(This article appeared in the latest issue of the Illinois AAUP’s newspaper, Illinois Academe.)
By Keith R. Johnson, Oakton Community College
The Great Recession impacted everyone, but it contributed to a real hit for public college and university adjunct faculty. Pressures on budgets over decades have slowly increased higher education’s dependence on adjunct faculty. Now they are a majority of teachers at all levels, and an astonishing 80 percent at community colleges. They form a pool of poorly paid, qualified teachers who can be drawn on (or let go) as needed. But in 2013 new laws exacerbated this long term trend to pay a majority of faculty inadequately and deny them benefits and job security.
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