Monday, July 28, 2014

When a college contracts ‘adjunctivitis,’ it’s the students who lose

PBS NewsHour
July 25th, 2014

Soon, American college students will be returning to campus — or perhaps arriving at one for the first time. Students and their parents may not know, however, that they’re arriving on what a New York Times headline from February called “the new college campus.” Virtually gone are the days when a majority of professors were full-time and tenured (or at least tenure-eligible), which gave students a remarkable amount of stability, educational continuity and mentorship opportunities. Nowadays, such professors are the minority of college educators.
In their place are ever-increasing ranks of adjunct professors — some part-time, some full-time, all effectively impermanent. This true new faculty majority comprises almost 75 percent of professors at both private and public institutions. Adjuncts’ contingent, precarious situation is directly linked to the ever-rising cost of tuition that students and their parents will be paying off — perhaps for decades. To be an adjunct professor means several troubling things...

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