Proliferation of university administrators and rise of the underpaid adjunct professorship

Proliferation of university administrators and rise of the underpaid adjunct professorship

We usually don’t dwell in politics, thinking there are more important matters in life, such as the mysteries of genetics and biology. However, everyday life is an exposure to politics and policies. The Fall of the Faculty is the title of a new book by Benjamin Ginsberg and it targets the inequalities of the American higher educational system. Today only 17% of university instructors are tenured, meaning that most teaching is conducted by low-paid adjunct professors. From 1975 to 2011 the number of adjunct professors increased with 400%. The university feudal system works like this: at the top of the pyramid are tenured professors and administrator – these guys have generous pay and benefits. At the bottom you have adjunct professors, with no job security and low pay. Since 1975, endowment of top universities has increased steadily. However, has this led to an increase in the amount of tenured faculty per student? Apparently not. Universities have instead focused on hiring armies of administrators, deans, vice deans, provosts, and financial officers, who have proliferated at the expense of permanent faculty. This book is a critical and entertaining read for everyone who has been in academia.

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