If you are a college student, you have likely heard of adjunct and tenured professors, but what are they and how is one different from the other? To sum it up, tenured professors get academic freedom and a decent salary, while adjunct faculty gets paid much less with no job security.
You may wonder why all teachers do not just become tenured professors. It is not that easy, however. Colleges and universities exercise that control and many are doing away with tenure because of the cost. Tenured professors were in high demand until the 1970s, when enrollment growth was high and it was necessary to obtain highly educated teachers. Now that more and more graduates are getting Ph.D.s, tenure-track is no longer a necessity.
Tenure, however, can be a financial liability for a school. It is basically guaranteeing a teacher a job for a lifetime. The average salary for a full-time teacher is $84,303 per year. Those who are tenured can make a six-figure salary.
That is a lot of money for a college to invest in a teacher. Enrollment can decline. A tenured teacher’s performance can worsen over time. Students may have different interests. All of these factors can result in a costly mistake.
Currently, 73% of faculty positions are not on the tenure track. Therefore, those seeking a tenured position have an uphill battle. Tenured positions are only increasing slightly, while part-time and adjunct faculty positions are growing faster than ever. This can cause a professor to feel discriminated against, especially if he or she was promised a tenured position.
Understanding Adjunct Professors
Adjunct professors have very little security in the world of academia. They are paid peanuts compared to tenured professors, at just $20,000 to $25,000 a year. More than half have to take on additional jobs to earn a decent living. Most are offered no benefits. Some barely afford groceries. Many live at home with parents to make ends meet, which can create a negative situation for an institution.
The biggest benefit of adjunct professor positions is that they offer flexibility—for both the teacher and the school. It allows a professor to work part-time if they desire. It also allows the school to change directions as needed. They can easily cancel classes due to low enrollment or changing interests.
Contact a New York Employment Discrimination Lawyer
Granting tenure to a professor is a risky proposition for a college. However, if you are a professor who was denied tenure for some reason, you may be able to file a discrimination case.
The numbers of tenured professionals are decreasing, while there is a rise in adjunct professors. This is not fair to those who have dedicated their lives to the academic field. The experienced New York discrimination lawyers at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can help protect your rights and help you fight for the justice you deserve. They understand the laws and can advise you of your options if you are facing discrimination. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (347) 464-8694.