LINGUIST List 12.932

Wed Apr 4 2001

Disc: The Role of Lecturers in Universities

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Dee Allen-Kirkhouse, Lecturers in the university
  2. Lotfi, Dis.: The role of lecturers

Message 1: Lecturers in the university

Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 09:51:07 -0700
From: Dee Allen-Kirkhouse <>
Subject: Lecturers in the university

I am a lecturer at Cal State Hayward and have taught at the local community
colleges as well. Like Moonhawk, I have taken on as many classes as each
institution would allow me, 6 classes a quarter/semester . I recently quit
teaching in the community college. I was burned out from the commuting,
never mind the paper load.

Lecturers are paid per class at the university and by the hour at the
community college. At the community college, we are paid $25 an hour to
hold one office hour per week. So that with teaching two classes, I get
approximately one minute for each of the fifty students I teach, 50cents
per student. Like most teachers, I make myself available for my students
as much as possible outside of class, so that I am basically donating my
time. At the university, we are required to hold one hour per week per
class. Our pay per class includes that office hour.

 Incidentally at both institutions, I share an office with at least 15 other
lecturers. We share one or two telephone lines. One office has an
antiquated computer and the other has no computer at all.

At both types of institutions, the lecturers outnumber the tenured faculty
by 2-1. We are cheap labor. As long as the part-time FTE doesn't go past
the 60% full-timers FTE, the department can hire as many lecturers as they
wish. Our lower salaries and minimal benefit packages allow the tenured
faculty to earn the big bucks and take the time for research. A part-time
lecturer doesn't get paid when they take sabbatical for research. Summer
break? What's that?

To top it off, the lecturers in the English division at one institution are
only allowed to teach two classes per semester. Lecturers in other
departments are allowed three classes per semester. They get paid more per
semester and their benefit packages are better.

I don't what the solution is. One of my colleagues at Hayward was recently
hired by a She's making more money that some tenured faculty.
While going into the private sector is an option for all of us, the reality
is that most of us are teachers because we love teaching and working with
students. When I worked as a journalist, the pay wasn't so great there
either and people would say, "Yeah, but you get to see your name in print."
I guess the equivalent in academia is getting to see your name in the
college schedule and have students give you great evaluations for a job well

Dee Allen-Kirkhouse
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Message 2: Dis.: The role of lecturers

Date: 4 Apr 2001 15:47:36 EDT
From: Lotfi <>
Subject: Dis.: The role of lecturers

Apparently the money-oriented society comes up with the same
solution everywhere: Iranian universities do the same to their
temporary "hagho-tadris" lecturers that US universities do to
theirs. They have no job security of any sort, no
medical services, even no offices to answer their students'
questions! They come and go like shadows, do most of under-
graduate teaching, and are paid only at the very end of
the term (and sometimes, if not often, at the beginning of the
next term).
There is at least one (most probably unintended) advantage in
this empolying system of ours: such lecturers,esp. when they're
young enough, get some sort of motivation to improve their living
condition through pursuing their studies, doing research,
presenting papers in conferences, ... . Who says the competitive
market economy must have no place in academic institutes ? :-)
Ahmad R. lotfi.
English Dept, chair
Azad university (Esfahan)
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