IUPUI adjunct instructors call for more pay

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With full-time professors at Indiana University campuses due for a 3-percent raise next month, part-timers want in on the deal, too.

And now the full-time faculty are lending their support to the part-timers.

“Part-time faculty should receive an increase in pay to narrow the gap that has been created over the years by the pay increases granted full-time, tenure-track, and tenured faculty while part-time faculty did not receive pay increases,” read a statement released Friday by the Indiana Conference of the American Association of University Professors, which is filled mainly by full-time professors at universities around the state.

Also signing the statement was the AAUP chapter at IUPUI, where part-time, or adjunct, professors have organized a coalition to push for improvements in pay and working conditions.

The raises at IU were announced in September by President Michael McRobbie, and effectively lifted a salary freeze he instituted a year ago. The pay raises will average 3 percent, but will be determined based on merit for each professor. The pay hikes go into effect Nov. 1.

Neither order by McRobbie directly affected pay for adjuncts, however, because they are paid out of separate budgets from full-time faculty, said IU spokesman Larry MacIntyre. Those budgets were set by the IU trustees in May after the dean of each school at each IU campus made budget requests for part-time faculty.

“They’re paid out of a separate bucket of money,” MacIntyre said of adjuncts. “It’s up to the dean of each school to apportion that out.”

According to adjunct instructors at IUPUI, their pay is lower than it should be. An adjunct instructor in the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts receives $2,100 to $2,500 per course, according to the IUPUI Associate Faculty Coalition.

By contrast, the coalition claims adjuncts teaching in English in the College of Arts and Sciences in Bloomington are paid $4,600 per course. And the Modern Language Association recommends adjunct pay of at least $6,600 per course.

“We simply want all part-time faculty to be treated equitably and know from experience that that is unfortunately not always the case,” said Tracy Donhardt, president of the Associate Faculty Coalition at IUPUI. Donhardt is a former IBJ reporter who has taught journalism as an adjunct at IUPUI since leaving the newspaper more than two years ago.

Donhardt said she has received word from the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI that adjuncts teaching liberal arts will receive a pay raise in the spring. Bill Blomquist, IUPUI’s dean of liberal arts, could not be reached Monday morning to comment on that possibility.

In an interview in April, Blomquist said raising adjuncts’ pay was not feasible at that time because state budget cuts forced IU to trim $58 million from its spending this year.

There were 979 adjuncts at IUPUI as of 2009, representing roughly one in every four instructors on the Indianapolis campus. In a city full of professionals interested to teach on the side, Blomquist said he has rarely struggled to fill adjunct slots.

MacIntyre, the IU spokesman, said adjunct pay has not been an issue of discussion for McRobbie or other officers of IU’s central administration. However, he noted, the issue could come up as part of the deliberations of a new committee named last month by McRobbie.

The New Academic Directions Committee, which will be co-chaired by IU’s Bloomington Provost Karen Hanson and IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz, will review whether IU has needs to restructure its academic operations in any way to improve quality, effectiveness, efficiency or responsiveness to educational trends.


    After 5 years at IUPUI Kelley, I would say most of my teachers have been adjunct faculty. It would seem abnormal to have a FT teacher in front of me. The nice thing is that the adjunct teachers usually are more forthcoming with their work experience and integrating those into the class. The FT faculty just complains about low wages and how their particular facilities are ignored at the cost of other improvements.
  • The Big Salary Lie
    I agree basically with NoTellen. In the 1990s I was an adjunct prof at Ivy Tech. I loved teaching, but I had to stop because I had to pay my part-time employees more than I was making at Ivy Tech. The schools sell the value of education - that getting the education will bring high wages; yet, at the same time, they pay their instructors what low-wage workers make.
  • Confirms IUPUI Secondary Status
    It only makes sense that a adjunct instructors be paid the same whether in Bloomington or IUPUI. Seems to confirm IUPUI's secondary class status. If this is not the case, then why the difference?
  • It's true
    I work as an occasional adjunct at IUPUI. If the pay were more reasonable, I'd do it every semester. I had no idea the pay disparity between IU Bloomington and IUPUI is so great.

    Most of us love the opportunity to teach, but with current pay levels it's hard to justify devoting that much time and effort, in my case on top of a 40+-hour/week job elsewhere. I made the mistake of calculating my hourly IUPUI wage based on the average number of hours I spend teaching and prepping per week, and it's about $8/hour.

    Time for a raise that brings our salary to a more competitive level, IUPUI.
  • Should be "Talk about bullying..."
    Sorry for the typo.
  • Take about bullying...
    The abuse of adjunct faculty is the second greatest sin of higher education. Costing less than 20% of a full time instructor (not including FT benefit costs, as benefits are zero for adjuncts), the student pays the exact same for what is functionally equal quality. Thus, the adjunct is nothing more than a HUGE subsidy for the underworked, overpaid FT faculty! Biggest sin? Overhead (administration) bloat!

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