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  1. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    29 Sep '17 01:411 edit
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/28/adjunct-professors-homeless-sex-work-academia-poverty

    "Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars.
    Adjunct professors in America face low pay and long hours without the security of full-time faculty.
    Some, on the brink of homelessness, take desperate measures."

    "The wry but weary-sounding middle-aged woman, who lives in a large US city
    and asked to remain anonymous to protect her reputation, is an adjunct
    instructor, meaning she is not a full-time faculty member at any one institution
    and strings together a living by teaching individual courses, in her case
    at multiple colleges."

    "Sex work is one of the more unusual ways that adjuncts have avoided living
    in poverty, and perhaps even homelessness. A quarter of part-time college academics
    (many of whom are adjuncts, though it’s not uncommon for adjuncts to
    work 40 hours a week or more) are said to be enrolled in public assistance
    programs such as Medicaid.

    They resort to food banks and Goodwill, and there is even an adjuncts’
    cookbook that shows how to turn items like beef scraps, chicken bones
    and orange peel into meals. And then there are those who are either on
    the streets or teetering on the edge of losing stable housing."

    "A 2014 survey found that the median income for adjuncts is only
    $22,041 a year, whereas for full-time faculty it is $47,500."

    "Recent reports have revealed the extent of poverty among professors,
    but the issue is longstanding. Several years ago, it was thrust into the
    headlines in dramatic fashion when Mary-Faith Cerasoli, an adjunct professor
    of Romance languages in her 50s, revealed she was homeless and
    protested outside the New York state education department.
    “We take a kind of vow of poverty to continue practicing our profession,”"

    Adjuncting has grown as funding for public universities has fallen by
    more than a quarter between 1990 and 2009. Private institutions also
    recognize the allure of part-time professors: generally they are cheaper
    than full-time staff, don’t receive benefits or support for their personal
    research, and their hours can be carefully limited so they do not teach
    enough to qualify for health insurance.

    This is why adjuncts have been called “the fast-food workers of the academic
    world”: among labor experts adjuncting is defined as “precarious employment”"

    "The professor who turned to sex work said it helps her keep her toehold in the rental market. ...
    Advertising online, she makes about $200 an hour for sex work.
    She sees clients only a handful of times during the semester, and more
    often during the summer, when classes end and she receives no income."

    "Homelessness is a genuine prospect for adjuncts."

    "Teaching was the fantasy, she said, but life on the brink of homelessness was the reality."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yitang_Zhang

    Yitang Zhang earned a PhD in mathematics from Purdue University in 1991.
    For the next eight years, he could not find an academic job. He worked
    at various other jobs (including in a sandwich shop). One report claims
    that sometimes he was homeless. In 1999 he was hired as an adjunct
    lecturer in mathematics at the University of New Hampshire (not known
    as a research university). He became a low-paid excellent teacher.

    In 2013 Yitang Zhang emerged from obscurity (and poverty) when he
    submitted a paper to a mathematical journal that, astonishing everyone,
    had a major breakthrough. He won a 2014 MacArthur 'genius' reward
    of 500,000 USD. He was hired as a full professor at UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Seongnam, S. Korea
    Joined
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    29 Sep '17 02:57
    It is honestly a real crisis. These occupations are so much driven by passion that many are just fully satisfied to have a wage at all if they are doing what they love.

    These sorts of topics are hard because I am not sure what to make of our ever changing economy.
  3. Germany
    Joined
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    29 Sep '17 07:17
    Wow. Adjunct professors make a bit over half of what I did as a PhD student. A consequence of the wave of anti-intellectualism that is enveloping the U.S., I suppose.
  4. Joined
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    29 Sep '17 10:06
    Originally posted by @kazetnagorra
    Wow. Adjunct professors make a bit over half of what I did as a PhD student. A consequence of the wave of anti-intellectualism that is enveloping the U.S., I suppose.
    No mention of the greedy universities?

    It's not like tuition ever goes down, it only goes up and up and up.

    Where exactly is all that money going?
  5. Joined
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    29 Sep '17 11:16
    Originally posted by @whodey
    No mention of the greedy universities?

    It's not like tuition ever goes down, it only goes up and up and up.

    Where exactly is all that money going?
    How else do you get free education for all?

    The other side of this is that many professors make 6 figures or more. You got the haves and the have nots among the faculty.
  6. Germany
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    29 Sep '17 11:29
    Originally posted by @whodey
    No mention of the greedy universities?

    It's not like tuition ever goes down, it only goes up and up and up.

