Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

‘Death of an Adjunct’

with one comment

As amazing as it sounds, Margaret Mary, a 25-year professor, was not making ends meet. Even during the best of times, when she was teaching three classes a semester and two during the summer, she was not even clearing $25,000 a year, and she received absolutely no health care benefits. Compare this to the salary of Duquesne’s president, who makes more than $700,000 with full benefits.

Meanwhile, in the past year, her teaching load had been reduced by the university to one class a semester, which meant she was making well below $10,000 a year. With huge out-of-pocket bills from UPMC Mercy for her cancer treatment, Margaret Mary was left in abject penury. She could no longer keep her electricity on in her home, which became uninhabitable during the winter. She therefore took to working at an Eat ‘n Park at night and then trying to catch some sleep during the day at her office at Duquesne. When this was discovered by the university, the police were called in to eject her from her office. Still, despite her cancer and her poverty, she never missed a day of class.

Death of an adjunct. Per @zunguzunzgu, tuition at Duquesne was $28,913 per student last year. And from 2010: Duquesne University athletics currently serves more than 475 students with a $10.8 million operating budget.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 18, 2013 at 9:53 am

One Response

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  1. Being an adjunct is always a precarious existence. Still, your post points out that it is not just in the corporate world that we have unconscionable disparities between what the worker in the trenches receives vs. the excessive compensation of senior management.

    Karl Drobnic

    September 18, 2013 at 10:59 am


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