With all the talk of income inequality in the news media, I thought I would weigh in on the topic.
Income inequality is alive and well on the campus of Weber State University. I have worked as an adjunct instructor at Weber State for 13 years. In that time, I have never received a raise or been offered any benefits. I’ve also been overlooked for permanent hire while people with much less and sometimes no teaching experience, are hired instead. Departments seem to value hiring people from Ivy League schools or schools attended by the department chairmen. Anyone educated locally isn’t valued as highly.
Meanwhile, adjuncts have to scramble every summer to find other employment to compensate for a small teaching load that does not pay the bills. All this, while permanent faculty leave for the summer on department-paid trips to different countries and paid sabbatical leaves. Adjuncts are often asked to do tasks which help permanent faculty earn tenure.
Now, adjuncts are being told we have to be cut even more and the university cannot afford to provide health care to adjunct instructors. The man who empties the trash at my desk on campus has more opportunity for advancement and benefits at Weber State than adjuncts do. If the university doesn’t want to provide adjuncts with health care, fine; but, don’t wound us twice by cutting our teaching load, too.
Steve D. Stones