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Sep 19 2013

Utterly shameful

Margaret Mary Vojtko was a professor of French at Duquesne University for 25 years. She died of a heart attack at the age of 83 after struggling with cancer for a number of years.

She was an adjunct professor. Do you know what that means?

As amazing as it sounds, Margaret Mary, a 25-year professor, was not making ends meet. Even during the best of times, when she was teaching three classes a semester and two during the summer, she was not even clearing $25,000 a year, and she received absolutely no health care benefits. Compare this with the salary of Duquesne’s president, who makes more than $700,000 with full benefits.

Meanwhile, in the past year, her teaching load had been reduced by the university to one class a semester, which meant she was making well below $10,000 a year. With huge out-of-pocket bills from UPMC Mercy for her cancer treatment, Margaret Mary was left in abject penury. She could no longer keep her electricity on in her home, which became uninhabitable during the winter. She therefore took to working at an Eat’n Park at night and then trying to catch some sleep during the day at her office at Duquesne. When this was discovered by the university, the police were called in to eject her from her office. Still, despite her cancer and her poverty, she never missed a day of class.

What that means is the university hires a highly trained professional for a pittance and strings them along with temporary assignments year after year, giving them no benefits and no retirement funds, and can simply not renew their contract whenever they feel like it. It’s indentured servitude with no job security at all and paying them less than the custodians make.

About half the teaching staff at American colleges are adjuncts. This is a position that initially had some reasonable utility; here at UMM we hire temporary faculty to fill positions when professors go on sabbatical, and sometimes to address temporary surges in the student population, but at many colleges they’ve become a way to stretch their limited funds…at the expense of the very people who fulfill the primary function of the university. It has become a disgraceful practice, much abused, and harms both the quality of the education (not because these are bad teachers, but because the constant shuffling of staff erodes the continuity and consistency of the curriculum), and also represent gross exploitation of those faculty.

Duquesne is a Catholic university, which ought to shame people who claim an exalted moral status, but this isn’t a Catholic problem. It’s going on at most universities. If you’ve got a faculty member who plays such a role that you keep hiring them year after year for 25 years, you have no excuse other than your miserliness for not promoting them to a permanent position. What Duquesne did was simply abusive oppression, taking advantage of someone in particularly desperate straits.

The Director of the Campus Ministry at Duquesne made excuses.

I knew Margaret Mary well. When we learned of problems with her home, she was invited to live with us in the formation community at Laval House on campus, where she resided for several weeks over the past year.

Over the course of Margaret Mary’s illness I, along with other Spiritan priests, visited with her regularly. In addition, the university and the Spiritan priests at Duquesne offered several other types of assistance to her.

Mr. Kovalik’s use of an unfortunate death to serve an alternative agenda is sadly exploitive and is made worse because his description of the circumstances bears no resemblance to reality.

No, the reality is very familiar — I’ve known many people who have been taken advantage of by the adjunct system. I’m wondering what “other types of assistance” a gang of priests offered her that could possibly compensate for the fact that they starved her with degrading wages for 25 years? I reckon that if they paid her $25K for 25 years when a more reasonable professorial salary is closer to $50K, offering her an envelope with $625,000 in it might have been fair. I suspect that what they offered Margaret Mary Vojtko, who was apparently quite devout, was a little hand-holding and prayer…nothing helpful, in other words.

What was sadly exploitive is Duquesne’s short-sighted abuse of adjunct faculty.

91 comments

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  1. 1
    Walton

    Well said, PZ. The adjunct system in the US is a disgrace.

  2. 2
    chimera

    We have the same thing in France called “chargé de cours”, paid twice a year, peanuts.

  3. 3
    doublereed

    I really don’t understand. Tuitions are rising so much yet the Professors always seem like they’re getting ever more screwed.

  4. 4
    Charly

    “no healthcare benefits… no retirement funds”

    How the fuck can something like this be even legal in first world country supposedly advanced above most, if not all, of the rest of the world? Both health care and retirement funds should be part of taxation system.

    This story makes me sad and mad.

  5. 5
    PZ Myers

    Hint:

    Duquesne’s president, who makes more than $700,000 with full benefits.

    I wonder how much their coaches make?

  6. 6
    raven

    I’m wondering what “other types of assistance” a gang of priests offered her that could possibly compensate for the fact that they starved her with degrading wages for 25 years?

    Hmm, that is a tough one.

    Pretending to talk to an imaginary Sky Fairy? Well, it was cheaper than anything constructive they could have done.

    And oh yeah. Prayer can move mountains. So they moved a mountain in the Andes. Which also did her a lot of good.

  7. 7
    Leo Buzalsky

    This doesn’t even mention — as I was gripping about to my wife this morning — the damn football coaches that make $4 million a year. (That was more in relation to this story about the NCAA not planning to pay athletes because “virtually no university president, that thinks it’s a good idea to convert student-athletes into paid employees.” Yeah, I’m sure they’d say that as it likely wouldn’t be in the best interest of the universities.)

  8. 8
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Meanwhile the Richest 400 according to the idiots at Forbes had their wealth increase by $241 billion and now account for about $ 2.02 trillion. The top ten include the Koch suckers and 3 members of the Walton family, who will now probably branch out into Walmart U, where all the faculty are adjunct. What a world.

  9. 9
    futurechemist

    Some groups are working to reform the adjunct system. The American Chemical Society is proposing (or maybe they’ve approved them, I’m not certain) new rules for colleges. In order for a department’s Chemistry degree to be ACS certified, courses required for the chemistry major (except for general chemistry), must be taught by full-time faculty. In order to allow professors to go on sabbatical leave, full-time visiting positions (who do get proper salaries and health insurance and other benefits) can teach chemistry courses.

    It’s not a complete fix, but it’s a pretty good start.

  10. 10
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ ARIDS

    What a world.

    In the Good Ol’ Days ™ , such would have been turfed out of power in a violent revolution. No more. The Church of Mammon has finally subjugated the masses – where jeebus and Baal failed.

  11. 11
    embraceyourinnercrone

    All too true. I have a friend and former co-worker who is working as an adjunct at 2 different colleges to try to make enough to pay rent, utilities,food and transportation costs.

