Estimating the Cost of Adjunct Justice: A Case Study in University Business Ethics by JASON BRENNAN
- UNA TESI PROVOCATORIA. Many news sources, magazines, and activists claim that adjuncts are exploited and should receive better pay and treatment. This paper never affirms nor denies that adjuncts are exploited. Instead, we show that any attempt to provide a significantly better deal faces unpleasant constraints and trade-offs. “Adjunct justice”would cost universities somewhere between an additional $ 15-50 billion per year. At most, universities can provide justice for a minority of adjuncts at the expense of the majority, as well as at the expense of poor students.
- MEGLIO AIUTARE GLI STUDENTI. Instead of spending money helping adjuncts, universities could reduce tuition or provide scholarships for poor undergraduates. There’s a pretty strong case that this is a priority over helping adjuncts from the standpoint of social justice.
- GENTRIFICATION. Implementing any of the proposals we’ve seen increases the pay and prestige of these jobs. But as pay rises, it is likely that higher skilled or better qualified people will end up receiving those jobs. We might call this the problem of “job gentrification”. Higher quality applicants will compete for those jobs. Many current adjuncts have marginal qualifications and will end up losing their jobs altogether.
- IL PRECARIO RAZIONALE NN CHIEDE STABILITÀ. to substitute minimally good jobs to cover all the classes currently taught by adjuncts, universities would have to fire 2/ 3rds of all current adjuncts. If we assume that current adjuncts are rational people, then we should presume that they prefer working as adjuncts
- PREFERENZA IMPLICITA. Most professional adjuncts are highly skilled people, with very high IQs, with impressive resumes. They could get good jobs with benefits and good pay in some other sector of the economy. They could easily learn other skills that would be of great value to employers. (Social justice warriors: note the use of the word, “most”.) But, they chose “academia out of a love of scholarship and teaching”. This indicates that they prefer B) working as contingent faculty with few benefits and low pay, and participating in an exploitative and corrupt system, to C) getting a different kind of job with better pay and better benefits in a less corrupt sector of the economy. Of course they’d each prefer A) having a permanent, TT or equivalent job with good pay and benefits in the academy.
- QUALITÀ INSEGNAMENTO. One study claims that tenure-track professors tend to be worse teachers (at the introductory level) than adjuncts or other non-tenure-track instructors.