Adjunct Faculty: Highly Educated, Working Hard for Society, and Struggling To Survive

Psychology Benefits Society

National Adjunct Walkout Day protester

By Gretchen M. Reevy, PhD (Lecturer, Psychology Department, California State University, East Bay)

When we think of people who live below the poverty line in the U.S., we often picture individuals who lack adequate medical care, who are homeless, who are unable to provide nutritious food for themselves and their families, and if young, people who are unable to prepare for their old age. Would you put college teachers in this category? A fact that may surprise you is that many college teachers earn very low incomes and some are even among the poverty-stricken in the United States.

These individuals possess Master’s degrees and PhD’s and are doing professional work. I am referring to non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty. These include adjunct professors, lecturers, post-docs, and others. The impoverishment of NTT faculty is an unknown and unexplored issue.

In the United States today, 76% of faculty in higher education are hired…

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