About Adjunct Faculty

In 2013-2014, 76.5% of the instructors employed at Portland Community College were part-time instructors who are paid poorly—less than half the annual pay of nearly all full-time instructors—with little or no job security, limited access to benefits, and a general feeling of being second-class employees. We are not paid for committee work, office hours, or class preparation, nor are we compensated when our classes are cancelled at the last minute. Many of us have been doing this for years or even decades.

To make ends meet, we work at multiple college campuses or take side jobs, which detract from our focus on campus and directly impact student success. We do not receive consistent orientation, training, or professional development, and we share office space with our fellow adjuncts, further diminishing our ability to help our students succeed.

We are not alone—nationwide, 66% of all college faculty are just like us. Whether you call us part-time, adjunct, or contingent faculty, one thing is clear: we are the working poor of college education. And we teach the majority of college classes.

This website will help tell our story.

2 thoughts on “About Adjunct Faculty”

  1. That described my life for 14 years – although I did get some one-year temps a couple of times. I worked non-stop teaching at often three different institutions at the same time; I taught 20 piano lessons a week; I played for weddings; I worked summers: in short, I simply did not take a break. Periodically a class would get cancelled at the last minute, with barely a perfunctory “sorry” – sending my life into panic mode.

    Once I got the coveted full-time position (and there was absolutely no guarantee that would happen, but happily for me, it did) – my life was incredibly changed. I knew I had a job the following term; I got paid better and received benefits; and I had enough time to dedicate to my classes, get more involved with students, and be a reasonable human being without constant fear for my income. In addition – I got a lot more respect.

    This discrepancy between the experience in the two different situations was incredible. And the funny thing is, the only thing I was doing differently was having more time to do the job a little better and having some time to rest in between things.

    When people are doing essentially the same things, there should not be such a discrepancy in situation. It doesn’t even make sense.

    I haven’t even gotten started, but for now, that’s my contribution.

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