To: Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education and President Donald Trump

Better Pay for Adjuncts: Stop our Exploitation

Better your child's education: demand better pay for the lowly paid adjunct!

Why is this important?

Teacher working conditions are student learning conditions. Adjuncts teaching college students have more than doubled since 1970. Today, contingent faculty teaches 75% of classes nationwide, yet we are paid shamefully little in comparison to our tenured or tenure track counterparts. According to the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (, on average, we are paid $2700 per course with no benefits. Multiply this by a full load of courses per year, and what do we get? Of course, we usually have limits on courses too. So as you can see, we do not get a living wage!

We have almost no chance for advancement, we have insecure continuity with our semester-to-semester schedule, and we have relatively little say on anything pertaining to our university or college. Moreover, because we are compensated so unequally, we need to hold several teaching positions in order to support ourselves, making our workload unfeasible. How can we survive?

If you want a better education for students, then you must demand better pay and status for the majority of faculty teaching in today's institutions of higher education across the country. Demand better salaries for the underpaid and undervalued adjuncts, the contingency labor force that teaches most of the imperative core classes students need in order to succeed in today's competitive academic climate.


Reasons for signing

  • I'm a half time lecturer at Purdue University and feel like I've been exploited for years. My classes always fill, I consistently take on independent study students (for free), always get high student evals, and am on the undergrad show committee. Even though I teach the same amount as associate or assistant professors, I make 1/3 to 1/4 of what they make. My low salary has directly increased my level of anxiety, depression, and general feeling of being a lesser human being.
  • Please send me updates. On my contract it states requirements on top of the adjunct hours. Those requirements alone puts me at 30 hours a week yet they will not recognize that as hours. I even went as far as showing them the required hours for adjuncts listed on the irs site to calculate health care benefits and they will not comply. I also want to know who I can contact to push this through and get updates. I’ve been teaching 20 years and feel this is an extreme injustice.
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