If you haven’t heard, this Wednesday, February 25 is National Adjunct Walkout Day. An anonymous professor at San Jose State University has organized support for a national walkout to highlight the plight of adjunct faculty in the United States. Part-time faculty in Canada are also joining the movement. I’ve written previously about adjuncts lacking health care, living from contract to contract, and even qualifying for food stamps
The goal is to highlight a flawed business model that universities have used for decades. Approximately 75 percent of instructors at two or four-year-colleges are working part time, opposite the percentages of 20 or 30 years ago, when 75 percent had tenure-track positions. Adjunct Alan Trevithick notes that this switch comes not because universities want to save money, but because they want to spend more on ballooning administration, star faculty, massive new buildings, and technology. Universities do not pay fair wages to adjuncts simply because they don’t want to, not because they can’t.