My colleague, Adam Millsap, wrote an interesting article on the appropriateness of adjunct wages in the Tiger News that has gotten a lot of heat from fellow professors and adjuncts at Clemson University. (This is apparent based upon the high number of online views and vicious comments on the article.) This paper is also in print, so his article has spread to a wide audience. I think he brings up two solid economic points in his article about opportunity cost and demand/supply being the cause of what some would call ‘low’ wages. He also argues against an opposing argument that colleges and universities are colluding to set low wages. I think this article is a great read and definitely worth a discussion. Without spoiling too much of his argument, take a look for yourself.
Adjunct pay is a current “hot” topic following the Duquesne University adjunct death. A quote by CNN writer Gary Rhoades states that:
“Adjunct professors [are].. part of a growing army of working poor”
Meanwhile, Tuft’s University formed one of the firm adjunct faculty labor unions.