I haven’t blogged for a while because I’m actually happy at my new job! I quit my old job at FRRU* after getting an offer from a different university that’s much closer to where I live. Although I’m still adjuncting for the moment, my current situation is a thousand times better… I have my own office!!! I don’t have to pay for parking! I get paid more per class! I have an official title (Assistant Adjunct Professor) and the possibility to become Associate Adjunct Professor and even a Full Adjunct Professor! My name, picture, bio and research interests are listed on the department website!!! I am invited to attend all faculty meetings! My department held a welcome lunch for me the first week of the quarter! I am teaching classes that I enjoy! My commute is 5min! My tenured and tenure track colleagues respect and appreciate me- They actually ask for my input on things! I get all the little perks that the regular faculty get such as access to the gym for a small fee and yoga classes for a reduced fee! I’ve already met and had dinner & lunch with the Dean! However, even with all this, I still need a livable wage. So this is only a temporary situation for me until I find full-time employment that’s suitable and appropriate for me. I am still actively looking for a full-time job, inside and outside of academia. But, for the moment, I’m happy! *Filthy Rich Religious University (pseudonym)
This is a very cogent article!
Professors on food stamps: The shocking true story of academia in 2014
Forget minimum wage, some adjunct professors say they’re making 50 cents an hour. Wait till you read these stories
Unlike many people in the world who are stuck in a dead-end job, we adjuncts have choices. Most of us are incredibly talented, intelligent & savvy people. We got ourselves through an excruciatingly difficult program with probably little or no support. We have Ph.D.’s for heaven’s sake! We have mastered the art of living on nothing. We are fast learners. We can surely survive a career change! So why then do we keep working for little money and little respect like helpless victims?
I, for one, am tired of the sound of my own complaints and have decided to quit. It’s been very therapeutic for me to blog about my experiences, but I don’t want to be doing this a year from now. I’ve decided that I need to move on, make money, travel and enjoy what’s left of my youth. I am done playing this game and being a willing participant in this nonsense. May you come to the same conclusion too!
I have finally accepted the futility of seeking a tenure track position. I have decided to quit adjunction and focus my efforts on finding other types of employment. However, these efforts have also proven to be futile. Out of the fifty applications for the non-academic positions that I sent out the past few months, I’ve only been called for three interviews. None of these interviews have resulted in a job offer.
I am overqualified for most of the jobs that I’ve applied for, so one would think that employers would jump at the chance of having me on their team. But sadly, that is not the case. Employers don’t want to hire someone who is overqualified because they would have to pay them more. They also don’t trust that overqualified individuals would work at their institutions for the long haulI–and they’re right. Additionally, employers don’t want to hire employees who are more qualified and skilled than they are, because if they are at all insecure in their own position, this would be highly threatening to them.
The economy is definitely a culprit. However, one would think that in a bad economy being over-qualified makes you more competitive. Ageism is also at play as I am in my late 30’s.
Some of you, dear readers, might think that I’m not interviewing well enough or I’m doing something wrong. I assure you that I have analyzed my interviews to death and have perfected my skills. I don’t like to brag but I’m a great interviewer and an exceptionally socially apt person, for someone with a Ph.D., so I know that it’s not my personality getting in the way. Perhaps I need to undersell myself…
No matter what the different reasons are for each application or interview not resulting in a job offer, I feel that they all lead back to the three letters after my name. “Ph.D.” are the scarlet letters that I am unable to shake off, that keep me at the margins of decent employment.
I spent a quite a bit of time yesterday researching and Tweeting news of California Judge Treu’s ruling that tenure prohibits students from accessing a quality education. I have loads to say about how this is wrong in so many ways, but that’s not the reason for this post.
This post is to urge all levels of Higher Ed faculty and media:
• to see that a decision against tenure affects every level of education.
• to start viewing every attack against teachers as part of a campaign to undermine not only faculty unions at every level but unions and the voice of the middle and lower class
• to connect the dots between neoliberal free market capitalism, Citizen’s United, the rise of our Oligarchy, deregulation, state legislative actions, and access to public funds.
• to perceive that undermining unions allows greater leverage in the so-called free market
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With my Ph.D., I am currently making approximately the same salary that my mother made 25 years ago as a newly arrived immigrant. Both of my parents, who were highly educated in their home country had to take jobs far below their qualifications in the U.S., because those were the only jobs available to them as immigrants. Their sacrifice was for the hope of a better future for their children. They always encouraged us to pursue higher education and I did. Here I am, 25 years and a Ph.D. later, back to the same place that my parents were when we first arrived to the U.S.