Neither my graduate or undergraduate program used adjuncts (my grad program has tons of grad students to take on that role for them!), so I was woefully unaware of how exploitative and widespread the practice of adjuncting is.
To those of you reading here who are not in a top-5 program (so you're less likely to land a tenure track job due to the hierarchy of rankings), or who are in the humanities or a very specialized field where there are very few job opportunities, I really recommend that you go read some blogs about the reality of adjuncting. This has been eye-opening to me, and has further solidified my decision to leave. Not only do I not want to wind up as an adjunct, but I don't want to contribute to a system that relies so heavily on such an exploitative system.
The list is small now, since I'm just learning about this new area of academia that I was previously pretty ignorant about. But I will tag this post as "resources," and add to it as I find more good blogs and articles about adjuncting life.
Anastasia - blog by a current job-seeking adjunct
Adjunct Nation - a catch-all site for adjuncts, with a number of blogs discussing the nature of adjunct work and a lot of current events and controversies.
After Academe - also linked in my main "leaving academia" resources, this blog is by a former adjunct who writes quite a bit about the specific nature of adjuncting and why she (?) decided to leave.
I also recommend checking out the following articles/posts:
- Chronicle of Higher Education articles and blog posts by Isaac Sweeney, a current adjunct who writes quite a bit about adjuncting life
- "Professor of Desperation" - an article from the Washington Post in 2002, about the daily life of an adjunct professor
- A blog post by Tenured Radical about "advice for adjuncts" that has sparked some serious conversation, both in her comments and around the blogosphere
- A post at IdiotProgrammer, which lists a great deal of comments and links to other articles about the increasing shift toward adjuncting, and its effects on the adjuncts themselves. I was particularly struck by the blue-shaded graft near the beginning of the post. Scary, indeed.
If you have any recommendations for links I should check out, post them in comments or shoot me an email at leavingacademia [at] gmail [dot] com. This is an important part of the reality of academia today, and I don't want to neglect it because I don't know where the good resources are!