Thursday, December 06, 2012

Union for Adjuncts?

I had an idea for some entrepreneur.  What if there were an organization for adjuncts that coordinated between universities and the massive adjunct work force right now?  Here are some potential aspects to such an organization:
  • Maintained evaluative information on adjuncts--teaching evaluations, areas of greater or lesser expertise, past courses taught etc., belief/philosophy compatibility information
  • Provided teacher training to adjuncts (online/onsite, various online platforms), information on various universities and their beliefs/philosophies (what they're looking for)
  • Provided health care/retirement options for adjuncts
  • Universities would have to pay a slightly higher rate than normal for the use of this adjunct pool, who would presumably be a cut above random adjuncts, more dependable, etc. ($1000 a credit hour?).  
  • Presumably the vast majority of the teaching would be online
  • Part of the funding for the organization might come from endowment, grants, etc. This endowment might pay the salaries of a small infrastructure while also supplementing pay per course.
  • 8-10 courses a year might be considered a maximum load, taught throughout 12 months.
The goal would be to provide at least the possibility of a $40,000 a year option for a quality adjunct with health care.  I wonder if someone will do this...

1 comment:

π² said...

I see two difficulties. 1) The adjuncts being willing or able to pay union dues, which would amount to a pay cut, at least in the short term. 2) Achieving a critical mass of adjunct professors such that union prices can't simply be undercut by the huge pool of non-union adjuncts willing to work for less. Perhaps if the entrepreneur targeted the right region(s) to begin, a place with the right cost of living, enough colleges and universities, and a limited pool of adjuncts.