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his three Baltimore schools so he teaches there on the same days, allowing him to minimize commuting time. He always aims for employment at six schools because, he says, "You never know when a class will be canceled or a full-time professor will bump you at the last minute. Sometimes classes just disappear." Another D.C. adjunct, Tanya Paperny, who doesn't have a car, has done her commute by bike and public transportation, making her days stretch to thirteen hours. To say that these are low-wage jobs is an understatement. Based on data from the American Community Survey, 31 percent of part-time faculty are living near or below the federal poverty line. And, according to the UC Berkeley Labor Center, one in four families of part-time faculty are enrolled in at least one public assistance program like food stamps and Medicaid or qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Known as the "Homeless Prof," MaryFaith Cerasoli teaches romance languages and prepares her courses in friends' apartments when she can crash on a couch, or in her car when the friends can't take her When a student asked to meet with "Homeless Prof " Mary-Faith Cerasoli during office hours, she responded, "Sure, it's the Pontiac Vibe parked on Stewart Avenue." in. When a student asked to meet with her during office hours, she responded, "Sure, it's the Pontiac Vibe parked on Stewart Avenue." Naomi Winterfalcon, who teaches at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, is happy that she was able to get another job this year and stay off food stamps for the summer. Insultingly, the college gave teachers a flyer, she told me, that said, "Adjuncts, you do get benefits- if you bring your own mug you get coffee and you get 10 percent discounts at the bookstore." A recent study shows that a large portion of universities and colleges limit their adjuncts' teaching hours to avoid having to provide the health insurance now required for full-timers under the Affordable Care Act. But apart from feeling sorry for the underpaid faculty, why should we care that college professors have the same job conditions as day laborers, fast-food workers, cashiers, taxi drivers, or home care aides? They did, after all, choose to pursue a career in higher ed. Administrators at these institutions of higher learning argue that they need to use adjuncts because it is the only way to keep tu76 September/October 2015 ition from rising even faster than it has. And isn't access to education the higher good? If the rationale for using low-wage professorial labor is affordable college, however, it hasn't worked. Tuition increases inspire awe at their size-public universities cost three times what they cost in 1980, private universities twice as much. As universities have added amenities like squash courts and luxury dorms, their spending has increased threefold, but the student-teacher ratio remains the same as it was in the past. If you think these tuition increases resulted from an investment in providing a better education for the students in the classroom, consider the growth in administrative staff and administrative pay. Even while keeping funding for instruction relatively flat, universities increased the number of administrator positions by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, ten times the rate at which they added tenured positions. In the old days, different professors would take their turn as dean for this or that and then happily escape back to scholarship and teaching. Now the administration exists as an end in itself and a career path disconnected from the faculty and pursuit of knowledge. Writing a few years ago for this publication, the Johns Hopkins professor Benjamin Ginsberg described colleges and universities as now being "filled with armies of functionaries-vice presidents, associate vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, provosts, associate provosts, vice provosts, deans, deanlets, and deanlings, all of whom command staffers and assistants-who, more and more, direct the operations of every school." So while college tuition surged from 2003 to 2013 by 94 percent at public institutions and 74 percent at private, nonprofit schools, and student debt has climbed to over $1.2 trillion, much of that money has been going to ensure higher pay for a burgeoning legion of bureaucrats. As administrators make more and more faculty positions part-time, allegedly for cost savings, they don't apply that same logic to themselves. While the part-time professor is now the norm, the percentage of part-time administrators has actually gone down. Their salaries, too, unlike those of professors, continue to go up, increasing by 50 percent between 1998 and 2003 even while tuition was going up and faculty numbers were going down. Estimates put the increase in average salaries for CEOs at public institutions at 75 percent between 1978 and 2013 and at 170 percent at private institutions. As Ginsberg reported, "[I]n January 2009, facing $19 million in budget cuts and a hiring freeze, Florida Atlantic University awarded raises of 10 percent or more to top administrators, including the school's president." Even if the cost of a college education weren't increasing, the amount of the money in the budget for nonclassroom-related activities would have a negative effect. In 2013, colleges and universities devoted less than a third of their revenue to instruction, and, in 2011, at the end

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Monthly - September/October 2015

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