Christian Nagler, an adjunct professor of writing and art at San Francisco Art Institute, was a special guest on the KALW radio show "Your Call" hosted by Holly Kernan, an adjunct professor of journalism at Mills College, on Wednesday, February 19. He discussed how adjunct working conditions affect both teachers and students, and how organizing for better conditions would positively impact both groups.
"Course loads can change really unpredictably. We have a semester-to-semester contract. They can cut classes or add them at the last minute, so oftentimes adjuncts are teaching something they were called in a day before to teach. I've had to take over in the middle of the semester for adjuncts who simply can't go on teaching at that wage...I've known other instructors who have been unable to pay their rent in the middle of the semester and had to live with friends or family. That's a big thing that happens with adjuncting--you rely on your community, on your family, on a lot of different freelancing jobs--that's how I'm able to make ends meet at this point.
Christian's administration wants to "keep fresh blood moving through the institution. For a lot of the core curriculum, this is a big problem. The more experience a teacher has at a particular institution, the better they can teach their subject, the better they know that institution's population of students, the better they can work to address those students' challenges."