    If you are going to work for a University you are probably better off getting a job working at the IT help desk. I know someone who works at the help desk at one of the schools my friend teaches at, he actually makes a living wage and has a union job with benefits, including full medical(no cost if he uses the University hospital/health care)

  12. 12
    rturpin

    From a political viewpoint, I can’t but help think that the division between tenured and adjunct professors creates a separation of interests that weakens their joint bargaining position.

  13. 13
    Susannah

    With huge out-of-pocket bills from UPMC Mercy for her cancer treatment, Margaret Mary was left in abject penury.

    (My bolding)

    Mercy?

    Or just another content-free dribble, like so many other spoonfuls of Christian alphabet soup?

  14. 14
    bastionofsass

    I’ve seen a number of outraged articles about WalMart and other contemptable businesses who will hire several part-time workers rather than one full-time employee in order to avoid having to pay for benefits given only to full-time workers. The similar exploitative adjunct system needs more publicity.

    Many years ago, the Baltimore Sun covered the subject, including writing about how, despite the shameful pay, some adjuncts cobbled together a modest income by working at several schools each semester, year after year, without benefits.

    I seem to recall The University of Maryland System being uncomfortable enough with the unflattering publicity resulting from the article(s), that reform providing at least some benefits was promised. I wonder if that promise was ever kept. I know someone who currently teaches as an adjunct at two Maryland public colleges, and that person gets no benefits. And gets paid less than employees at some of the big box stores.

  15. 15
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And I read an account such as this and think, ‘This is normal.’

    When my mom got her masters in art therapy, she was offered a paid internship with a for-profit therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist clinic. She declined as she got something close to home. The person who did take that internship, someone she knows, worked there under a minimum wage plus $3.00 for three years — they kept renewing the paid internship contract and promising that, as soon as they had the money, they would hire her in a permanent professional position. One day, they terminated her contract, along with all the other interns. And hired a new batch at straight minimum wage.

    In the National Park Service, about 1/3 of our employees, both permanent (with benefits) and seasonal (without benefits) are in subject to furlough positions — most of them can be furloughed for up to 13 pay periods (six months). I know people who have worked as seasonal park rangers, people with masters or PhD’s, at the GS-05 level with no bennies for decades.Almost all federal wildland fire fighters (including the ones killed in Arizona) are seasonals with no benefits and work at the GS-04 or -05 level for ten years or more before becoming a crew boss or engine boss at the -07 level (still seasonal, though).

    Our local schools have discovered that, when a teacher retires, they can either pony up the $23,000 plus benefits for a new tenure-track teacher, or they can spend three or four years getting by with long-term substitutes — men and women fresh out of college desperate for experience — for only about $18k a year with no raises or benefits. I know a man who has been a ‘career substitute’ for thirty years teaching music. I know a woman, with a BS in secondary ed and a BS in mathematics, who is now going into her fourth year as a long-term-substitute — no benefits, no raises, no tenure but they keep promising her a permanent position at some undetermined future date. Meanwhile, four positions, including a math instructor position, have been filled by relatives of current teachers and school board members.

    My brother-in-law in Florida is an IT tech. He is also working on his BS in IT management. He makes more than every single adjunct professor (1/3 of the professors) at the college.

    So, again, this is normal in modern America. We are so enamoured with the idea of saving money where ever and when ever possible, of getting things cheap, of cost cutting, that we are destroying lives. The cost of secondary education keeps rising, the wages of those teaching is stagnant, state funding is dropping, yet the college presidents and the coaches keep getting more and more and more. And those who point out the problem are labelled commies.

  16. 16
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I seem to recall The University of Maryland System being uncomfortable enough with the unflattering publicity resulting from the article(s), that reform providing at least some benefits was promised. I wonder if that promise was ever kept.

    A good friend of mine was an adjunct at a UMaryland affiliate for a few years. It’s safe to say the answer is no.

  17. 17
    callmefrustrated

    Sad story but it is not clear why she even stayed there for so long. She was either not concerned about the position and compensation or was not qualified to move into a better position – maybe somewhere else. The article never addresses that. However I do note that the referenced newspaper article was written by a union lawyer – who maybe has an axe to grind since the university fought unionization. I would like to hear from the other side.

  18. 18
    chuckv

    I have a friend who is a history teacher in the UMass system. The story is much the same, he is an adjunct and they pay him a pittance – it is below poverty.

  19. 19
    chigau (違う)

    callmefrustrated #17

    I would like to hear from the other side.

    Who is the other side?
    And why do you want to hear from them?

  20. 20
    serena

    I’m assuming the ‘other side’ is the side that argues that she’s the stupid person for staying with that job. I know, I know, the only people who can be exploited are the people willing to be exploited, right? They want it, they LIKE it. If she didn’t like having too many jobs, she should’ve gotten a better job!
    (Did I get that right? lol…)

  21. 21
    equisetum

    Australia has the same problem. I’m assuming that “casually employed teaching staff” means the same as “adjunct.”

    @17:

    Sad story but it is not clear why she even stayed there for so long.

    Yes. Of course. It must be her own fault. Did you read PZ’s post? Or the comments before your own? This is happening everywhere. Maybe there was no where else for her to go.

    the referenced article was written by a union lawyer – who maybe has an axe to grind since the university fought unionization.

    Or maybe he is pointing out a valid reason for unions.

  22. 22
    Jerry

    callmefrustrated in comment 17:

    1. Blaming the victim by *speculating* that she was unqualified is a low and mean-spirited thing to do. I could speculate that she stayed because she loved teaching. I could speculate that she was not promoted because that is a *pattern* of underpaying qualified individuals while overspending on administration and sports seen at many other colleges.

    2. Unions are *supposed* to point out injustice and horrible behavior. If not them, then who else would care about people being slowly starved and left to die without proper medical attention? Certainly not you. (Hint: charity and prayer is not the same as being able to afford a heated home and chemotherapy.)

  23. 23
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    callmefrustrated: “I would like to hear from the other side.”

    Because there are always two sides to wage slavery.

    Dude, did it occur to you that when you have zero body fat, it might be very hard to break the chains?

  24. 24
    callmefrustrated

    chigau #19

    The other side is obviously the university – as to why I would like to hear from them, I think the real question is why wouldn’t you? The old adage that there are two sides to every story comes to mind and since the article is definitely biased (I am not taking the word of a union lawyer as being completely truthful) I would like to hear what the university has to say about what happened.

    Do you always just take as gospel (sorry to use that here) what you hear from one side in a story or do you seek out the rest of the story, so to speak?

