The rampant exploitation of contingent faculty—in particular, of part-time or adjunct faculty—is one of the more disgraceful developments in American higher education over the last quarter century. It ranks with the rampant abuses committed by online for-profit colleges and universities as one of the most pernicious effects of the corporatization of higher education—and, more broadly, the ideological agenda to privatize public education at every level and all other public institutions.
It does seem especially shameful that the so-called “ivory tower” have perpetuated this extended pattern of economic exploitation and that our institutions’ leaders have continued to attempt to explain it away as an economic necessity, even as their own compensation has soared to levels that would have been inconceivable– that would have seemed scandalous—just a few decades ago.
Nonetheless, what has been occurring in higher education is part of what has been occurring more broadly in the American workforce, and…
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