About ‘Junct Rebellion

‘Junct Rebellion is an organization established to raise awareness about the demise of the American university system, through its rampant practice of adjunct faculty labor abuse and its steadily eroding concern about the quality of education provided to students.

Over the last 30 years, a slow and ruinous trend has turned our institutions of higher learning into degree mills, where students are called “clients” and faculty are hired as contingent workers.  Students are being taught by dedicated but demeaned professors who have no offices, who are hired semester-by-semester for wages lower than those of K-Mart workers.  Students have little to no personal access to faculty beyond the classroom. They receive no on-going mentoring or guidance; they get precious little of the support they have a right to expect from a faculty available full-time for meetings, professional advising or course content help.  Their teachers have to meet them in hallways, or in faculty lounges….sometimes in the neighborhood coffee shop.  Rather than face to face meetings, they are forced to resort to email exchange.  Forget what you remember about the university experience of the past.  This is the corporatized university, where the needs of the students and the value of the professors are minimized in the pursuit for a profit which benefits neither.
As tuition costs soar, and students and their parents strain under the debt of loans, a pyramid scheme has been developing.  University president salaries have skyrocketed, administrators now outnumber faculty on campuses around the country and the contingent majority faculty are living on food stamps and state assistance.  Student drop out rates are increasing while success scores are lower than they’ve ever been.  Our students are pushed through a degree mill that results in a more and more meaningless diploma which is no longer reflective of real higher education.

We’ve seen the terrible damage that has been done with the corporate take-over of medicine and the ruination of our healthcare system.  We’ve seen how rampant greed in our financial and banking systems have caused the meltdown of the average American’s financial security.  What is happening in our universities is part of the same disease.

Founder of ‘Junct Rebellion, Debra Leigh Scott, and Filmmaker Chris LaBree, Owner of 2255 Films, have partnered to produce a documentary ‘Junct: The Trashing of Higher Ed. in America.  Debra is also writing a book of the same name.  Their hope is to raise awareness of the sad fact that American academia has been replaced by an  Edu-Factory which ruins lives more often than improves them.  Adjunct university professors living in poverty, undergraduate students crippled by debt — this system has hidden behind a well-preserved myth for too long.  ‘Junct Rebellion aims to blow the myth wide open and expose the realities.

For more information, consultations, or to arrange for us to speak with your group, please contact Debra at junctrebellion@gmail.com.  We welcome the opportunity to meet and talk with parents, students, high school educators and counselors — all who are involved in and committed to the idea of high quality education for our children and for ourselves.

20 Responses to About ‘Junct Rebellion

  1. I have so much to tell you.

  2. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing in your feed and I am hoping you write once more very soon!

  3. Melissa Storms says:

    I resigned in protest from ten years as (I refuse to use the word “adjunct”) Associate faculty in Seattle, WA this past June. My resignation was an act of protest in response to my growing and very painful realization that my participation in this corrupt and oppressive system was not “helping”– it was in fact complicity in my own and others’ oppression. I hope to be a part of raising awareness about a system that I believe is killing our democracy. I would like to join forces.

  4. Pingback: Reporting from the New Faculty Majority Summit - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education

  5. Katie says:

    I agree. It’s also ruining the lives of the adjuncts and wasting huge potential. I am about to resign out of protest as well, after 12 years, but frankly, if they don’t care, how can it be a protest? I’m reminded of T.S. Eliot: ‘this is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.’ I have thought of creating a powerpoint to show at a faculty meeting before I leave, showing everything I have done for their institution, and the research and publishing I have done, which anywhere else would be enough for tenure. They chose not hire me permanently when they could have. And now I just walk away? But what else can I do?

  6. Wakelyn says:

    I’ve been adjuncting for 2 years now at a university and community college. I spend 6 hours a week in the car. I decided to teach because it allowed me the flexibility so that I could sing in productions when I could get hired (I sing opera) and also because I graduated from graduate school in the middle of the recession. Unfortunately, I find myself spending every waking hour doing stuff for classes and I am burning out already. I really love teaching, but I don’t think this can go on for much longer, especially because I cannot get a mortgage for a house or make enough money (or have enough time) to one day have a family. Good to see more discussion of the adjunct plight.

