A Full-Time Professor at Adjunct Pricing

Here’s a novel way to save money.

College finances are a matter of continual struggle. While some accuse academic organizations of overspending on administration at the expense of faculty, the fact remains that all institutions have to decide carefully how to spend their money.

A common tactic colleges use to get instructors on the cheap is to increasingly hire adjunct faculty. These part-time teachers are hired on a temporary basis and often receive low pay and few benefits. But could there be a more satisfying solution?

According to an article by Amy Julia Harris in the the Charleston Gazette:

As part of a $150,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation, the University of Charleston, Bethany College, Davis & Elkins College, Emory & Henry College and West Virginia Wesleyan College are pooling resources to offer a remedial math class taught by one professor across the five colleges and sharing an American history professor between two campuses beginning this fall.

Officials say the arrangement allows the university to replace adjunct faculty members with an expert in American history.

If several institutions only need people to teach a few classes, instead of hiring lots of adjuncts, why not just hire several full-time faculty to teach in different places? While I don’t envy the driving those professors will have to endure, this seems to make a lot more sense than hiring a lot of people at starvation wages.

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