by Max Brantley
Good timing, I think, to mention a Chronicle of Higher Education article on a project to detail the pay and perks of adjunct faculty at the nation's colleges and universities. They don't make much, in short. It almost makes you wonder why costs rise so dramatically at so many colleges every year when colleges are getting a three-hour course taught for $2,000 or so. I don't think even Rick Santorum would accuse this group of elitism.
The article is about this ongoing project to compile data.
Blogger and Arkansas native Greg Bales has extracted Arkansas-related data from the project to do some simple comparisons of what the self-reporting shows on comparative pay in Arkansas. The University of Arkansas led the way, with average adjunct pay around $4,000 for a three-hour course. Others were around $2,000 and below. Bales shows that, if you multiply that by a full load of five-year courses, it doesn't produce much of a salary — about $26,000 at UCA, for example. And no benefits as a rule.
A good study would be an examination of how many courses and students are taught by adjuncts.