A Tenured Professor On Why Hiring Adjuncts Is Wrong
TPM April 13th, 2015
As the college admissions season winds down, I have some hard
choices to make, but my dilemma is not about choosing where to enroll.
It’s about how many adjunct instructors I will hire to teach required
courses next fall.
As a department chair at Columbia University, I am compelled to hire
many people on a part-time basis, although they want and deserve
full-time jobs. These adjuncts are among the finest, longest-serving
instructors in many universities, and it’s well known that their lasting
contributions can transform the lives of their students.
It’s also no secret that they are getting a raw deal. Overworked and
underpaid, they often struggle to get by and, when taken to an extreme,
the consequences can be tragic.