The Fear of “Transient Academics”

Adjunct academics have been ignored, dismissed, underpaid, and exploited, but now somebody finally fears them. Unfortunately, it is a group of NIMBY residents in Evanston near Northwestern University who worry that adjunct faculty might live near them and lower property values. The Southeast Evanston Association expressed fears in an email about a proposed extended stay hotel in downtown Evanston, declaring that they want “a hotel brand that will maintain a high quality of business, and not devolve into cheap housing for transient academics.” Perhaps it is a sign of success that the problems of adjunct faculty are finally being recognized, even if it is by rich people who want to prevent their lowly presence in affordable housing.

3 thoughts on “The Fear of “Transient Academics”

  1. Please forgive me for this:

    In a dark deserted classroom, no windows anywhere
    Warm smell of chalk dust, rising up through the air
    After class in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
    My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
    I had to stop for the night
    The dean stood in the doorway;
    I heard the dismissal bell
    And I was thinking to myself,
    “This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”
    The dean turned a door handle and she showed me the way
    There were voices down the corridor,
    I thought I heard them say…

    Welcome to the Hotel Adjunctoria
    Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
    Such a lovely face
    Plenty of room at the Hotel Adjunctoria
    Any time of year (Any time of year)
    You can find it here

    Their minds are edu-twisted, enough to send you round the bends
    She got a lot of transcient labor, she even calls them friends
    How they dance in the classroom, each semester sweat.
    Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

    So I called up the chairman,
    “Please pay for my time”
    He said, “We haven’t had to pay enough since nineteen sixty nine”
    And still those voices are calling from far away,
    Wake you up in the middle of the night
    Just to hear them say…

    Welcome to the Hotel Adjunctoria
    Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
    Such a lovely face
    They livin’ it up at the Hotel Adjunctoria
    What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
    Bring your syllabis

    Sections do not carry,
    The promised courses, lies
    And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
    And in the provost’s chambers,
    They gathered for the feast
    They stab us with their steely knives,
    But they just can’t kill the beast

    Last thing I remember, I was
    Running for the door
    I had to find the passage back
    To the place I was before
    “Relax, ” said the old prof,
    “We are programmed to receive.
    You can check-out any time you like,
    But you can never leave! “

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