Magazine article Academe

Ohio Filmmaker Has Adjuncts' Concerns in Focus

Magazine article Academe

Ohio Filmmaker Has Adjuncts' Concerns in Focus

Article excerpt

EVEN FROM BEHIND THE CAMERA, Cincinnati filmmaker Barbara Wolf has become a player in the story of efforts by part-time faculty members to secure better jobs. Although Wolf says her involvement in the cause came about by accident, her documentary, Degrees of Shame: Part-Time Faculty, Migrant Workers of the Information Economy, is now a staple in the drive among adjuncts for professional recognition and respect.

"I guess it all started when I heard that a professor at the University of Cincinnati was applying for his own job," says Wolf, retracing her learning curve on the concerns of part-time faculty. "He'd been doing the work for a decade, and I thought he had the position. But then I heard he was 'just an adjunct,' and I asked what that meant."

Wolf proceeded to consult acquaintances and soon learned about the low wages, lack of health care, and long commutes that constitute the underside of many part-time appointments. "People I'd known for a long time would admit to me that they were adjuncts with no benefits. At first, I thought they had to be kidding," Wolf explains. One friend told Wolf about driving over two hundred miles three times a week while shuttling between teaching jobs on several campuses.

Then Wolf found out that her acquaintance at the University of Cincinnati was denied the full-time job he had filled so long on an interim basis. "They took someone right out of graduate school because they said they wanted a young Turk," notes Wolf ruefully. Realizing that many others shared her ignorance about the conditions facing adjunct professors, she began working to raise awareness using the medium that she knew best. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.