Report: Adjunct Faculty Living in Poverty
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – From skipping meals and having their utilities cut off to even delaying medical treatment, a survey of nearly 800 faculty members across Florida shows poverty is common among adjunct faculty at universities and colleges.
The survey by the Service Employees International Union shows more than 43 percent of respondents experience indicators of poverty, including taking out payday loans, facing eviction or utility cutoffs.
Mike Ruso, an adjunct instructor at the University of South Florida, says when schools continuously fail to pay instructors a living wage, everyone suffers.
"The adjunct professors suffer, students suffer, and higher education as a whole suffers,” he stresses. “The only one who is benefiting is the administrator who is trying to cut cost."
A full-time adjunct instructor teaching four classes per semester makes about $24,000 per year, without benefits.
Adjuncts at the University of South Florida are calling on the school's administration to allow them to form a union.
Ruso uses the desk of a former adjunct instructor named Robert Ryan who taught full-time at the university for 20 years without employer-sponsored health insurance.
After finally gaining access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, Ryan discovered he had cancer and later died.
Ruso says Ryan's story is why he's calling for an overhaul at all of Florida's public universities and colleges.
"The business model that all of them have adopted is one that depends upon cheap and disposable labor and we are standing up and saying that we will not be used and taken advantage of anymore," Ruso states.
SEIU's report, "Life on the Edge of the Blackboard," surveyed 773 Florida faculty, the majority of whom work as part-time professors, or adjuncts.
get more stories like this via email
College presidents testified before a congressional committee Tuesday on the rise of antisemitism on college campuses since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led …
There are some bright spots in beefing up local news coverage, but a new report says in North Dakota and elsewhere, there are still big concerns …
Health and Wellness
Holiday stress is a concern for most people, but when you mix in travel plans and chronic health issues, those worries might be elevated. A …
More than 3,500 foster children are available for adoption in Ohio, and state agencies are connecting with local faith congregations to help recruit …
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced a marine warden discovered an endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle dead, drowned …
Health and Wellness
The state's largest county has just opened the new CARE Court system, designed to get help for severely mentally ill people in Los Angeles. CARE …
A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing health and safety concerns about the development of a landfill for radioactive waste from the Y12 Ura…
California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …