We’ve been talking a lot about academia this summer and there’s another must-read entry that should go on your reading list. This one is from concert saxophonist and educator Lois Hicks-Wozniak, who recently wrote about her decision to resign from all three of her adjunct faculty positions. The reason was simple: lousy pay, lousy prospects, and lack of appreciation and acknowledgement.
Along with a pivot into lack of diversity among faculty and curriculum, she provides a good bit of detail into quantifying her decision. When she left her positions, she encouraged each school to replace her with a full-time position and the new hire should be BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People Of Color).
We should ask and demand change – even if it means the change doesn’t benefit us.
Students deserve faculty who are paid well and respected. Students deserve faculty who feel respected enough to truly be invested. Countless times I was advised to only teach the minimum. I couldn’t do that and students deserve more.
The more things change, the more they stay the same…until they don’t. Academia has been forced to deal with reckonings that have been generations in the making. #MeToo misconduct, skyrocketing tuition, and ethically dubious business arrangements have focused a degree of transparency traditional leadership simply can’t ignore.
Hopefully, we’ll see adjunct faculty employment arrangements rise to that same level.