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Adjunct Voices

Stories from men and women on the battle lines of a changing academic world.

Help us document the broad range of diversity in the adjunct experience. If you would like to be considered for our ongoing video series, please send us an email that includes your name, the place or places where you teach, and a summary of your life as an adjunct. Or, pitch your story in video on Instagram.

Posts from Adjunct Voices

Adjuncts at One Maryland College See Union as Way to Get Seat at the Table

Adjunct faculty members at the college are preparing for a union election. In this video, three of the organizers talk about some of the gains they hope to achieve.

An Adjunct’s Balancing Act Has Its Ups and Downs

Desiree Robertson says the way in which she has to divide her time slows her growth as a professor.

An Adjunct Wonders When It’s Time to Stop Chasing the Dream

Joe Fruscione has been trying for years to land a tenure-track faculty job, without success. Now he’s on the verge of giving up.

An ‘Indefinite’ Adjunct Sees Progress, and Tensions, at His University

“A lot of adjuncts don’t know if they’ll have a job, if they’ll have income from one semester to another. That’s a big source of stress,” explains C.N. Le, a senior lecturer at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

An Adjunct Struggles to Get on the Tenure Track

“You can see these other full-time professor positions, and you’re qualified for them,” says Shannon Berry, an adjunct, but the rigors of earning a living don’t leave her time to finish her dissertation.

An Adjunct, Unable to Make Tenure Track, Embraces Plan B

Hoping for tenure is “like moving to New York City and trying to become a dancer on Broadway,” says Matt Thompson, of Old Dominion University.

An Optimistic Adjunct on the Economic Edge

Rob Balla teaches up to eight classes a semester on as many as four campuses in northeastern Ohio. “This is the best job I’ve had. I honestly like it,” he says. But Mr. Balla and his family live on the economic edge: “I can’t remember the last time I actually went and saw a doctor. We go to school…

Speaking Out for Those Less Fortunate

Irene Schmidt’s pay barely covers her family’s electric bill, and she relies on her husband’s earnings to support her and her two children. An adjunct professor of Spanish at Johnson County Community College, in Overland Park, Kan., Ms. Schmidt can exist on meager pay because of her circumstances,…