News about the Adjunct Emergency Fund

Over the course of the last several months, Chris LaBree and I have interviewed and filmed adjuncts who tell stories of poverty, desperation and suffering.  We are struck over and over again by the unbelievable financial distress that tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of adjuncts are suffering across this country.  Right now, there are three who have most recently told me their stories.  I will not name them, because despite the suffering this labor abuse has caused us, we have pride, and feel shame at our situations.  But I can tell you that one adjunct is about to move into a sister’s basement.  Another, a Ph.D. in African American Studies, is living in a homeless shelter in Philadelphia – one specifically for recovering drug addicts.  She is subject to a curfew and to disciplinary action, as if she, too, is a criminal or an addict.  Her only crime was to study for over a decade to earn a Ph.D., and to teach for poverty wages.  The third adjunct, whose case is the most dire right now, is an artist and educator living in California, who will be homeless as of August 15.  Even worse, he now faces the possibility of losing his life’s work.  Most of his paintings and artwork, 30 years worth of work, is stored in a facility that will not give him access because he is several months behind in rent.  They have not discarded or destroyed the artwork yet, but that is becoming a real possibility as the month comes to a close.

Can you help this educator and artist to save his art, and to find another home?  For a mere $2150, he can pay the late rent on his storage locker, and he can find another home.  He may even be able to get his car fixed, since without it, his ability to teach will become even more limited.

Can you help us to build an emergency fund to help the countless adjunct university professors in America who are facing financial ruin?

Checks can be made to Hidden River Arts, marked “Adjunct Emergency Fund” and mailed to P.O. Box 421 Bala Cynwyd PA
19004.  We have a PayPal Donate button set up on our website: on the “Emergency” page.  Please consider helping us to help these people.

It is a horrifying thing that hard-working people, whose only crime is wanting to educate our nation’s youth,  have their lives thrust into poverty.  We have to take care of each other in every way we can.  Please pass this on to anyone else you think might care enough to help.

Thanks to all of you for your continued interest in this project, and for sharing your stories, your strength, and your support.

Since no one else is coming to our rescue, let’s commit to rescue each other.

About junctrebellion

'Junct Rebellion was established to raise awareness of the corporate colonization that has taken over our U.S. universities, beginning in the 1980s and growing more and more dire with each decade. Our state universities used to be free, or very low-cost; they used to employ full-time faculty; they were run by faculty for the purpose of disseminating scholarship, to fellow academics and students and to society at large. Now, stratospheric tuitions and crippling student loan debt have been normalized, 80% of faculty across the country are hired on "adjunct" contracts, usually lasting one semester at a time. Classes are designed and overseen by administrators who have never taught. Administrators outnumber both faculty and students on most campuses across the U.S. In short, our academic system has been hijacked by for-profit "business models" and corporatist values. Education is a social good and should be seen, valued and supported as such. It is not a commodity. Our students are not sacrificial lambs. Our scholars are not untouchables, to be starved out of existence. Please join us in our efforts to restore high-quality academia to American society.
This entry was posted in The Breakdown of the American University System and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to News about the Adjunct Emergency Fund

  1. Becky T says:

    This is a wonderful project.

    I have a website that reviews lit mags, and and many of our readers are MFA students/professors/adjuncts in one college or another. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help, get the word out, etc.

    Best of luck to you,
    Founding Editor
    The Review Review

  2. vcvaile says:

    Becky, if you’ve got a Facebook page, share the link there. If possible and not against Review policy, a notice on your website would be great too. I have a NM poetry site, Mountainair Poets & Writers Picnic, blog + FB page. Many area poets are adjuncts, so I’ll be posting it there too,

  3. Pingback: News about the Adjunct Emergency Fund | The Homeless Adjunct | A is for Adjunct |

  4. We need a new WPA for artists!

  5. Becky T says:

    Will do. Also, I’ll announce this in my newsletter.

  6. Pingback: Adjunct Emergency Fund - On Hiring - The Chronicle of Higher Education

  7. afamiglietti says:

    Emergency fund does not go far enough, this should be a strike fund.

  8. African Studies is underfunded.

  9. Dr. Tony Medlin says:

    I’m an adjunct and squeaking by, this summer has been horrible since a teaching position for a Children’s Film Camp fell through. I’m applying for a student loan deferment. I’m about to turn 60 and never dreamed I’d be in this position when I set my sights on teaching over thirty years ago.
    Dr. Tony Medlin

  10. Cate says:

    You are doing an amazingly wonderful deed. I wish I could help, but I am an adjunct too.

