Ten-year adjunct professor, Troy Camplin, can’t say he wasn’t warned: Once an adjunct, always and adjunct.

He’s jumping off the treadmill, and explains why:

…Also at issue is the fact that I taught challenging classes. For academic bureaucrats, the most important thing of all is retention. That is, to keep students coming back, to keep the money pouring in no matter what. A professor who is challenging is thus a threat.

Perhaps, more than anything else, that is why full-time professors are being replaced over time with replaceable adjuncts and lecturers. A professor protected by tenure is someone you cannot force to do anything. But someone who can be terminated for no reason whatsoever, typically worded as “we ran out of classes,” is ideal. Adjuncts and lecturers can be much more easily bullied by the system.

Adjuncts and lecturers should not buy the rhetoric that your input is wanted or needed. It is not. It is a trap to find out who won’t follow the unwritten rule of bureaucracy that student retention is the one and only thing that matters.

This, at least, is my experience. It is my experience at two community colleges and three universities.

I believe that things are only getting worse. The worst elements of elementary, middle, and high school are starting to creep up into higher education in the form of external “assessments.” The excuse is that the bureaucrats need to make sure that the professors, who are experts in their fields, are doing a good job of teaching the very thing at which they are experts. But the real reason is to enforce the status quo, to make sure everyone is a “team player.” The real reason is the logic of bureaucracy itself: bureaucratic growth. They assess so they have jobs assessing. That is all. And it is bureaucratic growth that is killing our universities.

And it is bureaucratic growth that has killed my desire to ever try to work for a university or college ever again. Bureaucracies have crowded out full-time faculty positions. They have created, with the move toward more and more adjuncts, a work environment that in a for-profit business the left would consider horribly exploitative.