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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Adjunct Professor Uses Crowdsourcing To Draw Attention To Working Conditions

Adjunct professors don’t have tenure, and they often don’t have the benefits, salary, prestige or training of full time professors.

But adjuncts now make up more than half of all college faculty across the country.

Their pay is often pitiful. As one recent blog put it: “Your kid’s college professor might be on Medicaid.”

Now some adjunct are wondering, should they organize.

Joshua Boldt is a freshman composition instructor at the University of Georgia and he was recently inspired to create a public Google document, where adjunct professors can list their pay and benefits.

He was only expecting several dozen responses, but he got more than 1,500.

He says his goal is to shine a spotlight on the working conditions of adjunct faculty, and he hopes that universities will reallocate some of their funding to pay adjuncts better.

‘I Was Barely Able To Feed Myself’

Joshua Boldt told Here & Now‘s Robin Young that his impetus to speak out started when he first became an adjunct at Eastern Kentucky University.

“I really enjoyed what I was doing but there was no way I could make a living… I was barely able to feed myself let alone chip away at any of the debt that I had,” he said.

Boldt has since left that job for another adjunct position as a freshman composition instructor at the University of Georgia, where he says he has much better pay and is treated better by the department.

Are you an adjunct professor? Tell us what your working conditions are in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

Guest:

  • Joshua Boldt, adjunct freshman composition instructor at the University of Georgia, founder of “The Adjunct Project

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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