by P.D. Lesko
It seems ages since I wrote my column. I know that for many of you, this issue of Adjunct Advocate marks a return to the magazine after an interruption in our regular publishing schedule. What we have been doing is planning and implementing a huge change in the life of our 15-year-old publication. We have taken the magazine and made it a completely electronic publication. What this means is that readers will no longer receive a print edition. Instead, the contents will be available online, and each issue will be available in PDF format for readers to download, print out and archive.
Why did we do this? For the same reason, 15 years ago, we founded a magazine for part-time and adjunct college faculty. Then, few within higher education were writing about the plight of the nation’s temporary faculty. Inside Higher Education didn’t exist, and The Chronicle of Higher Education touched, usually tangentially, on the subject during the course of reporting on issues impacting full-time faculty and/or administrators. Every so often, a major newspaper would run a piece about the glut of Ph.D. holders competing for a shrinking number of academic jobs. (Of course, the majority of those off the tenure track do not hold Ph.D.s.) The education unions represented part-time faculty, of course, but some union leaders did so unhappily, seeing part-time faculty as loss leaders. It was at that moment, in September of 1992, that we launched Adjunct Advocate as a print publication.
In September of 2007, we will re-launch Adjunct Advocate as an electronic resource. We will join the growing number of magazines that have left print and, of course, a number that never had print editions, such as Inside Higher Education. The road to this point has been bumpy, to say the least. However, I am positive that this will afford us the opportunity to make several changes print kept us from making.
First of all, we have lowered the cost of an individual subscription by almost 50 percent to $20 for a one-year individual subscription. Over the course of the past 15 years, one consistent complaint from readers has been the cost of a subscription. The cost of paper and printing, as every publisher will tell you, have risen at alarming rates and forced publications across the United States to cut page counts, frequency, as well as trim size. Added to this is the fact that though paper is a renewable resource, we want to publish and make less of an impact on the environment. Finally, for many years, we have been limited to 48 pages due to a need to make each issue profitable. We will expand our page count in the September/October 2007 issue. Readers will see longer, meatier features, essays and interviews.
In the next months, we will work to expand the number of academic libraries that subscribe. You can help by asking the librarian in charge of serial publications at your institution’s library to subscribe to the Adjunct Advocate on behalf of the adjunct faculty.
As always, I want to thank all of our readers for your support, patience, and story ideas. We are back, and looking forward to continuing our coverage of higher education on behalf of part-time faculty. If you have comments about the changes we’re making, please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
In the meantime, enjoy this summer issue. –P.D. Lesko