Adjuncts and Contingent Hires: Do Not Force Them Apart

A Koch connection?


A bit more than a decade ago, I took on my first full-time higher-ed teaching job in the US. I had taught as an adjunct at a number of different schools over the years and I thought this would be a real step up.

It was not.

Though I liked my new colleagues quite a bit, I was not a member of the club. After all, I was only a contingent hire, someone who would soon be gone. Though invited to department meetings, I was not expected to contribute to the running of the department, to course development, to anything other than what went on in my classroom. In these respects, what I was, essentially, was the adjunct I’d always been—but with a better office.

Still, I was not an adjunct. My pay was better, as were my benefits. There were other differences. Unlike an adjunct, for one thing, I…

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