"Being an adjunct is hard. Unfair wages, few benefits, and little job security leaves many questioning their career choice. We talked to an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago to see what it takes to make life work as a part-time instructor."
“'Our contract doesn’t start until the week before classes,' said Kins Loree, an adjunct who teaches human anatomy and physiology. 'A lot of times we work on good faith. We go ahead and assume that our contract is going to be there, and we start putting in the time.'”
"After over two years of contract negotiations with the University for higher wages, job security, and benefits, some Loyola faculty, working with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73, orchestrated a full day strike. This was in response to an 11-hour provision the University brought to the negotiations table on April 3rd which would have supposedly undermined all of the progress made with the new contract."
"Working on multiple campuses, juggling curricula, and often having to find additional ways to pay the bills — all are reflections of the low pay and high workload that adjuncts bear. Too often, the results are stress and exhaustion. Teacher-student relationships cannot help faltering under that burden."
The plight of non-tenured professors is widely known, but what about the impact they have on the students they’re hired to instruct?
"People who want to teach in the humanities at the college level must accept the fact that they will probably not get a tenure-track position — not right away, at least, and maybe not ever. 'Picking up a couple classes' as an adjunct can quickly become a way of life, with all that that life entails: low pay, no benefits, lack of job security. You might get lucky and land a tenure-track job but, statistically, you probably won’t, and your odds are only slightly better (if that) at a community college than at a four-year institution."
"When I got to graduate school and began investigating post-graduate work, I finally learned what it meant to be an adjunct, and what such positions entailed. When it occurred to me that this was the job Harvey had, I was embarrassed by my naïveté, and angry that the school had never spelled this out for me, had never made it clear that so much of the work that Harvey did for his students was essentially uncompensated."