Class ends Students pack up and head back to their dorms The professor meanwhile goes to her car to catch a little sleep and then eat a cheeseburger in her lap before driving across the city to a different university to teach another wholly different class All for a paycheck that once prep and grading are factored in barely reaches minimum wage   Welcome to the life of the mind in the gig economy Over the past few decades the job of college professor has been utterly transformed—for the worse America’s colleges and universities were designed to serve students and create knowledge through the teaching research and stability that come with the longevity of tenured faculty but higher education today is dominated by adjuncts In 1975 only thirty percent of faculty held temporary or part time positions By 2011 as universities faced both a decrease in public support and ballooning administrative costs that number topped fifty percent Now some surveys suggest that as many as seventy percent of American professors are working course to course with few benefits little to no security and extremely low pay   In The Adjunct Underclass Herb Childress draws on his own firsthand experience and that of other adjuncts to tell the story of how higher education reached this sorry state Pinpointing numerous forces within and beyond higher ed that have driven this shift he shows us the damage wrought by contingency not only on the adjunct faculty themselves but also on students the permanent faculty and administration and the nation How can we say that we value higher education when we treat educators like desperate day laborers?   Measured but passionate rooted in facts but sure to shock The Adjunct Underclass reveals the conflicting values strangled resources and competing goals that have fundamentally changed our idea of what college should be This book is a call to arms for anyone who believes that strong colleges are vital to society  


10 thoughts on “The Adjunct Underclass

  1. says:

    If you think the laws of capitalism were somehow not something academics had to worry about you'd be wrong Although the Tenure Track professors are doing fine thank you there is a class of postdoc the NonTenure Track adjunct who is a PhD level burger flipper Made to teach a semester course at an average rate of 2700 dollars per course when the hours put in are calculated comes out to less than minimum wage in some states in the US This is a class of workers who have the highest credentials but make low wages have no job security are subject to harassment and must remain silent or face reprisal in other words marginal as the most exploited workers in this economy yet entrusted to teach intro courses to freshman at most universities This is a bad situation for the adjuncts the students and yes even the shrinking number of privileged Tenure Track professors who colleges have slowly been replacing with academic burger flippers Eye opening and disturbing no one is safe from the one percentAn hour long discussion with the author about this bookhttpswwwyoutubecomwatch?vR b