University Gives Raises . . . to Some

Farmington, MO

#1 Aug 14, 2012
Southeast Missouri State University recently announced that everyone--faculty, staff, teaching assistants--will receive a 2% raise starting this fall. Apparently the University doesn’t understand what “everyone” means because its part-time faculty has been excluded from this. Some 40 such instructors have only received a .03% raise ($3.25 per week more) in the last ten years (inflation has risen 127% during this time).

For an average class of 30 students, the University makes almost $20,000 but can only pay its part-time faculty 1% of that revenue (full-time faculty take 60-100% of that income, which is ironic when you consider that “part-time” teaches over 60% of what full-time does: PT, 5 classes/yr; FT, 8 classes/yr). By ratio, if part-time faculty’s jobs require 60%(5/8) of the time of a full-time position, that would obligate them to 24 hours per week. Given their pay scale, this puts their hourly wage at a little over minimum at $8.02. Bear in mind that to teach part-time, one must have at least a Master’s degree (and benefits are not offered). The sad part is that in some departments, the part-time faculty bears a (large) majority of the burden when it comes to freshman course offerings. In the spring semester, the pay is so low (part-timers are only allowed two classes in the spring) that these instructors qualify for food stamps.

To say that the simple solution is for the part-timers to go elsewhere overlooks the fact that, due to contractual obligations that run at four-month stretches, it is difficult to find another job with such brief windows in between semesters. Once lured in, part-timers are typically stuck between a poverty-stricken rock and a financial hard place.

And you wonder what happened to the quality of education.

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