by VanessaVaile

More on #ProfStaff. Ze’s getting quite name. Time to stop with being The Invisible Prof. Put names on the faces too.

Whose University?

As faculty around the United States get ready for the first classes of the fall semester, myself included, it’s worth remembering that over two-thirds of the people teaching those classes will be adjunct faculty with part-time and/or insecure employment.

I’m fortunate to have tenure, but adjunct faculty teach nearly half the courses in my department. My wife has periodically taught part-time at UC Davis, and my dad has been an adjunct professor for over thirty years at the University of San Francisco and other universities in the Bay Area. While writing my dissertation, I also taught part-time at USF, UCD, Golden Gate University, and Sacramento State.

Non-tenure-track faculty have long been called “adjuncts,” which sounds increasingly odd, given that universities today couldn’t function without them. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “Adjunct Professor” as “a junior, temporary, or casual academic position.” That hardly captures the situation of most adjuncts today.


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