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Letter: Pros, cons to the world of adjunct college professors

The Monitor editorial on adjunct professors (“A hard job is about to get even harder,” March 15) paints a broad brush on all who engage in this activity. Many of them have another source of income with health benefits and do not mind the low salary. They are in it for the fun of teaching. What they bring to the college is industry experience that most tenured professors cannot. In my case, my full-time employer generously allowed me the time off to be an adjunct but asked me to make up the time by staying late during my non-teaching days. My extra earnings provided pin money that allowed me a little luxury on my limited budget.

There can be a downside for the college that hires adjuncts. Because of the low salary, I gave my two courses the time they deserved. I corrected no written homework because I handed out none. I gave four tests a semester, all multiple-choice. Grading these took little time. Therefore the students were getting no experience in improving their writing skills. Good writing is needed in so many situations, be it consoling a friend, writing a resume or designing a project proposal.

To quote an English proverb, “You gets what you pays for!”

BRENT SCUDDER

New London

The editorial raises the main issues that need to be discussed by all parties. For once, the public can get a better view of the entire battlefield. Salary is only part of the problem. When one set of workers receive compensation for all of their work and another is expected to volunteer their time, something is terrible out of balance. But, to be clear: adjuncts are not "in it for the fun of teaching." Regardless of enjoyment level, the problem of equal work/equal pay, preparation time, health care, etc. augment the problem of professional respect and, in some cases, qualify as examples of labor abuse. Community College System of New Hampshire at one time prided itself on maintaining balance across industry, professional, and academic communities. Now, it treats all adjuncts with equal disrespect. It was strongest when it viewed ALL adjuncts as innovators and entrepreneurs, building programs that unified all constituent needs. How does someone meet writing course objectives or departmental standards when the minimum attention to student needs is celebrated? The recurring exercises needed and the support of a teacher in college composition is denied the student whenever the writing process is starved by scantrons and the absense of out-of-class reinforcement. While it is true you get what you pay for, the question of what it is we are paying for (quality instruction) can no longer be a subject of debate. Dr. Robert Craig Baum CCSNH Humanities and Liberal Arts River Valley Community College (2003-2011)

“You gets what you pays for!”...but apparently...sometimes you don't even get that.

“You gets what you pays for!”....watch out the liberals will now come after you with their venom filled posts

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