Adjuncts talk pay

Zackary Willem

Adjunct Instructors teaching at USI are only paid part-time, but the pay is the highest of the local colleges said adjunct Lisa Wiltsie.

“Adjunct instructors are only paid per class they teach, and most adjuncts are only allowed to teach three courses,” said Lisa Wiltsie, an adjunct at the Romain College of Business.

Professors and full time instructors at the business college are paid on nine month contracts, Wiltsie said, but adjuncts are usually paid a lump sum or are given a monthly stipend.

“There are pay discrepancies between adjuncts and regular instructors,” she said,” but I understand the reasoning because it is considered a part time job.”

Wiltsie said there can only be a certain percentage of adjuncts in each college, and that the number is based off of how many courses are being offered for the semester.

“I am really comfortable with the pay I get as an adjunct here. It is more than any other part-time job I’ve had in my life.” she said.

Adjuncts aren’t only confined to work at one university, Wiltsie said. They can also teach as an adjunct at multiple colleges.

“I was teaching here on a grant offer, but I left when it ended and went to become the program chair at Ivy Tech,” Wiltsie said. “Now I teach as an adjunct for both colleges.”

While there are different tiers in a college for full time faculty, she said all adjuncts are simply pooled together as part-time.

“Though we have all the same credentials as instructors (such as) a graduate degree in teaching and 18 credit hours,” she said, “the only difference really is that we don’t have the same amount of responsibilities.”

Wiltsie said USI is the preferred employer among adjuncts. It pays its adjuncts higher than UE and Ivy Tech.

“It still isn’t very much,” she said, “so I can understand how some people couldn’t make a living off of it. I am lucky enough to be a second source of income in my family.”

Adjuncts can’t teach more than nine credit hours at a college, and most of their classes are taught entirely online, Wiltsie said, and they differ from college to college.

At the College of Liberal Arts, adjunct instructors are given the chance to teach as a part of different programs.

Rina Okada, an adjunct at the College of Liberal Arts, teaches Japanese by way of the Alex Foundation.

“The foundation helps foreign language instructors teach at colleges who need them while also pursuing their own graduate degree,” Okada said.

Okada has taught Japanese at the college for three semesters and has pursued her own schooling while living in Evansville.

“The college pays for everything, my tuition, housing and even my food costs,” she said. “I get paid a monthly stipend, but instead of getting paid a lot of money I get to go back to school.”

Okada will teach at the university for two years or until she finishes her master’s degree as part of the Alex Foundation program.

“I won’t have a luxury life,” she said, “but I know that I’m the lucky one. I don’t know of any others apart of the program who get paid as much as me.”

Okada is one of two adjuncts at the university teaching under this program.

“If they did offer me a full time job I would accept it,” she said, “but they don’t have the budget to fund an entirely new Japanese department.”

While the university does pay for all of her living expenses, Okada said that she thinks it’s a win-win.

“They hire graduate students that they don’t have to pay as much, and I get to go back to school for free,” she said, “and I’m sure anyone apart of this program would take the free schooling.”