Jun 222011

More praise for “Adjunct”

Thank you so much for this article (“Adjuncts: the invisible majority,” April 27). Your experience echoes mine in so many ways. I am also an adjunct at a KCTCS college–one with multiple campuses under the umbrella of one college. I am qualified to teach (and have) in several different divisions and disciplines due to the interdisciplinary nature of my graduate work.

According to the rules, I am free to teach many classes spread out to other colleges in the KCTCS system, as well as other area institutions, but officially limited to 3 (4 with permission) at my “home” college. I personally know someone who taught up to 12 classes a semester at 3 KCTCS colleges before finally earning a full time position. I am currently teaching multiple classes at separate campuses (separate departments and divisions with separate contracts) and no one is currently looking my way. Yet, I live in constant fear I will lose those extra courses or be forced to choose between departments, programs, and campuses who have treated me with respect, or no longer be available to students who need me. One department head needs me to pick up extra courses next semester due to the departure of a long time adjunct, but cannot give them to me because I don’t even have a full-time “temp” contract.

Last semester, I picked up an “overload” (bumping my courses up to 4 through one campus for a total of 7) when a truly inept instructor was terminated from a difficult to staff external program. This brought me to the attention of the Provost, which, rather than giving me hope that I will gain a more secure position, instead makes me anxious that I will soon be subject to the 4-courses-college-wide-rule. At times, I feel ashamed of my position as the academic equivalent of a “scab” but my greatest worry at the moment is not benefits, a personal office, or a voice in the Faculty Senate. Oh, I want those things, but right now I can’t afford to lose the meager amount of money I make while I am functioning under the radar, as well as struggling to find the time to complete my PhD.

KCTCS adjunct, online

May Day comfort

I was nervous and worried when I showed up at the Fayette County Prison for a long weekend in jail. But as I was getting processed, I looked down and saw a North of Center and the picture of your baby on the cover (“May Day sprout,” May 11). Prison still sucked, but the picture and your paper made it a little better.

Anonymous friend of editor, as relayed to him verbally

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