Hi Professor Wolff. I recently obtained an MS in Mathematics and have found that it has afforded me few opportunities. Upon graduation I took a position as an "Adjunct Instructor" at a local community college. The pay is shockingly low and the work is very precarious, requiring me to send inquiries months in advance trying to manage to get the maximum 12 credit hours per semester. Even when given classes every semester, I go unpaid during the months of January and August, as there are no classes scheduled for these months. This past month I was unable to afford groceries and had to rely on family. I was hoping you might say something about the preponderance of Adjuncts teaching at universities and colleges (I believe the statistic is well above 50% now), or perhaps even do a story on economic update (I am a $5 dollar subscriber). I find most students have no idea what an adjunct really is. Indeed, even when I was a student, I simply assumed the part time faculty were well-compensated given their level of expertise. You're a real hero of mine and do a heck of a lot of good. Thanks for that. Hope you can answer this question.

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  • Thomas Hughes
    commented 2017-09-24 15:13:40 -0400
    Hi Janos. I appreciate your reply. While I do intend on seeking new employment, my options are limited. My spouse is currently finishing grad school and, where I live, there are few to no opportunities outside of academia (like tech) where my degree would be relevant. We intend on moving as soon as she is finished, but that is still roughly two years away. I believe adjuncts across the nation need to begin striking en masse. We are the majority. The universities and colleges simply won’t be able to run tenured and full-time faculty alone. The situation will never get better unless we force it.
  • Janos Horanszky
    commented 2017-09-20 20:36:55 -0400
    I fully sympathize with your plight. But you have an option. Abandon what you are doing and go to the computer programmer business. Experience backs me up.
  • Thomas Hughes
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-09-19 22:52:12 -0400