Adjuncts in the academy

The tone of this NY Times article on the use of adjuncts struck me as odd. Perhaps because I am inside the ivory tower, the handwringing over the quality of education provided by adjuncts seems over-exaggerated. A bigger problem seems to be how the adjuncts themselves have no power and no real support, a point which is mentioned in the article but with a different spin. Some of this came out in the letters to the editor, but I think the article’s bias shows a bit about who the NY Times’ audience is — parents worried about whether they’re getting a good deal for their money on their kid’s education.

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0 thoughts on “Adjuncts in the academy

  1. I didn’t realize that reliance on so *many* adjuncts was such a problem in the lower-tier schools. I think they’re useful (maybe moreso than regular professors) when you want someone with real-world experience whose focus is teaching, but then, if they’re teaching that many classes all over the place they can’t focus on the teaching anyhow. Although, this quote made me laugh:

    fill gaps in nursing, math, accounting and other disciplines with a shortage of qualified faculty

    I *wish* there were a shortage in math, rather than hundreds of people applying for each position. Maybe there’s a shortage of departments wanting to pay for tenure-track positions like the rest of the article says, but I’m not sure I’m convinced there’s a shortage of people with math PhDs out there.

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