Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.



Some use of adjuncts is justified in particular circumstances, as George Leef suggests below, and the arrangement may suit some people very well, but the widespread use of part-time adjunct teachers in today’s academy is wrong in my opinion, even morally wrong.  I think it’s also deliciously ironic that the last bastion of Marxism in our society today is one of the few places left that exploits its workers in this fashion.  But leaving that issue aside, I also don’t see where the use of adjuncts has kept down college costs, which are criminally high at present, way outpacing the rate of inflation and putting students and families into debt for years and years.  I think having so many cheaply paid adjuncts has actually enabled colleges to overpay and overpamper their regular professors and also spend wildly to make their campuses into spas and recreation centers, as well as hire batteries of administrators and consultants for multicultural affairs, sensitivity workshops, diversity audits, women’s centers, and the like, things that really have nothing to do with education, while the actual meat-and-potatoes teaching is done by poorly paid adjuncts.  This is another of those areas where libertarians and traditionalists may find themselves in (respectful) disagreement.  


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