporate law, and there's a glut of would-be business managers, financiers, and corporate lawyers, then do you promise not to say that it's their fault for reducing the pay of those professions by getting those degrees?
If the number of degrees for those professions goes way up, and the pay inevitably falls as a result, then it is their fault if they complain about it.
But they were doing what they were supposed to do, to try to enter high-paying fields.

So why sneer at them for doing that?
 

prideandfall

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I used to do the taxes for a professional fisherman who worked his ass off during the busy season. He also put himself at high risk (it's one of the most dangerous careers). He earned a reasonable ~$60-70k/year at the job. Why should he have to shell out more money via taxes to pay off the people who are oversupplied and comfortable and often come from privileged backgrounds can have more?
i'm 35, have never had so much as a pregnancy scare, and have a vasectomy which i test once or twice a year to make sure it hasn't randomly healed - why should i have to shell out more money via taxes to pay off the people who are too stupid to avoid shitting out a squalling bowl of crotch fruit so they can send the bastards to school?
why should i pay taxes to fund a military that doesn't give me subsidies when it invades another country?
why should i have to get car insurance when i've been driving for 15 years and have never had so much as a ding in a parking lot?

... because we live in a fucking society and propping up civilization comes part and parcel with the whole "not having to scavenge for food or get your head speared off by some hairy mongoloid who wants your womanflesh", that's why.
 

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For Georgia Tech they are filed under "TEMPORARY FACULTY" and the vast majority of them made well under $40k.
But you can live for say $35k in Atlanta so they would make for poor sob stories. Also, how many of them worked only part of the year?

What do you think happens to the ~4500 adjuncts that made under twenty thousand dollars in 2014?
I would say most of them, if not all, would be in lib arts.
 

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