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Free Preview – ACADEMIC SHARECROPPERS: Exploitation of Adjunct Faculty and the Higher Education System

After nearly three decades of working in the higher education system for many colleges and universities, primarily as an adjunct professor (academic sharecropper), because I am a business and management consultant, this insider believes there is a story that needs to be told about the exploitation of adjunct faculty, students, and the general public.  This book is a culmination of observations, experiences, research, and teaching at the college/university level.  Higher education, as well as the health care system, are out of control and have been for quite some time.  Greed and insatiable egos drive nearly all decisions regarding higher education.  Unfortunately, the public hardly flinches when tuition is increased.  Colleges and universities, with impunity, raise the cost.  For the most part, the leaders of these institutions are interested in adding programs, building physical monuments such as libraries, colleges of business, sports arenas, and so forth, while increasing the salaries of administrators and full-time faculty incrementally.  Yet, the “sharecropper faculties” (adjunct faculties) seldom see any change in their paychecks.  Educational institutions, whether public or private, ride the backs of their adjunct faculty.

This book is not about a veiled attempt to embarrass, deride, or criticize specific individuals or institutions, because exploitation of faculty, students, and the public is a generalized problem.  Many today are quick to criticize companies for outsourcing jobs and work to lesser developed countries (LDCs).  Yet, higher education in the United States accomplishes essentially the same thing by using adjunct faculty to teach courses, that is, adjunct faculty receive approximately one-quarter to one-third the pay on a per course basis as do full-time faculty, fringe benefits aside.  This writing is about immorality and ethical breaches where administrative power, politics, and pettiness prevail.  The following pages contain factual information and numerous real-life examples of administrative, ethical, and moral failures by leaders of institutions of higher education, where part-time (adjunct) faculty, students, and the general public are exploited.

As a colleague and friend recently said to me, “You’ve heard of death of a salesman, there’s soon gonna be the death of a teacher.”  I fully realize that writing and publishing this book will probably end my stint at adjunct teaching as an academic sharecropper, but one must live by his or her beliefs.  This is an accurate account of what goes on in America’s educational institutions.  As a teacher of business and management ethics, I’m well aware that those who whistle blow, seldom, if ever, work in their fields again.  And, in my case, this is a form of whistle blowing—and so be it!  Finally, if errors of omission or commission have been made, it is my responsibility and mine alone.