March 3rd, 2015
The first ever National Adjunct Walkout Day took place last week on Wednesday, Feb. 25. The event aimed to raise awareness of unfair labor practices that adjunct instructors face at universities nationwide.
Anna Gray, adjunct instructor in the School of Art and Design at Portland State, helped organize PSU’s NAWD event along with Davida Jordan, who teaches in the Intensive English Language Program.
Several terms are used to describe higher education instructors who are contracted on a short-term basis. At PSU, they are most often referred to as adjunct or fixed-term instructors. They may also be described as non-tenure track faculty. Nationally, and by AAUP, they are most often described as contingent employees.
According to the American Association of University Professors’ 2012–13 Economic Status Annual Report, 75 percent of the nation’s higher education teaching faculty is made up of contingent employees.