Inside Higher Ed
May 6th, 2015
The idea that most adjunct instructors have day jobs and teach one or
two courses per semester to make a little extra cash or fulfill a
desire for service, or both, has been pretty thoroughly debunked. But a
new study published in The Journal of Higher Education offers
the most up-to-date data on just how many part-time instructors want a
full-time teaching job and can’t find one: some 73 percent.
Perhaps even more noteworthy is the finding that underemployment
isn’t adjuncts’ leading cause of job dissatisfaction. Rather, it’s their
perceived lack of respect from full-time faculty colleagues and
administrators. And while making adjuncts feel like a genuine, essential
part of the academic enterprise won’t be easy, the study argues, it’s
also not that hard. Little things, such as offering teaching awards or
professional development opportunities, go a long way, and they need to
become more commonplace.