I read with interest, but not surprise, about Austin Community College's latest blow to its adjuncts: the reduction of hours for adjuncts who work an extra four hours a week to have the designation of part-time. This is because the college wants to avoid having to provide health care to the part-timers. Having taught at Austin Community College for 20 years as an adjunct professor of art, this is just another example of the shameful treatment of the majority of its instructors. ACC may be the biggest abuser, but certainly not the only one of the several colleges in this area that live off the bounty of B.A.s, M.A.s, and Ph.D.s produced by these very institutes of higher learning. Jim Hightower covered the situation in his recent article published in the Chronicle
[“The Hightower Report
," News, Jan. 17].
Recently I looked at the website for the art department where I taught for all those years and I counted eight full-time and 42 adjuncts in the department. Some of those adjuncts – I counted 15 – have been there at least 20 years. I know this situation exists for many other departments. Having quality instructors is a plus for the students, but the working conditions under which these instructors teach is not a plus for the students. I wonder about the accreditation under the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges condoning such working conditions. I also wonder if the Austin community knows that it is supporting such working conditions at its area colleges. Some adjuncts teach at three or more area colleges just to make ends meet. We all want our young people to have a quality education, but think about what's waiting for them after they graduate.