Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Litany of Excuses, or Reasons Why Adjuncts Exist

1.  We're not as bad as _____________ .  Currently, in my area, this blank is filled in with Duquesne, which has become the default of the poorest treatment of adjunct faculty. As long as our school doesn't stoop that low, then what we do to adjuncts is fair in comparison.  I mean, hey, we actually allow adjuncts to have offices/computers/attend meetings/(choose the perk).

2.  Hiring any of these adjuncts permanently, no matter how well they're doing, prevents us from maybe possibly someday being granted a sacred tenure track line for something we really need.
Need seems to mean some miniscule specialization that may only teach one such class a term or year, but never seems to mean covering vast quantities of general studies courses.

3.  There just is not enough money to pay for full time teaching, which also means full time benefits.  Meanwhile, here is your invitation to the latest construction project ribbon cutting ceremony on campus.  By the way, have you seen our new dorm/stadium/fitness center? 

4.  Our dean will not let us hire full time adjunct positions.  

5.  We use teaching associates so that our graduate students get more experience.  Teaching associates are totally not contingent labor or exploitable in any way.  They need this.

6.  People choose to be adjuncts.  (Who are these people?)

7.  People just don't apply for permanent jobs, therefore they are stuck being adjuncts.

8.  Really we must be concerned with management's attempts to cut programs, so attending to adjunct issues is a huge distraction.

9.  When I was a newly minted PhD, I was hired right away.  Surely these adjuncts must be doing something wrong.

10.  If one or two of them complain and refuse this offer, there are at least forty more people waiting to take the job anyway, no matter what it is.  

Feel free to add any in the comments.  I'd truly hate to have missed one.  


  1. 11. I already have money, therefore this doesn't concern me. BTW, why are you not making sound financial decisions?

  2. How could I have possibly missed that one?! Thank you, Miranda!