  25. 25
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    However I do note that the referenced newspaper article was written by a union lawyer – who maybe has an axe to grind since the university fought unionization. I would like to hear from the other side.

    Yeah, me too. I would love to know why they didn’t want their employees to have access to an organisation which would represent them in the matter of workers’ rights.

    That is what you meant, right…?

  26. 26
    carlie

    I really don’t understand. Tuitions are rising so much yet the Professors always seem like they’re getting ever more screwed.

    The majority of tuition rise is that state legislators at public schools are cutting their funding to the schools, causing more of the burden to fall to the student. So a year of schooling costs, say, 12k, and the state used to pay 8k of that, leaving the student with 4k in tuition. But now the state is in a budget crisis and cuts funding to 4k per student; the student now sees their tuition jump to 8k to make up for it even with no increase in the college budget. Student affairs also costs more now, some for good reason – they are required to have mental health counseling available, for instance. But there’s also needing new dorms to be competitive with the other schools, adding high speed wireless access because it’s expected, etc. What I never, ever, ever see is increase in faculty numbers in critical fields. What happens is that someone retires and is replaced with adjuncts, while another administrative position of vp of whatever gets created.

  27. 27
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    callmefrustrated #17
    Perhaps you failed to read the remainder of the post, where PZ explains that her situation is widespread, and that the abuse of adjunct professorships is near-universal. Because if you had read that part, and you are indeed acting in good faith and thinking things through, you might have realized that the likelihood of getting a better deal elsewhere was extremely low. You might also have realized that it does, in fact, cost money to uproot your life and move to someplace else, and that someone receiving less than living expenses is unlikely to have the spare money to do so. The fact that you thought of neither of those things makes me extremely disinclined to assume that you are a good faith interlocutor. I hope that you will use your next two posts to prove me wrong. The ball is in your court.

  28. 28
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I guess it’s up to the tenure-track professors to agitate for rules, such as “two years taught by an adjunct” and a position becomes permanent. Not that they can hire another adjunct but that the position must be filled in the third year by a permanent employee. How about that?

    It is also really important to get an employment standard that pro-rates benefits, so that someone who works half hours gets 50% of the full-time benefit, so there will be no savings for an employer to use many part-time staff. In some places part-time staff can be paid less than someone doing the same work full-time and that too has to be addressed.

  29. 29
    chigau (違う)

    callmefrustrated #24
    There are very few stories that have only two “sides”.
    Hyperbole is a weak rhetorical trick.

  30. 30
    sirbedevere

    I’m in the adjunct faculty slave pool myself and it’s just as bad as you’ve heard, especially here in Boston where there are dozens of starving people with advanced degrees for every job opening. I know for a fact that the janitors and secretaries at the college where I teach make more than the adjunct faculty. The struggle to get up to the bottom rung of the academic ladder is almost insurmountable. (I’m hoping the textbook I just wrote for my course will be a help — if I can find a publisher.)

    I’d really like to see colleges and universities required to publish what percentage of their credit hours taught each semester are taught by full-time faculty. At least people paying tuition would be able to see where their money isn’t going.

    Oh, and here’s an irony alert: I went to grad school at Duquesne…

  31. 31
    carlie

    I guess it’s up to the tenure-track professors to agitate for rules, such as “two years taught by an adjunct” and a position becomes permanent. Not that they can hire another adjunct but that the position must be filled in the third year by a permanent employee. How about that?

    Faculty have zero bargaining power regarding the budget. Zero.

    In my college system, adjuncts at least get benefits when they’ve been teaching at least two classes per semester for two years straight, but that’s because we’re a pinko commie closed union shop. They still get screwed in every other way, though.

  32. 32
    sirbedevere

    Did you notice in the original story that the adjuncts at Duquesne are trying to unionize and and the university is trying to use a “religious exemption” to prevent it?

  33. 33
    tinyal

    My wife and I both work at a 2 yr college in the SW USA – she’s been a CIS/CS adjunct for 8 yrs, I’m the I.S. admin (2nd in charge) in the computer dept.

    Although not exactly similar (my wife has an AS, not BS or MS – but lots of experience which some committee accepts instead of a more advanced degree for some (a minority) of classes. She makes the same now as she did when she started – $38 per credit hour – with absolutely no benefits except a tiny contribution to the retirement system (when she retires, she will qualify for no more than $125/month in retirement benes).

    FOr those who don’t know how this works, if she teaches a 3 credit class that meets 1x a week, she gets (3x$38) for that week, regardless of how much work she has to do other than the 3 hours she’s in the classroom in this example. She normally teaches 1 or 2 classes per semester – some rules states if they give her 3 classes 2 semesters in a row, they have to promote her to FT (it’s how 2 current tenured employees got their position).

    She isnt doing it for the money, as I make more than most everyone else on campus (with just a HS degree and many certifications!) – she does it because she loves teaching and the self fulfillment that comes with watching students ‘get it’ and start to enjoy learning.

    But for a single 3 hour class, she spends closer to 10-11 hours of labor per week (all unpaid), plus if she doesn’t show up at ‘mingle’ meetings, various committees, etc – they will just dump her even though her student retention and reviews are in the top 1% of all faculty, FT or adjunct.

    Adjunct is quite abused here, as I suspect (and we hear) from other campus’s in this area of the state. Anyone trying to actually support themselves – much less a family – simply cannot do so as an Adjunct.

  34. 34
    demonhype

    This kind of thing just pisses me off all the more at that Time article stating that college athletes ought to be getting huge salaries–in addition to their free tuition and such. While the teachers can’t make ends meet. Yes, it’s much more important to give the already-free-ride athletes even more while people like Mary here die in penury despite working hard all their lives to educate their students.

    Not to mention the reasoning “athletes are bringing so much money into the school”. If that extra money went into paying teachers fair wages and keeping the general tuition rates for the non-athletic students affordable, I might not be so mad. I might not even hate the athletes, if their efforts were helping the rest of us in America get a decent education.

    And combine that “athletes make the school millions” with the claim that the schools can’t afford to pay their teachers a living wage or benefits and have to make do with adjuncts only–well, something isn’t adding up. Either the college is too poor to survive or it’s making billions off its athletes that is going…where? If the college doesn’t have enough money to pay their teachers properly, they sure as hell shouldn’t have enough to give hundreds of thousands of dollars a year salaries to each and every athlete–even just limiting it to football.

