Parents, it’s commencement time in Boston. Proud families fill the streets and hotel rooms from the Back Bay to Waltham and beyond. You can see the mixture of relief, hope, and anxiety on every face as graduation marks the beginning of life’s next chapter.
I’m a parent, too, but I also teach part-time at a major university in Boston. While I’m excited for our graduates and fellow parents, commencement time is full of worry for me and thousands of other faculty members in the Boston area.
I’m an adjunct. I’m not sure if I’ll be back next semester.
My job — and my passion — is to teach the next generation of leaders. As millions of parents contemplate the next episode in their sons’ and daughters’ lives, there’s something you should know about what’s happening in higher education and what adjuncts are doing to help refocus your tuition dollars on the classroom.
More from The new U: Tenured professors, call your agents
Nearly 15,000 contingent and adjunct faculty teach in greater Boston. Many work at multiple schools, trying to make enough to support themselves and their families on low pay with no benefits. All have advanced degrees, and many live at or below the poverty level.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week