Let’s Start an Adjunct Revolution!
Everybody complains about the substitution of tenure lines with adjunct positions but nobody is actually doing anything about it.
So here is what I suggest: let’s stop whining and start acting. We need to inflict a lot of hurt on any department that cuts a tenure line. We need to heap shame and scorn on any administrator responsible for destroying scholarship and responsible teaching in this country.
Administrators are terrified of bad publicity. The moment you make the first Google search result with an administrator’s name reflect his or her destructive behavior, said administrator begins to grovel. (Here is an example of how easy it is to make an administrator come to her senses and stop bullying educators. And here is how this story got resolved.)
Here is what you need to do from now on: when your department decides / is forced to cut a tenure line, make that shameful fact public. If you are afraid of doing that under your own name, let somebody else do it for you. Let me know anonymously, and I will make the news public. Send the information to some fearless blogger. Send it to Rebecca Schuman. Send it to College Misery. Start an anonymous blog, give me a link, and I will make sure people read what you have to say.
And when you see a post or an article condemning a specific college for cutting a specific tenure line, help spread the news. Tweet it, link to it, post it on Facebook, send it by email to trusted friends.
No excuses should be acceptable. Is anybody listening to your excuses why you didn’t manage to get a tenure-track job? Is anybody interested in the challenges you face? Does anybody care about the hardship you experience?
It’s time we tell the administrators to stop covering up their incompetence by sacrificing our interests. Cutting a tenure line and hiring an adjunct instead is not the only way to save your program. That is a lie, and anybody who proffers this egregious falsehood should become a pariah in academic circles. It should become dangerous to one’s career even to think it, let alone say it.
There are many of us: contingent, tenured, adjunct, visiting, associate, full, assistant, graduate, post-doctoral, part-time, full-time. Together we make an army. Together we can win.