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If You Think The Treatment of Adjuncts Doesn’t Impact Tenured Faculty, Think Again

by Jonathan Rees

While this piece from the NYT‘s business section is designed for any worker, it should have special relevance for academics:

These are the kinds of comments I hear in my work as a consultant:

• “I’m overwhelmed, and with all the changes going on here, it’s getting worse. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do my job.”

• “I have new responsibilities that demand creative and strategic thought, but I’m not getting to them.”

• “I have too many meetings to attend, and I can’t get any ‘real’ work done.”

• “I have too many e-mails, and, given day-to-day urgencies, the backlog keeps growing.”

• “I feel like I’m not giving the right amount of attention to what’s most important.”

And here’s a common kicker, for those willing to admit it:

“I just can’t keep going like this.”

To quote the Talking Heads again, “How did I get here?” The answer is technology:

Though one person may now be producing the previous results of three, she’s not being paid three times as much. That’s the whole point of companies using technology and other improvements: fewer people are now needed for the same results.

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Recently Commented

  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...
  • Freddi-Jo Bruschke: An excellent description of this editorial.