Publication Date

January 1, 2008

Perspectives Section

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

Robert Townsend’s latest report "Left Behind? Historians Lag in 2006–07 Salary Report” in the November 2007 Perspectives demands careful scrutiny, but Townsend and the AHA ought to start factoring in another issue—that is, the comparative salary level of part-time faculty. As various sources indicate, part-timers are approaching 50 percent of the percentage of higher education faculty nationwide. (An AAUP report puts part-time instructors at 38 percent of historians.) Part-timers, thus, are no longer just “adjunct,” but a permanent part of the historical profession. Excluding them wrongly ignores growing ranks of fellow historians. We should be aware of how part-time employment is restructuring historical compensation, and where it leaves part-time historical faculty. Surely, that will make Townsend’s salary report even more sobering.


Adjunct Lecturer, Central Connecticut State University and Housatonic Community College

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