    Where exactly is all that money going?
    You seem to be barking up the wrong tree - I don't think universities should be driven by a profit motive.
  7. Standard memberfinnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    To the Left
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    29 Sep '17 11:48
    Originally posted by @eladar
    How else do you get free education for all?

    The other side of this is that many professors make 6 figures or more. You got the haves and the have nots among the faculty.
    "Free education" can be and has been publicly funded. How it is funded is a choice.

    You correctly identify in your second point that the issue is not only that universities lack funds - though they are often mega businesses. Another issue is one of inequality and unfairness.

    That said, many professors and other academics are tied into business enterprises, using their university positions as a platform to attract clients and sponsors. Indeed, some universities and departments require their academics to generate significant income as a condition of employment. The integration of universities into the business world is presented as a benign and mutually beneficial partnership but in most respects it can be shown to poison academic standards and distort the objectives of the institutions. In important areas, such as research into medicine and drugs, or research related to food, business values demonstrably corrupt research. Privately funded political institutions are also influencing academic work and institutions. In effect, publicly funded institutions are sometimes made available to business "sponsors" at a fraction of their true economic value to that business, a silent and poorly understood technique of theft from the public for private greed.

    The commercialisation of universities has a lot of poisonous side effects, one being their impact on local communities. Around England, many universities have more wealthy Chinese students than British ones. To meet their needs, university towns see the construction of a growing number of "student accommodation" blocks in desirable locations with rents far outside the reach of any but the most wealthy students, often on sites that are needed for decent social housing for the local community.

    One of the great lies today is the idea that education is a private, personal investment in ourselves as economic units of production. Of course, on the contrary, a country's education system is a social, collective resource that plays a major part in sustaining our way of life.

    The way education is funded has huge implications and any country that fails to fund education publicly and in an open, democratic manner, exposes itself to corruption and mismanagement of vital resources.
  8. Joined
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    29 Sep '17 11:51
    Originally posted by @eladar
    How else do you get free education for all?

    The other side of this is that many professors make 6 figures or more. You got the haves and the have nots among the faculty.
    In their defense, they are busy trying to get their students to elect politicians to force them to redistribute it equitably.
  9. Joined
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    29 Sep '17 11:521 edit
    Originally posted by @kazetnagorra
    You seem to be barking up the wrong tree - I don't think universities should be driven by a profit motive.
    So you are happy with the fact that many seem to be doing it cuz they just love it as they live in squalor?

    Besides, prostitution will make them more money, right? And we know what a proponent of prostitution you are.
  10. Joined
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    29 Sep '17 11:54
    Originally posted by @finnegan
    "Free education" can be and has been publicly funded. How it is funded is a choice.

    You correctly identify in your second point that the issue is not only that universities lack funds - though they are often mega businesses. Another issue is one of inequality and unfairness.

    That said, many professors and other academics are tied into business ...[text shortened]... an open, democratic manner, exposes itself to corruption and mismanagement of vital resources.
    Just have guberment to take it all over and it'll be alright!
  11. Joined
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    29 Sep '17 12:081 edit
    Adjuncts make a higher rate of pay than k12 teachers. The ones making 22k are not teaching full loads.

    My solution, put university staff on the same pay scale as k12 teachers and make adjunct positions full time.
  12. Joined
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    29 Sep '17 12:11
    Originally posted by @eladar
    Adjuncts make a higher rate of pay than k12 teachers. The ones making 22k are not teaching full loads.

    My solution, put university staff on the same pay scale as k12 teachers and make adjunct positions full time.
    How about the guberment just provide them with housing and food and call it a day?

    What more could they want?
  13. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    New York
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    29 Sep '17 12:331 edit
    Being an adjunct professor is a part time job. Most adjunct professors have full time jobs in addition. If you're solely an adjunct, it means essentially that you have no full time job. Sure, some people cobble together a living by adjuncting for several different schools, But the idea that there's something wrong if an adjunct professor doesn't make a living wage from one school misses the point of what an adjunct professor is.
  14. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    New York
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    29 Sep '17 12:34
    Originally posted by @eladar
    Adjuncts make a higher rate of pay than k12 teachers. The ones making 22k are not teaching full loads.

    My solution, put university staff on the same pay scale as k12 teachers and make adjunct positions full time.
    If you make an adjunct position full time, then it's no longer an adjunct position.
  15. Joined
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    29 Sep '17 13:111 edit
    Originally posted by @sh76
    If you make an adjunct position full time, then it's no longer an adjunct position.
    And if schools start hiring adjunct employees instead of full time employees, they can save a fortune on health care thanks to Obamacare.
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