    What I’m saying is I’m tired of hearing on one hand how paying teachers a fair wage with benefits would “ruin” the poor cash-strapped college, while hearing the same people state in the same breath that the student athletes should be getting hefty $200,000 salaries or more because their efforts make the school so very rich, bringing in billions of dollars. Something isn’t adding up here. Sports-related cognitive dissonance?

    Why don’t we just eliminate the educational element of college altogether and just turn them into sports apprenticeship mills, if this is how we’re going to run things? Why hire intelligent, hard-working people like Mary here and let them struggle and die in ignominy, pretending that education is at all an interest of that institution–while insisting that people who can run and catch a ball well should be making eight times more than her at minimum, on top of the free ride they’re already getting? Seriously, as far as I’m concerned, sports should never have been introduced into education at all–it was inevitable that it would overshadow education as the “real” purpose for the institutions.

  35. 35
    callmefrustrated

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy #27

    You can have your ball back as I am not here to prove anything. I asked what I felt was a simple valid question – why didn’t this woman do something about her situation over the last 25 years? At some point she should have noticed that her compensation wasn’t going to improve – so why didn’t she take matters into her own hands and do something about it? Was she actually happy with her circumstances or was there some other reason?

    I have found myself broke and in a rut twice in the last 30 years. In both instances I decided to pick up and move and improve my life. Was it easy? Hell no, but I could see that if I didn’t do something to take control and change my circumstances I was going to be stuck in that lousy rut forever. I did it (and there were many who didn’t think I could) – why didn’t she? Why isn’t that a valid question here? Am I supposed to just blindly accept everything that is posted by PZ as truth? Am I not allowed to ask questions? I am really surprised that you are “extremely disinclined to assume that you (that would be me) are a good faith interlocutor.”

    Maybe this isn’t the place I thought it would be…

  36. 36
    Vidar

    Why did no-one do anything about this intolerable situation when she was still alive? How many more are in similar situations? What is the number of people living in squalor at which people in power are going to take enough notice to take effective action?

    In a purely capitalist system, like America, this is the norm: the rich get richer, and the poor do not have the power to get out of poverty. This will not improve, because the rich are in power, and do not see the poor as human enough to care about.

  37. 37
    chigau (違う)

    I’m AFK for at least 8 hours.
    Play nice.

  38. 38
    aaronbaker

    Speaking as someone who’s taught as an adjunct since the late 80s, I concur completely with Myers’s post, and with Dallilama @27.

    This story is more shameful than most–but it’s not the least bit surprising

    The virtual certainty that my adjunct assignments would never lead to a permanent position eventually drove me to law school. Not the worst of fates, I know, but I greatly prefer teaching and scholarship to being a lawyer. The adjunct racket has forced a lot of people into careers that were, for them, a poor fit and a poor second best. Those who continue as adjuncts and nothing else are pretty much doomed to this poor woman’s fate.

  39. 39
    cswella

    @callmefrustrated:

    Different situations for different people, there are a variety of good reasons why she was still at the school. But assuming you’re correct, and she was purposefully punishing herself for no good reason, you’re completely missing the point of the article. It’s not that a single person had what you would consider “questionable reasons to stay”, it’s that this is a nationwide issue that we’ve dropped the ball on the education of our citizens because we treat teachers so badly.

    Do you also assert, based on your personal experience, that anyone who has been in poverty for 25 years is just lazy? Or what?

  40. 40
    Orakio

    @13

    UMPC Mercy is a legacy name from when it was run by the (very Catholic) Sisters of Mercy – Before UPMC bought them out, they were pretty decent about billing people what they could afford, at least historically. That may have changed some as the price of doing business went up, but UMPC has, in the last few years, been working very hard at making its non-profit status as an establishment purely aesthetic.

    Most recently, they are the larger three-quarters of the local healthcare duopoloy in Pittsburgh, and in order to bolster “not-profit” money intake in their insurance department, have started to refuse to accept insurance from the area Blue Cross / Blue Shield affiliate. I can see them refusing to work with Ms. Votjko over bills very, very easily.

  41. 41
    Ysidro

    (My bolding)

    Mercy?

    Or just another content-free dribble, like so many other spoonfuls of Christian alphabet soup?

    Well, it was founded by the “Sisters of Mercy” and remains a Catholic hospital even after it’s merger with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

    So yes, dribble mostly. Though it is a pretty decent hospital anyway. I’m more partial to Allegheny General or, if I have to deal with UPMC, Presbyterian.

  42. 42
    Ysidro

    AAAAAnd, I’m beaten by Orioko.

  43. 43
    callmefrustrated

    cswella #39

    I never stated that she was “purposefully punishing herself for no good reason.” and I never considered that she had “questionable reasons to stay.” You either didn’t really read my post or you are purposely misrepresenting what I said. Either way, shame on you.

    It is not my assertion “that anyone who has been in poverty for 25 years is just lazy” and I did nothing to imply that this poor woman was lazy. Why would you even bring that up?

    You state there are a variety of good reasons she was still at the school – okay, what were they? That is what I really want to know – what was it about this job that kept her there all those years?

  44. 44
    consciousness razor

    You can have your ball back as I am not here to prove anything. I asked what I felt was a simple valid question – why didn’t this woman do something about her situation over the last 25 years?

    It is a valid question, but not the right question. It’s also definitely not a simple question. You expect her to “do something.” That’s fucking helpful. What should she have done?

    On second thought: please send your advice to her estate, not here. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the feedback, and I’d appreciate it if you just fucked off. Then everyone’s happy.

    But seriously… what could you possibly think is the use in asking this? The focus ought to be on the university’s responsibilities, regardless of what she did, didn’t do, or could’ve done. Because no matter what the answers to your silly fucking question might be, they failed.

    At some point she should have noticed that her compensation wasn’t going to improve – so why didn’t she take matters into her own hands and do something about it?

    Because “matters” aren’t always in our own fucking hands. Because that’s just fucking bullshit.

    Why the fuck should anyone at all have “compensation” that fucking shitty? Why should any employer be able to get away with this?

    Was she actually happy with her circumstances or was there some other reason?

    Or do her reasons, whatever they may have been, not have a single fucking thing to do with what is wrong with this story?

