For Immediate Release May 2015

PrecariCorps, For Immediate Release, Brianne Bolin, Joeseph Fruscione



May 1, 2015

Professors—from lecturers to tenured faculty—do not have summers off. For adjuncts continuing the cycle of part-time work to make ends meet, vacation is no vacation. Instead of dedicating quality time to enhancing their pedagogy and research, many adjuncts turn to part-time teaching, tutoring, babysitting, retail work, freelance editing, and other jobs to approach a living wage. Most adjuncts won’t be paid from late May until late August, even if they’re teaching over the summer.

PrecariCorps has launched a campaign to prepare for adjuncts’ summer needs. To aid this fundraising push, we’re encouraging current and former adjuncts to share their stories, plans, and anxieties using #AdjunctSummer or #VacationIsNoVacation on Twitter. We’ll also run a series of True Stories on our site. Stories of struggle and anxiety are common:

  • One long-time adjunct remembers a summer when he taught a course but wasn’t paid until almost two months after the term began. He and his family had to live on credit cards and loans from their parents or friends.
  • A current adjunct is prepping a full load of Composition courses while also dealing with child care. “I can’t afford out-of-home child care. Even if I could, I won’t get paid until September,” she added.
  • Another current adjunct remembers summers of babysitting and retail work, with very little money or time to write.
  • An adjunct contacted us about funding some of his travel to an academic conference, which would help his teaching, research, and networking. He will have to pay at least $1,000 out of pocket, and he does not teach in the summer.

Seth Kahn, a tenured professor of Rhetoric & Composition at West Chester University, offers this:

While we’re working together to change exploitative conditions, we also need to remember that many of our adjunct colleagues are choosing whether to pay rent or buy food, especially during summers when many campuses do not offer them work, and many states deny unemployment benefits. We all know that nobody should have to make that choice, and our adjunct
colleagues are no different.

We’ve had an active first few months. So far, we’ve received requests for tax debt relief, child support, car insurance payments, rent assistance, and other real-world needs. We’ve been able to honor about half of these requests, and we hope to award more funds soon. Now that we’re officially a 501(C)(3) non-profit, all donations are tax deductible. We’ve received 30 donations so far from tenured professors, adjuncts, leaders of professional organizations, and other generous parties. We expect a significant increase in requests over the summer.

Most adjuncts experience constant uncertainty about employment between terms. The more economically and professionally stable they are, the more engaged and accessible they can be for their students, the more research they can complete in their fields, and the more they can serve their communities through real-world practice.

For all media inquiries or other information, please contact Communications Director Joseph Fruscione:  •  @PrecariCorps  •

For our May press release in PDF format, click here.