The Add Junk Professor: Genesis VI

After thirteen years teaching full-time, the Doctor abruptly found himself without a permanent teaching position. This was somewhat surprising, especially since he assumed once a university instructor achieved “ten-year,” they would be set for life. At least that was what he was always told by his tenured colleagues. Not to be daunted, the Doctor rolled with the punches and accepted a management position within the university, but, even then, he was apprehensive about his long term employment survival. He had a nagging suspicion that the system was trying to send him a message – a message that he was just not receiving.

His initial two-year managerial appointment was extended by one year. The one-year extension was then renewed for a six-month term. The six-month term was followed by a second six-month term. At this point, the institution was reorganized. As a result of the reorganization, the second six-month term was renewed for an additional three months. It was at this point that the Doctor finally got the message that had so skillfully alluded him – it was time to consider a career change.

Logically, the next step in the Doctor’s career was semi-retirement, supplemented with part-time teaching. But even then, he was dogged by the same nagging suspicion that something was amiss. Remaining the optimist, the Doctor accepted a four-month, three-course, teaching position. Unfortunately, unlike the previous managerial position, the teaching position was not renewed. However, following a one-month hiatus he was granted a one-month, one course, teaching contract. And so the precarious cycle of employment contracts continued.

The Doctor set a new goal. The goal was to achieve the most appropriate level of academic classification fitting to current academic standards. In pursuit of this new goal, he hastily added irrelevant content, useless exercises, cryptic comments, redundant resources, and seemingly endless drudgery to his existing course syllabi. He knew that by adding tripe, drivel, and assorted rubbish to the process that he would achieve his ultimate academic rank. He is still waiting on official institutional recognition of his newly minted academic status, but he is so confident in his strategy that he has self-declared add-junk professor status.

The Doctor knows a good thing when he sees it. Adjunct professors are now the majority. In fact, adjuncts account for 76.4 percent of U.S. faculty across all institutional types. In Canada, it is estimated that more than half of all undergraduates are taught by contract faculty and part-time faculty out-number full-time faculty more than two-to-one. There is power in numbers, and once the new precariat class of academics become organized, then all hell will break loose in academia. In fact, the movement has already started. The Doctor now has a new cause to champion, so never let it be said that the Doctor grade away or lost his class.

Dr. StrangeJob

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