January 21, 2013

HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE: Universities Bludgeon Adjuncts With Obamacare Loophole.

Many colleges are cutting back on the number of hours worked by adjunct professors, in order to avoid new requirements that they provide healthcare to anyone working over 30 hours per week. This is terrible news for a lot of people; 70 percent of professors work as adjuncts and many will now have to cope with a major pay cut just as requirements that they buy their own health insurance go into effect. . . .

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen serious unintended consequences from Obamacare, and it’s unlikely to be the last. It’s already become painfully obvious that the law’s creators failed to think through its full implications.

But beyond alerting us to one of the many problems that implementing Obamacare will cause, this news provides a depressing look at the underbelly of the academy. Universities are citadels of blue model thinking and most faculty members are relentlessly liberal in their politics. But the reality is that these same universities are some of the nastiest and most exploitative employers in America. The exploitation of adjuncts is an ugly feature of contemporary American academic life, and the smug complacency about it among many beneficiaries of the two tier system should remind us all that moral hypocrisy can co-exist with impressive degrees.

The more talk about equality you hear, the more likely you are to find it comes from an aristocracy squatting atop a pyramid of serfs.