Monday, February 29, 2016

Damned are the Lecturers and Adjuncts...

... because there is no room for them to be recognized as legitimate faculty in many universities.

We are damned* because we represent (through no fault of our own) two irreconcilable sides of the same problem: we are a cost-saving solution for university administrators who don't allow more needed tenure-track positions to be created and a threat to the very existence of tenure and thus, a threat to our colleagues.

Therefore, we cannot be allowed to do research, get involved in meaningful curriculum development, advise students and, otherwise "shine" in any way that can cast a shadow on our tenure track colleagues, because then the administration may turn to departments and point out that there is no need for tenure. They tell us cheerfully to come, teach, and go home and be happy that we are not required to do all the other "boring work."

It's the most awful kind of victimization -- we are victims of a system that is keen to both have us in the first place and to make sure we are nobody and nothing. Those of us with PhDs were trained to do research and have extensive teaching experience (which at times surpasses that of a few new tt hires), and yet, we are treated as "second class" academics with no need for intellectually stimulating work.

We exist because the universities want to admit more and more undergraduates without hiring more tenure track faculty and, mercifully, without growing their graduate programs even more (because, as it is, many of these degree recipients will have an extremely hard time getting jobs and may end up as lecturers too, creating a never-ending vicious cycle of misery).

It doesn't feel good to be "damned"/doomed/cursed and being in such a disagreeable position where there is not much, if anything, that can be done. Even with a three year contract. Sigh...

* I don't like to use this word, but I was at a loss for which one to use. I know words matter a lot and I never use such language, but in this case I still felt it was the one that had the best ring to it. "Doomed" or "Cursed" are too specific and while damned seems to have lost a lot of its original religious meaning and it has become a lame insult and emphasis word, I decided to use it. It's not even considered a verb [a past participle, in this case] in the few online dictionaries I checked, and only an adjective & an adverb, that disappointed me. In any case, I wanted to make a parallel with the biblical beatitudes "blessed are those that... because..." and so I went ahead and chose to use this word. What do you think?

No comments: