As instructors, it is important to explain to students how higher education functions. How is tuition determined and where do those dollars go? Is there a relationship between tuition, student debt and faculty salaries? What is an adjunct? The following is a list of discussion ideas to get the conversation started.
Start here to research your school and create a fact sheet.
At a state school? You can find out how well your state funds higher ed here.
If you really want to dig into the data try the Delta Cost Project
“Assignment: Research your Adjunct Teachers”: One adjunct’s assignment to his students.
“The Clever Stunt Four Professors Just Pulled to Expose the Outrageous Pay Gap in Academia”: A great teaching tool or maybe an inspiration to action!
The Just in Time Professor: Report of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Contingent Labor
“A Room of our own”: An example of the impact adjunct teaching conditions have on students.
“Not a Scarlet Letter: Talking with Students about Being an Adjunct”: Excellent piece on why bring these issues into the classroom is so important.
Symbol of the Powerless: Mary Margaret Vojtko: One of the moments when the adjunct crisis entered the national conversation.
“Why your cousin with a Ph.D. is a basket case”: A first person account of the difficulties of the academic job market
Movies and videos
Con Job: Stories of Adjunct & Contingent Labor:This film was done by academics and is available for free.
Inequality for all (Available on Netflix and Amazon Watch Instantly): Robert Reich’s documentary on the rising gap between rich and poor and the stagnation of middle class wages.
Ivory Tower (Available on Amazon and Google Play): This film documents university budgets that prioritize buildings and support over instruction and burden students with excessive debt.
NAWD video from Ohio Part Time Faculty: Adjuncts in Ohio created this video to explain to students the term adjunct and explain the walk out day.
PBS Newshour on adjunct crisis: A news story that aired in 2014 and shows the conditions for adjunct faculty.
Other sources of information and inspiration