    I am probably moving into my sisters’ basement also in January. I can’t continue to live on adjunct pay, and I haven’t gotten a single response to all of the CV’s and resumes I’ve been sending out — I am 61. I guess they read ‘F’ when they see ‘Adjunct’.

  11. Amy Kalvig says:

    I’m not only an adjunct, but, a single mother, and, cancer survivor.

    In the Spring of 2010, I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, which resulted in a partial nephrectomy. I had to stop teaching in order to be put on welfare, so that I could get the operation I needed to save my life. It was a humbling decision.

    Three months after the surgery, I began teaching again. It was at that time that I’d learned that two full-time positions had become available at my school, and, that because I was sick, I missed out on applying and getting one of the positions. I was devastated.

    I’m lucky that I live in a rental house that is owned by my parents. They, in their 70s, have gone back to work, in order to help with my expenses. I feel like a loser, even though I’m doing all that I can do for myself and my daughter.

    I have an MA in English and Literature, and thought that getting my PhD would help me, but, my PhD friends have all encouraged me to not go back to school. They said that a PhD would only increase my debt and increase my ability to not get hired.

    One of my PhD friends recently learned that her salary as a tenure-track professor is less than that of a full-time elementary school teacher in her community.

    What does this say about society’s views on higher ed?

    Amy Kalvig

    • Regina Price says:

      Try to stay strong although it is the most difficult thing to do during times like these. As a registered nurse with a masters in nursing, I have been unemployed for seven months. I know for a fact there is no nursing shortage! I never thought I would be unemployed at any time in my life. Also in my 60’s I am not far from being homeless.

      • Amy says:

        God love you, Regina. I will pray you get a job!! Age discrimination is rampant in this country and it’s unfair. Ugh… my heart aches for you!

  12. This is a phenomenal idea. As an adjunct, I have found myself at times making less than minimum wage when I count the hours I spend on work outside of the classroom: office hours, prep, grading, researching. With young children that require daycare for me to work, I have little to nothing left over. Let’s not even talk about the obscene amount I owe in student loans. Fortunately my husband has a job that pays for everything else, and we have a good relationship. Unfortunately, if anything ever happened to him, I would not be able to support my family. I admit I didn’t always make the best decisions throughout my education, but they were generally good ones. As the first and only person in my family to even graduate high school, I did the best I knew how.

    I have looked for full time work inside academe and out. I keep running into the same problem everywhere. I am overeducated and underqualified. I continue to look and apply for a full time gig, meanwhile I make less per hour than my my college age daughter who has a part time job.

    I applaud you for bringing the experiences of adjuncts to light and finding a way to assist those in need.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I turned in my resignation today after recognizing signs of emotional abuse in my boss towards me. I worked as an adjunct after I graduated from graduate school. It lasted two semesters. That was all I could tolerate, I began recognizing things in our relationship that was similar to an emotionally and physically abusive relationship I had in the past. Things were making sense why I would feel a certain way when I talked to her. I am a survivor of domestic violence. I can recognize the typical characteristics of an abuser. They are addicted to power and control over others. I felt like she treated me like an object without any feelings. She would constantly demand something and it was on her schedule without any regard to mine. I began making my safety plan to escape and leave.

    I guess the incident that really validated that she was abusive was the time I e-mailed her to inform her that I offered a position with higher wages. It was in my field and offered financial security. She tried to encourage me to stay and earn my doctorate degree. She tried to convince me to remain as an adjunct and reject the offer. I competed graduate school last year I was already behind on student loans and the idea of more debt was scary. I worked as a teaching assistant and hated being treated like an indentured slave. She knew I complained to the school many times about the low pay. Many adjuncts had difficulty paying for basic necessities like food and shelter, including myself. I barely had money to pay all my bills on time. I became behind on my rent.. I was on the verge of eviction. I realized that she and the school did not have my best interests at heart. It was an abusive relationship. I had to survive and escape this toxic environment. I accepted the offer, resigned, and never looked back.

  14. Dr. Tony Medlin says:

    Would sell a kidney for student loan pay-off, but it wouldn’t make a dent . . .

  15. Pingback: 20 Telling Stats on the State of Academic Pay - Best Colleges Online

  16. Pingback: 20 Telling Stats on the State of Academic Pay – – Sharing Viral Content

  17. Pingback: They turned college into McDonald's: Adjunct professors, fast-food wages and ... -

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s