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VIDEO: Higher Education in the U.S. Is Broken From All Ends

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 9:12
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It’s not just students who are struggling financially due to the way our higher education system works but professors, too.

From The Huffington Post:

The fight for a living wage has been a hot-button issue over the past 5 years and will certainly be a talking point in upcoming presidential elections. In a time when college enrollment is booming and college tuition is at an all-time high, the prospect of getting an upper-level degree and working at a college or university would seem like a sure bet for anyone. And yet, in 2015, a PhD does not guarantee a great living. In fact, it doesn’t guarantee you will be able to get by at all. Watch the new Brave New Films’ short film “Professors in Poverty” (above) to see more.

Adjunct professors make up more than 51 percent of teaching faculty at colleges in the United States, across all levels (community colleges, research universities, etc.). An adjunct professor is just like any professor that teaches: has an upper-level masters or PhD, a full classroom of students to teach, exams to administer and curriculums to have approved. The only difference between an adjunct and a tenured professor is that adjuncts are hired by course; they are considered sub contractors, paid by the course they teach and have no job security for the following semester. They also tend to make $25,000 or less a year.

Tenured professorship is a slowly dying occupation. Schools will always have tenured professors; someone has to run to programs and get research grants. But adjuncts are the new Uber of higher learning. Adjuncts deliver the same level of competent instruction for half the price and there is no commitment by the college or university to pay benefits. Even as professors retire fewer universities are putting those positions on the tenure track. Instead, they claim to be “more flexible to student needs” by hiring adjuncts. In reality, they are cutting corners on salary and benefits.

Read more.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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