Academic Serfdom at UNA

Has UNA gotten around to paying their part-time teachers any better? I heard that they were paying them $1800 a course. When you consider that the typical full-time faculty member draws $50K to $80K for teaching four courses per semester, depending on rank, it seems that they are grossly underpaying "the help."

Often there were complaints in the past that the university was underfunded; but they never admitted to this money-saving strategy.

Anyone know more?
"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." -- Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Original Post
Old geezers my ass! Most smaller regional universities and colleges are in on this scam: no benefits, no faculty status, keeps the youngsters in line, no use riling up those with tenure, ya know. It is a scam, and a fad, and a face slap to those who have invested $100K plus in a PhD and years of their life to get this as a reward.

Screw them and their "business model" of higher ed "management."
No, it's pretty general: $1800 per class; no health, no retirement, no benefits. Not enough to constitute a living, but a way to pick up some extra money. Each hour in the classroom should roughly be enough to buy a bra or almost a tank of gas. Some of the full-time faculty lord it over also, but it's their problem.
UNA IS A CROCK...The professors at UNA are overpaid....12 - 16 hours per week in the classroom for the money they get is a travesty. If you want to start cutting back, there is the place. They mock the students, raising the price of tuition at any whim; play the "woe is me" game with the press. In the meantime, having one of the most robust lobbying groups in Montgomery, with a $400,000 building from which to work; building and buying land as if there's no tomorrow; instead of being an ally, fighting secondary education at every turn for a larger slice of the pie. Their books should be made available for public scrutiny. Never happen, because UNA is a sacred cow for the city of Florence.
I don't think that the issue is that professors are overpaid or underworked; I don't know from which planet Barbaros gets his/her facts from. Most of the professors at UNA seem to be diligent and available, and I got a high quality education. Apparently the issue, which I originally discounted, is that there is a two-tiered pay schedule, and that some are paid like grad students. Maybe it's a consequence of the old law of supply and demand.
First off, I resent the implication that I have to be from another planet to know and understand the undercurrent at UNA.....is it difficult for you to have a reasonable conversation without attacking the writer?....Is that part of the great education you received at UNA? A GREAT EDUCATION AT UNA is a purely subjective pronouncement. Relative and comparable to what or where? My experiences with this institution, are first hand, are widely held, and are factual. (My friend Barbaro was a professional athlete, and the only one worth his salt, so to speak.)
Barbaros, I'm finding your reaction here to be somwwhat ironic. You got off the original topic of this thread regarding the possible low pay of the adjunct professors (a subset of the total faculty) to a blanket statement that UNA professors are overpaid and made unsupported statements about their collective misconduct. Then you criticize Disappointed for having the temerity to calling her education as being of high quality -- saying that is a purely subjective pronouncement! Don't your remarks also constitute a subjective pronouncement as well? You allude to your first hand experience, and those of others, without going what is is in any way. In other words, why should we discount hers, and accept yours at face value?

And, for God sake, why did you launch into this non sequitur name-dropping about Barbaro, whoever he is.
quote:
to a blanket statement that UNA professors are overpaid and made unsupported statements about their collective misconduct
My allusion to the pay of the professors was in direct correllation to the opening remark on this post. Can you show me where I made statements about their "collective misconduct"? My reaction to the pay of college professors comes from years of fighting higher ed. [college] for funding to secondary education [high school], probably involving some of your children, or grandkids. My reaction to "Disappointed" was motivated by her questioning "which planet I was from". I supported my statement by saying "it was first-hand" meaning my own experiences. Are they subjective, of course. Isn't that where most of us gather our answers to questions.
quote:
Originally posted by barbaros45:
quote:
to a blanket statement that UNA professors are overpaid and made unsupported statements about their collective misconduct
My allusion to the pay of the professors was in direct correllation to the opening remark on this post. Can you show me where I made statements about their "collective misconduct"? My reaction to the pay of college professors comes from years of fighting higher ed. [college] for funding to secondary education [high school].


In other words, it's hardly objective; but only self-serving.

As for your allegations of collective misconduct:

"They mock the students, raising the price of tuition at any whim; play the "woe is me" game with the press. In the meantime, having one of the most robust lobbying groups in Montgomery, with a $400,000 building from which to work; building and buying land as if there's no tomorrow; instead of being an ally, fighting secondary education at every turn for a larger slice of the pie."

Some of those sound like it. They hardly sound like love letters, just as your remark: "UNA IS A CROCK!"

Thanks for clarifying about your horsy hero. Best wishes to him and to you.
quote:
Old geezers my ass! Most smaller regional universities and colleges are in on this scam: no benefits, no faculty status, keeps the youngsters in line, no use riling up those with tenure, ya know. It is a scam, and a fad, and a face slap to those who have invested $100K plus in a PhD and years of their life to get this as a reward.

