Link. Some research I've been doing. One of my colleges didn't hire me back this next term, so I'm interested in the implications for this kind of occurrence across our higher ed system.
The academic staffing crisis.
But that affordability is based, in part, on the work of the hundreds of thousands of adjunct faculty members, who live semester by semester teaching for as little as $1,500 a course. These teachers serve at the pleasure of their administrative superiors, with little recourse. They can lose a teaching assignment without stated cause and are the least visible victims in battles over academic freedom. They don’t get fired. They just don’t get rehired.
No longer teaching, Hanford also lost her standing as an advocate within the California community college system for the rights of contingent faculty. “They told me they didn’t have to make an accommodation, that they had the right to hire and fire,” says Hanford. “Well, if you have no job security, you have no academic freedom. And it casts a pall over the classroom and the behavior of all faculty in the community college system.” Hanford subsequently filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Stealth Transformations in American Higher Education.
In English departments this convergence of factors produces a significant number of positions, both full and part time, that are off the tenure track, contingent, and more frequently held by women than men. The number of “sad women in the basement” has multiplied since 1991, when writing studies scholar Susan Miller aptly and famously used that phrase to describe teachers of composition. Moreover, the gendering of “off-track” positions has been intensified by seismic shifts in academic hiring, including an overall decrease in the percentage of tenured and tenure-eligible faculty from about 57 percent in the 1970s to about 35 percent in 2006; level or decreased state budgetary support for public institutions; institutional investment that dictates that certain fields receive more tenure-eligible lines while others, including composition, increasingly rely on contingent faculty; and a blocked pipeline in which tenured senior faculty remain in their positions longer, even as fewer replacement lines are made available.
Textual Carnivals by Susan Miller.
Gender, Contingent Labor, and Writing Studies.
Review of Teaching Without Tenure. Other books: "They have increasingly become an object of study—numerous scholarly books by higher education researchers have addressed issues of contingency over the past ten years, including Roger G. Baldwin and Jay L. Chronister’s Teaching Without Tenure; Martin J. Finkelstein, Robert K. Seal, and Jack H. Schuster’s The New Academic Generation; Finkelstein and Schuster’s The American Faculty; and my own Managed Professionals."
Equally powerful for contingent faculty, though, are the real and perceived pressures to contribute to the program as a means of currying the favor (or stoking the guilt) of administrators who will make appointments the following year.