Nothing in Biology Makes Sense: Adjunctivitis

2006.10.21 - Life Sciences South, University of Idaho The life sciences building at the University of Idaho. Photo by jby.

Over at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! Noah Reid tackles the question that was left hanging in my recent article about a six-day creationist teaching introductory microbiology at the University of Idaho: how a person with such questionable credentials could have been hired in the first place. Noah argues that it’s a symptom of the poor treatment of adjunct faculty in American higher education.

These faculty are hired on a course by course, semester by semester basis. They receive no benefits and don’t have a shred of job security. By some estimates an average “full-time” adjunct faculty member teaching 8 courses a year (3 each semester and 2 in the summer, perhaps?) would make less than $30,000 a year and it’s thought that adjunct faculty are now doing 70% of the teaching at higher education institutions in the US.

… In response to this, I want to use a recent post at this blog to highlight a slightly less well covered aspect of the issue and the other side of that coin: when you offer shitty compensation, you might just get shitty employees.

To see the argument in full, go read the whole thing. Edited to add: and see also P.Z. Myers’s blistering reaction.◼