    Why isn’t that a valid question here? Am I supposed to just blindly accept everything that is posted by PZ as truth? Am I not allowed to ask questions? I am really surprised that you are “extremely disinclined to assume that you (that would be me) are a good faith interlocutor.”

    Sure, you can ask questions, just like others can ask them of you. For example, one that you haven’t addressed yet: what’s your fucking problem with unions? Are you seriously so fucking clueless that you just don’t understand how your own fucking comments (including what I’m quoting here) come across to everyone else?

    Maybe this isn’t the place I thought it would be…

    This part you got right. This isn’t your fevered imagination, where everyone can achieved the fucking American Dream. It’s reality. Go back to sleep.

  45. 45
    callmefrustrated

    @consciousness razor

    Thanks for confirming what I thought – this is not a place for open discussion – you either get on board with everyone else or you get knocked for maybe bringing a different point of view. Got it – that’s okay, you can have that but I am not going to lower myself into the sewer with you – life’s too short.

    Good day.

  46. 46
    Ze Madmax

    Darn. I was really hoping to see what sort of “different point of view” can justify keeping someone (and someone with enough professional training to teach higher ed, at that) as a part-timer for 25 years, with no benefits whatsoever.

  47. 47
    consciousness razor

    Yep, I confirmed everything. Being the fucking troll mastermind that you are, it’s all working according to plan. Now that you’ve taken matters into your own hands, you should feel free to start a better blog somewhere else, one where “open discussion” means “letting it slide when people say incredibly stupid, assholish nonsense.” Thanks for fucking off, like I requested.

  48. 48
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Suggestions that she should have taken matters into her own hands and improved her lot implies that
    (1) She wasn’t trying to do so,
    and
    (2) There was something she could do.

  49. 49
    Rey Fox

    No different point of view here, Just Asking Questions.

  50. 50
    sirbedevere

    There is a simple answer to the question of what she was doing “to improve her situation”: Devoting herself to teaching, pursuing the career she loved and doing a good enough job at it to get good student evaluations and to have her contract renewed for 25 years.

    Now that we’ve answered that one, the next question is why, in the light of all this, Duquesne University didn’t do something to “improve her situation”.

  51. 51
    consciousness razor

    Suggestions that she should have taken matters into her own hands and improved her lot implies that
    (1) She wasn’t trying to do so,
    and
    (2) There was something she could do.

    And that (3) what she could or couldn’t do is even relevant. It’s not about her choices, which she’s responsible for. It’s about the university (and practically every other company and private institution in this country) claiming no such responsibility.

    And that’s because our government has allowed them to get away with more and more of this shit for so fucking long, that I think a lot of people have just lost the plot. I almost get wistful about the olden days, when charters were revoked if a business owner just looked at the monarch funny. We at least got rid of the fucking monarchs, but now you can’t even say “private sector” before someone screams “don’t regulate it or our economy will collapse!!!11!!” But even if that’s so, whose fucking economy is it? The people who have all of the money? Because that’s not us.

  52. 52
    David Marjanović

    Duquesne? The one in Pittsburgh? I passed that place several times last year! I should have…

    …I should have…

    Sad story but it is not clear why she even stayed there for so long. She was either not concerned about the position and compensation or was not qualified to move into a better position – maybe somewhere else.

    Where else?

    On Vulcan? On Qo’noS?

    How many academic jobs do you believe exist on this planet?

    Did you notice in the original story that the adjuncts at Duquesne are trying to unionize and and the university is trying to use a “religious exemption” to prevent it?

    Wow. I’m not used to Card-Carrying Villains using religion as a justification as if they needed any.

    my wife has an AS

    What is that?

  53. 53
    consciousness razor

    It’s about the university (and practically every other company and private institution in this country) claiming no such responsibility.

    I didn’t mean to exclude government jobs from that. Maybe it’s the irony of the public sector not taking care of the public that constitutes it. I don’t think I can really wrap my head around that.

  54. 54
    David Marjanović

    Wow, I managed to fuck the first link up. I guess you can see how angry I am! Here’s Qo’noS.

  55. 55
    echidna

    So, callmefrustrated, you wanted to hear the `other side of the story’. I didn’t realise at first that that the other side meant beyond the grave:

    That is what I really want to know – what was it about this job that kept her there all those years?

    Because she is dead.

    callmefrustrated, your posts are a garbled mess.

  56. 56
    nrdo

    @callmefrustrated

    Another point regarding the notion that she should have found alternatives is her age. Assuming the 25 years she worked directly preceded her death, she would have been 58 when she started and very likely in her late 60s by the time the financial stresses became really severe. At that point it’s extremely difficult, unless you have significant career momentum, to compete with similarly-qualified and aggressive 30 year olds [and not just in academia].

    I’m continually puzzled by some people’s inability to see that no matter how well an economic system works in aggregate, there will necessarily be some people who fall into inextricably bad situations.

  57. 57
    carlie

    Wow. I’m not used to Card-Carrying Villains using religion as a justification as if they needed any.

    There are dozens of large, well-off companies in the US trying to avoid providing healthcare for their employees because the owners of said companies have religious reasons to not want women to get healthcare.

    callmefrustrated – you are writing here with many people who are in academia, as professors, as adjuncts, and as friends and family of same. We don’t need to know “all sides” of what’s going on, because we live it every day, and it’s sadly the same everywhere in the US. What’s especially egregious her is that it’s a religious organization, supposedly a bastion of charity and caring for others, that has treated someone so terribly.

  58. 58
    carlie

    Besides which, at the current rate of employment, projections are that it will take at least 25 years just to get back UP to the unemployment rate that we had ten years ago. So what other job was she supposed to go get, exactly?

  59. 59
    No One

    I quit teaching as an adjunct in December of 2012. I miss the students and teaching. The rest of it sucked. Turns out they technically owe payment to the adjuncts for attending in service meetings. Mine comes out to about $8,000 over the span of my employment. I will never see any of it. I could go on about how they took core classes and turned them into “Directed Study”. 1/4 pay to the instructors, 1 contact hour a week with students, full tuition, and credit hours. Fucking rotten to the core. They completely freaked when I quit. They wanted to keep me on their adjunct roll even if I wasn’t teaching. Apparently someone had to keep their numbers up but didn’t want to do a new hire. Too much paperwork.

  60. 60
    PZ Myers

    Callmefrustrated: Do you know why people go into academics at all? It’s not because of the high pay. It’s not because of the prestige.

