Number of Adjunct Professors on Public Assistance Is Shocking

Academia was once a secure job track, that offered both the opportunity to explore your research interests and the ability to maintain your livelihood. ew research out from UC Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education shows that for many who teach at universities, economic security is a thing of the past.


The report shows that part-time—adjunct—faculty at colleges and universities are on some form of public assistance at about half the rate of fast-food workers:

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_small","fid":"599086","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

The recession, which lasted from 2007 to around 2010, was particularly severe on this population. During that time, “the number of people with master's degrees who received food stamps and other aid climbed from 101,682 to 293,029, and the number of people with Ph.D.'s who received assistance rose from 9,776 to 33,655.”

“Everyone thinks a Ph.D. pretty much guarantees you a living wage and, from what I can tell, most commentators think that college professors make $100,000 and more,” said Michael Bérubé, the president of the Modern Language Association, who was interviewed for the report. “But I've been hearing all year from non-tenure-track faculty making under $20,000, and I don't know anyone who believes you can raise a family on that. Even living as a single person on that salary is tough, if you want to eat something other than ramen noodles every once in a while."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.