America’s adjunct faculty “lacks a professional identity and a sense of self-worth, according to a study published in the American Behavioral Scientist. Yes, they did a study to determine this.

It’s perhaps more important to note that they also often lack health care and retirement accounts.

According to John Levin of the University of California, Riverside, who wrote the study, “Right now, they have become like serfs – a labor force for tenure-track faculty. That needs to change. Institutions need to take responsibility for these employees.”

Only about 30 percent of American academics now have tenure-track positions.

Expecting “institutions need to take responsibility for these employees” is pie-in-the-sky unrealistic, however. The only way to address this, as I’ve pointed out before, is for universities to produce fewer PhDs. We have too many of them.

The reason institutions abuse adjunct faculty is that there are still people willing and eager to take low-paid, no benefit positions at American colleges. This is because American universities are creating more PhD graduates than there are tenure-track positions available for them.

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