    It’s because they love teaching, they love learning, they have a passion for the subject. It’s really that simple: we care about this profession. I can guess why this woman was there: because late in life she found a calling in learning, and she sacrificed everything to pursue it.

    That professors love their work, however, does not justify screwing them over.

    I’m sorry you don’t understand that. You’ll go to your grave not even knowing that sometimes people invest their lives in something other than getting “the job” and making money.

  61. 61
    diego

    I did the adjunct thing for one semester right after grad school. I remember the conversation when I interviewed.

    Head of science dept (HOSD): I’m afraid we don’t pay very much.
    Me: Hmm. Well, how much are we talking?
    HOSD: About $650.
    Me: That’s not very much, but I can squeak by with that per month with the other two teaching jobs I have.
    HOSD: Um . . . that’s not for the month. That’s for the whole semester.
    Me: Oh. . .

    But I took it anyway, and then redoubled my search for a job out of Academia. At least the individual had the decency to act chagrinned about how much they could offer. It’s a shame because I enjoyed teaching there, but it just wasn’t worth the return in effort.

  62. 62
    No One

    PZ @ 60

    I couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you.

  63. 63
    David Marjanović

    HOSD: Um . . . that’s not for the month. That’s for the whole semester.

    Gah.

    That’s below the minimum wage, isn’t it?

  64. 64
    mike47

    This whole horrible situation is examinied in an article at The Baffler (http://thebaffler.com/past/academy_fight_song)‎ and of course the culprit is the “free market” and “privitization”. It all dovetails nicely with the charter school, test, test, test mentality that is driving the price of an education out of anyone’s reach and the value of that education into the toilet. It is also a symptom of the anti-science (indeed anti-everything) idiots that have gained unwarranted traction in our public discourse. Blustering idiocy is rewarded and considered, thoughtful examination is derided (see:Obama & Syria). I am glad my physicist father did not live to see this mess. He loved teaching even though he had to spend a large portion of his career in the private sector. There is no excuse for the treatment this good woman received and it breaks my heart that she is not unique.

  65. 65
    Ing

    Sad story but it is not clear why she even stayed there for so long. She was either not concerned about the position and compensation or was not qualified to move into a better position – maybe somewhere else. The article never addresses that. However I do note that the referenced newspaper article was written by a union lawyer – who maybe has an axe to grind since the university fought unionization. I would like to hear from the other side.

    This sort of bullshit class blind fartitude is why I dropped Church of Awesome and similar atheist podcasts from my rotation. What is with atheists and their cheerleading of oppressive bullshit? It seems pandemic

  66. 66
    Ichthyic

    She was either not concerned about the position and compensation or was not qualified to move into a better position – maybe somewhere else.

    You know nothing, John Snow.

  67. 67
    Ichthyic

    About $650.

    wow.

    I did some extension courses down here in NZ, and even THOSE paid 3 times that, for an 8 week course!

    *shakes head sadly*

  68. 68
    Ing

    This whole horrible situation is examinied in an article at The Baffler (http://thebaffler.com/past/academy_fight_song)‎ and of course the culprit is the “free market” and “privitization”. It all dovetails nicely with the charter school, test, test, test mentality that is driving the price of an education out of anyone’s reach and the value of that education into the toilet.

    Oh and get ready! The people who brought us standardized testing and no child are bringing that same shtick to higher ed!

  69. 69
    Ichthyic

    Well, it was founded by the “Sisters of Mercy”

    Cry like rain in the temple of love

  70. 70
    Ing

    The Church of the Sacred Still Beating and Screaming Heart of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

  71. 71
    yubal

    our graduate students exist on 25k income a year.

    In the full blossom of their health and productivity….and they DO have health insurance (!)

  72. 72
    ks

    I used to adjunct. For about 8 years, I made a pittance for teaching evening classes with no benefits. I also was a substitute teacher for the local public schools during the day. During my best year, I made just under $18K from both jobs combined. Luckily, I have a spouse who makes enough money with decent enough health insurance that we could afford for me to teach because it is what I love (and because, once all the prep work and such was counted in, I essentially taught for free). And even luckier, I managed to roll that adjunct position into a full time lecturer job a couple of years ago. It doesn’t pay a whole lot of money, but it is a hell of a lot more than I made adjuncting and it comes with benefits and a semblance of job security (no tenure, but I’m at least as difficult to get rid of as the union janitors and secretaries).

    I know I’m one of the lucky ones and the way that universities treat adjuncts is positively criminal.

  73. 73
    ericdutton

    I started teaching as a grad student and discovered that I loved it. By the time I graduated, I knew that teaching was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. What I discovered, though, is that what awaited me was a series of hopeless adjunct positions. In order to pay my bills, I had to work three jobs, so I was never able to give my students the time and the energy I wanted to give them. I was a mediocre teacher at best because of this.
    One year, I was teaching four sections of English Composition with a requirement of four essays per semester (which included one draft per essay). With at least 20 students per class, I had to grade at least 640 essays that semester. And that’s all I did with my life that semester. Toward the end of the semester, I kept calling the English department to find out if I was going to have any classes the next semester. They kept telling me “probably” each time I called. I wasn’t told until the day before classes started (when I called them) that I had no classes. That’s not as bad as some of friends’ stories, though. One of my friends found out that she was unemployed when she showed up for the classes she was scheduled to teach and found someone else teaching it. No one bothered to tell her that her class had been poached by a tenured professor.
    Two years ago, I got a job a psychiatry clinic. I don’t have a degree in anything related to mental health, but they took a chance on me for some reason. I’ve been promoted several times since then, and I’m thinking about making this my life’s work. I even quit an adjunct job I was working in the evenings to make more time for my job at the clinic. I actually do need the money, but I am done feeding this pig. It is an abuse of highly trained professional, but it’s also an abuse of students, who often build relationships with some of the first teachers they have, many of which are adjuncts. Students seek those teachers out even after their classes are over. Those teachers become informal advisers–until they day they disappear.
    I am finished with academia. Walmart treats its employees better.

  74. 74
    littlebear

    I don’t think I have enough words to express how horrible this is. It doesn’t make any sense. Even as a first year graduate student I’m making way more than she was and the school is covering my health insurance. Does anyone know how her salary compared to the salaries of graduate student TA’s or researchers?

