Adjunct professors’ salaries at the University of La Verne could increase dramatically – by roughly 88% – if a bill currently making its way through the California legislature becomes law.
Assembly Bill 1466, the private college adjunct faculty measure, could be law as soon as Jan.1. It would raise the salaries of adjuncts across the University – where more than half of classes are currently taught by adjunct, or part-time faculty.
An adjunct professor here who earns roughly $4,000 for teaching a four-unit class would get about $7,500 for teaching that same class under the proposed law, said Avo Kechichian, ULV vice president of finance.
The adjustment would cost the University roughly $8 million, Kechichian added.
Nationwide adjunct faculty teach the majority of college classes, about 70%, according to the American Association of University Professors.
Despite this, adjuncts are generally considered contract workers with little job security.
Pay scales for adjuncts are often based on contact hours without consideration of the out-of-class time instructors spend preparing, grading and meeting one-on-one with students. AB 1466 accounts for that out-of-class time. It calls for adjuncts to be paid for 3.5 hours of prep time for each contact hour. And it calls for adjuncts to be paid for those hours at a rate at least double the state minimum wage.
“When I began working, only 30% of faculty were part time and the rest were mostly tenure positions,” said Diane Klein, professor of law at ULV. “Now, … as tenured professors retire, their positions are (filled) by part-time faculty.”
Klein, who is president of ULV’s AAUP chapter, said adjunct teaching is difficult.
“(They) are hired on a semester basis, they don’t always know how much they are going to teach or how much they are going to make,” Klein said. “It’s a very precarious way of living.”
Provost Jonathan Reed has been keeping an eye on AB 1466.
“It is very important for the University to treat adjuncts well and in line with the law,” Provost Jonathan Reed said. “
Alondra Campos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.