Screw them and their "business model" of higher ed "management."


It may very well be bad business for the university, but no one is forcing anyone to take these jobs. Seems fair to me.
The adjunct professors are akin to substitutes in the K-12 system. They are there to handle overflow classes, and most do not have a PhD. Most have their Masters and are teaching as an adjunct to get their feet wet and find out if they want to pursue a career in academics. Also, I don't know many that rely on their adjunct teaching to make a living. Most work full-time jobs (as attorneys, health professionals, accountants, and other occupations within their field). There is a vast difference between adjunct and tenure track, and that is why the pay scale is different.

As an aside, adjuncts get paid $1800 per class, per sememster. The Spring semester goes from Jan 7 to May 7 - or 18 weeks. If an adjunct teaches one class for 3 hours, and then has 3 hours of office hours during which they meet with students, prepare their lesson plans, and grade papers, ect... that is 6 hours per week. When you think about it $16.50 per hour isn't bad money for a part-time gig. Oh, and they get a paid week off for Spring Break. Even better.
What about the use of adjuncts in the liberal arts? How are the art historians supposed to eat, keep a roof over their heads and pay back their student loans? What about the specialist in the English Civil War? How about those who teach sociology or anthropology? Go start up a sociology practice? A history practice? Their practice is their profession, which needs to be compensated at par, not living in fear of one of the three adjunct contracts upon which one friend of mine depends will go away.
My, how intelligent a response. Liberal arts obviously have no use at all. They should be banned as just roses on the icing of a cake. They serve no use at all. Why, I swear, next thing you know, they will be saying that history and art has a use! Silly traditional time wasting navel staring, obviously, not a real subject area at all, like say, economics or manufacturing talking points.
No one said anything about banning or getting rid of anything. Students need to examine what options a degree will give them, that's all. Going into a ton of debt to become an expert on poetry written during the Franco-Prussian War probably isn't the smartest thing in the world, and no one owes you anything latter in life because you chose to do it anyway.
I am about to do my first semester as an night school adjunct at Middle Tennessee State University. I am looking at maybe $2000 for each course that I am going to teach (and I have to make the money work with the Nashville cost of living). And correct, no benefits. I am doing it to make money on the side, since I work for Metro Nashville government. Many of my fellow adjuncts do it to test their desire to teach before they go further with their education. It's not a bad deal.
quote:
Originally posted by Aude Sapere:
What about the use of adjuncts in the liberal arts? How are the art historians supposed to eat, keep a roof over their heads and pay back their student loans? What about the specialist in the English Civil War? How about those who teach sociology or anthropology? Go start up a sociology practice? A history practice? Their practice is their profession, which needs to be compensated at par, not living in fear of one of the three adjunct contracts upon which one friend of mine depends will go away.


Perhaps the liberal arts folks you mentioned should move to a place where their specialty is in demand if they are starving here as adjuncts. As mentioned in another post, they should know that there's not a huge demand for some of these fields. And what demand there is, is probably concentrated in larger cities or at bigger universities. That should have figured in their career decision. It's about like a phys ed major complaining about not being able to find a job at a culinary school.
quote:
Originally posted by HomesickGirl:
No, it's not just the old geezers. This is the way they operate now.


Homesick, you are correct. The practice of using mostly adjuncts and very few full timers started when I was in college in the 80’s and has gotten progressively worse. My husband was an adjunct at Ringling School of Art and Design (annual tuition $30K PER YEAR). ALL adjuncts, regardless of subject area were paid $2,000 per class. For every hour spent in the classroom, an average 4-6 hours are spent preparing, grading, office hours, and the performance of administrative tasks. This translates to 30 – 42 hours per week for 2 classes for the whopping sum of $200 per week.

As for the hours full time instructors/professors work, when he worked full time at another private university (again obscenely expensive tuition), he taught no fewer than 5 high end graphics and animation software programs per semester, all of which changed dramatically every few months and required completely reconstructing lesson plans and exams at least once a year. His average work week for the 4 classes he taught was well over 95 hours (not counting administrative BS, reports, busy work, ego stroking, etc). Some weeks he stayed up 2 – 3 days straight. While I can think of a few lazy slugs who are not deserving of any pay (every job has them) most are hard working and put up with a lot of BS from the egotistical administration as well as smartass students who expect to be spoon fed and handed an "A" they refuse to earn. Needless to say, he never wishes to teach again.
Back in the 80's when I was working and pursuing MBA, I had an accounting class at night that the head of accounting at the Ford plant taught. He was one of the best teachers I ever had. He was much better than the accounting professors UNA had. Sometimes these part timers are a good chance to actually learn something if you can catch one qualified with experience.

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