Have you taken a class with an adjunct? I have. Most of the time, I’ve found that adjuncts are excellent people who care deeply about their students. Often, adjuncts are passionate about the work they do outside of HU and want to share their experience with students. Sometimes, adjuncts provide their students with a much-needed perspective about how their field of study works in the real world.
And all of the time, I’ve found that adjuncts are underpaid and overworked.
Adjunct professors are often forced to split their time between teaching classes and working a full-time job. If they don’t have a full-time job, they’re probably a little worried about providing for themselves or their families on a tight budget. Regardless of whether they are working a job and a half or half a job, one thing is clear: Adjuncts can’t afford to focus on being professors.
Adjuncts who work full time, especially those who have families, have more things to focus on than they can reasonably be expected to juggle. If HU adjuncts are overwhelmed with juggling and need to drop a ball, it won’t be their full-time job. It can’t be their search for a permanent job. I pray that it isn’t their familial duties. That leaves only one option: their classes.
As a student, I have fallen victim to the plague that is an overworked adjunct. I have sat in classes that are taught directly from a textbook. I have noticed when professors are only available for a small, specific window of time. I have asked questions that have gone unanswered — to no fault of the adjunct.
Part-time professors do not have the time or energy to put the same amount of effort into teaching a course as a full-time professor can. I have had several classes with adjuncts, all of whom are amazing people. Many of them have tried to invest time and efforts into developing relationships with their students. The sad truth, however, is that adjuncts are limited in what they can do.
Every adjunct I have met is a wonderful person with the potential to be a great professor. All of the adjuncts I have met care about their students and the subjects they teach. Unfortunately, the adjunct lifestyle is not a healthy one. Hiring adjuncts and eliminating full-time professor positions is not a Christian solution; it forces part-time professors to neglect their work, their families, or their classes, and this isn’t fair to anyone.