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Pay uneven for professors

Adjunct professors are well known as educators in a college setting who work part time, receive a lower salary, don’t specifically have offices, and yet, often times, are still able to emulate the duties of a full-time professor.

Conrad Colby is an adjunct professor currently teaching Health Policy and Ethics, Health Law and Ethics and a few lab sections of Biology 228. He is immensely qualified, as he has multiple degrees, including a doctorate in Anatomy and Physiology. But Colby, who was previously a full-time professor at Boise State with 33 years of teaching experience, currently has an adjunct professor status. He continues to teach because he loves the job.

“I have taught for 33 years prior to becoming an adjunct, now I pretty much teach and leave. It’s not about the money; teaching is just what I do,” Colby said.

Danny Ebert had a much different approach to his career here at Boise State. Ebert has been an adjunct professor for eight years at Boise State, teaching Anatomy & Physiology 227 & 228. His previous full-time job was working for the USDA Forest Service (Intermountain Partnership Coordinator, Region 4 in Boise).

Ebert proceeded to spend 32 years of service there, retiring in 2006 and began teaching at Boise State.

Having the experience of instructing at a number of universities during his Forest Service Career, having graduate work for a MS in the medical field and Ph.D. work in fisheries, wildlife biology and stream ecology, Ebert was more than qualified for a teaching position here at Boise State. Ebert spoke up about his teaching experience.

“I teach not for the money alone, but because I need to do something while I’m retired and I like to teach,” Ebert said.

According to Boise State’s Human Resources department website, “Adjunct faculty who (a) have taught three or more semesters for the University within the last three years, (b) have at least a Master’s degree (or equivalent experience), and (c) have received satisfactory student and departmental evaluations are entitled to Step 2 ( $929/credit) pay. Adjunct faculty not meeting the criteria for Step 2 will be paid at Step 1 ($895/credit).”

Much has been assumed about the possible differences in teaching styles between adjunct professors and tenure-track professors.

Amber Edwards, a sophomore, has had multiple adjunct professors and only has one thing to say about her

“I’ve had many adjunct teachers and have spent entire semesters not even knowing it,” Edwards said. “There’s no difference in their teaching.”

The teaching status of the professor isn’t meant to change the quality of learning. It is simply a way to utilize and maximize every individual who has knowledge in a specific area and wants to teach.