There’s an interesting piece in the most recent edition of NUVO Newsweekly regarding the pay and working conditions of adjunct faculty here in Indianapolis. For those of you who don’t know exactly what that means, an adjunct faculty member is someone who teaches part-time at the college level. They usually have a Master’s Degree or better in their field. Some people use the adjunct position as a way to land a full-time teaching gig at a school, some do it to stay busy, others do it because it’s a nice way to make a few bucks on the side.
As many of you know I teach part-time at the University of Indianapolis in its MBA program and also at Ivy Tech where I’ve taught communications, political science and English. The NUVO article focused on the pay and benefits of some adjuncts and horrible they are treated in some instances. One of the big sticking points was the lack of benefits. No offense, but it’s a part-time job. Albeit an important one, but still a part-time job.
I know of very few part-time jobs that offer insurance, sick leave, guaranteed raises etc., etc. There is no reason why part-time teaching should be any exception. The last part-time job I knew that offered anything close to full-time benefits was Starbucks. Maybe people who don’t like their teaching jobs can go work there.
When you took the job, you knew what you were getting into. It seems to me a little late to start complaining. Maybe that’s where the real lesson is.