Author:Vogt, Leonard
Position:News for Educational Workers

Although adjunct, or contingent, faculty make up more than 75% of higher education faculty across the United States, the public at large and even many full-time faculty do not understand or care about adjuncts' living and working conditions. Many adjunct faculty are the migrant workers of academe.

"The Adjunct's Lament" (In These Times, January 2014) opens with the very painful story of the death of 83-year-old Margaret Mary Vojtko, an adjunct French teacher for 25 years at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. As an adjunct, she had neither health insurance nor retirement benefits and, when her job was not renewed last spring, had no money for her cancer treatment and could not pay for heat or other bills. After the shame of being referred to Adult Protective Services, she suffered a heart attack and died two weeks later, illustrating that in modern America even the highly educated can end up as destitute as anyone else. For more information, see Dissent, October 16, 2013.

Mary-Faith Cerasoli, an adjunct faculty member in Spanish and Italian, tells her story to The Chronicle of Higher Education (December 18, 2013). She makes $22,000 a year before taxes for...

To continue reading