Today is the last day to take the New Faculty Majority’s survey on contingent faculty appointments.
With the survey, the NFM is trying to get a snapshot of the back-to-school experiences of faculty on contingent appointments by asking about hiring practices, orientations or lack thereof, and access to basic tools like photocopying and curricular materials.
One question, “What is the timeline from the start of classes to the anticipated receipt of your first paycheck?” reminded me of my worst back-to-school experience, when I was a first-year TA at a large public university. Because of a series of bureaucratic glitches, we did not receive our first paychecks until the end of the fall semester. This was not only incredibly frustrating and time-consuming to sort out, but it had financial consequences that lasted after the paycheck finally arrived, thanks to piled-up credit card debt and late fees on bills.
Readers (and here’s hoping that we have some), have you had similar experiences? What are conditions like at your institution(s) at the start of the term?