The Tenure Track
(My thoughts of adjunct professors and random other things).
by Mitchell Eismont
Recently I accepted a tenure track assistant professor job at a local university. Back when I was getting my MFA and even my BFA, I wish my professor would have told me how hard it was to get their job, and also to keep it. After I got my MFA I worked as an adjunct professor for four years. If I not had a spouse and another job as a graphic designer, I would have not made ends meat. From my personal experience adjunct professors make from $2250 to $2600 a class, this could be more in different areas. An adjunct teacher normal teaches about 3 class, sometimes 4. (This number is on the decline with affordable health care act limiting the amount of hours a person can work before the company has to pay for healthcare).
Ok so if you aren’t an adjunct teacher and are reading this blog you are probably thinking, (Rounding the sum off), that $2500 x 3 classes is $7500 a term and they only teach about 12 hours a week. Well you are certainly incorrect, in my own dealings to took me way more than 12 hours a week to teach 3 classes. I had to prep for the classes, teach, grade assignments, be at office hours, answer e-mails, stay up to date on the current trends in my field, plus much more. Some weeks I would work 50 plus hours for those 3 classes. If I do some simple math, I would make about $12 an hour or less. If you factor in the cost of paying back your student loans, for graduate and undergraduate schools, you are left with about enough gas money to make it to work.
I consider myself lucky that I got a tenure track position, because they are rare.