A recent article in The Guardian spoke about the predicaments of the full time temporary professors and how they were ranked even lower than part – time professors in the academic hierarchy. This brings quite an interesting topic to the core. What exactly happens behind the scenes in the world of academia?
A prestigious tenure track position (full-time permanent position as a professor) which comes with its own perks like intellectual liberty, an esteemed status in the academia along with a life time permanent position in the university is a dream of many. However, this cloud nine is mostly elusive.
According to a recent study, majority of the professors who have been teaching in post 1992 universities (Polytechnics and central institutions who were given university status through the Further And Higher Education Act 1992), for over a decade, are yet to achieve a permanent status. And, therefore they continue working on minimum wages. The situation is much more disturbed than it seems on the periphery. As due to lack of financial security, they cannot even have access to basic benefits like applying for a mortgage.
The real culprit has been identified as the low funding provided by the government to the UK universities which in turn forces them to resort to various cost – cutting ways such as hiring more and more part – time or adjunct professors. And also by keeping full time professors working on temporary basis on hold.
The real reason that universities find adjuncts cheaper is that they need not incur additional expenses on various benefits like support for personal research or investment on a personal office etc. Moreover, they even restrict their teaching hours to a certain limit lest they should become eligible for health insurance.
It is evident to note that the disparate ratio between adjuncts and full timers affects the latter more because these handful of full timer temporary professors are now required to fulfill many duties of the university like advising department students, researching, serving on campus along with other community members etc.
The undoubtedly harsh world of academia is equally tough for the adjuncts too. Adjuncts are usually used and disposed i.e. they are simply switched after a semester. And, so the adjuncts hold their breaths at the end of each semester, in the hope of being rehired and may be appointed in a permanent position, someday.
Many PhD research candidates bear the brunt too. While multitasking between their research and part time teaching jobs at the university, they are often unable to focus on their research work. Thus, this is also one of the main reasons that they take professional PhD thesis help.
And not only for the professors, it poses a difficult situation for the students too who are unable to build a healthy student – teacher relationship during their academic years. Many of them aspire to have Letter of recommendations from their professors. But with their professors constantly moving in and out at the end of each semester, it becomes impossible to build a close and continuous rapport with them.
Looking at the status quo, it can be assumed that adjuncting will be on the rise in the coming years if government funding remains insufficient. And the temporary professors of the academia will continue living on the edge.