  7. Vince says:

    How true- i can remember when professors were like gods- they had time, had dedication nd they regarded their profession with dignity. Oh how true- the colleges have become mills, full time tneured have become imperivous and the state governments… well what more can I say. Keep up this work- today’s universities could not function with out adjuncts. And some day we will understand this and take action that will bring us decent wages, benefits and job satisfaction!!!

  8. Frank Rommey says:

    Having taught at the University level I am so much with you on this that it becomes painful…

  9. when will the film be ready for release and distribution?

  10. FreeYourMindinSC says:

    Interesting site; interesting piece on “How the University Was Killed in Five Easy Steps.” I might quarrel with this or that detail, but I’m glad this essay is out there. Bringing in the specter of corporatism is sound. Unfortunately, though, the average American probably doesn’t know what corporatism is. I’m not even sure the average tenured-class faculty member knows what it is.

    Let me just say: at the end of this past spring semester I walked away from an adjunct position I’d held for eight years, receiving just one very small pay increase that did not keep up with the cost of living which was skyrocketing in my area. Among the most immediate factors that led to my walking away was my discovery that other departments at my institution (the business school, for example) had created Instructor positions that paid upward of $40K a year while I & my fellow adjuncts in General Humanities (I handled mainly Introduction to Philosophy) were paid around $20K a year which was not enough for a single male to live on (unless, of course, he was willing to live in a closet-sided apartment). I wondered aloud, on my way out the door, whether my very visible departure–I’ll spare the details–would make any difference, & he told me he thought not. “It’s a buyer’s market,” he said, naming one of the key problems–kept that way by the way resources are allocated at virtually all public universities & many private ones as well assuring “no money” to create more tenure-track appointments or at least pay NTT faculty living wages (but when the business school or the athletic department wanted something done, all of a sudden there was plenty of money!). I don’t think the institution was a bit sorry to see me go. I was regarded as a troublemaker. You see, I wanted students to leave the place able to think. The Powers That Be in U.S. society don’t want thinkers, they want obedient little serfs.

    The deeper problem, however, is that the U.S. is basically an anti-intellectual society & has been for longer than any of us have been alive. The “business of America is business,” as my father once said. The problem is that America’s basic anti-intellectualism is now working directly against the country’s ability to sustain itself in the future. Its founding principles are gone; the economy is dead in the water, there has been no “recovery” worth speaking of unless you work for Wall Street; the best the political system can deliver is the insipid Obama vs. the equally insipid Mitt Romney; millions of people many of whom with college degrees believe global warming is a hoax. The biggest funder of both Obama & Romney–look it up–is corporate banking leviathan Goldman Sachs. Which brings us to the all-important question: who really rules the Western world? (The answer many of us have reached after years of careful study: the international banking cartel. If that’s a “conspiracy theory,” make the best of it!) Fields like mine used to be designed to inspire students to think, but I found myself having to be honest with them: we have reached the point in U.S academic culture where the majority of the people teaching you at this institution are too busy juggling late bills & just praying we don’t get sick or in an accident (no health insurance) to really focus properly on our course preps, & you will graduate from this place essentially no better off educationally than when you started, but with six figures of student loan debt which you’ll never be able to pay off as a Wal-Mart greeter or your burger-flipper job. I also tell them that if they don’t spend some time learning what the Federal Reserve is & how money & banking have worked in the Western world, they are going to graduate & still be utterly clueless about what is really going on. For whatever it is worth, I am now in a foreign country pursuing a new life & career that might have some promise. Part of my leaving is due to the fact that I see nothing but trouble ahead for the U.S. There is going to be serious unrest & possible violence when the next economic downturn hits, which could be as soon as before the November non-election. Sadly, when things get rough a lot of people are going to turn on each other instead of trying to understand the real causes of what will have happened. To do that, however, requires a real education, & you simply aren’t going to get that in American universities today! I suppose it also requires a job that will buy the groceries, pay the bills, & afford those gifted with the ability sufficient leisure to think & write.

  11. Cannot tell today says:

    I am recent Ph.d graduate. I am a postdoc in a STEM field. I happened to work with a someone who has been an adjunct for over 25 years. In a dispute with him, I came to know his mental state. I am quitting academia. I do not want to be “slave” or a “slave driver”.

