Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Side Note - Go Read about Adjuncting, Now

Something I never realized until I started reading other post-academic blogs was the way that adjuncting is, more and more, holding up the entire university system on the backs of people with completed Ph.D's who work for less money than I make via my grad student stipend while teaching 3 or 4 classes per semester on multiple campuses, with no benefits.

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!

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