The Corporatization of Higher education, through the Eyes of an adjunct professorBy Joseph A. Domino From 2005-2006 I worked my last year (30th) as a technical writer making $65k — nothing to sneeze at. Then one Friday morning I was summoned to my manager’s office and was told my position was being eliminated. At age 54, this should have been devastating. As I packed up, co-workers consoled and asked what I would do. Smiling, a bit perversely, I said “write my memoirs by the pool.” I recall driving home on the interstate, laughing like a mad fool. What gave? I had amassed, through savings and investing (and by being cheap some would say), a decent sum of assets along with, most importantly, zero debt. I knew I would do early retirement in eight years. During the intervening time what might I do? By turns good and bad the technical writing “field” had been decent, but it been a job by default, certainly no career or profession. Back in 1975 I took a master’s degree in English, with the naive hope of teaching college. There were no teaching jobs. Had I gone on for the Ph.D. it may or may not have made a difference. That goal of being an academic in the classroom, the discipline in and focus on literature and writing never left me. In 2007 the local colleges were hiring adjunct professors. And so the dream happened — sort of. For those unfamiliar with the term “adjunct,” it is considered a part-time supplemental teaching position, requiring only 18 graduate credits. I had the master’s. It’s a part-time job if you’re teaching two or three courses. More than that, you’re scraping the 40-hour ceiling, especially when reading student essays. The college deems fit to pay you for class-time only, as if lessons and content sprout fully formed from one’s brain. Read the entire article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-a-domino/working-poor-professor_b_4994393.html
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