No need to worry about ''tenured radicals'' anymore. According to the NYTimes: ''Professors with tenure or who are on a tenure track are now a distinct minority on the country’s campuses, as the ranks of part-time instructors and professors hired on a contract have swelled, according to federal figures analyzed by the American Association of University Professors.'' What percentage of people teaching in colleges and universities are adjuncts? According to the report, about seventy percent, although that's a bit hard to believe.
Apparently, university administrators are trying to recreate the striking success of American public high schools in the university sector. Judging by the article, it sounds like adjuncts make approximately $2,000 a course and teach about five courses a semester. They say you should spend two or three hours outside of class preparing for each hour in class, not to mention the time spent grading. So, now we're talking about a PhD getting about $20,000 a year to work 50-60 hours a week, or more, with no benefits or job security. Higher ed is starting to sound like a Ponzi scheme.
Why are administrators phasing out tenure? I'd guess so that they can treat instructors like temps. According to the article ''The shift from a tenured faculty results from financial pressures, administrators’ desire for more flexibility in hiring, firing and changing course offerings, and the growth of community colleges and regional public universities focused on teaching basics and preparing students for jobs.'' Or, basically, so they can treat instructors like temps.
The public has yet to catch on to the fact that their kids are being taught by part-timers, graduate students, and temps without PhDs. It's not clear that they'd be unhappy with the situation anyway. As one provost puts it, “We have to contend with increasing public demands for accountability, increased financial scrutiny, and declining state support.” The
public, apparently, has yet to notice the ridiculous cost of maintaining a top-heavy, needless glut of administrators at most universities. And usually a money pit sports program on top of that. But it's easy to appeal to their knee-jerk animus against ''elitists'' and ''eggheads'' and ''hippies with tenure''. What was that Joe Biden line? ''Don't tell me what you value; you show me your budget and I'll tell you what you value.'' No shit.
As for the tenured professors, to say that they don't worry about the non-tenure track untouchables would be unfair- they'd have to notice them first.
As for the students, we'll see how long universities can keep short-changing them. I'd give it another decade, at most. But, understand this, my dear undergraduates,- when you have a grad student like myself teaching you, while trying to finish a dissertation, you are not getting an education anything like what you would recieve from a full-time professor who has years of experience and the time to develop a rewarding or enriching course. And that's what you should be expecting from a university education.
The silver lining to all of this crapola? According to this study, and others like it, Canadian universities will likely have to replace about half of their faculty in the next decade as the baby boomers retire. And, from what I can tell, they still value education in Canada. (dirty commies!) Besides, the Canadian economy is booming and it's really not that cold here. So, I'd suggest that American grad students, PhDs, adjuncts, and instructors leave the Ponzi scheme behind and move north of the border.