In the Huffington Post, Robert Fuller says it well. The real crisis is not the individual adjuncts that are exploited, it is the future decay of academia as a result of that exploitation. Don’t kid yourself into self-serving complacency! We all know colleges and universities are not doing as well as before and that we have shifted toward “the business of education” and away from education for well-being.
As Fuller states, “We’ll have to deal with this injustice as we did with those that came to a head in the ’60s, because if we do not close the gap between our principles and our practice, the profession will forfeit its honor.”
In clear language, Fuller, here and elsewhere, has established the moral imperative with which we are faced. If we do not reverse adjunctification, or at least establish true pay equity, which quite obviously would be the same pay scale for adjunct and tenured, as well as allow adjunct to earn their living working at one institution, the “business” of higher education will lose all connection to the principles of higher education. As Fuller notes, there is always a “reason” why we can’t change now. The “reason” I hear repeatedly is we have no funds. Given the massive increase in spending on the “business” of education, in the form of the huge increase in numbers of administrators and hospitality-style amenities for students, this “reason” sounds more and more like an “excuse.” Fuller is right. We can change now, if we want to change. The only excuse we have is a failure of principle.
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