Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ph.D.s on Food Stamps

The Chronicle posts an expose about adjuncts and temporary faculty who are on food stamps.

From a quick glance, the piece seems well-researched and well-written. I'm happy to see them quoting folks from the New Faculty Majority and referencing the Adjunct Project.

And while I'll have to take some time over the next few days to give it a closer read before I have more to say about it, I'll just say for now that I'm thrilled to see the Chronicle bringing this "dirty little secret" of higher education staffing to light.

As the adjuncts in the story report, this is an embarrassing reality for them that they don't like to talk about. And indeed, it seems that the reality that adjuncts are on food stamps is an embarrassing reality that the higher education system in this country would like to keep under wraps. So good on the Chronicle for bringing this issue to the very public forefront. The situation for adjuncts isn't going to improve overnight, but at least shedding some public light on it increases the likelihood that something will change at some point in the future.

After all ... if parents around the country begin to realize that the "impressive faculty" that they are spending tens of thousands of dollars to send their children to study under are actually adjuncts who are jetting around between four campuses and therefore aren't around to meet with and advise their children on their studies and their career goals? I can't imagine they'd be very enthusiastic about continuing to support those schools with all of their hard-earned money.

And if those same parents learn that their tens of thousands of tuition dollars are being used to build shiny new buildings and give a massive raise to the Assistant Vice President of Getting More Money for the University while their children's professors are lining up at food banks? I don't think the parents would have to be card-carrying Occupy Movement members to get pretty upset about something like that.

So a hearty "good job" to the Chronicle. I encourage my readers to share this article far and wide.


  1. I just posted about this article on my blog. Not the article per se, but someone's reaction to it..and my reaction to their reaction. Let's just say I am shaking with anger.

  2. Just posted about this article on MY blog, too! :) http://mamanervosa.com/2012/05/21/lets-talk-about-debt-part-1-the-real-world-economy-versus-the-grad-school-economy/