June 3rd, 2015
How should adjuncts be hired? What are the best practices? And is the method by which they are hired any indication of how they will be treated on the job?
Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth think so. In their new book, The Humanities, Higher Education, and Academic Freedom: Three Necessary Arguments, Bérubé and Ruth call for (among other things) professionalizing contingent hiring. They note that patronage systems govern the hiring of adjuncts for part-time teaching positions in particular. Their book argues that those ad hoc and casual hiring systems contribute to the mistreatment of the candidates who eventually get those jobs. Because they have not been through a “real” hiring process, they are viewed – by administrators and colleagues – as not “real” members of the academic workforce.
If we are going to treat all teaching positions as real jobs requiring fair pay and benefits, the authors suggest, then the process by which people enter those jobs should be formal and fair.