Apr 24, 2015 – Aug 1, 2015
Adjunct: something that is joined or added to another thing but is not an essential part of it.
Adjunct examines the current state of wage disparity, lack of benefits and power that exists within the university system through a survey of artists who are in various stages of their adjunct teaching careers.
Statistics show that in the United States adjunct instructors make up 65% of the university teaching workforce. On average an adjunct instructor, with an equal Doctorate or Master’s degree, earns one third less than their tenured counterparts. Most teach the same or larger class load at multiple institutions just to make a livable wage. Some work semester by semester, not knowing if they will be asked back to teach on a consistent basis. At the same time, with the proliferation of graduate programs in all areas of study around the country, universities are, in essence, creating their own low wage workforce.
The artists featured in the exhibition expand and complicate these pedagogical and financial situations within the national adjunct faculty network. Ranging from recently hired adjunct faculty members to existing teachers for several decades, and from those who have moved beyond an adjunct position into an extended contract situation to artists who have left teaching altogether to pursue a different career while continuing their practice, these artists represent the inconsistency and complexity of auxiliary academic posts.
Each artist shares a passion for teaching and the exchange of knowledge, which is why they chose this path even with the understanding of their stature in higher education. Unfortunately, for some, this passion is not enough to keep them in a system lacking in support and stability for both current and future instructors.
Artists: Jill Bedgood (San Antonio, TX); Sterling Allen (Austin, TX); Karin Hodgin-Jones (Urbana, IL); Marin Abell (Topeka, KS)
Supported by The Deluxe Corporate Foundation.