On Tuesday, Nicky Schildkraut, a college composition teacher, started the Twitter hashtag #NotYourAdjunctSidekick to discuss issues associated with the work and lives of adjunct professors. The hashtag, which began in the spirit of similar recent movements on the social media site, invited former and current non-tenured instructors to share their experiences as frequently overworked, underpaid faculty members.Among other grievanes, users reported limited career paths for would-be professors, the lack of promotional opportunities and poor working conditions. All of this, instructors said, prevents them from teaching to the best of their abilities. A recent survey shows that 98% of adjunct professors think that they are “missing opportunities to better serve their students because of the demands of their schedule.” Al Jazeera America explains: The discussion comes in the wake of recent research showing that most adjunct professors work at poverty or near-poverty wages, as well as several high-profile stories detailing homelessness, lack of health insurance, and death among their ranks. … Recently, the plight of adjunct professors has caught the attention of Congress. The Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce released a report outlining research and anecdotal stories about working conditions for contingent faculty.
Ana Martinez is a Spring 2014 intern.