Is Your Professor also a Waitress or in Retail?

The crisis in college teaching is old hat on blogs like this. The professoriate is divided into a two tiered system, in which one group-the tenure track-has the good fortune to have job security and a decent salary, while an often-time larger groups has only semester-to-semester job security, and a part-time teaching gig which may or may not pay the bills of a middle class lifestyle.

I was lucky—I only had to do two years of adjuncting before being gifted with the luxury of tenure track security. The biggest gift of tenure-track, I think, was not having to worry about the semester-to-semester job search; instead I could focus on the development of classes and a long-term research program, something that anyone with an adjunct status is hard-put to piece together.

As this article in the New York Times describes yet another permutation of this problem: Your professor as your waitress. Not that different than what Julie Garza-Withers posted here at, where she compared college teaching at the adjunct level to working retail.