Adjunct instructors struggle with lower pay and far less job security than their tenured counterparts, and today, they plan to take a stand against it: It's National Adjunct Walkout Day, Inside Higher Ed reports. The walkout was conceived by an anonymous adjunct at San Jose State University in October, the site notes. Now it's all over social media, from Tumblr to Twitter to Facebook. The Chronicle of Higher Education notes that the event's title is misleading: It's more about spreading awareness than actually striking. Supporters will be distributing literature, holding protests, and talking to lawmakers.
Students aren't aware of the challenges adjuncts face, says a Yeshiva University history professor, and "until very recently, full-time tenured faculty members did not know how bad off the adjuncts on their campuses were." Some are on food stamps, she says. Adds a Penn State professor to the Kansas City Star: "Many of them are working at or under the poverty line, without health insurance; they have no academic freedom worthy of the name because they can be fired at will." From Southern California to Boston, some have begun to form unions, while workers at universities across the country (and beyond) are announcing plans to get out the message today. "It is absolutely a national movement," says a lecturer.