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Two Academic Firings

July 8, 2017

Both reports come from the Chronicle of Higher Education. In an opinion piece, conservative Jonathan Marks defends liberal Lisa Durden, who was fired as the result of a spat over Black activism. Then Sarah Brown reports on Keith Fink’s claim that he was fired from UCLA for his (conservative) advocacy of free speech.

What both of these firings have in common is that the teachers were adjunct faculty members. Adjuncting has become a trend in higher education. Colleges and universities are more reluctant than ever to pay tenure-level salaries when they can hire adjuncts for a fraction of the cost. Furthermore, adjuncts have virtually no job security, working from course contract to course contract, sometimes for multiple institutions. Tenured professors are almost untouchable by academic administrators; adjunct teachers can be fired at a whim.

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