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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

By Popular Demand

More on adjuncts since there’s such huge interest. We pay $32,000 ($4,000 per course × 8 courses) for this job. A tenure-track Assistant Professor gets $42,000. The benefits are identical. So a family of two adjuncts will make $64,000. Which, from what I understand, is higher than the median family income in this country. 

I still believe these should be jobs for MA holders but the only solution is to not have PhD holders apply for them. When I look at the ridiculously poor state of the academic job market in modern languages this year, I’m not seeing how this is going to happen. 

There is a trend currently where businesses are hiring people with degrees in languages for positions in marketing and stuff like that. I think it’s the wave of the future because it makes sense on every level. At least, these are intellectually challenging careers, unlike the life-long teaching of Spanish 101, which is a brain killer. 

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3 thoughts on “By Popular Demand

  1. I hate to quibble, but the job you describe would not be an adjunct job at many institutions. My institution has adjuncts, visitors, and lecturers among the non-tenure track. Adjunct positions are all less than 50%, most are only 25% and they have no benefits. Visitors can be 50-100% and have health insurance, but no retirement benefits. Lecturers are career track employees (like most of the non-teaching administrative staff) and have three to five year contracts, get health and retirement benefits, and raises based on performance and longevity. Your adjuncts sound like our visitors and they are in much better shape than our adjuncts. I think there should be more jobs configured like our lecturers to teach the 101 level courses. Not tenure track, but stable and with decent pay.

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    • It’s because we have unionized contingent labor years ago. Long live unions!

      I believe everybody should unionize because, as you say, this is what makes such jobs good.

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  2. For that we would have them teaching 5 courses. Asst. prof. is 3/3 and 44K.

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