An Adjunct Struggles to Get on the Tenure Track

“I’m one of the younger ones that seems stuck here,” explains Shannon Berry, an adjunct professor in the Washington, D.C., area who has been frustrated in her efforts to secure a tenure-track position. “It feels a bit like a glass ceiling. You can see these other full-time professor positions, and you’re qualified for them,” she says, but the rigors of teaching leave little time for her to finish her dissertation in systematic theology, much less publish articles that she is expected to produce to qualify for a better job. “It starts to feel sometimes like a, almost like an abusive relationship. Like I’ve given a great deal of my time and my life and my energy into this system that, at the end of the day is just slamming doors in my face.”

Video and editing by Greg Kahn; produced by Rose Engelland

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