At universities around the country, adjuncts are second-class faculty

Lauren Williams's picture

In 2010, I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach poetry in Hyderabad, India. The honor was a mark of distinction for Tufts as well as a thrilling opportunity for me.

To my surprise, accepting the Fulbright resulted in my being technically terminated from my job as poetry lecturer. I expected to return to Tufts - however, as a non-tenured instructor who works on a yearly contract, being in India for a semester meant that I was no longer an employee.

My Tufts medical and dental benefits evaporated. My fellow tenured-faculty Fulbright recipients from Tufts did not experience this treatment.

Just last week, I joined my colleagues at Tufts University in voting to form a union with Adjunct Action, a project of the Service Employees International Union.

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