On Wednesday, Broward College will be the site of a gubernatorial debate between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist. Good time to bring attention to another important issue at the college.
In recent years, colleges and universities have faced a crisis within their ranks. Fewer and fewer teaching jobs are designed as full-time positions with benefits, and administrations instead use highly educated but poorly paid part-time or contract workers to teach the bulk of classes. Though these lecturers or adjunct professors frequently teach classes of the same quality and/or duration as the full-time professors, they typically accept the poor compensation in hopes that they can one day slide into permanent positions. Meanwhile, a few top-level administrators get away with six-figure salaries that come as fruits of the adjuncts' labor. Some adjuncts are starting to organize in response; a national walkout day is slated for February.
I am an adjunct who teaches history at Broward College. Despite having worked here for a decade, the maximum I can earn teaching a full load of classes is $16,000 a year -- poverty wages. In the past year, I have harnessed the discontent of my fellow adjuncts and attempted to engage the administration to rectify the two-tiered labor conditions.
Now, the college administration has utilized a classic time-stalling technique of creating of a "task force" to get to the bottom and really do some sleuthing over what makes perpetual adjuncting such a sort of academic purgatory.