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:

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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."

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