Traditionally, adjunct professors generally have had full-time jobs and benefits outside the university. Or they were retired faculty. They would have particular expertise in a subject, enjoy teaching one or two classes a year, but did not rely on their adjunct compensation to make a living. Compensation had always been a secondary consideration for them.There's nothing new in any of the above. When a writer for the James G. Martin Center takes up the cause of the New Faculty Majority and the Service Employees International Union, though, business as usual might be done for.
But now, ever more part-time, contingent, and adjunct faculty desire full-time tenure track positions. They tackle more classes—sometimes at multiple institutions—hoping to get a foot in the door amid shrinking opportunities—or simply to pay rent and put food on the table while working in their chosen fields. They are more likely to be disgruntled over work conditions, lack of office space, exclusion from curricular discussions, low pay, and few if any benefits.
LET THE THING BE PRESSED.
The false economies of adjunctification, redux. Teaching quality may suffer.