  75. 75
    bastionofsass

    I learned today that Maryland public colleges are cutting the number of hours taught by adjuncts so the schools don’t have to pay for medical insurance under the ACA (Obamacare). So, Maryland has joined WalMart and Papa John’s in cutting the hours, and hence pay, of employees, rather than do the decent thing and pay for medical insurance.

    THIS ^^^ is why the US needs a single payer insurance system.

  76. 76
    Jadehawk

    to ask why she didn’t change anything about the situation is a red herring. a victim-blaming red herring. Because the discussion is not about her specifically, the discussion is about the exploitation of people who teach at universities. Because if she’d left, someone else would have been in that position, and the whole picture would have been still the same kind of sucky, just with slightly different people involved.
    And incidentally, that exploitation can sometimes be ameliorated by unionization. But pointing that out is probably just bias. Evil, marxist, communist, freedom-hating bias.

  77. 77
    playonwords

    To add insult to injury …

    The Catholic Church has raised $60 million of the $100 million it needs to convert the Crystal Cathedral into Christ Cathedral.

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/crystal-cathedral-set-for-major-renovations-to-reflect-god-catholic-worship-104921/

  78. 78
    Orakio

    @74 littlebear

    Hard call to make, given the level of ‘in-kind’ compensation that graduate students can get. I would estimate that when my wife graduated and went on to adjunct until the PA public school system started to hire again, that her paycut from a half-time research assistant was about 10%. If she had been a full, it would have been a much larger cut. We had been looking to get her classes at Duquesne – They pay a good chunk more than the community colleges do.

    That said, at least she qualified for Medicaid, as a ‘worker with disabilities’. I do not want to imagine how far into debt we’d be with the local “health” extortion conglomerate without it.

  79. 79
    ledasmom

    Couldn’t comment on this last night. Too upset. They couldn’t even let her sleep in her office. Who the hell turns an old, sick woman out of the only safe, warm place she has to sleep?
    Here is a person who gave the university everything and received what might as well have been nothing in return.I cannot stand this notion that it is acceptable to take advantage of the meek and the diligent and the quiet because they don’t fight enough against being taken advantage of. At exactly what level of achievement can you consider yourself safe from being told you’re a sucker?

  80. 80
    Jim Newman

    The adjunct system sucks. My spouse has a Phd (English and Rhetoric) from U of M and her undergrad degree is Cum Laude from Carleton. She applied at Shepherdstown College in WV (where we moved) to teach English. They made clear they supported their policy of never hiring locals in permanent positions but she could be an adjunct.

    My spouse loves to teach, she loves English, and she is far better at stand-up teaching than internet-based teaching. She has knack for making people excited about a topic most people dislike–they complain about how much work there is but some have said the class changed their lives.

    Because of the money and their demand for her she ended up teaching 7 courses a semester. An outrageous number particularly since teaching English Comp requires reading a horrendous number of papers. After several years of this the school decide to hire a permanent prof. She was asked to interview her new boss to be who only had an MA and was hired. Again, no local talent.

    When our emergency-only medical insurance rose to $2,000 and my own work (farming and construction) became more random. and our children began college, she decided to drop in to public schools (there are five of us).

    She desperately wishes she were not teaching public schools because the ideology is the polar opposite of college education–lead them by the nose versus think for yourself. She still teaches 1 adjunct course a semester to keep the possibilities open. Several times now she has watched the school hire out of state less qualified professors. It’s incredible discouraging. There is demand, she’s good, she’s a proven talent.

    The DC area attracts a number of amazing people whose spouses are highly qualified but those who are professors find little work except in the adjunct system. With the ACA universities have cut back the number of adjunct position allowed to prevent lawsuit. Worse than ever adjuncts now collect 2-3 sets of university adjunct positions to teach, commuting ridiculous distances to gather enough jobs to make less than $30,000 a year.

    The discipline problems in school are just bashing her as she is a non confrontational person and there is little recourse for discipline in any case. The students themselves don’t care about detention of even being held back–they assume they will be college drop outs. Others have family-issues and psychological issues that mess them up and there is no support for them so their acting out is impossible to stop.

    The only humor in it is she is the only teacher with a Phd at the school and the students have to call her Doctor. But she isn’t right for public school. She was trained and excels as a professor and the jobs are there; they have just been converted to slave pay. I mean she makes $12 an hour as a professor. Her entire life led to education–both parents were professors. The universities need good teachers!

    We stupidly stepped out of the U system to live on a sailboat, farm, and raise children and it killed her chances of following the already difficult nomadic lifestyle of a nontenured or even permanent prof and worse the system decayed such that teaching as an adjunct pays the same as a woman who cleans house or her husband that mows the lawn.

    We lost all of our retirement in the financial collapse and will work till heart attack. If you visit us in WV 20 years from now don’t be surprised if you bump into me at Walmart, “Hi, welcome to Walmart!”

  81. 81
    Anri

    On the off-chance they might pop back in in an attempt to actually learn something:

    callmefrustrated:

    You can have your ball back as I am not here to prove anything. I asked what I felt was a simple valid question – why didn’t this woman do something about her situation over the last 25 years?

    Yes. It was a valid question. A valid question that had a number of equally valid responses, most of which were referring back to the explanation given in the OP: It’s all over the place.
    It’s SOP. It’s the way things are done.

    At some point she should have noticed that her compensation wasn’t going to improve – so why didn’t she take matters into her own hands and do something about it? Was she actually happy with her circumstances or was there some other reason?

    Yanno, if you don’t understand something someone else does, you might want to try actually putting it that way: “I don’t understand why she stayed there.”
    That way, you at least leave the possibility open in your own mind that it’s your understanding that imperfect, rather than her behavior. You don’t know exactly why she stayed (lots of possible, indeed plausible reasons were given, several in the OP, but we can’t be certain as she’s, yanno, dead.) We don’t know exactly why she stayed. As that questions can’t be answered with anything like certainty, you are presumably asking it as a criticism of her decision.

    I have found myself broke and in a rut twice in the last 30 years. In both instances I decided to pick up and move and improve my life. Was it easy? Hell no, but I could see that if I didn’t do something to take control and change my circumstances I was going to be stuck in that lousy rut forever. I did it (and there were many who didn’t think I could) – why didn’t she?

