The Deepening Caste System in Higher Education

ACADEME BLOG

Many commentators on what is undermining higher education have focused on administrative bloat, on the increasing allocation of revenues to non-instructional or administrative positions.

Some have pointed to the increasing exploitation of adjunct faculty at most institutions, citing the very minimal compensation, the non-existent benefits, the general lack of staff support, and the complete lack of employment security that are characteristic of adjunct positions.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, others have emphasized the ever-increasing expectations of tenured faculty—in their teaching loads, in the number of publications they are expected to produce and the grant dollars they are expected to attract, and in the range and depth of their service responsibilities—expectations that have seem to have risen in proportion to the decline in the percentage of faculty who are tenured and on tenure tracks.

Those concerned about the increasing reliance on adjunct faculty might be inclined to scoff at…

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