Tuesday, May 12, 2015

An Adjunct’s Farewell

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 12th, 2015

To my students at Assumption College:
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you, but to answer the question many of you have asked: No, I will not be teaching at Assumption College again next year. Although I did receive an offer to return, the conditions that led me to decline that offer are most likely unfamiliar to many of you and your families. This letter aims to remedy that.
I am an adjunct (part-time) instructor. As such, I receive drastically less pay than full-time faculty members, and I receive zero benefits. Assumption College pays me $3,500 per course, which is more than many other institutions pay. But “more,” in this case, is still not even close to “good.” According to my own conservative calculations, I devote roughly 220 hours to every course I teach – including construction, delivery, administration, and evaluation – which means that my compensation equates to $15.91 per hour (less at other colleges). At Assumption, the department for which I teach typically has very few courses available for adjuncts (at other institutions, the number of adjunct-taught courses is often far higher), so I have never taught more than two courses per semester there. (With special administrative approval, I once taught four courses at another college in one semester.)

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