  12. J says:

    Hello! Thank you so much…how about a Facebook group for exploited adjuncts on a global scale – a one week strike would cripple the system and we could ensure that there are plenty of good news articles setting how highly educated people are being forced into a kind of slavery whereby they work for less money than the need to live on. I have lots of ideas for how to bring down the bloated administrative costs and fat cat pay checks. My expertise is litigation and lobbying in the European Union – how to effect legal change to pressure etc. and European employment law – specifically anti-discrimination. We should organise. If the mailing list got long enough we could leverage through membership fees – 10 dollars each for a year – and raise money to take the system down from within – through strategic action and collective bargaining. Higher education is an abused privilege and the exploitation of workers is mirrored in industry (where I also have considerable experience of unpaid labour and exploitative working conditions). It’s like the Manic Street Preachers song (and I am not even a fan) – “If you tolerate this, then your children will be next”.

  13. Cheryl says:

    Love the recent letter I just got about the restructuring of pay for adjunct’s, it’s a hoot. Would love to talk.

  14. Robert Kemp says:

    I think the rise of the Business Schools has had a negative impact on the university and the community. I found an explanation in the writing of Veblen in his “Higher Learning in America” http://pdf.truni.sk/jop/archiv/2.2011.html
    I hope you find this paper interesting

  15. Love your blog and your project! The adjunct revolt or rebellion is necessary. We live in the age of the Failed Academic. Hence the title of my new blog devoted to much the same situation you are also writing about here. Hoping this is just the beginning of many future exchanges.

    A link to the Failed Academic: https://afailedacademic.wordpress.com/

  16. Fool Me Once... says:

    There is just too much to say except it is a horrendous mess and the “Smugs” are in control meaning the sickeningly well paid full-time faculty and administrators who even as you eat Raman Noodles sitting next to them because this is all you can afford, glibly ignore the situation, one of them even telling me about some kind of formula where two adjuncts=one FTE. I think it is now, three. I am leaving also because in addition to making $1.75 hour with my 100 students, the students themselves are now horrible too. I work(ed) in California at a community college and the students are illiterate. They are also entitled and narcissistic and if you dare to break through their bubble of perceived perfection, they slaughter you on the evaluations, not out of any critical thinking skills, but to make clear how much they hate people who make them work. I suggested to the dept they start recruiting elementary school teachers because this is the level at which you have to teach now. All I can say is when I am teaching as an adjunct, it is the most demoralizing experience of my life, akin to feeling like a used whore. Anyone who does this is out of their mind.
    It will destroy you and the very system you are a part of is insane–the full-timers have no incentive to help you, support you. It is a passive-aggressive house of horrors all the way.
    We also could care less about future generations or we wouldn’t let this go on. Just remember, that idiotic biology student going into nursing? He could kill you when you’re 80 because these are the people that will be taking care of you. Remember this, esp. you Chancellors of UC that just raised tuition again, 5%, for five years in a row but we understand. You are narcissists too and gosh, $350,000 is just not enough.

  17. AnotherBrokeAdjunct says:

    I think we all know by now because I am seeing it all over (thank God) we have to sue the State and Federal Depts of Labor, the university systems, possibly the state and fed depts of Education,
    and also confirm that our working conditions violate our civil rights. The analogy I see now in articles is that we are the migrant workers of the educational system (“only with fewer rights”) and that this is also a civil rights issue. We have to sue now and if we all pull together, since we are about 70% of the academic population, it’s pretty obvious we can do this, even if we donate $5/each or something but we have the critical mass. Also, we have to do this because the Unions are scamming off of us too, taking “dues” from our tiny paychecks and not giving us much back. Don’t unionize adjuncts!! The unions become cozy with the administrators because now they get paid from the union dues…and if the unions were doing their jobs for us, we would not still be poor and destitute, and NO the answer is NOT hiring “more full time faculty”–they love to say this. It’s paying us for our time–teaching, grading,, prep, student meetings (including emails!)–pay us for OUR TIME. Some of us do not want full time jobs. ALL OF US want to be paid for our time. It all comes down to fairness and not being exploited anymore and we all know that in the end, to end this, you have to sue. So let’s get on with it. Class Action Lawsuits. Let’s go.

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