This isn’t a proper blog post, but rather the sharing of a recent CBC radio program discussing the income gaps between tenured and adjunct faculty at university. Among the panel of participants are a PhD who left academia after realizing how long she would have to spend at the lowest rung of the ladder, a tenured English prof from UBC (my home department), and an associate professor of business from Sprott School of Business at Carleton University.
This is a timely topic in Canada as we are, at the moment, experiencing two strikes at universities on our East Coast. Though I have not been following the strike action all that closely, I have also not heard about what the role of adjuncts is in this particular action. The focus seems to be on the tenured profs’ grievances with the employer. I fully support fighting for fair treatment and pay and I hope this strike action can be resolved beneficially for both sides. Regardless of the outcome, however, there will still be a large portion of university courses being taught by adjuncts who don’t have the same kind of voice or power as those in tenured positions and I think this program does a good job of presenting some of the issues facing adjuncts in Canada and all over the post-secondary world. And, being the CBC, not everyone necessarily agrees on what these issues are.
So, give it a listen. It’s only 24 minutes long (shorter if you blast past the preamble at the beginning) and it is highly informative. The public and university students need to know about the state of their post-secondary institutions.