While the agreement reached between the California State University and the California Faculty Association is certainly a step in the right direction, it does little to address the greater structural problem within the CSU: that over 60 percent of its faculty are classified as temporary lecturers.
The gulf in pay between lecturers and tenured or tenure-track professors is vast. In 2014 at Cal Poly, where lecturers make up 46.2 percent of the faculty, they averaged an annual salary of $31,015, while professors averaged $80,661. While not all lecturers are full time (though many want to be), the fact remains that per-class professors earn an average of $6,965, while lecturers earn an average of $4,535.
Most lecturers possess Ph.D.s, and many have teaching experience and research profiles comparable to their professor counterparts. There is no formal way for lecturers to move from their temporary positions to permanent tenure-track jobs.
Ultimately, this hurts students, as many lecturers are forced to work multiple jobs. I am appalled by the administration’s and some professors’ indifference to this inequity, and I call upon administrators and faculty to resolve it.
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Cameron D. Jones, lecturer, history department, Cal Poly