The Worst Metaphor

For decades professors have been frustrated and annoyed with colleges’ increasing use of adjunct professors, non-salaried, non-tenure track faculty who are paid for each class they teach. As Inside Higher Ed reported back in 2008:

While many adjunct instructors are great classroom teachers, their working conditions — such as lack of office hours, being cut off from curricular decisions, being forced to move from campus to campus — result in a reduced quality of education, and erode the job security vital for academic freedom.

Or, in the words of Towson University Adjunct Art Professor Allen Zaruba, he was “a nigger on the corporate plantation.”

Towson has now indicated that Zaruba was both right and very, very wrong.

Zaruba made the statement while teaching a class on Monday, Feb 22. On Feb 25 Zaruba was fired. Towson’s provost, Marcia Welsh, said that Zaruba was dismissed because:

Towson University strongly supports and upholds academic freedom in the classroom and across our learning community; however, such patently offensive language on the part of university employees will not be tolerated and does not reflect our value system.

There will apparently be no gap in the classes taught by Zaruba; other adjuncts have taken over his course load.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer