Living Wages Cost More Money


A new study has revealed why academic adjuncts are paid so little: living wages would cost universities a lot more money. A new study says that converting adjunct faculty to tenure track positions would cost $27 billion dollars. The study also suggested that as more faculty became full time, as many as 450,000 adjuncts could lose their jobs. The study was made in response to an SEIU proposal to increase adjunct pay. A variety of proposals to raise adjunct pay could cost anywhere from $19 billion to $49 billion. That might sound like a lot, but consider that Harvard University alone has an endowment of more than $37 billion while 56 private colleges have endowments greater than $1 billion.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →