Thursday, January 16, 2014
And "ditto" on ethics or the lack thereof at the MLA meeting.
Great point on MLA.
Ostensibly, of course, the reason is that those of us who have been on the contingent track for some time should realize that our Ph.D.s are stale, and be accordingly resigned to our current status (rather than thinking that maybe if we've proven that we can handle gargantuan teaching loads and still do a bit of research, that might suggest that we could give new Ph.D.s with less teaching experience a run for their money, given similar pay/course load conditions). In reality, I suspect the problem falls closer to home: concentrating on converting a lot of current contingent faculty to TT status doesn't create grad students for current TT faculty to teach.
Immediate rebuttals -- enrollment can be unstable; health benefits are too expensive; the faculty union is already too large and powerful. But it's still a good question, I think.
It depends on how you interpret "full-time."
If you mean "full-time, tenure track faculty," then the issue is that adjuncts are typically paid less on a per-course basis than full-time, tenure track faculty. Thus, it is still substantially cheaper to have the courses taught by adjuncts.
If you mean "full-time, non-tenure-eligible faculty," then it comes down to two issues:
1. At some institutions it really is that the cost of benefits is enough to make the cost too much.
2. At other institutions they don't see themselves as the sort of place that has full-time, non-tenure-eligible faculty. The full-time tenure-track faculty see this as a threat, and will vote to not allow this sort of job category.
I'm not a lawyer, but it seemed to me that if you had an occasional lecturer teaching a full load of intro programming every semester, then you effectively had a full-time intro programming position. I guess the wording didn't support it, or none of the occasional instructors had the money to hire a lawyer and fight it. Still strikes me a duplicitous, even years later.