Aging Adjuncts Don’t Want to Work Forever, But They May Have to
An untold number of graying adjunct professors face retirement as a time not to look forward to but a thing to fear. Since the recession, adjuncts are hardly the only ones worrying about retirement. But professors who serve on a temporary or at-will basis can spend a lifetime working with no upward mobility and no ability to amass savings. The retirement-planning structure that benefits tenured professors doesn’t work for adjuncts, they say, and their colleges often leave them on their own when it comes to their post-teaching security.
Still fresh on the minds of many older adjuncts is Margaret Mary Vojtko, the 83-year-old Duquesne University adjunct who suffered a heart attack on her front lawn last year. Vojtko, who had taught at the university for 25 years, was broke and left without medical coverage after the university declined to renew her contract.