I Just Don’t Want to Die an Adjunct

This story evokes the human cost of adjunctification. It is a call to adjuncts to wake up and tell their stories. We need nothing less than a radical transformation of the structure of labor in higher education. If we can’t make this radical change, we’ll all die adjunct.
But wait, whatever happened to the AFT FACE campaign? Doesn’t it call for a radical transformation, a reversing of course, of just this sort?

Nathaniel C. Oliver

He texted me for a ride the week before last. After seven years as an adjunct history instructor, he had an interview scheduled for a full-time position, and no way to get there. In much the same way that being an adjunct is sort of like having a job and sort of like not having one, he sort of had a car and sort of did not. Unable to make the payments on his Yaris, he had long since surrendered the title to his father, who had pressed the vehicle into service as the family car. As it happened, his younger sister had a job interview on the same day that he did, so he reached out to me, his friend for over a decade, ever since we were undergrads.

After he agreed to cover gas and meals, I made the trip, a four-hour drive that seemed far shorter on…

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