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How higher education fails adjuncts

September 29, 2013

The death of a longtime, part-time professor in Pittsburgh is gathering the attention nationwide....

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Sep-29-13 8:49 AM

Sarah, higher education is the big bastion of liberals. there is more liberal largess there, greed in terms of salaries than most any where. Tuition up much faster than rate of inflation. this is probably Bushs fault or global warming. Cancer at that age is 1 way street. She should have went to hospice and peacefully checked out. i have seen that happen.Unionizing will only make it worse. An exact quote from union leaders at GM. we make exhorbitant demands to force the company to do exhorbitant things. It was much easier at GM to make cars that did not sell than to close plants. All this due to unions.The ACA has had several unintended consequences. On TV, talkers ar saying it will be a cosmic change for America. All of it bad. Success to a liberal. Living wage ? in this case it was a dying wage. education is not at the heart of schools. how could anyone get such an idea ?

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Sep-29-13 9:29 AM

High labor costs necessitated adjunct teaching positions. It's a common practice throughout the country. These positions also offer individuals flexible hrs, allowing them to earn more money elsewhere. No ONE forced this woman to accept such a position, and she was free to seek F/T employment at any time over the last 60+ yrs. Ms Vojtko's story may be sad, but c'mon, blaming Duquesne is so weak that I can't believe you had the nerve to put it in writing.

For the same reasons, I'd like to see local school districts use adjuncts.

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Sep-29-13 9:54 AM

The use of adjuncts in higher education is absolutely no difference than any company using part-time workers. Some don't mind the part-time work; others have no choice to accept as there are no other opportunities but part-time work.

The difference with higher education is that they have no bondholders or stockholders to answer to. They increase their prices very year. They sit on sizable endowments -- aka, a pile of cash and assets. If they need part-time help to fill in gaps, then that's understandable. But when they make a decided effort to transform their workforce towards adjuncts because of simple greed -- they just don't believe they should pay more, they cease to lead the moral high ground, they hollow-out the social contract they try to engender.

Further eroding, in this case is that Duquesne is a Catholic university -- given the church's callousness towards its pedophilia victims, I don't find their moral bankrupt attitude towards adjuncts any less surprising...

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Sep-29-13 1:13 PM

Might I point out that this commentary(with a few changes) was featured last Sunday on NPR radio!

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Sep-29-13 6:49 PM

So, she gets paid for submitting "her version" of a story that was already reported on the radio by someone else last week?

Can't get any easier than that!

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Sep-29-13 10:49 PM

Sarah, I enjoy reading your point of view, even when I don't agree with it.

But your third paragraph from the bottom - looks like some of it was taken directly from the NPR article...unattributed at best and plagiarized at worst.

Very disappointing...good catch, joew.

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Sep-30-13 7:33 AM

cronig cherry picks again. Multiple times too. pedophilia erodes the university position as we are talking about a catholic instituion. Endowments too. Lets see, harvard is is sitting on a 33 billion dollar fund, yet charges an outrageous amount.cronig crows about moral stuff yet his same party fights choice for schools.. in many liberal schools, those moral high ground libs silence opposition from tea partiers.Cronig believes he is leading the high moral ground ! deluded cronig ? poor cronig. PS, lets take all the pedophile cases and stack them next to all the violence , shootings and just plain poor education in the public schools. Which is worse now, pedophilia or the liberal state of education ? Hmmm.

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Sep-30-13 2:01 PM


Blaming Duquesne for failing to provide a living wage, access to health benefits, or to adhere to its own stated principals and doctrine is an entirely appropriate course of action. They want us to believe that they are a Catholic institution to the extent necessary to avoid the reach of the NLRA, yet their treatment of contingent faculty betrays their lack of principle or adherence to the teachings of the Church. Shame on them for their shameless comportment.

Pointing to the status quo as justification of the status quo to invoke the bandwagon fallacy.

@Steiner To diminish this woman's struggle by pointing out the likelihood of her demise is calloused and irrelevant. It would be like proposing that we ignore your comments because you are going to die soon enough--after all, the leading cause of death is life, and you (i.e., we all) are terminally ill. It's a non sequitur and a straw man.

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Sep-30-13 2:31 PM

Here’s what I was referring to - -

NPR article: “...these itinerant teachers make up a whopping 75 percent of college instructors, with their average pay between $20,000 and $25,000 annually.”

Sarah: “...these itinerant teachers make up a 75 percent of college instructors, with their average pay between $20,000 and $25,000 annually.”

The sentence is grammatically correct as “a whopping 75 percent” but not as “a 75 percent.” So I think she inadvertently left in the “a” when cut-and-pasting that part of the NPR article and “rearranging things a bit.”

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Sep-30-13 8:45 PM

Is one (1) p/t job suppose to provide enough income to sustain a modest standard of living? Of course not! How many hrs per yr did she work to earn $10K? Seems to me she had a lot of free time on her hands, yet we're suppose to feel sorry for her b/c she CHOSE to work as little as possible? Was she forced to work at this university? NO! Could she have sought F/T employment elsewhere? Absolutely!

akrona: as an educated person, she wasn't too bright, and your comments put you in the same boat.

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Oct-01-13 9:00 AM

I kind of like adjuncts,the kind used to make beer that is.

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