So if adjuncts are so attractive because we’re so cheap, powerless, excluded, and replaceable, the solution seems to be to make adjuncts more expensive, more empowered, more included, and more secure in our positions. One idea: Create a new faculty tier of "super adjuncts" who would teach three classes a semester, and be paid around $20,000 to $25,000 for the term—more than what adjuncts now make, but still less than a full-timer. Give "super adjuncts" a vote in departmental and faculty matters, require them to be involved in some modest sway in the academic life of the department (through mentoring, scholarship, research, or faculty development), and make sure they have some measure of real, contractual job security.The thing is, full-time faculty at NWU, a regional comprehensive public university teach mostly 12 credit hours/semester, so more than Schneider is imagining for "super adjuncts." Our full time adjuncts (most of the adjuncts in my department have full time employment and benefits) teach 15 credit hours/semester, but aren't asked to do service or research (though, of course, those who are trying to get TT jobs are also trying to keep research alive). (We have a pretty good track record in the past 15 years of encouraging adjuncts not to do service, and telling them up front that we can't legally consider service in evaluating their work.)
The salary Schneider mentions is about what our assistant professors make in poorer paid fields (literature, as opposed to, say, English Ed, much less business).
I think Schneider thinks tenured faculty have WAY more power in hiring decisions than I've ever seen. And from the comments, I think even most mid-level administrators have relatively little power.
We're bleeding faculty here right now. We've had retirements in my department, and two younger faculty (one tenured, one tenure-track) have left, neither for academic jobs, both for good personal reasons having to do with preferring to live with a partner or family.
And ours isn't the only department, from the rumors I hear.
We also have a couple colleagues expecting babies this month, which means other folks will be covering their classes.
I hear next year's going to be tough!