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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Adjunct Pay by the Numbers

It’s hard to get information from colleges about how much they pay adjuncts. And it’s hard to say why that is—except that maybe those that pay low don’t want their part-time talent pool to move on to greener pastures, and maybe those who pay more don’t want to be on the other end of that migration.
So the Chronicle of Higher Education has launched, and recently expanded, the Adjunct Project—an interactive data base that allows adjuncts to post, anonymously, what they are paid by their schools for the courses they teach, and, though some don’t specify it, what the subject matter is.
The site, which lists a very large number of institutions but is still waiting for adjuncts at many of them to fill in the figures, allows people working as adjuncts to compare their pay with those of their peers at other schools. Here are some figures that will be of interest to the Valley’s dons:

• Adjunct pay at UMass Amherst was listed
at $6,065 for a course with the subject not
specified.


• An art course at Amherst College paid
$7,000.


• A “liberal arts” course at Hampshire
College paid $6,000.


• At Smith, adjunct pay ranged from $3,175
for a course in “social work” to $10,000.
• A theater course at Mount Holyoke paid
$7,000.


• Courses in English and“human services” at
Springfield College paid $2,500.


• A course with unspecified subject matter at
American International College paid
$2,100. A “business course” paid $2,300.


• Elsewhere in the region, adjunct pay for
English and other courses at Clark University
in Worcester paid $1,500 to $5,000.


• An English course at UConn paid $4,383.
A psych course paid $4,800.


• And in the greener pastures at Brown
University, an English course paid $8,500
while an anthropology course paid $10,000.

***

Worth Knowing

According to Elizabeth Palermo in “Forget the NSA: Your Tech Gadgets Could Be Spying on You” (LiveScience, June 13), your smartphone could be storing and transmitting all your secrets.
“Smartphones,” Palermo notes, “possess an arsenal of powerful features —including microphones, GPS receivers, accelerometers and Wi-Fi antennas — that are meant to help users communicate and access information, but those very same tools can also be used for spying.”


Palermo cites information from a Symantec representative who told her that “mobile devices are increasingly playing host to the kinds of malware once found only on PCs, such as remote-access Trojans (RATs). RATs turn devices into Bond-esque spy tools, stealing passwords, recording video and audio, and launching attacks on other systems.”


It gets worse: “… smartphones are also vulnerable to other kinds of hacks. In 2010, researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey performed a series of rootkit attacks on smartphones, demonstrating how to remotely activate a device’s microphone to secretly record conversations.


“The researchers were also able to install malware that allowed them to track a user’s movements using the phone’s GPS receiver.”


Look out! “An infected desktop computer might record all the conversations you have in your home office,” Palermo points out, “but a smartphone can record all those top-secret meetings you attend at headquarters or next week’s clandestine rendezvous.”


And, Palermo adds, your tablet has most of the same built-in spyware as smartphones.

***


“I have no way to call my mother except to employ the services of Verizon or AT&T or some other telephone company. I’m not going to string two cups between my house and her house 70 miles away. That doesn’t mean that it’s okay with me for the government—and specifically the Department of Defense—to be getting information about every telephone call I make to her. It’s not okay with me.”

—U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida. Grayson may not have the virtue of consistency; he’s supported the surveillance provisions in the Patriot Act until now. But you can’t say that his remark about the current leaks revealing the scope of NSA-FBI surveillance isn’t colorful.

***

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