SALARIES / JUL. 21, 2014
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South Florida Adjunct Professors Struggle to Make Ends Meet

"Whether you’re interested in working directly with students in a full-time instructional position, a part-time adjunct faculty position, or interested in helping the College grow through innovative business solutions, we have the perfect job to fit your needs and your career plan" it says on the Miami Dade College website.

According to many struggling faculty staff members in South Florida, this is far from the truth.

Since the 1970s, the adjunct profession has been viewed as a side job-especially for retirees or working professionals at community colleges. Now that this job position has expanded in responsibilities, South Florida’s adjunct professors are becoming quite frustrated with the system.

The title “Adjunct Professor” may appear to be a dream job for those aspiring to be a part-time college instructor. However, for professors at Miami Dade College and Broward College, it’s just a job position full of poor work scheduling, lack of health benefits, and low pay rates.

Additionally, they suffer from minimal job security.

Adjunct professors lead half of the courses taught at these two colleges. Most of these professors juggle multiple classes at one time, but they have nothing to show for their hard work and dedication.

What’s even worse is that classes can be canceled at any time or given to a full-time professor if there are issues with enrollment. 

Rod Appleton, who is a 10-year part-time graphic design adjunct professor, recalls making only a little over $20,000 a year. He claims that in the past he has had to pull money out of his savings just to survive. 

A January 2014 research report by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce validates this job’s poor salary even further, stating that a “stable salary, firmly grounded in the middle or upper-middle class, is becoming rare.”

Yet, sources say that an adjunct teaching position was never meant to provide comfortable living conditions in the same manner as a full-time position.

Now that adjunct professors are threatening to leave the field for better opportunities, the Board of Trustees at Broward College is acknowledging its involvement in the mistreatment of its faculty members. They plan to raise the wage by 5 percent-meaning $100 per course or $6.25 raise per week-and will implement other additional benefits.

Some professors say that this new pay rate will still not be enough, but Appleton thinks that this change may be a good start in the right direction since this will be the first time in 10 years that he has ever received a pay raise.

 

Image: theatlantic

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