I’ve written before about the godawful rat race many highly educated academics suffer through: the ghastly adjunct position, in which you’re paid a small sum to teach a class, and the only way to make a living is to teach many courses piecemeal, often at a variety of different colleges. Well, it turns out that there could be a worse system: Southern Virginia University is advertising for volunteer professor positions.
Volunteer Professors. For almost two decades generous volunteers at Southern Virginia University have enriched the lives of students, faculty, and staff in a variety of ways. For example, distinguished retired professors have taught a host of classes in such areas as English composition and literature, classics and foreign languages, creative writing, communications, chemistry, family and child development, and Russian literature.
You could teach a class…for free! But the university does offer some recompense: you get to stay in an apartment, no charge, and they will generously give you five free meals a week. I guess you have to fast through the weekend, but they probably don’t expect you to teach then, either.
Just imagine: you could get years of training in some difficult discipline, and then your reward is a few hots and a cot while you train some young people to go on to assume your exalted position someday.
I wonder if the students at SVU ever consider the example of their underpaid professors, or if they don’t think that far ahead and just appreciate the fact that it saves them a few bucks on their tuition right now.