    Possible reasons were given, reasonable, plausible reasons, many from people actually working in the same field.
    But ok, since neither we nor you can answer these questions definitively, and since you don’t care for the reasons that have been suggested, what are your speculations?

    Why isn’t that a valid question here? Am I supposed to just blindly accept everything that is posted by PZ as truth? Am I not allowed to ask questions? I am really surprised that you are “extremely disinclined to assume that you (that would be me) are a good faith interlocutor.”

    Maybe this isn’t the place I thought it would be…

    I’m sorry – how can I be replying to a question you didn’t ask?
    I am wondering, since you seem to think you weren’t allowed to ask the question that… um… you asked.
    Since you asked it, and got replies, that kind of weakens the argument that you’re not allowed to ask it.
    If what you meant is “I want to ask questions but I don’t want anyone to say anything mean about me”, than, yes, this place isn’t what you thought it would be.

    Of course, we told you that in the Rules: (“This is a rude blog.”)
    You, um, you did read the Rules, right? Because if not, there seems to be a pattern emerging about your reading habits.

  82. 82
    Jim Newman

    Sorry about the typo’s. Really tired today. Meant high school dropouts. My spouses’s students that can’t be disciplined, don’t care if they never graduate from high school. They have already been told they are fuck ups from their parents and why would school be different.

    As to the idiot who says why not move? Uhhh, I don’t know because the job is here it’s just unfairly implemented. We live on a 350 acre farm that can’t be moved and has been in the family 250 years and needed care from someone before it decayed to the ground. Our kids have gone to school here, we have community. I have 8,000 books, a lifetime of art and possessions as well as 6 draft horses, other animals, and farm equipment–moving is not easy and selling it isn’t really helpful. The situation isn’t better elsewhere as the U system breaks down. Wouldn’t it be better to change the system than avoid it.

    How is that remark any better than “America love it or leave it?”

  83. 83
    David Marjanović

    THIS ^^^ is why the US needs a single payer insurance system.

    QFT!

  84. 84
    Ichthyic

    They couldn’t even let her sleep in her office. Who the hell turns an old, sick woman out of the only safe, warm place she has to sleep?

    FWIW, every uni I have ever worked at had this policy. You are not allowed to “homestead” your office.

    hell, teaching was a tough gig when times were relatively GOOD in the 80s and 90s; there were two different occasions at two different unis where I was teaching where I found myself living in my office for a few weeks.

    got kicked out of both offices, but they understood why I was there at least.

    I have to say that in the end, like most telling their experiences with academia here, I do feel like everyone I know got the short end of the stick.

    I finally gave up and went to work for nonprofits. still get to do the occasional lecture on the side, but yeah…. the conclusion after being out of grad school for over 20 years now is that I would have difficulty telling any young person I know that academia is where you want to be if you are interested in research or teaching.

    it was a big bubble burster for me, that’s for sure.

  85. 85
    ledasmom

    FWIW, every uni I have ever worked at had this policy. You are not allowed to “homestead” your office.

    Oh, I do get that, Ichthyic, and I even understand the reasons for the policy. It’s just the sense of last straws, you know? In her situation she had so few options, and then they took away one of those.

  86. 86
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    …and of course some (white male) asshole in comments is saying, Maybe they should let a few diversity administrators go to have the money.

  87. 87
    Ing

    The truth is that Uni’s as they grow increasingly privatized do not want to sell educations, they want to sell degrees. They want to make people have to go through a theater of education while providing as cheap a service as possible for people to get the degrees that are now seen as mandatory for success or work beyond minimum wage (or bellow) jobs.

    It’s a great racket. Oh sure you don’t want to work in a hellish warehouse with no protection or benefits? Fine, go into debt and pay the gate keepers; just no whining when it turns out there aren’t any other jobs!

  88. 88
    aaronbaker

    Not the worst of horror stories–but I remember with some amusement now a Dean of the History Department at Harper Community College in the early 90s: every letter he addressed to the adjuncts, whether collectively or individually, included a threat to fire them.

    Little micro-aggressions like these added up to an environment of pervasive contempt that you were never in danger of misinterpreting. It was particularly galling when you knew your credentials and qualifications were better than those of the person spitting on you.

    My fatigue at being a living doormat was one of the things that pushed me towards the law. Better, I thought, to be hated and feared than to be despised. (I am definitely not recommending rancor as a basis for choosing one’s career; I’m just saying something, probably not very complimentary, about one of my motives, and why it was a motive.)

  89. 89
    stevecarlos

    I know all about this system. It thrives partly because many tenured profs are indifferent to it.

    Many universities have this sort of schizo control thing in the minds of profs, and I’ll explain below.

    Universities are a business. To be a successful business, they must keep up or increase enrollment and limit loss of students during the term. They must also pay people as little as possible. Supposed non-profit public universities due this as well while getting a larger chunk of tax money.

    Where do the profits go? Very often to things that are not related to the quality of education. These include large student centers with advanced work out machinery like hot tubs, the whole public relation side of things (big spreads of food and such and such at prestigious meeting XYZ), and large salaries for those that are higher up within the administration end of things.

    At public universities, these admins are sort of like the CEOs or ‘owners’ of the university.

    Now, how do they convince people to work much harder than what their pay justifies in anyway and to put up with poor treatment? First, the grunts usually have a sense of responsibility to their students and sense of wanting to teach, etc. So, all this good stuff. Well, the higher ups exploit that.

    Why should adj. prof. X share an office with 4 people and have to put up with A,B, and C? Of course, it is because he/she is helping the university help students within an environment of ‘not enough resources’.

    It is a big lie. It is not all about the students. This lie is leverage.

    Heck, I respect corporations more that are upfront about their goals. You know that they are after money. They don’t try to gas light you or ask you to sacrifice for the good of the company simply for its own sake alone.

  90. 90
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    They don’t try to gas light you or ask you to sacrifice for the good of the company simply for its own sake alone.

    Many of them do exactly that.

  91. 91
    mommamia

    This makes no sense. First of all, at 83, she would have been receiving Medicare and Social Security. If for some reason she was not eligible for Social Security, she would have been for Supplemental Security Income. Most employers do not provide health benefits to employees who are Medicare eligible. While I admire her determination to continue working, at 83, and undergoing cancer treatment, I question her decion- making process to continue teaching.
    Responsible and ethical journalism requires reporting all the facts honestly and objectively.

    Sent from my iPad

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