Adjuncts deserve more

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Adjunct instructors play a significant role in the higher education system nationwide but are not rewarded with the same wages, hours or benefits as full-time professors.

With recent retirement incentives and a 2-to-1 adjunct to professor ratio, it is clear the district is relying more and more on adjuncts.

Adjuncts at all five Alamo Colleges are receiving a 0.9 percent pay raise, or an increase averaging $88 a year.

It’s about time, but what a pittance.

It is sad to see how little they receive, which leads to the question: how highly does this district regard these teachers?

Adjuncts don’t have the same responsibilities as tenured professors — no committee work and fewer office hours — but few are stingy with their time when students line up for help.

And they still have to keep up with grading papers, advising and mentoring students, and filing early alerts and, now, midterm grades despite usually working full time elsewhere.

Who could survive on the pocket change adjuncts are paid? A measly 0.9 percent increase a year is not enough, in fact, it could be viewed as downright insulting.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, “more than 1.3 million people, or 75.5 percent of the instruction workforce” in degree-granting two- and four-year institutions of higher education are part-time or adjunct faculty; full-time, non-tenure-track faculty; or graduate student assistants.

If adjuncts are not invested in their jobs, and they make up at least 75 percent of the national instruction workforce, this spells bad news for America.

How are students supposed to succeed with a part-time faculty?

Priorities show up in the bottom line, not fancy words quickly spoken and more quickly ignored.

It is not fair to expect much in return for so little compensation.

If the district is planning raises for adjunct instructors, at least make it worth the time and paperwork a raise requires.


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