Brian Croxall, an adjunct professor, writes about how he could not afford to attend the Modern Language Association conference, his field's biggest conference, in order to try and find a job.
"Landing a job in the professoriate has been difficult for well more than this decade, but the recent economic crisis has necessitated (or allowed, if we’re feeling cynical) administrators trimming budgets so that less and less tenure-track faculty are hired. What this means is that more and more contingent faculty are employed to teach the increasing number of students who are matriculating at the nation’s universities. So…perhaps it’s not that employment is going down for humanists with the PhD. Rather, it is sustainable employment that is evaporating."
Tad Friend writes in the New Yorker about the California budget crisis and student and faculty resistance, Berkeley-style. The tactics haven't changed much since the 1960s, but the reality on the ground has: This is the end of the 1960 Master Plan, the original template for public mass higher education in the United States. I've heard more than one person say that, one of whom is quoted in my book.