Times are tough for everyone, and I have spent the past 18 years writing about the issues that impact the nation’s 700,000 faculty off of the tenure-track. When I began in 1992, there were 300,000 part-time faculty. Today, the Department of Education estimates that there are between 400,000 and 500,000 college faculty who hold temporary appointments. The remaining faculty off of the tenure-track are those who hold full-time temporary appointments, such as lectureships, visiting appointments and fixed-term teaching jobs.
Just as the nature of the individual teaching part-time has changed since the late-70s (when 25 percent of faculty were part-time and the majority of those part-time faculty were professionals hired to teach specific courses), the Adjunct Advocate magazine has changed, as well. The publication was in print from 1992-2006. It was then that I decided to make the Adjunct Advocate an electronic publication with an accompanying PDF version. As technology evolved, and it became clear that downloading a PDF no longer appealed to most subscribers, I decided that Adjunct Advocate would exist as an e-zine, online only. Many larger publications followed Adjunct Advocate online, including the Christian Science Monitor and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
What I was left puzzling out was the relationship between Adjunct Advocate and the magazine’s web page, AdjunctNation.com. As you know, AdjunctNation is not simply a companion site the Adjunct Advocate. It was never meant to be. It was designed to be a place for non-tenured faculty to come to use a variety of resources, such as the message boards, syllabus vault, and of course read the editorial content. Over the past six months, we have been working on the most effective way to leverage the almost 1,000 articles from the archived issues of Adjunct Advocate that readers can find online at AdjunctNation.com, and the idea of blogging combined with an e-zine. Blogs are instantaneous. Andrew Sullivan, who blogs on popular culture for The Atlantic, updates his blog multiple times each day.
It seemed to me that there should be some way to combine the immediacy of a blog and the aspect of an online magazine. What I came up with and what we launched in November 2009 was the AdjunctNation.com E-Zine. When you visit the E-Zine page you will find a new icon that announces there is current content posted to the site. Some of the content will change over the course of a given month (like a blog) and be moved into our archive, where you can find it using the same article identifiers we have been using for 18 years. You’ll be able to search through features, news, reviews, interviews, profiles, etc…just as you always have, and we’ll be able to freshen content much more frequently!
We’ve gone from a bimonthly online publication to an E-Zine that offers current content much more frequently than ever before. We’re not modeling InsideHigherEd.com and its daily news updates, but rather still focusing completely on faculty off the tenure-track on more in-depth analysis and reporting. Another change you’ll be seeing is that we are adding more bloggers to the site. At the moment, there are four blogs, you can expect that number of double over the course of the next few weeks. Visitors should look for new content daily on AdjunctNation.com.
The other main concern I have always had was how to price the Adjunct Advocate so that a subscription was within reach of everyone who wanted one. Over the years, we have given away many subscriptions free of charge to part-time faculty who found themselves unable to pay. In 1992, a subscription was priced at $18 per year. That eventually rose to $35 per year for the print edition. Today, almost 20 years later, the new AdjunctNation.com Site Pass is priced at $20 per year, and includes access to all of the articles in the archive, as well as access to current content for one year. I am pleased most by the ability offer so much to our non-tenured faculty readers for a relatively modest sum. As always, if you find yourself unable to pay, but want to have a Site Pass, email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We are also in the process of revamping the e-newsletters. Both will be renamed as email alerts, but content of each will stay the same. Finally, have a look at the JOB-LIST. It is the largest collection of jobs for non-tenured faculty anywhere online. I am delighted at the changes, and at the opportunity to serve the population of faculty off the tenure-track in ways that are absolutely unique and, at the same time, familiar to those who have seen the development of the web site and AdjunctNation.com E-Zine. Adjunct Advocate/AdjunctNation.com has, once again, reinvented what it means to serve up information and resources to the majority of our nation’s college faculty, the ones who teach off the tenure-track. Going forward, we will work together to make AdjunctNation.com and the E-Zine a first stop online for tens of thousands of part-time, adjunct, full-time temporary and visiting college faculty.