HIGHER ED FACULTY

A Letter to Full-Time Faculty Members

February 19, 2015 / Phil Lesch

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 18th, 2015

We live in a time of "adjunct plight" essays. This isn’t one of them. True, I am an adjunct, and I have much plight, but rather than be blamed for whining by you full-timers, let me scare you instead. I am an adjunct, and I’m making it much harder for full-timers to get a job, to get tenure, or to retain meaningful control over academic affairs.

Let’s be clear: I am a shill, a scab. I am the cheap, easy, powerless trump card that administrators can play against full-timers every single time in every single conflict. And I am legion.

The faculty will always be in retreat so long as the vast majority of teachers are held powerless. Adjuncts are too great a temptation, too convenient a solution for a budget-minded administrator. We’re too inexpensive, too controllable, too dispensable a resource to ignore. Full-timers should be involved in helping adjuncts, not out of charity or guilt, but out of direct self-interest.

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